On Sunday morning we were all up super early to take Philip to the airport (he needed to catch a flight to Minneapolis in order to get to his conference that started that morning). The kids and I hit the road from there at about 5:30!
The sunset was absolutely gorgeous as I drove along and all the kids were asleep in the back...
That is a windmill, silo and cows silhouetted against the sky!
I didn't take any pictures during our travel (probably because we were too busy making good time, eating on the go, taking the shortest breaks possible and just GOING!) We made Great time, stopped only twice in 9 hours (650 miles) and the kids did not fight! Praise God!
We got to the city before Philip's conference was done for the day, so we checked into our awesome VRBO. It was the whole top flour of a huge (old) house in a gorgeous neighborhood. It was perfect for us and sooo spacious!
The living room
Dining room (this was great for school and game playing as well)
Moriah's room (I later wished I had chosen this one for us!)
The boy's room
This shows how long the apartment was from one end to the other!
After we unloaded the van, we decided to get some fresh air and exercise and checked out a walking/bike trail that was just across the street. We ended up on a pedestrian bridge...
...watching a train go by about 10 feet below!
That night we went for a walk to find a geocache...
...and this is where it was! I Love this sculpture!
On Monday afternoon, the kids and I walked to this park and met Philip there when he finished up with his conference, it was gorgeous!
This thing was super bouncy and Caleb kept flying off his seat!
Underdog from Daddy
Crab apple blossoms, I think (they smelled really pretty)
My little digger
The kids played forever on here with a new friend. They could fill things up with sand, then use a pulley system to hoist them the top, then dump the sand down through a pipe
That evening we drove down to the Mississippi River:
This is an old flour mill that exploded years ago and has since been turned into a tourist attraction!
That's some river...
How cool is this thing???
The theme for the first week was Pencil Rockets, Airplanes and Hot Air Balloons. Here are some of their drawings..
Tuesday night we went to a beautiful park and saw Minnehaha Falls:
Most of us with the falls
We walked down to the bottom of the falls and saw a little chipmunk scurrying along beside the path. He then found this DQ cup...
"How in the world am I supposed to eat this thing?"
"Oh, oh, busted!" (He even has a little bit of ice cream on top of his head!) Haha!
I love this picture that Keenan took!
Then we drove around to a different part of the park and Moriah and Caleb and I hung out at this nice park...
...and Philip and Keenan played nine holes of disc golf!
This morning after we dropped Philip at the conference and did some math, we headed out to check out a park we had seen from the distance from our walk on the first day.
I think they make dandelions look pretty good! =)
Moriah with a huge "bouquet" all three kids had picked
They played on the playground for a while and I sat in the sun, then we headed back (about a mile) to the house.
My little shoulder rider
We had an early lunch, Caleb took a nap and then we all headed out for the rest of the day (since Philip's conference had ended):
First up we checked out this HUGE playground (this picture probably only shows half of it) called "Chutes and Ladders" that we found out about from a random blog. The kids said it was the best playground they'd ever played at.
After that we went to the Mall of America (if you don't know what this is, it's a MASSIVE mall with 520 stores, 50 restaurants, and an indoor amusement park):
Walking into the amusement park area
The boys were excited about the Lego store!
Moriah with a cute Lego girl
This robot up on the roof is made of nine tonnes of lego!
While the boys hung out and played with Lego, Moriah and I went to check out the two storey American Girl store!
A little girl's dreamland
Ther were some Bitty Babies you could play with and swaddle
We thought this doll's swim outfit was adorable
So. Many. Dolls! Sooo. MUCH. Money.
Our boys busy working on a project when we got back
Posing with some slime
Philip treated them to their first ever Dippin' Dots!
Another shot of the amusement park before we left
Next, we met up with Philip's dad's first cousin, Dan (yes, that would be Dan's first cousin Dan), and his wife Renee, and their son, Sean (Philip's second cousin) for dinner! Philip and Joia had visited Minneapolis with their Dad over 20 years ago and we think it may have been almost 12 years since we saw Dan and Renee (when they were kind enough to come to our wedding in Ontario). Sean reminded us that he had actually come to visit Michigan and arrived the night we were engaged! Sean's wife is from Kansas, pretty close to where we now live, so we're looking forward to seeing him again in less than a decade and meeting his wife.
Moriah learned how to use chopsticks!
All of us after a delicious dinner
Now we're packing up and getting ready to head out in the morning for the rest of our adventures!