Joshua and I took a road trip this past week up to the Twin Cities. I was returning a visit to my college bff, Kris Schommer, and her family. Since we were heading all the way up there, we decided to make a few other stops as well.
Day 1 - Thursday. We left bright and early Thursday morning. After a stop for gas and lunch at McDonalds on the way up, we arrived in Ramsey, MN around 2:00. Joshua was very happy to see toys at Ethan and Erin's house, and they were very generous to share their toys with him. We went to free kids' day at Coborn's grocery store, and Joshua got free string cheese, a free cookie, a free banana, and a free popsicle. He also got to ride the penny horse. After a nice dinner of spaghetti, the kiddos played for a bit, and Joshua went to bed. Kris and I watched a movie, and then we hit the sack ourselves.
Day 2 - Friday. The weather was a bit iffy, so we decided to go to the pool (indoor/outdoor) at the Maple Grove Community Center. Joshua likes the zero-depth entry, and walked all the way to the 2 foot level. He fell often, with his head and face totally under, but he did a great job. I helped him up a few times, but mostly he did it himself. We decided to have lunch at a nearby McDonalds with a playland, since a park wasn't looking good with the weather. Once back to the house again, Joshua napped, and Kris and I got some talking time. We played a game and looked through some pictures. We had dinner again that night, played Phase 10 with Dan, and Kris and I played Disney Scene It.
Day 3 - Saturday. BUSY BUSY BUSY!! We headed out around 8:30 to meet my friend Kayla. I met Kayla while I was living in Fond du Lac, and she was a bridesmaid in my wedding. I hadn't seen her for more than passing since my wedding! We met her at Panera in Coon Rapids and had breakfast. After a muddy crossing of a highway under construction, we took a nice long walk through the Springbrook Nature Center. Joshua rode in his stroller the whole time, and Kayla and I got in some good conversation. I dropped her off where she needed to be, and Joshua and I headed out to the Como Zoo, a free zoo in St. Paul. We had to park in a distant lot and catch the shuttle bus to the zoo. Joshua thought it was pretty cool riding on a bus. Once at the zoo, we saw the monkeys in the monkey house. There was a baby orangutan, and the mama orangutan came right up to the glass where Joshua was. We also saw the baby giraffe with its mama. It was very hot, so we decided to have lunch and head back to the car. We stopped for a carousel ride on the way out to the shuttle bus. After getting back to our car, we headed out to Fridley, and Michael & Joyce's house. The Melzers have known me since I was 2, and are a wonderful encouragement to our whole family. Joshua took a good nap there, and we had a nice dinner with them and a friend of theirs, Rachel, who also teaches 4th grade.
Day 4 - Sunday. We attended Bethlehem Baptist Church (North Campus) with the Melzers and Joshua loved the nursery. After a brief stop back at their house, we headed south to Burnsville for a quick visit with Shawn and Rachel Nicholson and their boys. I've known Shawn since we were 5, and haven't seen him or his family for about 5 years. (way too long!!!) We had lunch with them and Joshua played with the boys for a bit before heading home. We stopped for pizza on the way home, and with the little voice in the back seat saying, "dada?? sadie??" we arrived home around 8:30. Joshua was very happy to be home, and I was very happy to see my bed...and Chris & Sadie of course!!