Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Mn. wrap up

I spent just under three months in Minnesota this summer. 

Paul was with me for the first eighteen days of the visit.
I'll share some of our highlights from his stay (that I haven't already shared).

 My nephew, Big Kev turned 15!
His Mom, Molly surprised him with a little surprise party!

We went to a super rad mini golf course/sculpture garden: Big Stone
I think it was $7 per person. This was one of my favourite outings. I would highly recommend it to Minnesotans/visitors. Make a day of it. You'll need a couple hours to wander around. 
This course includes:
Mini Golf
Animals-ducks/chickens/goats/horses + more

 Even little Mandy joined the family for some fun!

Dad's ball got stuck. 
Josh befriended a pig.

Paul saw a horse about a man.

I very cautiously fed a horse.
Take the time & go. We had a blast!

I also participated in the 5k, The Color Run with a couple friends.
It's the self proclaimed happiest 5k on the planet. We definitely had fun. Although, I must admit I'm not sure if I'd do it again. It was hard to keep any kind of jogging pace up. Most people were walking, which was totally cool. However, the randomness of walkers/joggers all over the path made it impossible to keep a jogging pace. BUT it was most certainly very fun. As we went thru the course we were doused in powdered color. 

Even my Dad came to show his support. 
He was not in the mood to get any color though!

Then came the clean up.
After we went to Caribou for a bite and a coffee.
Needless to say, we got a few looks.

After the color run we cleaned up for a BBQ at D&D's (not pictured). D&D are my best friend Katie's, Dad and Step-Dad. They quickly became my second parents years ago. They've always been so supportive thru all of my reckless phases. They often treat us to a delicious meal, and even better company. I think they love Paul almost as much as I do. 

After the BBQ we went to watch Justine play softball. My sister, bro-in law, nephew and two nieces came to meet us there. We had a little visit one last time with the fam before Paul flew out. 

After softball Paul had the sneaky idea to check the driving time to Taylors Falls, Mn.  from Blaine (where we were). I'd been dying to get there with him. But it was really hard to find the time. It ended up being about half the drive time from where we were that evening vs leaving from my Dad's the next morning. We decided to take the punt, and make the drive after such a long day. I'm so glad we did.  As kids my Mom often took us there for family weekends. Taylors Falls has always held a fond spot in my heart. Because of that I was looking forward to sharing that special place with Paul.

Old man rock.
 We only had one day and one night there. But we tried to make the very most of our time. We woke up early Monday and hit a few of my favourite spots. Then we had to drive home so Paul could pack for his flight the following afternoon :(

This trip was bittersweet for Paul and I.
Obviously it was incredible to spend so much time with family/friends. However, it meant that Paul and I would be separated for two months while we waited on my visa. Little did we know it would only take five weeks to be approved! I'm happy I had that time back in Minnesota.

After Paul left I kept myself insanely busy. I thought once Paul went back to Oz things would slow down. I don't know what I was thinking.

Most days I would: wake up//eat brekkie//pack a bag//be out all day.

I ended up doing a ton of driving, which is exactly the opposite of what I said I'd do before I left. I'm sure I'll say it again next time. I never understood just how busy visits home are when you've moved away. Some days I drove to see three different groups of people. By the end of my stay I started saying no to driving to people. I have a really hard time saying no. Nevertheless, it was great to have quality time with my loved ones. But I have decided we won't be coming home for Thanksgiving or Christmas this year. By the end of my trip home I was a bit stressed. I'm not quite ready to drive from sunrise to sunset again in only two months.

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