Saturday, October 4, 2014

Saturday's Scribbles: Vacation Adventures

Hello from our corner of Iowa where temperatures have plummeted to highs in the forties, and strong northwest winds have blown in chilly fall nights.  Last Saturday was hot and humid, this Saturday leaves are falling and so are the temps.  Well, I guess it is expected with September behind us!

Speaking of September, on Thursday the 25th we left home and headed up to Owatonna MN where we watched our 12 year old grandson Noah play football.  His team lost, but he played his position well.  After eating out with our son Mark and his son Noah, Joel and I stayed in a hotel in town for the night. 
Father and son
Guess which one is in the cowboy hat?
Isn't the sky beautiful?
Grandson Noah

Friday morning we headed up to the Twin Cities meeting friends, Dave and Deb Grant at the church he pastors in Bloomington, just a mile or so from the Mall of America.  After a great visit we went to the Mall of America for lunch at Ruby Tuesday's.  It was not on Joel's bucket list to ever go to the Mall, but he survived!  While living in NW Minnesota we met the Grants who were serving a church in the area.  After a short chat, I asked if Dave was part of the Grant missionary family.  He is.    Seems our church helped support their family when they were missionaries in Brazil!  When I was 13 or 14 I remember standing in front of our church's bulletin board looking at their family of mom, dad, and 5 boys and wondering what it was like to be missionaries in a far off land.  A dream took hold in my heart to one day be a missionary in Africa.  It was not to happen, but what fun to become friends with "one of the Grant boys" and his wife and family.  Only God.

Dave and Joel
Deb and Renee
After lunch we headed to the Mpls/St. Paul airport to pick up my sister Jan.  We were attending a wedding on Saturday, and she flew in from Kansas for the event.  It was great to see her again.  We checked in to the hotel in a St. Paul suburb and then went out for supper with Jan and her granddaughter Katie.  We all enjoyed a good visit with my sister Jo (Gr. Jo to our kids) before she went off to the grooms dinner.  Around 8 that night there was a knock on our hotel room door and a someone from the hotel gave us a gift bag filled with bottled waters, candy, granola bars, and microwave popcorn!  Seems when Joel was visiting with the desk clerk our battle with Lyme Disease and Joel's healing story came up and they responded with a gift bag.  How nice.   It was a long day, so by nine we were tucked in bed watching Blue Bloods on TV. 

Jan, Jo, and Renee

Saturday morning breakfast, more visiting, and greeting our family as they arrived kept us busy until we left for the ceremony.  It was a beautiful wedding with my brother Todd looking dashing as he walked his daughter Erica down the aisle to her waiting groom, Chris.  The reception was held in the Stillwater Library on a huge patio overlooking the river.  I believe they served around 250.  Lovely time and great fun to see everyone and give our grandchildren extra hugs. 

Renee and Joel at wedding
Sunday morning around 30 gathered for breakfast.  Of course Joel talked our sister-in-law Jeannie into skipping with him down the hotel lobby.  What a character he is!

Joel and Jeannie doing the
cross-over skip!
After lunch most of our family headed for home, but we went with our one daughter and her family and Mark and Noah to Cabelas.  We said good-bye to Mark and Noah there and then headed to Five Guys for lunch with three treasures and their parents before we parted for WI. 
St. Croix River
We stopped in Hudson WI on the St. Croix River which is a big tourist area.  We found an art festival on the river so went for a walk and then spent time at the festival listening to some funky fun music.  From there we went farther north to Taylor Falls WI, which is a place we used to visit with our kids in the late 80's.  It is a beautiful area made mostly by glaciers.
Glacier "potholes"
River view from a walking bridge
When we left Taylor Falls we headed to Amery WI where we met long time friends Lana and Roger for supper.  From there we followed them back to their beautiful cabin/house in the woods on Balsom Lake.  We had made plans to spend a couple of days with them before going home to Iowa.  I first met Lana in 5th grade and we have remained friends for 55 years.  We had a good time visiting, laughing, crying, and playing games.  We did some sight-seeing and were able to purchase 3 gallons of Maple Syrup for this coming year's supply.  (We use it in place of sugar).  Joel and Roger were able to see how the processing works, and where they tapped their trees, etc. Joel helped Roger lay sod one morning and Lana and I went for a walk.  Such beauty there in the woods, although this tick avoiding lady did not walk on grass much at all. I took a ride in their Ranger down to their lake access which was fun! 
Lana and Roger's backyard
Riding in the Ranger
 Ranger driver!
Renee and Lana
Dressed for winter!  Lana is
always cold...I was overdressed...
but it felt good that cold fall morning
in north country!
We left their home in the woods Wednesday morning and headed back to the Twin Cities.  Our next adventure was to spend three hours at IKEA shopping and having lunch.  I even ate half a cinnamon first (seriously) since 1985.  It was delicious!  Driving south to Iowa we stopped at a huge Cabelas where I finally found a nice pair of winter boots that are wool lined and have felted wool tops.  We arrived home for a late supper.  There is "no place like home", right Dorothy?  It did feel good to be back home again and sleeping in our own beds.
Today Joel is off to Rendezvous days in MN.  It is his one day a year he takes fully for himself and he deserves it!  He comes home tired, happy, and smelling like wood smoke!  I am home catching up on the ironing and the teachings I missed the week we were gone.  We woke up to 34 degrees so the fireplace has kept me toasty and Bill Johnson is enlightening and encouraging my faith as I finish this post on our week of new adventures.  Life is good, and we are so blessed to enjoy each day we open our eyes.
Until next time..............


NanaNor's said...

Hi Renee, Sounds like a very full, but wonderful time spent with family and friends. It is always nice to come home though. Our weather has warmed up a bit-to the 60's during the day, so no warm coats for us. Hope you have a very blessed weekend.

Anita Johnson said...

It looks like you are enjoying fall to its fullest! How fun to travel and be with family.

joeks said...

Sounds like you had a great vacation!
I agree, though, that one's own bed always feels best no matter how long or short of a time away.

Renee said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. We did have such a good time on our trip....