Countdown to Our Many-Moons!

Greeting on the official “Get Rid of Sarah and Mike Day” from Chicago!  We have spent most of the past week in the suburbs of Indianapolis with Sarah’s family, and it has been a wonderful time.  From Hancock, Michigan, we drove 11 hours south to Sarah’s sister and brother-in-law’s house.  Brett, Sarah’s brother-in-law, was becoming a “shining star” out in Las Vegas, which was a good thing, considering it was totally work-related…so we hung out with Mary and the kids, Mathew and Kylie, not to mention their adorable dog, Guiness.

I am new to this “Uncle Mike” business, but I am really enjoying it!  Luckily, I know enough about Star Wars to get me by with Mathew, who fills me in on the rest, and boy, does he know his stuff!  I also make enough funny faces to keep Kylie entertained.  Aunt Sarah, being naturally cool, and a former ballerina like Kylie, has always been a huge hit with the kiddos.  On Wednesday, we watched them while Mary worked, and what better place to go than the waterpark!  We had a great time floating through the Lazy River, watching Kylie do the slides, and getting countless buckets of water dumped down our backs by Mathew!  Mathew and I only got yelled at once by a life guard, apparently we “looked like we were thinking about breaking the rules.”   After a quick stop for ice cream and slushies in an attempt to ruin the kids’ appetites for dinner, we went home and played until Mary came home.That night, Sarah and Mary’s parents, Doug and Fay, came over, and we all enjoyed a delicious chicken dinner that Mary had made.  We had a good time watching the kids ride their bikes, and we got to catch up with Mary some more after the kids went to bed.  Mary was a great hostess, and the three of us shared a lot of laughs.

The other thing that was accomplished on Wednesday morning was the official pack test for the trip.  Sarah had made a great packing list, and we separated items into a multitude of piles before holding our collective breath just long enough to discover that everything actually fit…score one for the mountain climbers! Believe it or not, the chaos that was Mary’s front room in the photo below actually fit into two large backpacks and two small daypacks!

On Thursday, we drove into downtown Indianapolis, where we ate at Scotty’s Brewhouse, a place that I had really enjoyed the year before when we visited.  Doug and Fay met us, and we had a lovely alfresco lunch in the sun–a rare occurrence back in Oregon, from what I hear.  After lunch, we walked around a neat little area where we found a really cool toystore that sold stuff that we all remembered (slinkies, jacks, Fraggle Rock dolls) from being kids.  Mathew fell asleep, and I carried him around for a half-hour, but I guarantee you, I wasn’t complaining!  He and Kylie are two of the sweetest, most fun kids I have ever been around.

That night, we moved over to Doug and Fay’s new house, which is really pretty.  We had a nice meal and enjoyed watching the ducks and the lightning bugs, the latter of which I had never seen, while we chatted away the evening.  Sarah and I agreed that it is always nice to be back at the parents’ houses, where you immediately feel like you are at home again–or maybe we are just horribly self-indulgent houseguests!  🙂

Friday was an adventurous day, as we canoed down the Sugar Creek–a great place for swimming, paddling, and relaxing.  Doug had scouted this adventure out earlier this year, and it was a hit with us all.  The water was warm and clear, and you could see a bunch of fish swimming along.  The highlight of the day was definitely when Mathew and Kylie got to float down some mild rapids in their life jackets, where Doug, Sarah, and I transported them back.  They squealed with delight, and each went down several times.  What a fun day!

On Saturday morning, Doug took our portrait down in his studio, which is very professional!  He put us in front of a background, manipulated the lighting and our poses, and then used his software to fix us (well, me) up a bit.  It was very interesting.  For those of you who are curious about his work, his website is  I know that he has some awesome professional photos from the Columbia Gorge and the Oregon Coast available.

Saturday afternoon was our party with Sarah’s family and a few of their family’s close friends.  We also got to meet the newest addition to Sarah’s family, Mia, a beautiful little girl who absolutely hated me. Fay had made a great feast for us, and we partied for 11 hours; what an awesome way to celebrate.  Lots of laughs were shared, and I think everyone had a good time.  It was tough to say goodbye to Brett, Mary, and the kids; we love it when we can visit them.

Sunday took us up to Chicago again, and we spent the day with our friends Rick and Anna and their two children.  It was super hot, so we enjoyed their air conditioning.  They fixed us a lovely dinner, and we shared some wine while catching up.  It was nice to get to know them for me; they are fun and very nice.

Monday was our last full day in the United States, and it was toasty!  We spent the day with Michelle, Sarah’s longtime friend and her boyfriend, Jay.  We took a boat tour on the Chicago River that focused on the architecture of the many skyscrapers, and we learned some history about the city.  For instance, I learned that the nickname “Windy City” was coined in New York as an insult to Chicagoans who were trying to win the World’s Fair bid; an editorial in the New York Times warned people not to listen to “those wind bags from Chicago.”  Interesting.  That night, we enjoyed the view from the top of the John Hancock building, as well as some great drinks!  Michelle and Jay are a lot of fun, and it was a great way to spend our day in Chicago.

So, today is the day!  Doug and Fay met us at the airport for a final goodbye lunch.  It was tough to see them go; we really enjoyed seeing them this week.  In fact everyone has been great, but we are both ready to embark on our adventure!  In less than than an hour, we fly to New York and then on to Iceland.  We are not sure what to expect, but we know that this year will be the most challenging, adventurous, and rewarding year of our lives.

We had our mini-moon in April; now our many-moons is here!  Peace to you all; we will miss you!

Mike and Sarah

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6 Responses to Countdown to Our Many-Moons!

  1. Hank says:

    Can’t wait to see the packing picture. (Nice job on the cable, Mike!) We EACH took a large duffel, a small backpack, and a food bag for our 12 days in Alaska. I may need a packing lesson when you guys get back. Are you busy next summer? 🙂 Have a great time! I know you will.

  2. Maria says:

    Great pictures! So glad your journey is really beginning now. Thinking of you daily!!

  3. Leslie says:

    Love the pic by Sarah’s dad! Ryan and I are enjoying reading the posts–can’t wait to hear about Iceland!

    • Mike says:

      Yeah, he is really a talented photographer. The email messed up the bottom of the photo, so that had nothing to do with Doug. Hope things are good in NM!

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