Tuesday, August 25, 2015

August 24 - 30, MN

Tuesday, August 25.  The week has been busy but right now, the house is quiet and I'm catching up on writing.  Much of our attention is going to preparing for Charlotte's birthday party on Saturday, there will be 7 of her friends here.  Jill made the cake and cupcakes yesterday and we have been coming up with a story line for a scavenger hunt.

Our trip to the zoo this morning was cold - like 52 degrees cold and there was a chilly wind too.  Naturally, it didn't bother the kids at all.

Last night I tried a recipe for Make-ahead Egg Muffins and they were a big hit at breakfast this morning.  Along with the eggs, they had broccoli, ham, and cheese.

This morning, Jill's work day, I drove to the Minnesota Landscape Botanical Gardens and Lois met me there.  We spent the morning at the learning center and the children's playground and they all had a ball with plenty to keep them busy and entertained and, maybe, even some education in there too.

Norah's comment when she climbed up here was "big".

Thursday, August 27.  Some intestinal bug hit me on Tuesday, right after we got home from the meeting Lois at the arboretum with the kids.  Thankfully, it didn't happen then and I have been functioning, but took it easy most of the afternoon and evening on Wednesday.  It started with extreme stomach cramps, then a bout of the big D, body aches, and some fever too, and these symptoms continued off and on.  By tonight, I was feeling like that was the end of it and I'm hoping that I wake up feeling good tomorrow.

Charlotte and I went to Minnehaha Falls yesterday, as Jill had an event with the twins to attend.  The falls are gorgeous and she really enjoyed the playground, where she met a boy named Louie who was her age and they hung out the whole time we were there, both doing things they normally wouldn't choose to do.

We have been busy preparing for the big birthday party and I have made paper flowers and a flag and banners to decorate the playhouse and the back yard for the big day.  Jill wrote a story about some lost rings and the girls will have to hunt for the keys that open the box that contains the rings - a very nice story and such a clever idea.  It's going to be lots of fun!

Saturday, August 29.  Congratulations to my niece, Ashley and her fiancé Chase who are getting married today in Kansas City.  I had the best of intentions of attending the event but then the last few weeks I just couldn't stand the thought of another 1,000 miles of driving and only for a few days.  Also, my only reason for staying in the Midwest to long is because I wanted to be here for my granddaughters birthdays and Charlotte's was celebrated today.  I also missed my niece, Monica's bridal shower in Monona today but hopefully, I will be able to attend her wedding in Arizona in October.

Charlotte was so excited when she saw how the house was decorated for her party this morning.  Dennis and Ben took the kids for bagels while Lois, Jill, and I did the final decorations on the patio and playhouse.  I took the twins for a stroller ride for the first half hour of the party when the guests were arriving and then they were kept busy by Ava, a 9-year old sister of one of CC's friends.  The party activities were decorating tiaras and magic wands, then Jill read the fairy tale about Saraphina and the lost jewels which led to the girls finding the 8 keys that opened the box that held the treasures, sparkly shiny rings for them all.  Then the dress up clothes and accessories kept them busy until it was time for some lunch and the gorgeous and delicious coconut cake that she requested.  It was a 2-hour whirlwind but everyone had lots of fun and our little CC was one very happy little girl.

We relaxed in the back yard all afternoon, had a couple of beers, and a delicious dinner with the family.

Sunday, August 30.  Another nice day, this one was spent with adults.  I headed to Stillwater to see Bruce and Janna and they just happened to be spending the day boating on the St. Croix River and I was invited to join the fun.  I met them at their home that is next to the marina where their boat is stored, we got it loaded up, hooked up and launched.  Their friend and neighbor, Maureen met us at the dock and joined in.

North of Stillwater, the St. Croix is part of the National Scenic Waterway Program, so it is protected from development and it is beautiful, clean, with nice beaches and some gorgeous rocky cliffs along the shores.  Thirteen miles to the south, in Prescott, it joins the Mississippi River.  There wasn't a lot of traffic but picked up later in the afternoon.  Many Eagles were spotted and we also saw Great Blue Herons and a Peregrine Falcon.

On our return, we picked up 3 more of their friends and continued the ride for another hour, this time heading south where we could see the progress that was being made on the construction of a new bridge that will connect with Wisconsin, replacing the old Stillwater bridge (will be used for recreation purposes).  It is massive and expected the to be completed by fall of 2016.

It was a very enjoyable day, always good to connect with people that we met on our RV travels.