once upon a time

Way back in July, I marked a few things off the ol' Life List--visiting a new state (Minnesota) and a new ballpark (in, um, Minnesota). Because things got pretty crazy in August and September, I've totally neglected blogging about this.

So July 15-19. I traveled up to Minnesota with my MIL and SIL. We flew into Minneapolis and then drove on up to Pine River. It's a small, quaint little town with two motels. We chose the better one. They had a Dairy Queen and a farmer's market. We visited both. The main reason we went up this far north into the state was so that we could drive up to where my MIL spent summers as a kid. She hadn't been in a very long time and my SIL and I had never been.

One of the numerous lakes in Minnesota is Lake Ponto. It's small and quiet and has just a few lake houses on each side. We visited the house that my MIL's grandfather had built and talked to the next-door neighbors. Things were very much like my MIL remembered, and it was great to be able to see this part of the family history. We took a lot of pictures and enjoyed our time there.

The second reason we made the trip was to visit some extended family members in Minneapolis. Before we headed there, however, we had to make a few small detours to see Paul Bunyan and Babe as well as the World's Largest Ball of Twine.

These family members were kind enough to let us stay in their beautiful home for the second part of our trip. They were so nice and hospitable. We had fantastic breakfasts and got a little tour of the city. They took us out to eat at some great restaurants and were just nice to visit with. I think the best part of the trip was that it turned into a ladies weekend. There was good girl talk and lots of talk about other family members and family history. I feel like I got to know everyone so much (more). And got to know where my husband came from. It was also good to just be able to spend some time with my in-laws without Hubby there. Nice to work on our relationships separate from the relationships he has with them.

And, like I mentioned, we also got to go to a Twins game. The ballpark is new, open air, and really nice. It was pretty chilly and overcast when we got there (most of the trip was chilly--in JULY) but the sun came out and burned me. The life of a redhead... We had good seats in the outfield. Is it bad that I don't remember a lot of details now? Freakin' baby brain... Three things, though. One, parking at a ballpark has never been easier. You literally exit the freeway into the garage that is connected to the field. Two, the side of the parking garage is visible from the field so they fancied it up a bit. The side of the structure was covered in these small, reflective metal pieces that moved in the breeze. It was really mesmerizing. I should have taken video. And, three, the "races" that they do on the jumbo-tron at Target Field (of course I liked the place), were between Babe and 2 Target characters. What did they race around? Only everything we'd seen--lakes, woods, Paul n Babe, and the GIANT BALL OF TWINE. We were very amused.

Minnesota? Beautiful. Hopefully some of these pictures will make up for my lack of memory details.


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