We made it to camp with a good hour before dinner and enjoyed walking around a bit. Marco loved the swings in front of the waterfront. (Who doesn´t?) We checked out the trip center where my former co-counselor was hanging and we caught up. She hadn´t been back to camp since 2009. It was really great to hear how trips had been going this summer.
We got settled in a peak that we miraculously had all to ourselves for one night which was surprising because usually all the peaks are filled with staff. (We were booted the following day due to a big group of visitors that came through.) Marco and I took the swim test with Jeanette after dinner enjoyed an early to bed night.
The following day we got up and went canoeing to birches after breakfast. No one was there at the time but I showed him around a bit. Marco loved the lake houses and I will admit, it would be super nice to have a lakehouse. Maybe one day! We headed back and made the rounds to different areas. It was nice to catch up with former campers who are all counselors now. There is nothing more satisfying that seeing campers rocking it as counselors, especially the campers who were super difficult. One of my former campers, Amy, told me that it was because of me that she kept coming back to camp after her first year in Friendship Lodge. Man, that cabin was my most difficult cabin ever. I had at least three girls who were a full time job in and of themselves. I had another former camper who was super excited because her three counselors from Metz I believe were all at camp again including me. I remember getting so excited when former counselors of mine came to visit camp. They had such an impact on me and it´s so heartwarming to know that I had a great impact on my campers. The cycle continues!
Anyway, we took a little trip to archery and through the nature trail and then took a nap before lunch. After lunch we (Sarah Jane really) tried getting Marco up on skiis. It was not as easy as it looked according to him. I get it. I didn´t get up at all when I was a camper. It was only when I had time at my cousin´s cottage in Wisconsin did I learn to finally ski. He will definitely have to try again.
During fun swim we had a good time at the trading post. I had to stock up on Echo gear, including the most adorable onesie that says Future Camp Echo Camper. Marco told me that he thinks it would be great for our kids to go to camp when they are older. Mission accomplished: Get hubby on board with loving camp. Oh! I forgot to mention that when Bernard introduced us to everyone he asked Marco what was one word he would use to describe camp. His word? DIVERSION! (Fun!) I agree wholeheartedly. Bernard also asked for people to stand up who were from different places besides Evanston. It was fun to see the mix of people.
After dinner we headed out to Birches and gave a guest speaker appearance to their ¨university¨ students. Their theme for the session was Birches university. Not bad! I spoke to them in Spanish about who I was and they had to translate. They did an excellent job.
When we got back to main camp we caught the last of the cheer off for olympics and then headed out to spend the night with my friend Julie´s (from Lima) parents in Newayo. What a wonderful coincedince that my best friend in Lima grew up 5 miles from camp. It was really nice of them to host us and we got tasty root beer floats!
On Saturday morning we had breakfast at camp and said our goodbyes. It was nice to catch up with Maureen who is still rock trips and teen programs. She´s a baller. Then Marco and I headed out to Fremont where we hit up the Goodwill and bought a ton of baby clothes for 50 bucks. Seriously, why pay full price for clothes that kids wear a few times, especially the under one year old clothing. I have a feeling my child will only fit in the 0-3 month clothing for a month or so. I was a big baby and I am going to guess that this one is going to be a big one too. We also went to Walmart where Marco picked up a playstation for 400 bucks. It is double that in Lima. His son is going to be so excited this Christmas.
On our way out of town we stopped at Lakeside swirl and then hit the road to get to the Michigan City Outlets. We didn´t go too crazy but we definitely spent a good 500 bucks at the outlets there. I had never been there before and it was great. I found maternity clothes, perfume, and Marco bought me a sweet Addidas track suit. We also bought fresh fruit along the ride home too.
I made sure to drive down Lake Shore Drive on the way back so Marco could see the beauty of the Chicago coast. It was a wonderful road trip and we wouldn´t have changed a thing. Marco got to see so much of the United States and experience what the typical American road trip is like. We both gained the weight to show it as well.
The following days at home with my mom were great. She planned a wonderful open house for us and we saw so many people that we wouldn´t have otherwise gotten to see. I am so grateful for the friends and family I have in the States. Marco commented as well that I am surrounded by good people. That´s the only way to live! We made sure to visit Dad and Judy before leaving and we went to a wonderful art fair on the lake where they bought us a beautiful photo print of the Chicago skyline from the water printed on aluminum. I really hope it gets here safe in the mail. It was not cheap and it was so nice of them to buy us. I can´t wait to put it up in the living room.
We made a few more shopping trips to a bunch of thrift stores, Target and TJ Max. I was surprised by how many thrift stores we found and a few of them by accident including the Salvation Army on Oakton. It was great!
We made our way to downtown Chicago on Monday and I took Marco to Millenium Park. We walked down to Water Tower Place and by that time we were exhausted so we headed home. It was a beautiful day and we really enjoyed the short tour. We made sure to pick up some Chicago souvenirs as well. I got my first Chicago t-shirt that has a the bean on it.
All in all, this trip was everything I had hoped it would be. I was able to show Marco so much of my home country and he had a blast doing it. I had a blast watching him have a blast. We got so used to seeing each other non-stop for 18 days straight that when we got home and had to do errands separately it felt really weird. Haha. I guess that is a good sign right? We can't get enough of each other.
I am super excited that the next time we travel to the States, our daughter will be along to enjoy the ride as well!