I don't' remember having to do the reports on my summer vacation when I was young girl in school but I am sure I did one or two. This time as an adult I want to remember my summer vacation as my trip was great. Seeing my family was incredible - just having so much time with them. Usually when I see them it is just a few rushed days. But this time it was just really good quality time with them. Michael said that when I came out to meet him at the curb to be picked up - I glowed. I told him I was sure that it was because I was excited to see him. But he says that he felt my trip relaxed me. And it did. He was waiting with roses for me at the airport. He is so great!
We did lots of shopping, eating, hanging out talking and laughing together. My sisters and I went to was Town Talk Diner which was one of the places featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. We had adult malts and frickles. Adult malts are just malts with alcohol. I had a German Chocolate Cake Malt and it had coconut rum and another liqueur that I can't remember at this moment. And then frickles are slices of dill pickles coated in batter and deep fried. And then dill mustard mayo to dip them in. I had never had a fried pickles before and they were SO GOOD! The malt was amazing too - and should have been for the price. We sat at the counter as the main dining area was closed when we came in. A couple came in that in talking to them sounded like they decided to just take a trip to Minneapolis to try out some of the places that have been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. My sisters and I thought it sounded like a nice reason to go on a trip to just pick up and go on a trip to eat!
After the Farmer's Market and Sculpture Garden, my sisters and I went to have homemade ice cream at Sebastian Joe's where I had chocolate praline that was delicious. I had a sample of the raspberry chip - which was great and then also tasted of my sister's ice cream which one was called Pavarotti that was banana with caramel and chocolate chips. And then coconut cream pie. Next to Sebastian Joe's was a cute little store called Patina's . Another cute store we went to was Good Things. I picked up a few gifts for friends and Michael at each place. Another place we went that I wanted to go while there because I knew my Mom and sisters would like it and that is Penzeys Spices. A very good friend of mine sent me a gift basket of several of their spices. And Michael knows when I use a Penzeys as it just tastes so much better. He will often say to me - "did you use a Penzeys?" And always my reply is yes because you can tell the difference when cooking with them. My sister and my Mom bought me several spices. I can't wait to use them.
My sister had bought her house since I had been there last. So it was nice to finally see it. It is a cute house and she has decorated it really nice. I love the colors she is using. It is obvious the work she is putting into it. I spent the night there one night. But we had other times of just all us girls hanging out. It was good quality sister time. I miss them a lot and it was good to just hang out talk and laugh and really get to know them as adults better. I have lived so far away their whole adult lives basically. I mean I know them but I also see the beautiful women they have grown into and their interests and dreams now as adults.
I had a great time with my parents too. And often I wished I could see them all much more then I do now. As I see my parents about once a year. And I see my sisters about once every other year. It would be nice to see them more often but I live far away so not easily done.
My main purpose for going to see my family was that we were throwing my Grandma a surprise birthday party. She is turning 85. So we all traveled one of my cousin's in Fargo, North Dakota for that party. And my Grandma was very surprised! And she LOVED the video Michael made for her. She was so surprised how many people came. I hadn't seen some of my cousins in over 10 years so it was great to see everyone. A cousin of my Dad's who babysat me when I was little was there as well as my godparents. And I can't even tell you when the last time I saw them - it might be about 20 years. And silly me didn't think about getting a photo of them. I took a lot of pictures but there were time I just didn't think about it was I was busy visiting and just doing stuff.
The next day we had another surprise birthday party for one of my cousins who is turning 40. It was at my Aunt and Uncle's lake house. And the lake house was fun! My cousins, their spouses and kids - just were a joy to be around. I had so much fun. My Aunt and Uncle had all their kids and grandkids there so they got a group shot - 18 grandkids. 3 infants and the oldest grandchild is 12. My one cousin's baby was so cute (all the babies were cute) because he just was smiling all the time. He had a little tuff of hair sticking straight up down the center of his head just like a mohawk.
One day it was really breezy out and of course I didn't get sunscreen on fast enough so ended up with a burn on my arms, neck and chest.
My cousin Rhonda and I are very close. We are close in age. I was the first grandchild and she was the next. So we just were together a lot. She and I had a good time catching up. We always had such a fun time as young girls talking and giggling. I miss her a lot so it was nice to see her.
It was just a lot of fun and again I wished often that I saw everyone more. But I am so thankful for the time with them. I know Michael had to work hard without me here so I am thankful he made it possible for me to go and spend time with my family. I can't even begin to express what it meant to me to see everyone and have such an incredible time. I know that this vacation will be one that I cherish and remember for a very long time.