Apologies for taking so long to post. Since being home, our travels have slowed significantly and are adventures seem smaller. But I think they are still worth sharing.
A couple of weeks ago we went to a Fairy Festival near Elgin, Il. Corey saw an ad for the fest in a Chicago Parent magazine and, not surprisingly, Henna chose that over the music festival in Roscoe Village (Chicago). What we imagined it would be: lots and lots of families with girls dressed up as fairies and maybe retired pre-school teachers leading arts and crafts activities. What it was: a Dungeons and Dragons type renaissance fair with people walking around with bad English accents. There were some families there (all looking pretty confused) along with a scantily overly suggestive belly dancer, guys in their 20s sword fighting, and a man with a falcon. The falcon and the falconer were pretty cool (he was actually a high school science teacher) but the crowd had an edge and the admission was steep (and did not include anything other than allowing you to buy stuff at booths). On the way back we stopped at the Cable Car Museum which was manned by a grumpy man who did not like tourists. Me: “Do you take credit cards?” Grumpy Man: “Urghhh, I guess so.” Me: “How old are some of these cable cars?” Grumpy Man: [silence and shoved a pamphlet at me]. The pamphlet told me that cable cars used to bring people from Elgin to Chicago where they could take other cable cars all through the city. The museum also had some old train cars including one that ran on the South Shore Line. That is the same line that takes my niece to high school each day. It also took my wife into the city more times than she can remember along with her sisters, brother in-laws, mother, father, etc. This car now sits as an artifact and Corey cannot be the only one who looks at it and sees not just an artifact of the greater adventure but a gateway to what used to be and still is. In the same vein I noticed while driving that Elgin is on Route 20. Route 20 goes west through Galena, Il. and Davenport, Iowa (a wonderful 2 to 3 hour day trip from Chicago) and then through the rest of Iowa and a Nebraska I have never seen (fossil beds, badlands, and bison) into a Wyoming I glimpsed a few weeks ago then into Yellowstone and Idaho and the high desert of Oregon (again, a place I was just in). It was only my certainty that we would take that very route some day soon (either next summer or the summer after) that prevented us from writing you now from Yellowstone.