Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer Family Vacation #1: Baxter, Minnesota

We are so fortunate enough to have such an amazing and wonderful family! With Peter out of work (again) and my job not being the most consistent (or lucrative), funds are not there for any sort of vacation. That been said, Nana/Nancy/Mom was wonderful with our Minnesota trip! THANK YOU!!! :)

Peter's cousin, Ryan, got married in Florida and they had a party back home in Minnesota for those unable to make it to the festivities down south. Since we, as a family, haven't been up that way ever, we thought it might make a fun trip.

Rowe ready for a long ride
On Sunday, Father's Day, the day after the girls' dance recital, Delaney headed to Iowa with Nana. It was somewhat a long four days for us, because Kate was a bit lost without Delaney. Although they don't always play together, they do interact and play off and on throughout any given day. Katie had difficulty falling asleep at night and would say that she was bored and would request a lot of attention and play time with Mom and/or Dad. The drive took 11 hours, almost exactly. We left the house at 8:31 and pulled in the hotel parking lot at 7:35pm.

When we pulled in, Delaney and Nana were waiting outside the hotel for us. Delaney jumped in the car and climbed so fast to the back to give Kate the biggest hug ever!  It was just about the sweetest thing.  So, we get out, all cramped and needing to walk, and Delaney and Nana took us on a tour of our nice hotel.  It didn't take us long to get on our suits and head to the pool area.

It was there that Delaney and Katie met some friends pretty quickly; their names: Samuel and Trey.  That's right.  Boys.  Really?  Don't we have about 5 years left before then?  Guess not.  It was pretty cute, though.  In the outdoor hot tub, Trey (a 9 year old from Tennesse) played a "daredevil" while Kate sat on a rock as the mermaid who would jump in and save him.  The girls loved the water slides, and although Rowe couldn't go on the big ones, she was surely excited to try the other ones. 




We spent close to two hours swimming before we called it a night.




Friday morning arrived quickly and it was back to the pools. The girls found their friends again and were excited to swim, play on the water slides and check out the indoor/outdoor hot tub. We were so impressed with Kate! Such a brave girl after the boat/water incident two summers ago. She was going underwater, on the waterslides, and jumping in. As we were leaving in the morning, Delaney exchanged room numbers with Samuel (an 8 year old from Denver). After the first visit to the pools, we got dressed and while Rowe and Charlie napped, Nana and Peter took the girls to a beach for lunch. Then it was back to the pools, while Nancy and I took Charlie shopping. We bought some Travel Bingo cards, fudge, and ice cream cones. We all went back to the beach for a while before heading to the hotel for pizza. Then, that's right, back to the pool.





Saturday we played at the pool in the morning and evening, again with Samuel and Trey, but during the afternoon we went to Uncle Mike and Aunt Shirley's for Ryan and Andrea's reception.  The day was gorgeous, the home beautiful, the party fun, the food delicious.  Delaney and Katie had a blast.  They met several new friends.  Delaney also found a caterpillar that she carried with her all day before saying a long goodbye with well wishes when we left. 






After the party, we pooled it again for a couple hours with our new friends from the party.  However, getting back to the hotel was interesting.  Nancy had Delaney and Kate and pulled away as we were  too.  She hesitated and Peter and I joked how we should stay back and see how long she'll wait for us.  She didn't, and it came back to bite us in the ass.  Our battery died.  Ugh.  We JUST got our oil changed and new front brakes, and now this?  Uncle Mike jumped the car, but as soon as you took the cables off, it died.  Again he jumped us and he had us drive into his driveway.  Uncle Mike has a LOT of cool toys.  He tested the battery, and it didn't look good.  We decided since everything was closed, to just drive back to the hotel and in the morning to get a new battery before our long trip home.  We pulled out of the driveway and maybe made it 50 yards before the battery died again.  Peter went back to Mike's and came back in a fun mode of transportation:

Then, Uncle Mike lent us his nice ride for the night.  We contemplated just heading back home with that!

Sunday Peter got up early and picked up Uncle Mike and headed to the store for a new battery.  Nancy and I stayed at the hotel and began to pack up.  One last trip to the Hayes for a very nice brunch, and it was time for another 11 hours in the car.  It was Katie's turn to stay with Nana, and the girls were sad to leave one another...

But, a very fun-filled few days, and we headed home.  Definitely a trip I'd like to do again!  THANKS, NANA, MOM, NANCY!  We had a WONDERFUL time!!!

Here's a picture of the girls with their new friends, Addyson and McKinley, second cousins on the other side of their second cousins (does that make sense?  Doesn't really to me either):

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