Tomorrow the family and I leave for Grizzly Jack's in Utica, IL for MacTroll's family reunion. There are no kids on my side of the family, so this is X-man's shot at playing with all of his cousins. We're particularly close to the cousins from Baltimore, and we missed our Memorial Day trip to see them this year. But we're also seeing cousins from Michigan and California that X-man has only met once or twice before. Reviews for the lodge have been very mixed on the adult side, but most of the kids we know who have been thought it was fine, and for four days, that's pretty much what's important. We have two rental house-like places for 18 of us to stay. There's an indoor amusement park and an indoor water park. Starved Rock State Park is across the street, so we're investigating some walks.
I've been on a mission to reel in the eating since Monday. It's working out okay, but most of my physical activity has been household labor like tree digging and mulching in crazy hot weather. But Utica isn't exactly filled with non-fast food places or with chains that have met the calorie printing provision, so I'm packing in my own food -- just to be safe. It helps that there are kitchens, so I can take along my little blender and my popcorn maker. I decided rather than look like an ass and cook my own dinners separately from the pizza and grill out that is bound to happen, that I'll just take my meals in the box from HMR.
I'm also taking walking shoes, so I can head out and about. The hardest part of all of this is going to be leaving Lily for four days. We have an overnight petsitter coming to the house, and Super Shanna is going to drop by twice on Tuesday and twice on Wednesday. But I still feel guilty. But since she doesn't get her second booster until the 15th, it's really safer for her to stay home than go with us into the land of nature.
Anyway, I'll let you know how it goes. We roll out of town Monday in the afternoon and will return Thursday by 11 a.m. I've got Rotary at noon and then on Friday, we're taking X-man to Carrie Busey to eat in the cafeteria for breakfast at 8 a.m. as part of the free food for kids summer program. Then at 10 a.m., MacTroll and I are taking everyone in the Black and White Mafia (and their newest canine member) to the vet for annual check ups. Just imagine us with three geriatric cats and a puppy... while X-man plays with KTDID.