Grandpa, Dashiell, Grandma and Aurelia
We're a week back from our trip to Minnesota, and I finally have a free moment to report on our fabulous trip! I have about 500 pictures to post, but I'll try to limit myself and only post 1/25th of them.
The kids did surprisingly well on our travel day - we flew out of Boston at 11 am, landed in Minneapolis at 1:30, and drove all the way up to Bemidji that afternoon. We knew we were pushing their limits, but we borrowed a portable DVD player from Rick's dad so the kids could veg out in the car, and it worked like a charm!
The play area in Terminal A is always a hit! And we met another Dashiel (sic) there!
Rick and Aurelia enjoying the flight
It was HOT in Minnesota the day we traveled. We made a planned stop at the rest area outside of St. Cloud because we knew there was a nice play structure there for the kids to climb on. That lasted all of 10 minutes - both of the kids were too lethargic to actually play outside in that heat!
The day after we got into Bemidji we took it easy - a nice walk down to the park where the kids could burn some energy and play with other kids. Thankfully it had cooled down and was lovely outside! There's a little beach at the park so after they were bored with the play structure they dug in the sand and wadded in the water. Aurelia did not want to get out of the lake - that girl is part fish!
That evening mom and dad hosted the whole family for dinner - my sister Lisa, my sister Terri, her husband Glen and their two kids, Craig and Abby. I'm so glad we got to see Craig before he headed off to college the next day!
Terri and Dashiell snuggling in the living room
Lisa playing with Aurelia (while Terri unintentionally photo bombs in the background - sorry Terri!)
All the grandkids!
The following day (Friday), Rick and I took the kids up to Animal Land and met up with one of my BFFs from school, Jenni. She has 3 boys, two of which are right around Dashiell's age (5 and 6, in fact). The boys got along swimmingly, and Aurelia kind of did her own thing. But we all had fun, and once again it was especially fun to feed the deer (Animal Land has turned into a yearly ritual for us...).
"This little girl smells like she could have food..."
Dashiell has definitely gotten bolder with the deer - no hesitation to feed them at all!
Aurelia really liked the kangaroo!
After the zoo we all picked up lunch and headed over to Diamond Point park for an impromptu picnic followed by some swimming. Prior to swimming Dashiell discovered that he could scale the rock wall without any assistance from me!
If I remember correctly he was able to do it the last time we visited, too, but he needed me to be right.there or he lost his nerve. This time he did it without me even realizing it until he was up!
The next day mom and I had a lovely morning shopping (I totally scored an awesome suede jacket that fits me perfectly for $20 at the thrift shop she volunteers at!) while Lisa took Dashiell back to the park to search for treasure! She has a metal detector, which of course D thought was the coolest thing ever! D found some change which I'm totally sure was not at all planted there by Lisa's girlfriend Ami. I'm sure of it. ;) Then later that afternoon mom, Dashiell and I headed out to Abby's soccer game. It was against a really good team from Wayzata who just don't lose. They didn't lose this time, either. But while it was a bummer that we didn't see one of Abby's winning games, it was fun to see her play nonetheless. Dashiell wanted me to take a good action shot of Abby, but of course I was using my crappy phone camera so "good" didn't happen. Of all the pictures I took, this was probably the best one:
After the game Abby taught Dashiell a few moves with a soccer ball Aunt Terri gave him, which led to a bunch of running around in the back yard:
Aunt Terri also gave Dashiell a NEW fishing rod, and Uncle Glen was more than happy to show him how to cast!
Glen and Dashiell working on his cast
It wasn't long before he was an old pro!
The next day Dashiell got to use his fishing pole to catch actual fish! It was very exciting! He, Rick, Glen and Lisa all went out on Lake Irvine to fish, stayed out there for 7 hours (!!!), and Dashiell caught 3 walleye! One of which was 22" long! He was so excited. They also went swimming on a sand bar in the middle of the lake, which D was super impressed with.
On Monday we visited with another childhood friend of mine, Erika, and her son Jasper. Jasper is almost exactly one month younger than Dashiell. We had lunch followed by a trip to the Headwaters Science Center. The boys had a great time, and it was great to be able to catch up with Erika again.
Dashiell in the echo tube
He just can't get enough of the kinetic sculpture!
We also made our yearly visit to Paul and Babe - always fun to play around a gigantic lumberjack and his big blue ox! Of course Aurelia thought it was a cow, but that's close enough for now!
Not wanting anything to do with posing for a picture
Dashiell was "camouflaged" - can you find him?
I finally got the kids to slow down enough to take a picture with Paul...
unfortunately Paul's head is a big ray of light, but I'll take it!
On Tuesday we drove back to Minneapolis, stopping at my cousin Sherry's house to visit with her and her kids. We stayed with my aunt Diane that night, and left super early the next morning. The flight back was not as pleasant as the flight there (holy squirmy kids!), but we were all tired and wanting to be home in our own beds, so I can hardly blame them!
All in all we had a great, fun-filled trip. It was so good to see my family again, and the friends who I hadn't seen in so long, too!
Bye, Bemidji! Thanks for wearing out my kiddos!