Vacation Week

This could be my longest break in writing since I started blogging, but I have a really good excuse this time… we’ve been on vacation!  So, how was it you ask?  Well…

Friday night, we hosted a Dance Party at our house before leaving on Saturday morning.  We invited a bunch of friends over to play Just Dance 3 on the Kinect – it was a blast!  I’d tell you what we ate for dinner that night, but I actually don’t remember.  We did have a lot of great snacks at the party – apples and caramel dip, popcorn, pita chips and hummus, veggies and dip, and more…  We danced until we couldn’t go anymore.  Our guests all headed home and we finished packing for vacation. 

The next morning, I took Doodle and K-Cat to Tae Kwon Do for a special advanced class and then we all headed out of town to try to beat the snow.  We made it as far as St. Cloud before the snow hit, and, when it hit, it hit hard!  We swung through McDonald’s for lunch and there were at least a couple of inches on the ground – maybe even three!  The snow slowed us down a little, but we were still able to meet up with Nana and Grandpa for ice cream in Motley and to give them the dog for the week before heading on to Breezy Point. 

We arrived at our timeshare and got the keys for the small two-room condo that would be home for the next six days.  The snow had stopped and, surprisingly, the area we were in actually had hardly any snow!  Dinner that night was cheeseburger pizza at Tasty North Pizza in Piquot (said Pea-kwat) Lakes.  Of course, we also hit the pool before going to bed that night – one of the greatest parts of vacation is hanging out at the pool – just ask the girls! 

Sunday morning we slept in before venturing out to Pizza Ranch for lunch in Baxter and then checking out some local sights and doing our grocery shopping.  Dinner that night was lemon chicken, salmon, and macaroni & cheese – the kitchen in the timeshare was very small, but that didn’t stop us from cooking a few nights!  We rented several Redbox movies and spent the evening hanging out together watching those or playing in the pool. 

Monday, lunch was Bonanza’s buffet again after sleeping in (I love vacation!) and doing some kid crafts at the resort rec center.  K-Cat made a Christmas ornament that holds candy kisses and LooHoo made a special gift for one of her cousins in Arizona (I can’t say what it is because that could ruin the surprise!).  After lunch, it was time for more shopping.  This time for K-Cat’s birthday presents!  Dinner Monday was pork roast, mashed potatoes, and corn.  Then we headed over to the pool again. 

Tuesday morning we were back at the craft room.  Doodle came with us this time and made a Christmas ornament; K-Cat made a wooden snake, and LooHoo made a gift for her other cousin in Arizona (nope… no hints!).  I used glass etching chemicals and made a special birthday cup for K-Cat as she was celebrating her big day that day! 

After crafts, we went back to the condo, had soup for lunch, and hit the road for Superior to visit Jay Pea and meet some of her friends.  We played in the pool at our hotel and then went to the student union for dinner – K-Cat’s choice since it was her birthday!  After dinner, we walked around the campus and then loaded in the car for a visit to Bentleyville – a big Christmas light display in Duluth.  It was very impressive and definitely worth seeing.  From there, it was back to the hotel, this time with Jay Pea for a little more pool time. 

We then headed out to Applebee’s to meet her friends – the two girls she hung out with in Scotland last spring and her boyfriend.  This was a big moment for us as we were officially meeting the core of her “family” up there.  Hubby and I were very impressed with all of them and completely approved of and liked Boyfriend – we look forward to seeing more of him at Christmas! 

We left LooHoo with Jay Pea and friends that night and made plans to hook up in the morning to see them before we headed back to Breezy Point.  They spent the night watching movies and hanging out while the rest of us went back to the hotel.  We learned from this overnight at the Radisson that we do NOT like Sleep Number beds…  just our humble opinion! 

The next morning, we had breakfast at McDonald’s before meeting Jay Pea and LooHoo at the student union to say good-bye.  The plan was for LooHoo to attend a class with Jay Pea, have lunch with Boyfriend, and then drive with Jay Pea to Breezy Point so we could all be together for the holiday weekend.  We took the scenic route back to Breezy Point which was beautiful but about 45 minutes longer than the drive to Superior.  We had lunch at McDonald’s along the way and got back with some time for Hubby to take a nap before LooHoo and Jay Pea arrived a couple of hours behind us. 

Dinner that night was Skyline Chili (thanks again to our Skyline Dealer friends!) – our favorite!  We then ventured back to Piquot Lakes to watch The Muppet Movie which opened that night!  We all highly recommend it – and be sure to see the video at the end.  Who doesn’t love a good rendition of Mah Nahm A Nah? 

Thursday morning we were up in time to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from start to finish.  We got a copy of the local paper with Black Friday ads at the local gas station and began browsing through those while cooking the turkey and fixings.  It was a perfect lazy day with time at the pool, time for reading and crocheting, and a big turkey dinner (which we ate on the floor as the condo kitchen and dining area were way too small for six of us and all of that food!).  We even had time for a little nap before Black Friday shopping! 

Black Friday officially started at 9 p.m. on Thursday night as the four girls and I headed out for the 30-minute drive to Baxter where there was a Walmart.  This might have been a mistake!  The Walmart there must be the only one around for miles as there were more people than I have EVER see in Walmart even on previous Black Fridays!  We decided that fighting that crowd was not something we wanted to do for a long time so we quickly checked out and headed for our next stop. 

Herberger’s opened at midnight; we got there at 11 p.m., waited in the car for 30 minutes and then got out and stood in line.  It was at about this point that K-Cat decided that Black Friday shopping is NOT for her!  Unfortunately as we were so far from the condo, she had to stick it out – the good news was that she did get a body pillow at Herberger’s. 

After leaving Herberger’s, we ventured over to Target which also opened at midnight.  This, again, was likely not a good idea as the lines were extremely long since the store had been open for over 45 minutes by the time we arrived.  For the sake of a good deal and Christmas presents, we decided to get in line anyway.  We grabbed Starbucks on our way out of Target and then headed to Best Buy around 2 a.m.  This turned out to be a good stop – everything on our list was still there!  Again, the lines were long as this store also opened at midnight.  Lesson learned for next year… pick ONE store that opens each hour or accept that we are going to stand in VERY long lines! 

We went from Best Buy to Kohl’s which meant another long line and, by this time, K-Cat had hit a wall.  She was extremely tired – maybe letting her come before she turned 10 was not a good idea…  we coaxed her into one more stop before breakfast – JCPenney.  This was a quick stop – short line (mostly because the store opened at 4 a.m. and we got there at 3:55 a.m.!).  I’m telling you, that’s the secret – be in and out when the store opens! 

The next stop was Perkins for breakfast!  A favorite for everyone…  this gave us the energy we needed for our last stop at Joanne Fabric at 6 a.m.  After waiting for fabric to be cut and getting through checkout, we were in the car and headed back to Breezy Point by 7 a.m.!  Thirty-five minutes later we were all tucked into bed where we slept until almost noon. 

Friday afternoon, we sorted through all of our goodies from the shopping spree the night before and then had leftovers for lunch.  We spent the afternoon reading, crocheting, hanging out by the pool, and watching movies!  A great end to a wonderful vacation.  That night, we had more leftovers for dinner, went to the Brainerd Arboretum light show and to Paul Bunyan Town for more lights, then headed back to Breezy Point to load the van for the drive home on Saturday. 

Saturday morning, we packed up the last of our things, said good-bye to Jay Pea who was headed back to Superior, and headed out to Staples to meet Grandpa and get our puppy back!  We had lunch at DQ, got the dog, drove through a little light rain, and made it home with plenty of day left for unpacking, taking naps, and catching up on email!  Hubby made soft tacos, Spanish rice, and refried beans for dinner.  The girls and I spent the night tying fleece blankets. 

Today we were back at church (with the exception of LooHoo who came down with another nasty cold); the girls and I had play practice afterwards.  I agreed to be part of a short skit that will be part of an upcoming Christmas event.  We only get the one real rehearsal this afternoon, but it went well.  We spent the afternoon finishing the fleece blankets and playing video games.  Hubby made pizza for dinner and then it was normal bedtime routines for the younger girls… Vacation was incredible, but it’s definitely good to be home again!

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