Following the graduation weekend we had two visitors for an additional week, all to ourselves in the breathtaking MN summer. Said house guests had not yet experienced the Tundra during it's glory season. We had big plans. The agenda was full with just enough wiggle room for the spontaneous. All eight of us were more than giddy to be together. Here is a day by day run down of all that we did together. It was a great week!
With our last airport trip for an entire week completed first on the docket was a day of relaxation coupled with a few errands to ready us for the week ahead and a Twins game. So much for easing into the week! Thing 3 had some birthday shopping to take care of and we all accompanied her. You know, to help her decide and choose and offer our opinions.
The shopping trip loot! Movie night snacks included!
We had purchased Twins tickets for Poppi for Father's Day. His bucket list includes a trip to each and every MLB park in the USA. Seeing as he had never before been to Target Field this was the perfect opportunity. We picked up Husband Jared from work on our way into the city and explored Target field; Taking it all in through Poppi and Nani's baseball loving eyes. Thing 4 learned how to keep score and the girl Things found gourmet food for us to nosh on. We call that a win-win in this house!
Wisdom being imparted. (a few random strangers too)
All eyes on Nani!
TC baseball, our peeps sporting their Twins gear, or at least the right colors!
Tuesday began with another trip to the airport. Our status has been updated and a record set.
Poppi, Nani and I had to return the rental car and to no one's surprise that turned into a foodie field trip. I had heard of The Baker's Wife bakery and it had been on our list to try so we did. Highlight of the morning was discovering the bicycle shop-coffee shop next door. Yes, you read that right. Bikes, new and old, a mechanic's area, gear and everything in between coupled with the very best beverage, coffee. Not just your standard drip coffee I am talking about smoky sea salt caramel mocha espresso. One of the very best I've ever had! In case you're wondering we weren't stingy and pastries made their way home to the fam bam. And then we ran around town scouring the stores for fishing gear so we could try and catch a few while we were out on the pontoon. The Things could not have been any happier than when we were on the water. We drove around the lake and scouted out a calm spot to park for lunch and swimming and floating and fishing. We spent hours on the lake soaking in all that Minnesota does best in the summer time. And when we were sun soaked, actually when we looked up from the water and saw threatening clouds headed our direction we made a bee line for the dock and jumped in the car just as fast as we could. Then we celebrated with Adele's custard and family lasagna dinner. All the best in my book.
Four on the boat, we love the water.
Just the seven of us, Husband Jared had to work.
Poppy and Thing 4 fishing, the fish were not biting.
One of many bridges we passed under, Lord Fletchers on the right.
Adele's Custard for the win! Our family's first visit here together.
Barefoot Contessa's lasagna after a day on the boat, yes please.
On Wednesday we woke to the brightest blue skies and sun shining which meant time for family exercise. What could be better than a bike ride to our favorite coffee shop, or run for the other half? Nothing, that's what! We ran and biked and then made it home to take the Excelsior tour with the grandparents. Last time they were here the lake was frozen over and Water St. just didn't look the same. Shopping, lunch, fishing and ice cream were on the agenda and then Thing 4's match. The first half of the day was better than we hoped for and the second half not so much. There was crazy traffic that had Thing 4 running on to the pitch at game time and his Mama a tad frazzled at the situation. All that to say his performance clearly showed that he was over the drive because he ended up scoring twice! On this particular night the four adults had planned a date night after the match but when your Things ask you to stay home with them so you can have family dinner and game night you do not say no. Or at least this time we didn't. Wednesday for the win!
Our bikes at Dunn Bros.
Sugar coffee to start the day.
Lunch at Lago Tacos, walleye tacos for the table.
Thing 4 opted for fishing over shopping, go figure.
Poppi and Nani just had to try Lick's.
Professional shoppers, on the hunt for a deal.
Watching Thing 4 at his match, he scored two goals for his supporters this night. We celebrated with Chick Fil A for dinner a Jurassic Park movie and family game night.
