Sunday, October 25, 2015

Old and New Traditions

We repeated a couple of Kai's favorite fall activities and added a new one this weekend.

Our public library always invites in guys from a local model railroad club to set up the Halloween Railroad. This is always one of the library's most popular events, and Kai still looks forward to seeing it. And I do, too.

* * * * *

This weekend we attended our first Chicago Blackhawks game. For those of you who are not hockey fans, the Blackhawks have become somewhat of a dynasty as they have won three out of the last six Stanley Cup championships. During their last championship run last spring, my wife became a big Blackhawk fan and watched every game with me, and even watched a couple by herself when I had to work late. So, when I suggested that maybe we could all go see a hockey game sometime, she enthusiastically replied, "Blackhawks! Yes!"

This would be Kai's first professional sports event that he would see in Chicago following three baseball games he has gone to (the one in Hiroshima, Japan last year, one in Milwaukee with his elementary school, and the one we went to at Fenway Park in Boston two months ago).

Here we are shortly after we had settled into our seats. (You can see my hand holding half of a giant Italian Sandwich).

The experience of a live sporting event is far different than watching a typical game on tv. At a Blackhawks game, the excitement builds even before the game begins. The playing of the national anthem has become a famous, boisterous tradition as fans cheer throughout and the noise level in the arena keeps rising until the anthem has ended.

Kai, however, stayed quiet during this portion and just kept his hand over his heart and took it all in.

The game itself was good. The Blackhawks mostly dominated the action but just could not score as the game remained scoreless throughout regulation. I was wondering if Kai would get bored, but he seemed to stay engaged the entire time. He always joined in when fans chanted, "Let's go Hawks!"

During breaks in the action, very loud music is blared. It was a bit too loud for my taste as it made it difficult to converse, but it didn't bother Kai and he enjoyed bopping to the music.

It was great to see him enjoy the whole experience.

The game went into overtime, and this was the first time I had seen the new three-on-three overtime rule in action. The Blackhawks scored very quickly, only 17 seconds into the extra period, to win the game.

Afterward, it took nearly an hour to get out of the parking lot so we didn't get home until nearly midnight. Between that and the cost of the tickets, I don't think this will be something we do very often. But as Kai enjoyed it so much, perhaps this is the start of a new tradition to take in a live sporting event in town every now and then.

* * * * *

This was the last full weekend that canoe rentals would be offered at Skokie Lagoons and Kai wanted to go one last time this year. It was a perfect fall day and we enjoyed a beautiful afternoon outdoors. My wife's back was aching so we put Kai up front and he and I did all of the paddling this time.

So, all in all, it was a very nice weekend. Hope yours was nice as well.


  1. Sounds like a lot of fun! Glad Kai enjoyed it all, too. My boys would have died in all that noise during the hockey game. haha. I've only been to one professional game of hocky....very fun!

    1. Yes, it was very loud, even for me. I think your boys would have liked the model railroad, though.

  2. I am glad your whole family can enjoy watching something together. I was surprised that your wife enjoyed watching sports. It was also surprising that the noise didn't bother Kai.

    Now for trains...who doesn't love them! I especially like the miniatures with complete landscaping to scale. Many are so detailed that they have lights in the passenger cars with people posed in various positions. The complete villages are also greatly detailed. I once worked with a man who had spent a total of $100,000.00 on his hobby of such trains and sets. No...I would never love trains that much! :)

    That was a very nice weekend indeed! :)

    1. I was surprised that my wife enjoyed watching sports so much, too. :) But it is exciting when your team is doing so well.

      We are very lucky that besides the public library which sponsors these model trains at Halloween, our local botanic garden puts on very elaborate model train exhibits at Christmas time and other times during the year.


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