Thursday Goose and I spend the entirety of the day preparing for our extended weekend up north. Anyone with little ones knows that a simple weekend bag won't do; in order to ensure a smooth trip one must pack the entire contents of one's home, AND said contents must fit neatly into said vehicle to be utilized on said trip. We managed to clean the house, finish the laundry, plan outfits (and some meals), pack bags, and squeeze in a nap all in the course of the day. Oh yes, by we, I mean me. Here Lucy is laughing and clapping at me as I run through the house checking off my day's "to-do" list.
Road trips go something like this: Charles loads and unloads the car (and on pitstops fills the tank), Lucy sits in the back watching movies (shocking, I know), and I drive the entire way. This I don't mind because I prefer highway driving and road rules state the driver maintains control of vehicle speed and title of "Radio Commando". The way up was uneventful and pleasant. We drove four straight hours to stretch our legs and tank up in Clear Lake, IA. The next hour Charles actually spent in the passenger seat (as opposed to the captain's chair behind me and beside Lucy), and we arrived in Owatanna at the local Applebee's to dine with Grandma J and G-pa Dave. An hour and half after dinner we arrived at Iain and Katie's. The remainder of the evening was spent catching up and relaxing.
Saturday was a nice, lazy day. We got up and enjoyed a scrumptious breakfast cooked by Iain and Katie, then napped in front of the television for a couple of hours. The boys stayed back to play PS3, and the girls took off for the Mall of America. We went because in all my visits up north I had never been. Let's just say, it was fun but now that I know what's there I won't be returning anytime soon. It was so congested. I abhor large, pushy crowds.
We had dinner later that evening at Famous Daves and came home to watch 300. Ooh, that was good, but a bit scarier and bloodier than the movies I normally watch.
Stacy (Charles' cousin) and Peter stopped over on Sunday for a visit and they brought Lucy a couple of presents. As neat as we all thought they were, Lucy was much more fascinated with the wrapping. Go figure.
She's not quite into the Scanimation book yet, but the puzzle has been a hit since we came home. The cut outs are now scattered. It will probably take me months before it's in one complete piece again.
The Vikings weren't doing so well, so Charles, Grandma J, Lucy, and I headed to the neighborhood park. It was a perfect Fall day, and after gorging on the entire contents of the fridge and oven all morning it was nice to get out and move the legs a bit. I might have had more fun than Lucy, but you never know.
I love this picture. Lucy's favorite thing to do at the park is the swing. Can you tell? She and Grandma J had a heck of a time together.
Charles hopped into the swing next to Lucy and she thought it was the funniest thing. Below Grandma J, Lucy, and I in the swings. La tres Amigas! I have to admit, it has been many a year since my toosh has sat in a playground swing. It was F-U-N! A few times, I felt like my lunch was going to meet the woodchips, but it was completely worth it.
Speaking of woodchips, Lucy was a bit wobbly on the woodchips, and she face planted. As you can see, she wasn't phased.
Some one-on-one time with Pops...
Beginning the walk home....
Winding down the evening and enjoying and good book with Uncle Iain.
Iain and Katie, thank you so much for once again welcoming us into your home. We love you both so much and wished we all lived closer. Our visits are too few and far between. Hopefully now that you have the house all to yourselves, you can get some decent sleep!
We ended our trip with a visit to Auntie and Uncle Ralph's for breakfast before hitting the road. Grandpa Dean met us there and brought Charles many gifts; golf clubs and a manilla folder filled with report cards and school pictures. I was not surprised that this child delinquent could score such high marks. Also, if I knew my life wouldn't be in danger, I would have scanned some of his glorious pictures to share with you all. They were most definitely the highlight of my day. You gotta love hairstyles and glasses from the 70s and 80s. There was definitely a hint at some mullet action in one of the pictures!
I have to disclose though, the only, only reason I feel I can laugh and make fun is because my school pictures are not any better. Seriously, whose parents let their daughter run around with a moustache? I make the solemn vow, here and now, if either of my daughters meet the same follicular fate as I had in my youth, they will know and become allies with wax and bleach.
Auntie and Lucy. Uncle Ralph left to go bowling shortly after our tardy arrival that morning, so sadly we missed visiting with him. They gave Lucy a wooden alligator pull toy. They tried to find the annoying popping push toy (you know the one with the mulit-colored balls) but were unsuccessful. We were promised that once they found one, it would be one its way. Luckily for us, they don't frequent Babies R' Us.
I know it's not Thanksgiving officially, but as it is November, I feel I have to say that I am so very thankful to have such wonderful in-laws. They are fun, spunky, quirky, generous, spiritual, strong, sweet, gentle, extroverted, talkative, and the list goes on. There is something about everyone that I can learn something from. I love the childhood stories that they share (this time it was the smelly sock incident), and the memories of ones that have passed that will live on through our children. I always, always look forward to the time spent up north. I can't wait for Lucy and her sister to grow older and share in the special relationships with Charles' family like I have. They are wonderful.