Sunday, June 23, 2013

Summer Vacation

Last weekend we took our first family "vacation" to Minneapolis/St. Paul. Zach's sister was getting married that Saturday but we drove up on Thursday so we'd have a whole day to do stuff, just the three of us before all the family festivities started. 

We left really early in the morning and David was an absolute DREAM in the car. He mostly slept. We only had to stop two times during the 8 hour drive. We let him play at a McDonalds Playplace the first time (Ew. Yuck. But, he had fun...) and then we had some lunch I had packed at a rest stop in Iowa (I must say, Iowa rest stops are pretty darn nice actually). Otherwise he was perfectly content in the car! It was great!!  

We got in around 3:00 and checked into our hotel which was located in downtown St. Paul, right across from the Excel center. We got settled into the room and then wandered around a bit outside before stopping for some snacks at a coffee house. We also entertained ourselves by throwing baby washcloths at David. He seemed to enjoy it.
For dinner that night we met up with Zach's Dad, Step-Mom, Uncle, Cousin and the Bride & Groom for dinner at a local place called Bonfire. I had a really good pasta dish with blackened chicken and extra yummy sangria.

The next morning David woke up in his pack & play around 6am so I reached over and grabbed him and put him in bed with us, thinking that we'd be up for good any minute. Turns out that little muffin just settled himself right in and slept until EIGHT THIRTY! An all-time David record. It was fantastic, I can't even tell you. So after a great night of rest we headed out first thing to get some breakfast and hit up the Minnesota Children's Museum.
Zach's uncle suggested we try Mickey's Diner, which he said was a "Minnesota institution". It was right down the block from our hotel and even closer to the Museum so we gave it a go. Oh my. It was old. Olddddddd.  We luckily got a "booth" and placed our orders. I tried to ignore the fact that everything looked kind of, um, dirty? I got the pancakes to split with David and Zach got a ham and cheese omelet. The omelet was good but the pancakes were AMAZING. Oh my goodness, they were so good. Possibly the best I've had. Worth the health risk ;)

The Children's Museum was also amazing. It came highly recommended and lived up to the hype. It was huge! Four floors and countless galleries for kids of all ages to just go crazy in. I wondered how David would do and he jumped right in. His favorites were the grocery store where he got his own cart to load up, the water room, the city bus and the restaurant where he was absolutely thrilled to find both a broom AND a mop. After several hours of hard core playing we headed back to the hotel for lunch and nap. We ALL crashed out for nearly three hours!!! Vacation is the best!

 That evening, Zach's family got into town and we all met up at the hotel restaurant for some drinks and appetizers. Grandma and Grandpa wanted a little David time so they sent Zach and I off in their new convertible to explore the Cities for a bit!  We headed over to Minneapolis and drove through the college to an area called St. Anthony Main (another Uncle Jay suggestion! 2 for 2!) where we did some people watching and had some really good burgers, fries and spiked lemonade. My kind of place! We didn't stay out late as we were trying not to keep David up TOO far past his bed time since the only time he really got cranky during the whole trip was right before bed.  

We got to sleep in AGAIN Saturday morning and met his mom downstairs for some breakfast before trying to decide what to do for the day. The weather was a little threatening and VERY humid so we thought about hitting up "the mall" but realized it didn't open until just an hour before lunch/nap time so we passed and just walked along the river for a bit. We took another LONG nap (have I mentioned how awesome vacation was?!) before getting ready for the wedding!

The wedding was about a half hour away in a town called Forest Lake. It was supposed to be in the back yard of the groom's parents house but it was pouring rain. Just a total monsoon! After a lot of back and forth they finally made the call to have the ceremony at the reception site, a golf course clubhouse down the road. By the time everyone got there the sky was blue and the birds were chirping. Isn't that how it always goes?! The wedding was nice, very simple and we all had a lot of fun. David and his cousin Jude (just 4 months younger than D) ran around outside like crazy goons and at one point I had to literally sprint across the fairway to catch a runaway David. We couldn't stay long because the little guy had officially reached the end of his very patient rope and was demanding a reasonable bedtime. So, we headed back and hit the hay.

We packed up and left first thing Sunday morning so we could get home to the dogs in time for dinner.  David, once again, did great in the car! This time we stopped 3 times and I had to sit in back for a little bit to keep him occupied before lunch but all in all he was a total dream. We had a GREAT time and it was just what we needed. 

Congrats Alicia and Michael!!

(also, I found a new free photo editing site. I kind of went a little crazy.Newbie alert! #sorrynotsorry ;))

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Greenwood, Missouri, United States