I have realized that I got way behind in my blogging toward the end of the summer when we go so busy, and then school started and everything just went haywire! So I'm here to catch you up on what we spent the end of our summer break doing...
For Dan's birthday, we went to Minneapolis, MN. We both love to travel so much, and we realized that this would probably be our last chance to have a bigger vacation for a long time, so we decided to take advantage of it.
Dan's aunt Rita works for Alaska Airlines and was able to get us VERY cheap tickets. (She did the same for us when we went to Seattle last summer) She came with us along with Dan's brother Jared. We spent a week there, Monday-Friday and had a great time! We each took a night for dinner and were able to do everything we wanted to do!
Monday we spent mostly traveling. Our flight left Phoenix at 6:15 am and we flew to Seattle for our layover. We ate at a Chilis in the airport for lunch at 10:30 am and then after a quick nap on the floor at the gate, got on another plane to Minneapolis. We got into Minneapolis around 6 pm on Monday night. We were so exhausted by the time we got there that we went to Applebees a few blocks from our hotel for dinner and went to bed.
Tuesday morning we went exploring downtown a little bit, as our hotel was right downtown also. We went to the downtown Target, which is 2 stories and has an escalator exclusively for CARTS!! We were SO amazed, I'm sure all the people shopping there thought we were pretty weird just standing staring at the carts go up and down the escalator. We stood and took pictures and video with our phones for a few minutes before getting what we needed (trying to spend $20 so they would validate our parking and we wouldn't have to pay for the underground parking) and heading back to the hotel.
That afternoon we went to the Minneapolis Sculpture Gardens! Some of us were kind of skeptical about going to a garden full of sculptures, but it ended up being a lot of fun and a great photo op! We also went to drive by the St. Paul Temple to get a picture with all 4 of us there. That evening we went to drop off rental car #1 and came back to eat dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe while watching the crowd assemble for the Rod Stewart Concert that night at the Target Center across the street. We got back to the hotel and played a bunch of games like Battle of the Sexes, where the boys learned what sling back shoes were, Uno, and other fun card games that we bought at Target that day.
Wednesday was my favorite day! Mall of America Day! We agreed to spend the entire day at Mall of America on Wednesday so we would only have to go 1 day. We got to the mall around 11 am, and stayed until about 6 or 7 pm. We went everywhere, including the American Girl store, where I brought one of my dolls to have her hair re-done and styled back to the way it was when I got her. You truly need 2 or 3 days to be able to go to every store and do everything there. It is 4 stories with an amusement park in the middle, and is shaped like a square. There is probably every store you could ever think of, all in one mall. I was good and didn't go crazy. I did get a few things, including a pair of black sandals from Skechers, a pair of Ralph Lauren sunglasses, a shirt and a pair of earrings from Nordstrom Rack, and a couple shirts from Old Navy. Even Dan shopped a little, getting a pair of jeans and 2 polos from Old Navy with a gift card my grandma had sent for his birthday. We took the light rail/bus back to our hotel and again crashed from shopping all day.
Thursday, Dan and Jared went on a tour of the Metrodome. They walked to the lightrail and got to walk down on the field and through the stands the day after Brett Favre officially signed with the Minnesota Vikings. That afternoon, Dan and I went back to Mall of America to find him a Minnesota Twins hat, since much to his dismay, the Metrodome does not have a team shop. We met Jared and Rita at the airport to pick up rental car #2 before heading out to the temple. Dan, Rita and I were able to go do some work in the St. Paul temple on a very rainy evening. It did rain all day Wednesday and most of Thursday as well, but it was beautiful. Not hot or humid at all, just a light drizzle most of the time. I even walked outside barefoot for a short while because it was such gorgeous weather. We went to the only Texas Roadhouse in Minnesota that night for dinner because Rita had never been, and then came back to the hotel and packed up our suitcases to get ready to fly home on Friday.
Friday again was mostly traveling. Our flight out of Minneapolis was delayed because of the rainy weather on the east coast and midwest. But it turned out ok because we were supposed to have a 3 hour layover in Seattle that ended up only being 2 hours. We got back into Phoenix around 9:30 pm on Friday night and just about crashed as soon as we got back to Mesa.
It was a very successful, fun and relaxing trip. It was a great opportunity to rest up and enjoy some time off before school started again. Minneapolis was a wonderful city, and of all the places we've traveled to, it's one of our favorites! We'll just stick to the summers there though...