Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Taste of Chicago and Country Music Festival

My parents came to visit for Fourth of July Weekend. On July 2nd, we went down to the Taste of Chicago & Country Music Festival featuring Phil Vassar, SheDaisy and Joe Dee Messina.

Aedhan walking with GrandNan.

Aedhan running under the water at Crowne Fountain.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Different Sides of Aedhan

Say, "Cheese!!"

The Serious Look!!

Aedhan's First Visit to Indiana Dunes & Lake Michigan

Indiana Dunes, a sliver of natural beauty on Lake Michigan, is nestled between the industrial towns of Gary and Michigan City, Indiana. For millenia the dunes along the northern shore of Indiana sat undisturbed by human progress, and ran from Michigan almost to Chicago. As the steel mills and railroads arrived, industrialists saw the resources of the area as theirs to use to drive the progress and capitalism of the industrial growth of the Midwest.
By the 1950's, the majority of the Dunes had been destroyed, or met the fate of Hoosier Slide, the largest of the Dunes, which was hauled away, box-car by box-car to be used to make Ball glass fruit jars and Pittsburg Plate Glass.
Fortunately, by 1966, a group of environmentally minded individuals had won their battle, begun in 1908 by pioneering botanist Henry Cowles, to create a National Park from the remaining dunes in the Beverly Shores area. Four times since the creation of the park, the NPS has purchased land and increased the size of the park to its current size of 15,000 acres. The park now surrounds the town of Beverly Shores and ranges from hardwood forest to bog and soaring dunes to roaring surf-filled beaches.
I discovered Indiana Dunes shortly after I moved to Chicago in 1997. It has become a favorite camping location nearly every year since. The Dunes have also been a favorite getaway from Chicago since Lisa moved here.
In June, following a visit to our friends, April and Jon, we decided to take Aedhan for his first visit to the Dunes. (Lisa refused to let me take him camping there two weeks after he was born in Octobe 2004).
This was his first beach-combing experience.
Aedhan loved running in sand for the first time...
But he did not really like being left alone on the rocks.

Lisa and Aedhan test the waters.
Aedhan spent some time finding the perfect rocks. Here he shows off his finds.
Of course, any child near the water at the beach will inevitably fall into the lake, as Aedhan did. He got so excited by the refreshingly cool water and the sand running over and under his feet, that he fell backwards into the surf. In this photo Aedhan gives Daddie the wet rock he found in the water after falling in. As always, Daddie gets to carry the wet rock and the wet child back to the car. It reminded me of all of the times my father, Terry, carried me and my brother, Si, soaking wet, from the beach to the car.
Aedhan, slightly chilled, awaits Mommie's return with DRY CLOTHES.

I'm cold...
So cold!
Aedhan's pensive moment.
The waves crash onto the beach as we relax, avoiding our return to the big city.
After the change.
Ready to go.
Look at my new hat!!
On the way back home to Chicago (about three minutes before a nap).

Aedhan Visiting Great Grandma & Grandpa Beckman Part 1

Aedhan running
Aedhan having fun outside.
Aedhan, the explorer

Aedhan having fun with his second cousin, Amy.

Amy & Aedhan exploring the pine tree.

Aedhan and Amy
Aedhan with his pine cones.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Aedhan Visiting Great Grandma & Grandpa Beckman Part 2

As part of the deal with Aedhan, we took him to McDonald's, so he could collect the cars from the movie 'CARS.' He got Lightning McQueen the 1st time and Sally the 2nd time. Before we left town, we stopped at McDonald's for a Happy Meal. We each got a Happy Meal with a different car. He got Doc Hudson, Mater"the tow truck," and Ramone. Let's just say I don't want to have to eat another Happy Meal in a LONG TIME. At least in Indiana and Michigan, I could just buy the cars.

Aedhan trying a small piece of carmel corn.

Mommie & Aedhan playing with his Cars.
Uncle Louie, Mommie and Aedhan
Aedhan Meet his Great Uncle Louie. Uncle Louie always wanted to rub his head when he saw pictures of Aedhan as a baby. He finally got to do it.
Eating an Ice Cube with GrandNan