Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer Vacation: Part 2

After our adventures in Kansas, we packed up again and headed to Minnesota to visit Biker Boy's family.  The kids did well with all the driving....for the most part.  Biker Boy only threatened to pull the van over a couple of times.  Kidding....totally kidding.  Although the dog wins the award for best traveler.

Do you remember "National Lampoon's Summer Vacation" with the Griswold's packed station wagon? Yep, we're the 21st century version. Our mini-van was packed full and a mess.  We had a trailer hitch bike rack with a bike and trail-a-bike.  On top of the van was a Thule torpedo thing and a tandem bike.  And no photographic evidence.  Good thing. 
The children were fascinated with all the rivers and farmland.  Not much of that in the southwest. 

Our visit to Minnesota was accompanied by rain nearly everyday and a few thunderstorms.  What?!  What's rain?  We hadn't seen any of that in awhile.  Or overcast skies.  What's overcast?  Our whole outdoors in our state is practically closed because of no rain and fire danger.  Except that when we visited Minnesota the state was shut down because of the government.  Go figure.
The kids loved visiting their grandparents and everyday was jammed packed with activities again.

The kids loved the slip-n-slide....on grass. grass! 

We flew a kite.  Look at all that grass.  I'm in awe.

The kids tried tubing behind a boat for the first time.  They both wanted to be done while they were bumping in the water with Biker Boy.  After the day at the lake we asked them what their favorite part was and they both replied, "tubing." Okay.  Note to self:  A twice dislocated shoulder does not like riding "superman style" on the tube. 

They also just liked playing in the sand and water of a lake.

We hit the Mall of America.  The girls checked out the American Girl store where Chewy and her Bitty Baby enjoyed lunch.  (Super yummy food there and quite a fun experience....totally recommend it!)  The boys enjoyed some roller coasters (Scooter's firsts) after eating lunch.  I have no photographic evidence.  When I saw my  boy again he pointed to the orange roller coaster and said, "Mommy, don't do that roller coaster.  It makes your tummy feel funny."  Okay, I won't.  On a total side note: I use to work the Christmas season at the MOA (Williams-Sonoma) when I was in high school. 

Oh, the baby is named Daisy.  She got her own food.  Below Chewy is helping Daisy eat her dessert because Daisy was full.

I had the artichoke and spinach dip with toast points for my starter.  My entree was the spinach salad with warm bacon dressing.  Yum.  Chewy had the macaroni and cheese with veggies and fruit, plus ice cream for dessert.  She also ate Daisy's whip cream dessert and drank Daisy's lemonade.  I know you were interested in the food, that's why I mentioned it.

We went to Minnehaha Falls.  There's a waterfall.  Scooter loves waterfalls and basically anything with water.  We don't see too much of that where we live. 

I even managed to snap some pictures of the kids without their hats and sunglasses.  You may have noticed we're rarely outside without our hats and sunglasses.  Yep. 

My kids cover their eyes if they don't have their sunglasses on when we go out in the sun.  The sun is bright in the southwest.  In the midwest, it gets overcast.  Cloudy without rain.  Weird.  So I managed a few more pictures sans the sunglasses.  It's a record.

We attended some car races at a race track.  There were figure 8 races and bus races.  Both were extreme craziness.  The bus races were the kids' favorite.  My favorite part was the mini donuts. 

Chewy got to swing again and I managed to snap a picture or ten without her hat and sunglasses.

And of course, there's my first born child.  I have the hardest time getting a good picture of him.  But sometimes I get a decent one.....after 30 funny ones.  In the one below he's tired and shivering from being wet.  And taking pictures of 2 children?  Forgettaboutit.


Squirt guns!  How could I forget my boys battling each other?!  I love the intense look on Biker Boy's face.  He was out to soak his son.

We took the kids for a canoe ride on a river for their first time.  Chewy calls it "paddle boating."  She said it was her favorite part of the day.  That's funny considering she slept for about half of the nearly 2 hour ride.  We even went over a teeny tiny waterfall.  That was a highlight.  Ask Scooter about it, he'll gladly tell you about the waterfall and rapids. 

Of course we got some biking in....we were rained on about 50% of the time we biked.

I've got to get Ranger in here.  We found out he enjoys merry-go-rounds.  True story.  I had about 3 videos of it too.  I just deleted two.  I figured I didn't need three movies of the dog on the playground.

I also got my requested trip to IKEA.  Biker Boy and I made a date night out of it as the kids were in a parade with the grandparents.  Yes, I said IN a parade.  That's another first.  Biker Boy and I enjoyed those Swedish meatballs, some smoked salmon, and a princess cake before perusing the aisles of that gigantic store.  We didn't walk out empty handed.  I think having Biker Boy shop with me caused us to walk out with more things, but I will not complain about that.

Overall, it was a fantastic and fun-filled vacation.  I could do without the long drive, but it was worth it.  And thank you also to my wonderful in-laws for letting us crash at their place, for taking us camping in their trailer, or for the whole splendid time. 

Now less than one month till school starts!

What have you done this summer?  Vacation, staycation, something fun at home?

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