Fall is in the air and I hope it's early arrival doesn't mean winter is coming early, too. Either way, the temps are lovely and there is already a hint of fall color appearing in the trees and grasses here in the foothills.
Mason and I had an amazing surprise vacation to Minnesota. We had just enough travel hiccups to give Mason a taste of the flexibility and patience that is required with connecting flights but even more fun, fun, and super fun once we successfully arrived. We slept over in Minneapolis and started our first day of vacation at the Mall of America and is it ever big! Other than the Nickelodeon Universe amusement park inside the mall, it's a high end, big, beautiful mall. As you all know, Mason earned his own money for this trip and he spent it, for the most part, wisely. He bought his own unlimited ride wristband, a pair of Vans shoes, he spent an hour and had a lot of fun making a Minnesota Build-A-Bear and finally, he shopped multiple stores before finding the best deal on a banana board skateboard. One of the cooler things at the mall is a ropes course. With four levels and all kinds of wacky ways to criss cross, back and forth all while going higher and higher, once at the top the climber gets to slide down a swirly slide. The other rides were fun, too but this one was what Mason wanted to go back and do again before we caught our plane back to California.
From the great day at the mall, we drove north to Julianne's house and it was here that the fun really began! To save you all from a very long writing, let me list all the things Mason took full advantage to experience: Ate at White Castle Hamburgers - twice, daily time jumping on the trampoline, he learned to ride a mini dirt bike, shot multiple air soft guns in a private range, learned about fine jewelry and got to see lots of real, loose diamonds, went paddle boating, learned to knee board, played basketball and poker at the lake house, caught tree frogs, visited the largest open iron ore mine in the world, climbed and played on humongous mining trucks and equipment, we visited the Minnesota Discovery Center and rode the trolley, played tennis and somehow had time to play, play, and play some more. Whew! On our way back to the airport we stopped back at the Mall of America and Mason made it to the top of the ropes course...he didn't quite muster the courage to get all the way up the first time so he was pretty pleased with himself as we made our way back to the airport.
This was an amazing trip and I am so glad we did this together. All in all, he was a great travel buddy and even when I screwed up our return flight time and put us at the airport almost 5 hours too early, he just went with it. I hope that his memories of our surprise vacation together will be as fond as mine are, after all, how many boys get to go on a week long surprise vacation with just their mom? Ah, maybe it is not that uncommon, but that doesn't make it one bit less special to me!
Now we are all back in school and in high gear preparing to move. The timing is working out beautifully with our rental house being made available to us to start moving boxes in before we actually take possession on 9/15 and we don't have to officially be out of this house until 9/25. Moving is never easy or fun, but with the houses in such close proximity to each other and having almost a full month to move, how much easier can this get? If you are interested, I am planning to have a virtual yard sale on Facebook by posting a photo album of the more valuable things we have for sale...if you are in need of shelves, storage cabinets, a Juiceman Juicer, other kitchen appliances and so much more, be sure to connect with me on Facebook.
Have a great week and be sure to visit my blog to see pictures of our Minnesota vacation. If you subscribe to my Monday Motivator blog, you can get the weekly post in your e-mail box with the pictures included! Easy and fun.