Monday, September 14, 2009

'Minni' trip [Aug 10 - 14]

still playing catch up here people... i'll try to get some new stories here, because there's some goodies!

Anyways, here's the recap of the Minni trip

The idea was to leave early and head on out spending the whole day to travel to Minni, taking our time and stopping where we can with Dean.  On the way home last time he was pretty unpleasant.  Unfortunately, his passport wasn't ready on Friday to pick up, so we delayed a bit in the day so that we could go to the post office to pick it up.  Now, we know we didn't NEED it, as he's under 2, but if we paid for it, and it's in, we're going to use it.
Turns out as Mandy came back from Shopper's they said "come back after 9am" ... to which we looked at the clock and it said 9:15, so she goes back in PISSED.  See on Friday the piece came in saying "pick up at the location anytime after 5", but they close at 430... so how are we supposed to get it.  We went before 5 (as I've been able to pick up items before previously) and they said not until Monday... anyways, long and short of it is that we were told alot of stories from the people at Shoppers that just didn't seem to coalesce with other stories and we left Thunder Bay without Dean's passport.
Getting on the road was good, Dean held out pretty good.  We were able to make some pretty good time.  We stopped at a couple places, but didn't need to stay too long at many.  We were making good time until we came near Minni, where there's some road work doing.  It was a long long long wait.  And I hate how those long lines are 2 lanes, but compress to one.  Now, that's not too bad, but they tell you to merge, well before you actually have to.  So, as a good driver you merge and make your way slowly through the queue and then some jerk-arse comes rolling along the 'closed lane' and then merges way ahead of you.  Grrr...

Well we finally get into Minneapolis and suddenly the GPS decides to say we're in the water.  It really gives us a headache.  So we start on the suggestion of Mandy's dad and start going on 'faith'.  Mandy recognizes a few of the landmarks and assumes we're on the right path.  Well... she remembered places, but not so much as 'remembered this is the right way to go' and we end up taking farthest route possible to get us to the hotel.  Once there we find out that their computers are down and therefore we can't check in.  Just par for the course we figure for the day.  So we head over to the Kolstad's for dinner.  It was a good visit, leaving them with a copy of "One Week" for their watching (we loved it, and it's Canadiana, which typically they're a fan of).

The next day we start out with some brekkie and get ready to head out to visit the mall of america and do the underwater world thing.  We have a slow start out to the day as Mandy now can't find her wallet... this is a real concern actually?  We recalled having it the previous night, but after breakfast it's missing.  Almost an hour later we do find it and we head out to the mall.  We buy the pass for the day and have a quick viewing of the aquarium.  Dean just loves it again.   After which we head to Mandy's grandmother's place and stop in for a visit.  Dean is the hit of the place as he plays with his legos during lunch.  I have my pipes in the car, but the agreement we made is that if anybody asks I can bring them out, if not I can just leave them there.  She eventually does ask, but I'm saved by suggesting the next day.  So I get pencilled into their activities for the next day.  We head back to the mall (or the hotel for a nap) and spend the rest of the evening there.  We get Cold Stone Creamery ice cream, Dean gets to play in LegoLand (wow, he loved it), we eat in Tony Roma's (where Dean meets a girl and discovers he loves ice cubes by themselves), do another tour of the Aquarium and head back to the hotel after a full day.

Now the plan for the Wednesday was to get up and go to this park, but realizing it's been so hot lately we decide to just relax at the hotel and Dean and I go for a swim.  Really fun!  Eventually we get back into motion and decide to go to Mandy's grandma's for my 'concert'.  We thought, before we go, we should have dinner... and Mandy's suggested Sonic... and we spend a near hour looking for it (Mandy swore she knew where it was), as the GPS had older data and it's a new location.  We give up and go to Culvers and then put on my concert.  man that was a hot day... even in the shade!  On the way home we get some more Cold Stone Creamery... mmm

Thursday - heading for home.  We get all packed back up and start streaming for home.  I figure I can make it just before band practice.  Not too bad through the construction.  Mandy decides to sit in the back with Dean for a bit.  Eventually we reach Duluth and decide for another stop in the island.  Dean's out solid tho'.  So we get some ice cream (yes, more Cold Stone Creamery) and he slowly comes to and starts to enjoy the sights and sounds of the downtown area.  There's even a 'spring' of water in the middle of an area where he can play with water jets.  We decide to head back to the car, when I start to realize how the other cars have parked and a lady giving out tickets... hrmm... I'm sure I parked in a space that said "2 hour parking".  As it turns out, I did... however it said "maximum 2 hour parking, please buy your tickets over at the station".  So, sure enough I have a parking ticket.  Luckily you can pay it on line, so I'll do that when I get home.

We get back in the car and keep driving.  Not bad, making good time!  We finally make it to the border, and there's a huge line up... still should JUST make it to band practice tho'.  That is, until somebody comes up to us and points out that my rear tire is so low, that the rim is almost touching the ground.  Argh!!!  So I pull off to the side of the road and pull out the inflator for the truck.  Man it takes forever.  It even attracts the attention of some guards who come by to check us out.  We eventually get back home, but the tire is really hissing... so I'm constantly stopping to fill it up.  I was late for band, luckily it's summer so not many people are there for it... so no great sin.  But what a trip... fun fun fun!

Check out the pictures in the gallery!

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