Almost every single summer of my entire life my family has gone on vacation “up north.” If you’re from the Mid-West, Minnesota in particular, you know that “up north” means spending time at a cabin on a lake. My uncle (my mom’s twin sisters husband) owns a few cabins at a resort near the Boundary Waters on the Canadian border so for many years I’ve been able to stay up there with my parents and have a small family reunion like vacation. We’ve also stayed at a cabin near central Minnesota near a town called Hackensack with my dad’s relatives (his mom and all his siblings and their families.)
This year things didn’t work out for us to go up north. I’m a little sad because this is the one time a year I get to go fishing. I could go on my own, but without my dad, who will put on my bait and take off my fish? (I’m a girl and I act like one. Deal with it.) Instead, we opted to have a staycation where we stay home and do nothing but fun things for a week. Due to when my husband was able to get off work, our staycation didn’t happen until this week – the first week of September!
We’ve been having a blast so far. We agreed that we’re not stressing over time and we’re just relaxing. We started Monday with a picnic at the neighborhood park with two sets of our former neighbors. My girls loved getting to see their friends and, as a bonus, they had NO idea their friends would even be there! What began as a family walk to the park turned into a family drive when we realized it was in the upper 80’s on trash day. Not a pretty smell to say the least!
Day two, Tuesday, involved my baby’s preschool screening (Mina is nearly four, so I use the word “baby” loosely.) That went pretty well, aside from her failing the vision screening. My older daughter (Allison is eight and a half) barely passed hers and ended up getting her first pair of glasses a year later. This time we have a referral to the eye doctor to get her screened asap. Once home from the screening I took a nap (the screening was at 9. I don’t like getting up before the double digits – I’m a night owl!) And then, after nap time, we headed out to the Como Zoo (aka the free zoo!) The kids loved the animals, the bison was a big hit for Allison. Mina loved the giraffe’s, especially the baby who was not even a week old yet. I think the gorilla’s were my favorite, they have a very nice new habitat which is much nicer than their old one! To top it off, before leaving we ventured into Como Town so the girls could ride the rides. The swings were a hit, but the frog hopper was hands down their favorite. Allison really enjoyed “driving school” as well, and even followed the “rules of the road” and stopped at the stop signs!
Day three, yesterday, was our trip to the Minnesota State Fair. Now, I’ve only been to the fair a handful of times in my life. I can recall once as a small kid and my brother getting separated from the family. If memory serves, nobody realized he was gone until we saw him riding on the shoulders of a police officer! Every other time has been for a concert. We’d arrive in the late afternoon, buy a bucket of Sweet Marth
a’s chocolate chip cookies, then check out our concert. (I can recall seeing SR-71 and Vertical Horizon one year, and Three Doors Down, Three Days Grace and Seether another year.)
This years trip to the fair was awesome. And incredibly expensive! Mina was free (thank god!) but the rest of us got in for $11 a piece. That’s $33 just to get in! Before we were even in the gate my husband had blown $5 on a tiny container of cheese curds, which Allison proceeded to choke on. (Nothing like HOT melty cheese halfway down your throat!) But, whatever, it’s staycation, right? We saw newborn baby piglets and cows, had all you can drink milk (to go with our $16 bucket of chocolate chip cookies from Sweet Martha’s of course!), ate pizza, cotton candy, mini donuts, a corn dog, a macaroni cupcake and drank lots of water. The girls got to ride the giant slide (another $5 for the two.) We anticipated staying maybe four hours, because how long can you spend walking around the fair with an 8 and 4 year old? Apparently a long time. They lasted about 8 hours! We arrived around 1:30 or 2 in the afternoon and didn’t leave until around 10-10:30 pm. It was pretty awesome and even though we spent FAR more money than we SHOULD have, it was worth it.)
Today was less awesome, it was more of a recovery from the past two days. I tried to start a campfire in the fire pit out back, but everything is too wet from yesterdays rain. We’ll try again tomorrow. We did get out of the house for Allison’s school orientation followed by a trip to Wendy’s to use the last two coupons for free Son of a Baconator’s we received from a Saint Paul Saint’s baseball game we attended a month or so ago. We don’t eat fast food often so itw as a treat for the girls. Of course, Allison is my queasy child, and she hadn’t eaten in a while before we left the house (despite being told to grab a snack) and ended up feeling too sick to eat, then puking all over the bathroom floor at Wendy’s. At least it wasn’t the car. This time.
Anyway, I’m going to wrap this up. The rest of our staycation will pretty much be at home. Mina’s 4h birthday party is Sunday, Allison starts 3rd grade on Tuesday and I start my new seasonal full time job as well on Tuesday! (Well, it’s not completely new. I worked there in 2008 but was laid off when they cut back on staff due to the economy. I’m thrilled to return!)
Until next time!