Thursday, May 22, 2008

Behind Enemy Lines - Fenway Park

One thing Derrick and I have wanted to do before we leave New England is attend a Red Sox game at Fenway Park. However, for those of you who know the Blanton family well, know that we are die-hard Yankee fans. Our blood is pin strips. But when my dear friend Merry Beth called with tickets for a Red Sox game, even I couldn't resist. Fenway is the oldest ballpark and is famous for the "green monster." The park had such personality and the fans (ie - members of Red Sox nation) make the park come alive. It was a great day for baseball - hotdogs, candy, interesting people to watch, great offensive playing, 2 sets of back to back homeruns, and the Sox won. So even though I had to cross over into enemy territory, I must say that it was well worth it.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Windy City

This past week Derrick and I flew over to Chicago to visit Derrick's sister, bro-in-law and their 4 precious kids. Derrick's parents came in from SC and his other sister flew up from VA. It was a mini family reunion with 13 of us total (soon to be 14). But before we met up with everyone, Derrick and I drove to Indianapolis to meet up with our favorite ladies that we met last summer in Ukraine. For those of you who haven't heard the whole story - these women practically saved our summer. We showed up with nothing to do - they thankfully took us in. None of our money transferred until 3 weeks into the trip - these women generously left us with some money when they went back to the States. We didn't bring many snacks - these women left us with enough granola bars to last a lifetime. They adopted us as their own and we love them!

It was wonderful to catch up with everyone and see what everyone looks like when they're not 'roughing' it on a mission trip. :) Indianapolis is a beautiful city and Derrick was super impressed by the soon-to-be-finished Colts stadium with retractable roof and sides. Before we drove back to Wheaton we ate at the Red Robin, who even graced us with his presence. Turns out he's a gamecock fan too!

Then it was off to Wheaton. I don't think I've ever driven through land flatter than the road between Indianapolis and Chicago. I kept expecting to hear a voice call out through the cornfields... "If you build it, they will come." But that was Iowa - not Indiana or Illinois. We went into Chicago for a day and went to the zoo and Navy Pier where we ate at world's worst restaurant. It claimed to be a "Mexican" restaurant but as I hunched over my beans and rice fighting back tears of disappointment's, I blurted out, "this place sucks! I HATE it here!" If you have to buy your salsa, you know you're at the wrong place. Chicago was lovely and I guess I get to visit it for a day every 4 years when one of my in-laws moves there.

The boys went fishing on the lake and caught our dinner. Derrick caught the biggest of them all!

The girls did what we do best - shopping. *Note to all women who have feet sizes 8.5 and smaller* When you want to buy more expensive shoes - check the kids versions first. Almost all of us bought kids sized Keens for $50 which would have been $90 if we bought the adult size. :) I must admit, we have the cutest nieces and nephews in the world. And although I have a hard time believing it, Derrick's sisters assure me that I will think our baby is even cuter than theirs.