The first part of the vacation was visiting my sister at her lake house - she and her husband live in Chicago during the week while they work and spend the weekends at the lake in Wisconsin. The second part of the vacation was visiting my mother-in-law in downstate Illinois. We were excited for the first part and dreading the second part. Neither were as great or as awful as we expected. It's probably easiest to do this in a timeline.
- Friday: Fly to Chicago, then drive four hours to the lake house. The I-94 was actually a lot nicer than I expected, and not congested at all, even though we were on it during rush hour. Construction in the town nearest the house got the directions confused. Apparently my sister didn't know County Road C exits the town in two different places, and her directions didn't take into account the construction, sending us out in the wrong direction. But a 45-minute drive out into BFE is fun when I'm with my husband and we can joke about it.
- Saturday: Lots of fun at the lake house. Ping pong! Took the golf cart for a spin around the neighborhood. My sister cooks TONS of food, every day (and then takes the leftovers back to Chicago so she doesn't have to cook during the week). Dinner with them and another couple, and some games of Taboo. People seem to think that my husband and I do not speak any intelligible language. e.g. Me, giving clues: "Vampires!" Him: "Venice!" Me: "That's it!" Them: "WHAT??"
- Sunday: My husband feels a bit sick and goes to take a nap. The rest of us go paddleboarding, and then I got to watch them expand their beehives, which was cool. In the evening, we go to a casino for gambling and dinner. I really should have stopped after I was up $40 on craps. Husband sleeps the entire day.
- Monday: Sister and husband have the day off, so they don't need to leave for Chicago until the early evening. We play ping pong and pool, and hang out, and have a barbecue, while I start to cough.
- Tuesday: Both of us are dead to the world. We're scheduled to do some remote work, and we barely manage to do it. At least I was conscious enough to drive into town for medicine and orange juice.
- Wednesday: Still dead to the world.
- Thursday: Still dead to the world. Sister and husband return.
- Friday: Still a bit dead, so we don't do much. It's really nice having access to a ping pong table and a pool table.
- Saturday: I feel well enough to try out the jet skis (though am still coughing even now). However, weather in Wisconsin has been unseasonably cool and we are FROZEN. We only stay out on the lake for ten minutes, but it was a lot of fun. My husband is not well enough for the lake.
- Sunday: Last day in Wisconsin. You know, my sister's a really awesome host. Anything we want to do, including just sit around and play on our tablets, we do.
- Monday: Drive down to Illinois. MIL is upset that it takes a good seven hours (including meal breaks) to drive down from Chicago, despite multiple mentions that we're coming from upstate Wisconsin.
- Tuesday: The room we're in is so hot that neither of us can sleep, so we move to a hotel. Otherwise, we spend the day working as scheduled and the evening sitting and listening to MIL tell us anything that comes to mind.
- Wednesday: More work. More blah blah blah from MIL. The family stories were actually interesting, but most of it was stories of people even my husband had never heard of before. It might have helped if she showed any interest in things we had to say, but we barely got a "Mm" before she launched into whatever story our words reminded her of.
- Thursday: Still more work. After that, the one bad encounter. We always planned to go to the restaurant that's husband's favorite, that he took me to on our first date, and that MIL actively hates. However, though husband made a point to say that the two of us were going (saving her an evening of food she dislikes), MIL assumes we're all going together, and has a meltdown ("You can have dinner with just her any time you want, but you can't have one with me!" She chases us out of the house. Evening is spent dreading the next day. We know she's going to make us pay.
- Friday: Everything is hunky dory. We believe she called her sister to complain and her sister, whose son, at his wife's prodding, has broken off ties with her, told her either that she was out of line or that she needed to avoid alienating her son. We spend most of the day listening to more blah, as we also know we need to not upset her.
- Saturday: Last day at MIL's. Another three hours of blah, then head up to Chicago to stay for the night before a 6 a.m. flight.
- Sunday: Finally home at 2:30 p.m. Concert at 6:30 p.m., after not having picked up an instrument for three weeks.
- Monday: Happiness. Lots of napping.
The flight back was first class (it was only about $100 extra per ticket, and some of that cost was offset by not having to pay for the suitcase, or the food on the flight), which was really nice. They did not, however, have fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies like the last first class flight I was on.
Anyway, I didn't get to do any of the relaxation things I had planned, like work on my chaptered fic or practice calligraphy, mostly because I had planned them for the time that we were dead to the world. I'd also hoped to get to visit the cartography museum at U. of Milwaukee. Ah well, next time. Much of the vacation was spent either watching Good Omens or discussing it with my husband; more on that next post. It's quite the obsession for me now.
But, that's where I've been, and while I wish I wasn't back at work, I am glad that it's all over. This should be the last trip before Gallifrey One next February, unless I can convince my husband to go to LV for a weekend in the fall. Wish me luck. :)