Friday, July 28, 2017


by Bill Slavin

What are your favorite memories of summer vacations? Are they filled with misadventures like moldy-smelling inn rooms, lost IDs, a bear crashing through a cabin, or arriving at the wrong airport?

Our summer vacation this year proved to be an exception to the rule of memorable vacations. We flew to the Midwest in July, we traveled with our grown-up son and his girlfriend, we met relatives, some of whom we hadn't seen in years, and we stayed in the same house with eight other people, including two toddlers. A recipe for a tempest; but instead, our time with family and friends turned out to be one of our best trips ever.

We arrived in Minneapolis to find a hot humid evening; but by the next morning, the weather changed to the 70s and 80s, with a slight breeze even on the hotter days.

Our son drove us all over Minneapolis while his girlfriend navigated with ease as long as the two back-seat drivers kept their mouths shut! We cherished the chance to be in green farm country again. We gathered at a local park in Willmar and took advantage of the good food, games, swimming, and shade available. Our numerous relatives reminded us how funny and playful they can be.

by Bill Slavin

Our reunion with our other side of the family was just as funny and positive as well. We stayed in a brownstone near Lincoln Park, a charming and lively neighborhood in Chicago, with plenty of room for all of us, including the two sweet, rambunctious toddlers.

Chicago from the ferris wheel at the Navy Pier           by Martha Slavin

We visited the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis to see Sondheim's musical Sunday in the Park with George and took in a show at Second City in Chicago. We walked through the Chicago Art Institute to view the real A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of the Grand Jette by Georges Seurat and we trolled through the Shedd Aquarium by the lakeshore.

We ate good food, viewed skyscrapers from a tour boat, walked through tree-lined streets, and talked about family and life. We left Chicago just as the weather changed and lightning streaked the sky. We had the best of a summer vacation.

In Minneapolis-St. Paul, check out
Minnehaha Falls Park, the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway, Lake Calhoun
Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis, MN:
Uptown, Nicollet Mall, Mall of America

Places to eat:  at the Guthrie Theater
Bachelor Farmer:
Places to Stay:  St. Paul Hotel, St. Paul, MN

In Chicago:
Chicago Architecture Foundation Boat Tour:
Millenium Park:
Second City, Chicago, IL:
Art Institute of Chicago:
Shedd Aquarium, Chicago, IL:
VRBO rental in Chicago:
Places to eat:
Hotel EMC2:


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