Thursday was stormy and rainy and kept us inside all day. Fine by us. We lounged, well actually, Husband Jared and Things 1 and 2 worked all day and the rest of us lounged. Meaning we watched the remaining Jurassic Park movies in preparation of the premier of the newest flick that we were scheduled to view that very night. No photos to show our sloth-like day, you know because of our productivity and excellent skills in the relaxation department. There was however, one photo snapped in the car on our way to the theatre and it was a gorgeous one. That my friends was our Thursday!
God's handiwork is remarkable!
Friday was Taylors Falls hiking and Stillwater exploring day. While the Things were sleeping Poppi, Nani and I had donations to pick up for the 5K race we were running in the next morning, STOP THE TRAFFICKING! There was the nursery where we were greeted by a donkey and his cart and two grocery stores where Poppi was a huge help with his banana knowledge. We ran home and prepared for our hike after lugging all the goodies back to the house. Two of our peeps were missing, Husband Jared and Thing 1 both had work obligations that could not be avoided. Without them the group just didn't feel complete but we tried our very best to make the most of the day before us. We decided to do the glacier hike and rock climb and gawk at the amazing trees that surrounded us, the river we heard rushing by and the bugs that accompanied us as we went along. It was a great way to start the day. Following the hike we took a trip into Stillwater for lunch on the river, a race up the stairs for an unbeatable view and ice-cream of course! Unfortunately Nelson's was jam packed and the line was around the block so our ice cream dreams did not come to fruition that afternoon. From there we made the journey home, hopes of ice-cream crushed, but only a briefly. An unexpected detour to Snuffy's turned everyones frowns upside down. Malts for the win! And I was able to make our last donation stop at Great Harvest bakery whom so generously donated race rolls to our cause. Husband Jared and Thing 1 were waiting at home for us to grill and enjoy a slow evening around the table and outside playing holey board and lighting sparklers. Another dreamy ending to a delightful summer day.
A friendly greeter as we were picking up donations for the race. This one made us think of Grammy.
Rock Climbing, or something like that.
Two of my three girlies.
Heart shaped glacier hole, what a find!
The fam bam selfie on the trail! (Notice Poppi and Thing 3 have similar smiles!)
Poppi, Nani and three of the Things taking in the view.
Saturday morning came all too quickly and the weather wasn't helping our motivation. Gloomy, windy and rainy skies greeted us as we all donned our race gear and put our smiles on. There was work to be done and I am proud to say everyone pitched in to help. I love it when the family comes together for a cause. The standard pre-race photo was taken, water stop set up, water bottles, race rolls and flowers delivered and then the race kicked off. Congressman Paulsen and Senator Klobuchar both addressed the group as well as Sergeant Schneider who has twenty years of service fighting human trafficking. Four organizations that were recipients of the monies raised were represented as well. It was quite a moving morning. The eight of us raced and celebrated our finish and the success of the event with post race pancakes at OPH, a favorite of Poppi and Nani's. Sadly the week of non stop fun was about to end with yes, you guessed it, another airport trek! This time only Husband Jared and I accompanied the travelers. Have I mentioned before that I do not like airport goodbyes? Welcome home, well that's another story altogether. Good byes, not so much. Maybe just see you later would suffice, how about I call Uber for you? Poppi might just be the worse. In the very best way. He wears his emotions out on his sleeve for you and he despises airport farewells as much as I do. There are always tears and longer than usual hugs and then another hug and then he runs into the terminal, using all his will power not to look back. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Needless to say we said our goodbyes and were on our way. And that concluded the extreme fun-filled summer week with Poppi and Nani!
Poppi thinking he is a contortionist as we drive to set up the water stop. I had to include this photo as it really says so much about my Dad; Willing to do anything for us.
Poppi crossing the finishing line. Thing 4 and Husband Jared finished before any of us, they were speed racers. Husband Jared ran with one of Thing 3's friends from school, he kept pace with him. I really did marry a stud! Thing 2 finished shortly after me, then Nani and Things 3 and 1 right after. Way to go family!
The fam bam, pre-race, man oh man I do love these people!