Minnesota Bound

Sometimes my heart is in constant battle between wanting to explore more places in the U.S. and wanting to live in Minnesota close to my Dad, Schmoo, and good friends.  I was so excited to get to Minnesota in July.  E wasn't able to travel with me so Loaf and I set out to conquer the road together.

I allotted 3.5 days for travel time.  I left at 10am BM time and arrived at my Dad's house at 5pm the next day- yup I was pumped to get home.  My week and a half home was busy- I had family to see, friends to catch up with and Dad's money to help spend.

I checked out the new splash pad in Cottage Grove with Felter and our Schmoo babies.  She also has two schmoos a baby niece and a 3-year old nephew.  We went to Dairy Queen after for ice cream and her nephew was yelling at the wind because it made his ice cream drip.  Made me laugh but glad that my Schmoo is over that stage because there was a day when he was like 2 and a half where I spent an extra 45 minutes in the Maplewood Mall parking lot trying to calm him down. I told him a little fib so he wouldn't spaz about leaving the candy machines.  He really thought he was driving us home because I gave him my keys : ) These two below melt my heart. We stopped at my favorite store to pick them up new shades at...TARGET!  Don't they look like cool dudes?

So I have these 2 cousins who have literally been my forever friends.  One of them happened to find herself a beau while I was gone and I had the opportunity to meet him while I was home.  He gets my vote, he drives a truck, enjoys hunting, likes being on the water and treats my Lou like she deserves.  We had a delicious dinner at Chili's which always seems to be the go to place these days (I'm craving their chips and salsa as I type).

Ever since we were little I've always loved getting their hand-me-downs.  They seem to have better fashion sense than me. Lou cleaned house and I snatched up what I wanted!  Thanks Lou!

They make a good couple as they are both beautiful people.  Oh and she's a cougar...but you'd never be able to tell because she still looks 18  :)

Since E and I moved out west its seems as though some of our friends were busy making babies.  Mike and Amber had Baby J about a week or two after we skipped town last year-so I had to wait 9 whole months to see his handsome face!  For real though...isn't he adorbs?  Good Work Mike and Amber!

One of my longest friends...Mr. Sean Garrity and his gorgeous wife Maria had a baby girl shortly before I left town but it didnt' work out that I was able to meet up with them.  I have you know she's a virgo and virgo babies are the best.  

We went out to breakfast at 4 Seasons in Mahtomedi...I thought I'd never been there but I'd been there. Baby G was so well behaved, well except for flirting with the older man in the booth behind us.  I love seeing people I've known for many years do awesome things with their lives.  Catching up on each other's life, sharing laughs about yesteryear and learning about their plans for a Baby G number 2 made my heart smile!  I couldn't be more proud of Gator- he's a great friend, good husband to his amazing wife, and looks like he's excelling in his new role as a daddy!

After breakfast I followed them back to their place for the grand tour.  Gator has turned out to be quite the handyman and Maria has fabulous taste in decor, I spotted a few DIY Pinterest projects around the house and they have amazing gardens (note plural) in their backyard (can you see the corn in the picture below?).  I'm a bit jealous of their green thumbs to be honest!

Baby G was more into wanting to play with the camera than get her picture taken, as you can tell in the picture below.  I am so glad that I finally had the opportunity to met the doll and that Sean and his beautiful family are in my life.

LaNaMae and I have been friends since the fourth grade if you can believe it and Bill has been my buddy since ninth grade.  They are some of my favorite people so I was sure to make plans with them.  It just wouldn't be right to stay in North Saint Paul and not go to Roddy's.  Leave it to Bill to arrange to meet there.  From Roddy's we went to Bleecher's, a very classy establishment, to say hi to Patrice -LaNa's Mom. From Bleecher's we went to The Loop in Minneapolis to visit my cousin MJO and fill up on my favorite Soho Pizza and chocolate chip dessert.  It was a fabulous yet responsible night out on the town- LaNa thanks for driving.

Grandma Alice is precious to my heart!  She is my BFF's grandmother.  I am by no means a cosmetologist but give occasional manicures to special people- Grandma Alice is definitely a favorite client.  She knows how to make a girl feel special.  She's in a special season in her life, where her thoughts and memories escape her.  Her spirit is strong, her faith is solid, she still has a lot of spunk, and she shows no mercy in solitaire.  I am so grateful for the being able to hang out with Alice while I was home in July.

Dad and I spent a lot of time together while I was home.  It was fabulous- I don't know what was wrong with me as a teenager (if I even tried to figure it out-I bet the number of characters would exceed the maximum character's allowed for a post) but I wish I would have put more energy and time into hanging out with him.  I was able to make dinner a couple nights, we went out to Chipotle, and I helped him drop money on technology.  He's finally caught up with the 21st century- he is the proud owner of a laptop and HDTV, plus all the fun gadgets to go with it.  Admittedly, he's making fabulous progress figuring out the internet and troubleshooting.  I should have put a little more thought into the fact he would call me thinking that I am qualified to provide technical support 1600 miles away.  The arrangement has worked out well though, and we've only been extremely frustrated with each other a few times.

He sent me home with a few kitchen gadgets, a sewing machine (that is still in cellophane wrap from the transport) and my first set of matching dishes (yeah I'm on the backside of 25 its probably about time I get it together).  I shed a few tears pulling out of his driveway but am so happy that we have a healthy relationship these days.  He's amazing and I'm so lucky to be his daughter.

I pulled out of Minnesota with what I went there for...my Schmoo baby!  The next post will chronicle our road-trip and his time in Nevada.

Until then my friends-