I just took a trip back to Chicago to visit my brother and his family and my friend Deanna. I've been wanting to take a road trip so I decided to drive and I loved it. It didn't give me as much time there, but I loved being on the road and loved having some time to myself. It was very relaxing, but it's not a drive I would want to make very often. For any of you who have driven through Nebraska, you know how extremely monotonous that drive is. I decided to try and make the trip home without stopping for the night and I made it. Barely! I got a little sleepy in Wyoming, but caught a second wind that sustained me until I got back home. 19 straight hours of driving! I don't suggest it. I didn't sleep well that night either because I felt like I was still in the car.
It was so good seeing my brother Bernell, his wife Irene, and my niece and nephews Caitlin, Andrew, and Matthew. They are an awesome family and I wish so much that they didn't live so far away.
I've always looked up to Bernell. He's a great brother. He's extremely patient, kind, genuine, and has an awesome sense of humor. He even liked having my twin brother and I hang out with him and his high school friends. He's 9 years my elder so I don't think that is typical of most older brothers, but I loved it when he invited us to go with him. I think one of the most tramatic experiences in my life was when he left on his mission. I vividly remember being in O'hare Airport bawling my eyes out. I even remember seeing another man watching us; probably wondering what in the world is making this family cry so much.
Now he and Irene have the coolest kids. I'm a sucker for my nieces and nephews. Caitlin especially has me wrapped around her finger. She is such a funny and smart little girl. She is seven years old and I wish she could stay this age forever. I don't look forward to when it isn't as cool to hang out with Uncle Dale. But for now, I will soak up all the attention I can get from her. She did the cutest thing on the morning I left to come back home. She came downstairs to wake me up so I could see them off to school and say goodbye. I was lying in bed talking to her, still in a sleepy haze, when out of the blue she leaned over and gave me a hug. So cool!
It was great seeing Deanna as well. Her birthday was on Friday, April 30, so after I got a much needed haircut and head massage from her, we went downtown to eat dinner and then walked around for a bit. On Saturday, we went to Medieval Times. Awesome! We even dressed up. Oddly enough, we were the only people dressed up besides the actors. Our knight was a pansy and had to be killed first. I was OK with that because he kept giving creepy smirks to our section whenever he rode by on his horse.
Here we are after we got home. Yes, we're holding an AK-47 and an AR-47. No, we did not take those with us. My brother went up to Wisconsin that morning to go shooting so he arrived home just before we did so the guns hadn't been locked up yet.
Here are some pics of the kids: