Thursday, June 2, 2011

Wisconsin Trip (and stuff)

So the trip to Wisconsin was initially a trip that was going to last a few days, giving me a chance to visit with my Grandma and run a half marathon. Back in April, she had a stroke, and after one medical catastrophe after another, by the week of the race she had been moved to hospice. We wanted to stay as long as possible and hoped she would still be with us by the time we made it out there.

Day 1 - My dad is a teacher, and it was A's preschool graduation, so we had to wait until they were done before we could start the drive to Madison.

She is class of 2024. That seems like an eternity from now.

We went home after her graduation, I ate a quick lunch, made sure we were packed, then waited for my parents to come pick us up. We realized A had left her coat at school, and since today was her last day, we had to go back and get it. At least we noticed now...

We were on the road by 1:30. Our only stops before dinner were a quick stop to get coffee and a bathroom break. Dinner was Subway, and we drove until 10:00 for the hotel. My dad got me and A our own room. She looked so tiny in the bed!

Day 2 - Get up for breakfast at 7:00. On the road about 30 minutes after that. LONG day in the car today. It's really hard to keep a 5 year old occupied in the car. Luckily her drawing pad and DVD player seemed to entertain her. We did a quick detour through the corner of Illinois:

And I drove the remainder of the way to Madison. We stopped at my Grandma's house long enough only to unload the car, then we went to hospice to visit her. My first visit was my most shocking, mainly because I saw my Grandma's leg that had been amputated below the knee and she was so out of it. It was just devastating :(

Dinner at the house, early to bed.

Day 3 - Up early for a quick 30 minute run. It was HOT and HUMID:

My Grandma's yard

Madison bike path
My Grandma is only a block away from the bike path, which was super nice to run on. Gorgeous views, made me feel like I was running in the middle of a forest or something.

Visit with my Grandma at hospice in the morning. She seemed better, which was nice. We had to leave to pick up H and L at the airport, then we got lunch at Culver's (yum) and made a quick Starbucks run. We headed over to pick up our race packets, then we went back to hospice. My Grandma's niece was there and offered to bring us pizza and pasta for dinner. She is an amazing lady that visits my Grandma EVERY day.

Day 4 - Half Marathon - you can read about that here. After the race, I was DRAINED and spent a few hours just lounging on the couch. Another visit to hospice in the afternoon. She was better and more talkative. My cousins from Maryland had flown in earlier and we had them over for dinner. Visiting with the family was nice.

Day 5 - L had to leave in the morning, the rest of us went to the zoo. It was HOT.

Chang Tan, the red panda

The rest of the family came over to the house and had lunch and visited with us. Then another visit to hospice. We ran into MORE family there:

Dinner at the house, shower before bed:

Day 6 - Another day for the zoo (it's free there, so why not?)

We spend a few hours at the hospice in the afternoon. It was the best visit of the week. It was SO hard to say goodbye to her, knowing it was the last time. I didn't take any pictures of her in hospice, it is not the way I want to remember her. I want to remember her like this (taken August 2009 at my cousin's wedding):
Me, L, My Grandma
We had to leave around 4:30 so that we could make a 7:15 flight (that ended up being delayed).


  1. Sounds like a bitter/sweet trip. I had to say goodbye to my grandpa a few years ago. But look at it as a blessing that you got say goodbye.

  2. Aww, sad. When I was living in Florida I had to make a similar trip home so that I could see my grandma. Like you I didn't take any photos because she wouldn't want that and I have better ways to remember here. It was nice to have family together though - and we had good laughs when she was alert enough. I'm glad you got to visit!

    A is just so cute. If you need a babysitter for her, I'm available. I might keep her though - but not in a crazy captive way. Just in an "she is the cutest little girl ever" and I want to take her to the zoo kind of way! How cool that you had a FREE zoo to go to!


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