Monday, August 31, 2009

Brothers are the BEST!!!

Over the past 10 days I have had the absolute JOY of having my little brother Matt here to visit. Matt is one of my very best friends. He cares so much about me and my family and he is always interested in what is going on in our lives. He is one of my favorite people to talk to and he is absolutely hilarious! He had me laughing the whole time he was here. I love my brother.
Now before I get into the fun adventures we had while he was here I have to tell you a little story about the trouble he went through to get here. Because Matt is a poor college student he decided to fly out here using buddy passes from my Aunt Lori who works for Jet Blue(Thanks Aunt Lori for the buddy passes I really appreciated the visitor and I know it would not have been possible with out you), but Jet Blue doesn't have any direct or connecting flights from Vegas to Chicago so Matt had to stay the night in Long Beach. Matt figured that this wouldn't be a big deal and he would just sleep in the airport. Well much to Matt's horror he discovered that the Long Beach Airport kicks people out and closes for the night. So my poor brother, who I mentioned earlier is a poor college student and has no money, was left to wander the streets on Long Beach for the night until he happened upon a lovely golf course were he decided to sleep for the night. That is right , the boy SLEPT on a golf course like a homeless person. He must really love me to go through all of that just to get out here to visit :).
Matt flew into Chicago, which is a few hours from where we live, but it worked out perfectly because Matt served his mission in Chicago. On the day he flew in we tried to visit a family from his mission but they had moved , sad, and we went to Matt's favorite pizza place from his mission, Giordano's. This pizza was delicious and unlike anything I have ever had before!

The first few days that Matt was here we didn't do too much but it was just fun having him around. The Saturday after he arrived we took the kids to the mall to try out the mall jump. The kids had a good time once they figured out that it wasn't scary.

Here is a picture of Matt and the kids dressed for church. The kids loved having Matt here. He is such a great uncle and he spent a lot of time playing with them and reading to them.While we had Matt here we decided it would be fun to take a trip to Silver Beach. Landon and Tori were so excited to get to go back to the beach one last time this summer, they love it there. We choose the perfect day to go. The weather was great and school is back in session out here so it wasn't too crowded.
My favorite part of Matt's visit here was....
our day trip to Chicago!! Last Thursday Matt, Landon, Tori, and I (Ella stayed home with Daddy) took the train to Chicago. First of all Landon and Tori were so excited to ride the train, they thought it was the coolest thing ever. And they got to ride free so that was an extra bonus or us.
I was so glad that I had Matt with us when we got to the city. I would have been completely overwhelmed without him there to show me around. I have never been to a big city like Chicago, sure I grew up in Vegas, but it is so different.

Matt being our tour guide.
The first thing we did when we got to Chicago was go to Millennium Park.
Millennium Park has a lot of cool sculptures and fountains in it. Our favorite was "the bean"
The kids had a blast looking at their reflection in the side of "the bean" and Tori kept saying "Look it's a giant bean! But we can't eat it."Our reflection in the bean.

Matt and Tori under the bean.

After we visited Millennium Park the kids made it clear that it was lunch time. Here are some pictures of us waiting for our food.Our whole trip from start to finish was about 16 hours long and we spent more then half of that time walking. I really liked walking through the city and seeing all the buildings but I think my favorite part of our walk was walking past Lake Michigan. I didn't realize that lake bordered the city so closely. We spent a good portion of our time, while we were in Chicago, at Lincoln Park Zoo. Lincoln Park Zoo is awesome. It had way more animals then our local zoo and the kids loved it!! And you want to know the best part? It is free!!
Above are some of the animals we saw while at the Zoo. My favorite was the Giraffe. The kids loved the monkeys and Matt's favorite were the Puffins (not pictured but they are these super cool sea birds that can fly and swim under water).Here is Landon checking out the Zebras. We picked a great day to go to the Zoo. It was rainy and overcast and therefore not crowded at all!

This picture cracks me up. Landon was pretending to be a monkey.Matt and Tori checking out the Lions.Landon watching the polar bear eat a fish.
I was surprised that one of the kids favorite animals to look at were the fish. They were so excited to see the fish and they kept talking about the mommy, daddy and baby fish they saw.
Matt and Tori enjoying the Zoo.
After we were done at the Zoo we headed back to the train station and got dinner. We then took the train home. It was a long day and we were all very tired by the end of it but we all had a blast, and I would definitely do it again!
We really had a great time while Matt was here and I was so sad yesterday when I had to take him to the airport. Thanks, Matt so much for coming to visit, we miss you already!


Theresa said...

Awesome! what a great trip with Matt. I never heard the story of the golf course though I read something about it on facebook. hilarious. that's really sad. Also,.. I love the story about Matt telling brent that my mom was pregnant,.. great one! haha. That's what I get for being vague in answering questions. :)

Theresa said...

oh right,. you didn't tell that story,.. I heard it from Seth and Skittles who were cracking up about it. :) lol.

BDN said...

Those pictures from Chicago look super familiar from all Matt's mission pictures. (Duh, BDN. Haha.) It must have been awesome to have Matt there to show you around the city!

I'm glad you guys had fun! :)

Ellsworth Family said...

I also love when family visits!! Boy, he must love you guys A LOT, I dont know if I could stay overnight by myself!!

The Watts said...

Such a very cute picture of you and Matt, love the pictures, looks like you all had a really good time!

Lillian said...

I had to stay overnight in O'Hare once, and that was a nightmare. I don't know what I would have done if they kicked me out! What a great brother to come all this way:) Now YOU can be my tour guide and we neeeeeed to go to Chicago! Let's go!

eBN said...

Okay, you totally forgot the part where Matt walked to the Marriott down the street from the LB airport and tried to hang out in the lobby there over night until the hostess lady (or dude) asked him what he was doing and then he said he was waiting for "Brent Nelson" and went on about how I probably was drunk somewhere. Now THAT makes him a TRUE ho-bo!

If anyone wants me to show them around France sometime, just let me know.

Thank you friends.

Loupe and Aaron said...

It looks like you guys had so much fun!!! I can't believe your poor brother was stranded in Long Beach without a place to stay besides a golf course (at least it didn't have good security ;)). The picture with Landon standing next to the bean is really cool by the way.