Sunday, July 7, 2019

Jamming to Joliet - Week of July 1st

If you wait for inspiration you'll be standing on the corner after the parade is a mile down the street. ~Ben Nicholas 
In 1967, the Beatles released the song 'Strawberry Fields Forever' which was a fitting tune to kick off our week.  After heading to Heidi's Farm Market for an entire flat of Michigan berries, our counter was laden with 8 quarts of strawberries or 32 cups total.
Ms. Amanda, Cam and Jane set up an assembly line and Cam kept us all in check.  First, we crush the strawberries until we have 2 cups.  Then, we add 4 cups of sugar and let that sit for 10 minutes.
In a saucepan, we place a package of Sure-Gel and 3/4 cup water.  We bring it to a boil, stirring it for 1 minute and then add it to the crushed berries and sugar, then stir for 3 minutes.  Put in containers with lids, let sit 24 hours, then find a place in the freezer.  Chris helped us finish up the remainder of the strawberries the next night.

Thursday was the 4th of July and our tradition of heading over to the Cascade Independence Day Parade was on the itinerary.  Cam took part in the annual bike brigade which starts out our local event.  Then the firetrucks and decorated cars and floats follow.  It was a warm morning and by the time the parade ended and we headed back home, the air conditioning felt so refreshing and cool.  The remainder of the day was spent packing and enjoying a visit and dinner with cousin, David.
Friday morning, we waited for Oma and Opa to arrive to begin our trek to Joliet, Illinois to celebrate the wedding of our extended family member, Sarah Huey to Steve Foody.  We arrived at the Holiday Inn around 2pm.  The newer hotel featured a spacious handicap room with plenty of room for Cam's chair to maneuver.
We checked out the pool and Cam did a bit of swimming.  There was also a sauna which was a new experience for our boy.
Saturday was the day of the wedding and our handsome son couldn't have looked more dapper.  Every time we passed by someone, they commented how nice his suit was and how great he looked.
Before we ventured to the reception, we drove by the house Jane grew up in on Briargate Road, just three minutes from the church where we witnessed Sarah and Steve become husband and wife.
It was another short trek to the Jacob Henry Mansion, the reception location.

In 1873, wealthy railroad magnate, Jacob A. Henry built his imposing mansion on Eastern Avenue, which was then referred to as "Silk Stocking Row." He employed a master craftsman from Germany along with three cabinet- makers to fashion the elaborate carved interior. 
It took three years to complete and has 16,800 square feet consisting of over 40 rooms. The main floor is most elaborate in carving and the black walnut and oak is hand rubbed to attain the satin finish. Each room contains an ornately carved fireplace. The deeply recessed windows are guarded with shutters on the inside. These fold back into casings for the sunlight to enter and also serve as storm windows in the winter. Sliding or pocket doors, carved and inlaid separate the rooms from the main floor. Its main feature is a magnificent staircase made of solid walnut with a half-landing surrounded by 119 hand carved octagonal spindles of burled walnut. 
 The Jacob Henry Mansion won the Architecture Award at the American Centennial Celebration in Philadelphia in 1876, and is claimed to be the largest and best example of Renaissance Revival architecture still standing in the state of Illinois. Today the lovely and fully decorated mansion, a National Historic Landmark, is well known for its beauty, Old Victorian charm and furnishings, as well as its delicious meals and entertainment, making the Jacob Henry Mansion Estate the perfect place for a special occasion.

There was a photo booth set up as well as appetizers and drinks.  Once we had our pre-dinner snack and drink, Cam asked "So, what do we do now?"  Jane responded with, "Well, now we sit and visit and talk to people until we go into the other room for dinner....  Can't you just wait to get married?!"  Cam rolled with laughter at that one.

The bride and groom couldn't stop smiling and neither could we.  Sarah's parents, cousins, aunts and uncles are our extended family and we typically only see them once a year, if that.  To have an entire evening with all of them was perfect.  The father of the bride, Jim, has known Jane since she was born and he kept telling Cam how much he liked his suit.
Our kiddo couldn't quite last the entire evening, so Chris brought him back to Holiday Inn where Auntie Karen was waiting to stay with him, while his parents continued visiting with the family.  We cannot thank her enough for helping us make certain Cam didn't fall asleep at the reception.

The next morning, we enjoyed a hearty breakfast and a visit with Auntie Karen and her sister, Sue.  We said goodbye to a few of our extended family as some ventured down for breakfast.  We were able to get on the road by 10am to begin our journey home.

As we came upon the Welcome to Michigan sign on the highway, we all had a good chuckle as the orange cones appeared in full force.  During the summer months, it definitely seems like the slogan "Pure Michigan" could be replaced with "Pure Construction."

Camology Quotes:
Prior to our strawberry jam making session, Cam announced...
"If my math is correct, we will need 11 pints of strawberries."
Close, it was actually 16:)

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