Probably like most people, I am very surprised to see that it is nearly the end of July! Tonight finds us driving home from Detroit Lakes where we spent the last couple of days browsing street vendor wares, watching demolition derby, and swimming in Loon Lake! We are down to less than 48 hours with Paris and are feeling the pinch to squeeze in as many Minnesota memories as we can in the next two days.
Last Monday, Bingo Bud GF took Paris to Valley Fair where she spent about 12 hours hanging out with other friends from France! The rest of us stayed inside where there was air conditioning. Hubby spent the day cleaning and purging things from the lowest level of our house – it is incredible how much nicer that space feels now that it is less cluttered. I think I’ve discovered the danger of living in the same house for nearly five years is that we are accumulating stuff. I can’t even really describe what the stuff is – it’s not junk or stuff we don’t need, it’s just stuff… stuff that clutters up the space. Anyway, I mentioned over the weekend that I was feeling cramped in the space and that it needed a deep cleaning – Hubby promptly took it upon himself to remedy the situation. He’s incredible!
Tuesday, I dropped Paris at The Norwegian’s house for a tour of Minneapolis that included a dip in Lake Calhoun at the end of the afternoon. That night, we went to Feed My Starving Children and packed food to feed about 20 kids in Zaire for a year! That’s about 2,433 bags stuffed or 68 boxes to ship packed by about 40 of us including about 10 of the kids from France – the night ended with an impromptu American and French teen dance party in the FMSC parking lot!
Wednesday, Paris was off again with Bingo Bud GF and her family to visit Minnehaha Falls. As our family has been there several times and as it was another very hot day, the girls and Hubby chose to sit out that activity as well. After a long day outside, we kept the fun going with a trip to Mall of America for dinner and shopping. This, of course, was followed by BW3 where we were joined by all of the French kids and many of their families – talk about a crowd! Believe it or not, with that large of a group, we only won two of the four rounds, but everyone had a great time – there were even a couple of random dancing events which were recorded and promptly posted to Facebook for posterity.
Thursday was a quiet day with everyone except Hubby headed to The Norwegian’s house for a pool party in the late afternoon. That night I was back at the gym with Bingo Bud GF – it’s been months since we walked on the elliptical as we’ve been taking advantage of the great summer weather to walk outside. Paris and LooHoo spent this time wandering around downtown Chanhassen with friends and ended the night with a sleepover complete with tents at Bingo Buds’ house! Jay Pea also came home this night as she needed more work done on her car and our trusty mechanics at Midas were able to do the work at a great price – FREE!
The next morning, I took a little time off work to meet LIW and a new friend for coffee. Hubby and I are very excited to have the opportunity to open our home to this new friend’s daughter for the next year as she transitions from life in the mission field back to life in the US (otherwise known as her passport country). She will be moving in sometime later in August – I’ll wait until then to figure out a blog name for her. That afternoon, Paris and Loo Hoo went to see Spiderman (the movie) and then we all headed across town for an Olympics Opening Ceremony party.
Saturday morning found us in the van and headed north with Jay Pea in tow. We stopped at the World’s Largest Turkey in Frazee so Paris could get a picture! Then took a quick stroll around the Turkey Days street vendor booths before Hubby, the girls (all five of them) and Nana and Grandpa headed off to Auntie’s farm to tromp around with the animals. We then ventured over to the Becker County Fairgrounds for dinner and ice cream and ended our night with a demolition derby!
Today was jam-packed as we tried to round-out Paris’s visit to Becker County with church, a small-town parade complete with an appropriate Turkey Days theme – The Gizzard of Oz, and a swim in Loon Lake (along with a picture of the World’s Largest Loon) followed by a picnic at the beach. After saying good-bye to Nana and Grandpa, there was just one more stop to make before heading back to The Cities… Pelican Rapids for a picture of the World’s Largest Pelican! I’m glad we got to share these three wonders of the modern world with Paris before she heads back to France later this week!