Friday, May 11, 2018

Weekend In Minneapolis

For Christmas, we gifted my parents a weekend in Minneapolis. My sister and I took my mom to a Kenny Chesney concert at U.S. Bank Stadium, while my dad and husband took care of the minis at the hotel. It was pretty much a whirlwind, amazing weekend! Nearly a week later and my feet are finally no longer swollen and we're all caught up on sleep (just in time for another whirlwind weekend ahead).

Our original plan was to head to Minneapolis early Saturday morning, but the minis threw a fit about only spending one night in a hotel instead of two or more (insert huge eye roll here please). Thursday night we decided to leave for the Twin Cities Friday evening so we could fit more into our Saturday. The minis slept in the car, while Hubs and I kept ourselves alert and gabbing with frappes from Friedrich's Coffee.

It took us a hot second to get our leaving-for-vacation-selfie.

Saturday morning our minis begged to go to the Mall of America to go to two places: The Lego Store and the American Girl store. We caved and came home with new mini figs (yes, for real, that's all we purchased at the Lego Store!) and a new hair brush for Elizabeth's AG dolls. The big surprise was when I happened upon a toy store and purchased several new instruments for our music collection. 

"I love you Mister Lego Man. I wish you were my mommy," said Harrison, right after I (mommy) purchased the Lego figurines they built.

A stop in (and outside of LL Bean) to gaze at the kayaks. I think some water sport equipment is in my future!

Sibling love

After our quick visit to the Mall of America, we had a leisurely lunch at Giordano's with our Minnesota family. Then it was time for Great Wolf Lodge!

Our minis were soooo excited when they heard my dad booked rooms at Great Wolf Lodge in Bloomington, MN. Not only was it a great location, the hotel itself had a lot to offer. 

Rooms are on the pricier side, however, Great Wolf Lodge water park and hotel offerings are unique. There's daily programming which includes story times, exercising classes, arts and crafts, and character meetings are just a few things they have to do during your stay. There's also a spa, MagiQuest, a ropes course, a bowling alley, rock climbing wall, and arcade. The GWL in Bloomington also featured a Dunkin' Donuts and Ben & Jerry's on the first level of the hotel. Plus, every room has a mini fridge and microwave. Seriously, this hotel could be your vacation in and of itself.

While I prefer the Great Wolf in the Wisconsin Dells (the water park is three times the size, the rooms were nicer, and the room prices were overall cheaper), this was perfect for our weekend getaway! While my mom, sister, and I were at the Kenny Chesney concert downtown, the kids didn't even notice our absence while they did water slides, played in the wave pool, and went around and around the lazy river.

For real, the concert was six hours long! We saw Brandon Lay, Old Dominion, Thomas Rhett, and Kenny Chesney (with a surprise visit from David Lee Murphy, which meant a little Dust On The Bottle singing). Overall a great concert that included amazing people watching, drinks, pretzels and popcorn, laughter, and swollen feet by the end of the night.

Thomas Rhett is an amazing performer! I only knew one of his songs, but he was so great with the audience that I immediately came home and downloaded his music.

I'm not sure my mom and sister would agree, but one of my favorite parts of our night was after the concert. We had taken an Uber to the concert and had plans to take one back to the hotel. The cost of the Uber ride to the stadium: $17. The cost of a ride after the concert: $100+. For real.

We smartly (or so we thought) decided to walk a few blocks away from the stadium to see if the fares went down at all. The further we got away from the stadium, the higher the fares went! Apparently everyone at the concert had the same idea we did and it wasn't effective at all. After a brief "who's going to come get us?" Hubs came and picked us up. We were back at the hotel and sleeping before 1 a.m., but not before some leftover pizza!

I love taking pictures of my minis sleeping, even when I kind of wake them up a bit doing it!

Everyone was pretty tired in the morning. The boys woke up bright and early (as usual) and watched cartoons. It wasn't until I opened up the blinds that Lil Miss E woke up....and immediately asked what was for breakfast. She grabbed a loaf of bread my mom had made and dove in. And of course I treated them to donuts (for a second day in a row!) because I needed coffee!

Best. Bedhead. Ever.

The boys ordered their own donuts.

Sunday morning we had just enough time to go to the water park one last time, check out, and stop by IKEA on our way back home.

Not so happy to be looking at living room set ups, but thrilled when we reached the toys. Go figure.

The rest of the bread from Grandma on the ride home. The middle child got in trouble for shoving pieces of the bread into his door handle. I'll never understand kids.

When we got home it was a mad dash to fit in dinner, showers, and piano practice before bed. We did make some time to transform the imagination area into a flower and garden shop. Plus we put out the new accordion and symbols for Music Monday.

Needless to say, we all fell into bed after our whirlwind weekend in Minneapolis!