Saturday, August 29, 2009

A family stay-cation

A family portrait in a beautiful garden
A family portrait in a beautiful garden

I have to say, I'm really not a big fan of the term "stay-cation" - it's just too much of a trendy buzzword for my taste - but it is a word that pretty well describes what we did for our vacation this year. Instead of going to the Dells like we did the last couple years, Grandma Pat thought it would be a good idea to just hang out in town and enjoy some of the fun things the Twin Cities have to offer.  We got to sleep in the comfort of our own beds (and save a bunch by skipping the hotel), which was nice especially for the boys.  So what did we do?

The first day was Papa Bob's birthday, so it was fitting that we spent the day at a train museum.  We went to the Jackson Street Roundhouse, where they have restored engines and cars of all kinds on display to give visitors a glimpse of life on the rails.  We even got to see the roundhouse in action as they brought an engine out to give visitors a ride on a real caboose.

The next place we visited was the Nickelodeon Universe amusement park at the Mall of America. Zach and Alex had a great time on all the rides - they are pretty fearless. One of the funniest moments happened on the Frog Hopper ride. As Zach was getting off the ride, his shorts caught on the seat and he ended up upside down with the shorts still hooked (I still can't believe they didn't come off!).  Amazingly, he thought it was hilarious - and so did we!  We managed to get a pretty good picture of that. :)

The next day we went to Como Park, which houses a zoo, a conservatory (both of which are free to the public), and an amusement park for younger kids called Como Town. It was the first time in a long time that any of us had been to Como, and we really had a good time.  Como has more of the traditional zoo animals than the MN Zoo, of which we are members and therefore go to a lot, which was fun to see.  Z&A loved the rides, of course, and can't wait to go back.

Then we had a low-key day.  Mom and I drove up to Fargo to shop at a specialty store there and see how campus had changed at my alma mater.  Joe and the boys were busy too, planting a new birch tree in our front yard.

The rest of the week looked like this: First, it was off to the Water Park of America (right next door to the Mall).  Our little fishes loved the slides in the kids' play area.  They also have some fun slides for the big kids too, as well as a lazy river and a place to surf (which we didn't try).  The next day, it was the Scott County Thresher Festival, where Z&A were in tractor heaven, and a stop at a park most here know as "Chutes and Ladders".  Our last outing was to Stages Theater to see their production of "The Wizard of Oz." This was the first live play Zach and Alex had seen, and they were completely enthralled, which was cool.

Check out the pictures of all the fun in the Stay-cation 2009 photo album.

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