I'm always reminded of the very first "South Park" episode whenever I hear the word visitors. But yes, visitors--we have them! Trevor and Linda arrived from England with relatively little trouble last Wednesday. Since then we've been enjoying lots of different warm weather activities. Beaches and playgrounds and museums, oh my! There has also been a good deal of competitive Wii sport, particularly 100-pin bowling and archery.

Yesterday we took a big trip to the Brookfield Zoo, which is not as big as I remember it being when I was a teenager. But it still kept us entertained for a whole day. Buying a membership for the year was actually cheaper than buying six admissions, so now we can return whenever we want. It's about the same distance to Brookfield as it is to the zoo in Milwaukee, and with the strategic use of picnic food, it can actually be a rather inexpensive outing. The girls and I still have a couple weeks of summer to fill up. This will do nicely.

The dolphin show was the highlight, particularly when we all got splashed and when the dolphins danced to "Just Like Heaven" by The Cure. Weird. In the primate house, a mother monkey (I forgot to look at the sign to learn which species) was showing her baby how to swing through the trees and the vines. The baby would be brave and venture on his own...then go running back to climb onto his mother's stomach. Too adorable for words.

The girls rode on the carousel, we all ate ice cream, and afterward for dinner we stopped at the Cheesecake Factory for a lesson in astounding American portion sizes. The blow-up bed we'd bought for Juliette and Ilsa sprang a leak somewhere during the last week, so the girls and I stopped off at target on the way home to buy sleeping bags. It was probably 10:15 before they went to bed, which has necessitated a slightly lower-key day today.

This weekend we have fireworks--we can't see the city's display from our balcony!--and the Fourth of July parade. I believe we'll be heading down to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago before the Loftys return home. Thus far it has been a lovely visit, with a good balance between big touristy activities in quiet times at home for socializing. Oh, and the weather has been marvelous. I only hope the rain holds off until after all the festivities have concluded on Sunday!

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