Saturday, June 4, 2011


My dad has always been one of my heroes. I didn't have any brothers and when my dad wanted to teach someone how to use a power tool, or tell them some nifty tidbit about a movie or music group, I was more than happy to be that person. So, when I needed to get from Houston to Chicago (actually Racine Wisconsin) I called my dad to see if he wanted to be the one to drive with me. :) It turned out to be a GREAT idea.

They did VERY well in the car. Here is a video of the kids just laughing and playing.

It was also very exhausting as you can see from this video... (hee hee)

I was very nervous about how my kids would behave, both in the car, and while my dad and I were doing all the things I had planned, particularly during our stop in Memphis. A Memphis stop over was kinda my ploy to getting my dad to agree to this crazy adventure. My dad is a HUGE music buff. Growing up he taught me how to identify each one of the Beatles by the sound of their voice and WHY. (I'm still pretty proud of that. :) ) A friend of mine who was raised in Memphis gave me some tips on places to eat and things to see and do while there. Being a musician himself, he strongly suggested that we take some time over at Soulsville USA, and the former Staxx records recording studio... the birthplace of Soul!! I didn't know just how much I loved Soul music until then. But I'm a fan! He also asked his good friend Kirk Whalum to come down and say hi. It was really neat to meet him. As my dad would say Kirk is "at the very top of a very short list of really good saxophone players" It was an honor to get to meet him and a real treat to get to see the Soulsville Charter school as well, a school that specializes in music.

Me, my dad, the kids and KIRK WHALUM!

We also got to sample some REAL Memphis BBQ at a place called the Rendezvous (which is mentioned in one of my dad's "Memphis Songs" so he got a real kick out of that.) Davey enjoyed the ribs so much that there were legitimate tears when I had to take it from him when we had to leave.

very excited to try my huge plate of food. (I shared with the kids... I swear)

Close up of the boy and his rib... tears followed shortly after.

One of the sweetest things we did in Memphis was get to go as see the ducks at the Peabody Hotel. Basically for the last 70 years they have had ducks living in their lobby's fountain. Every day at 11 o'clock the duck master rolls out the red carpet and then brings the trained ducks down from their penthouse on the roof to spend their day in the fountain, and then everyday at 5, they do the same thing in reverse. Its super cute, and Lori LOVED it.

Peabody Penthouse

I swear the mallard duck stopped and posed for this picture.

Watchin' the ducks swim in the fountain

The kids and the Duck Master!

The view from our hotel room. Pretty sweet huh?

The very cool trolley system of downtown.

Happy girl on a trolley car!

The following are just some of my favorite pictures of my dad and my kids.

I feel so blessed to have had this time with my dad. It is truly a memory that I will cherish for ever. Memphis is one of my new favorite cities and I will definitely be going back, and hopefully I'll be able to convince my dad to come with me. :)

We left Memphis and headed to St. Louis, which was gonna be our second stop. It was pretty much uneventful, accept for the tornado warnings and CRAZY wind! We were able to make it all the way to Chicago and we only ended up using the DVD player ONCE, during a horrendous rain storm that we drove through to get to St. Louis.

We got to Chicago and picked up Jorge from the airport. After that we went to Navy Pier for a few hours and got some GARRETT'S POPCORN. Something I had my first trip to Chicago almost 10 years ago, and had been dreaming about since, but wasn't able to get until then. It lived up to the memory it had burned on my brain. Then we dropped my dad off at an L station so he could take it to the airport and we headed up to Racine WI for the wedding festivities! I was really sad to see my dad go. I had really loved spending some one on one (plus two) time with him. I will treasure it in my heart forever.