Last Week of Summer

We looove to travel in our family, and that’s what we had planned to do the last week of summer before jumping back into the swing of school. The thought was to rent an RV and drive around our favorite enormous body of water, Lake Superior. Doesn’t that sound great?! But as the time approached, we felt like we had been traveling and camping enough through the summer, and a week at home doing fun things in our own city would fill our need for adventure. Because, for real, this is where we live. Gorgeous. And plenty to do in the warm weather months. (I may not say the same during the frigid winter months.)

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We’ve got a pretty great water park near the lake that Ella asks to visit nearly every time we drive by. When we decided to stick around town, I packed a bag, grabbed the swimming suits, and we “went to get gas” at a station near the water park/hotel. While Pete was “paying for gas inside” he was actually running across the parking lot to check us in at the hotel. When he came back, we moved the car to the hotel parking lot and asked the kids if they’d like to stay for a night. Their response?

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Yup, that about sums it up! We spent every hour possible in the water.

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And then we spent lots of tokens in the arcade. Obviously, Pete is working on passing off his riding skills to Ella.

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We also played mini golf outside after dark with two lovely friends who were in town and also staying at the hotel. Sam crawled from hole to hole, picking up our balls and dropping them in each hole. I think he wanted to make sure we scored well. I needed all the help I could get. No joke!

At some point during the week, I took the kids to Target just to spend time in the toy department. We must have walked up and down every aisle looking at all the toys and games and play sets for at least an hour.

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This guy thought it was pretty great. I so wanted to buy that snail for him. But I didn’t. Good job, mama.

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One gorgeously sunny morning, we hopped on the train and rode it up the shore.

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No matter how many times we take the scenic train, we just love it.

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Ella found a stash of books on board all about trains.

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And the boys took a nap. Well, Pete did anyway. Sam munched on crackers. Nom nom nom.

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After our train ride, I suggested we get ice cream. In Silver Bay. It was an hour drive up the shore, which we thoroughly enjoyed. We talked about what we had done through the summer and what the new school year in a new school might look like. And then the kids ate Superman ice cream on a porch in the sun. (Do you spy their blue lips?)

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At the end of the week, we spent an entire morning having brunch at a park with friends and the afternoon at another park with friends. Pretty much a kid’s dream, but it was so great for the adults to spend time catching up while all the kids played. Whenever we get together with friends like that, I feel that’s how life is supposed to be. I so easily get caught up in the need to check everything off my to-do list and forget to make time to spend with the people around me. I never regret a moment of the time I spend with them and, seriously, I could care less about my lists when I get to sit and really connect with other people. I have to remind myself of that sometimes. That day at the park was so very good, investing in friends and letting the lists wait. That’s something I’m really trying to focus on this fall, especially before we take off for Africa. Spending time with other people is really like nothing else.

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