The weekend of April 9th, Dad Z.'s cousin, Joyce Lane, came to visit us from Omaha! She originally came to see the cherry blossoms, but unfortunately, by the time she got here, the blossoms were all gone. We did however still have a wonderful time together and we did our part as tour guides, taking her around the city!
The WWII memorial, the Natl. Mall...
the Library of Congress...
the U.S. Capitol and tour...
The White House...
And St. John's Church across from the White House.
We also saw the 9/11 Memorial, FDR Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Viet Nam Wall, Lincoln Memorial...
And still had energy for several games of dominoes!!
What a great time of catching up on each other's lives and families!! Thank you, Joyce, for coming to see us!!
On Easter Sunday, after a beautiful church service, we decided to head into DC to see the Cherry Blossoms & be a part of the festival. This year, for some reason, the cherry blossoms came and went very fast! In fact, where in the past the peak days have been 3-4 days long, this year, the peak was only 1 day!! This was already past the peak, but still beautiful!! The Cherry Blossom Festival itself lasts 2 weeks with a parade, performances, food, & ceremonies.
The lantern lighting ceremony is also a part of the Cherry Blossom festival. The lantern is 356 years old and was presented to Washington by Japan to celebrate the 100th anniv. of the first Treaty of Peace, Amity, & Commerce between the U.S. & Japan. The ceremony was attended by performers & dignitaries & was open to the public.
We regularly see some of DC's finest as they patrol the monuments on their faithful steeds.
Here we are at the Tidal Basin with the Jefferson Memorial in the background.
March 27th found us in DC once again. This time visiting the National Building Museum. The building which was used during the civil war as the Pension Office, is now used to commemorate American architecture. That day the building was the site for the opening ceremony for the 2010 Cherry Blossom Festival.
This enormous space in the middle of the building has been the setting for the inaugural balls of several presidents.
Right across the street from the Natl. Building Museum is the Natl. Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. It is the monument to the law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history dating back to the first known death in 1792. Names are added each spring and are etched into 2 curving 304 ft. long marble walls.
After all that touring around, we decided to check out one of DC's hotspots, The Dubliner. A wonderful Irish Pub & Restaurant with delicious food!!
This is a long time coming, so sorry!! The weekend of March 19th, most of the family met up in Chicago to celebrate Mom's 88th birthday. Here are some of the highlights!
The weekend started off with Mom & her kids (minus Bruce & Jo) going to the Lincolnshire to see "Fiddler on the Roof". It was a wonderful performance!
Some of the family who flew in were "surprises". Bruce, Kacie & Michelle surprised Mom on Thurs. Then on Sat. morning, after flying in on the red-eye, Nate surprised Mom.
Baby Elly, Chris & Julie's newest addition was a favorite to hold.
We had lots of fun with the kids; blowing bubbles (who was having more fun, the kids or the adults??), painting toenails (Alyssa had to get her's done by Matt),playing board games, and having tea parties. Matt & Claire were best buds!!!
Course we had to play grown up games too; rousing games of Taboo, Cranium, and Kings on the Corner were the favorites.
The cousins always have a great time together!!
After the busy weekend, some of us who were still around got to go in to Chicago to see some of the sights. Of course it wouldn't be worth it if we didn't go out for Chicago style deep dish pizza!! YUM!!!
Mom & Barb got to go with the littler great-grandkids to a small zoo in Aurora. We had great fun!!
Here are the grand-kids & spouses with their Grandma!
Had to have a family photo done!
Here are all of us kids with spouses except for Bruce's wife, Joellen, who couldn't be there. All in all we had 27 out of the 30 of us there!! What a GREAT weekend!!!