Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Just a few Pictures!

Finally, here's a glimpse of our last road trip. It started out in Minnesota, where John's entire family (all 6 kids plus his mom) got together for a few days. John's mom lives in a small house in town, and so to put everyone up, we stayed out at some friends' of hers who have a farm. They parked a few campers on their lawn and opened up their guest rooms so that there was room for everyone. We enjoyed the peaceful country setting, the fire pit for S'mores and late night talking, and the kids had a great time in the sandbox. We even had a fun family game of Ultimate Frisbee on their huge lawn! What a treat to be there! Thanks, Dick and Charlotte!Here's Chloe and cousin Amanda having a fun time on the lawn.Then, from the farm outside Fergus Falls, we drove to Stone Lake, Wisconsin, to stay at a "cabin" loaned to the family from one of Sarah's (John's twin) friends. I say "cabin" because it had 9 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms, a huge great room, a pool table, a ping-pong room, a trampoline, about 20 bikes, a tennis court, a fully stocked kitchen . . . the list goes on! It was a really fun time there, complete with great meals (we all took turns), a bike ride with the entire family on wheels, swimming in the lake, and late night game-playing. Clara Anne looks kind of uncertain about the water here, but Chloe is already having a great time.
Come on in, the water's fine!
From Stone Lake, John and I traveled to Mora, Minnesota, to stay at my brother Mark and sister-in-law Beth's home. Their little girls are so sweet and great playmates for Clara Anne and Chloe; the kids had a super time together and so did the adults! Marin very helpfully pushed Chloe on the swing and Chloe squealed with delight in response (except, of course, when I got this picture!).

Who needs water? Let's play in the tub anyway!
Can you find the girls in the playroom? There are three of them, intently watching the Wiggles. Have I mentioned before how much Clara Anne loves the Wiggles? We have the Wiggles Dance Party VHS and Clara Anne gets up and grooves to it. "Can you point . . . your fingers and do the twist? Na, na, na na."

John and I had the rare and wonderful opportunity to leave the girls overnight at Mark and Beth's home so that we could go to a bed and breakfast. B&B's are a tradition for us--we went to one for a whole week on our honeymoon, then tried to get away for a night each anniversary since. So this trip was to celebrate our 10th anniversary, just about 8.5 months late. We had a great time! The first night away from the kids in two and a half years . . . it was very refreshing. The only bummer was that I was starting to get a cold when we left and so was feeling rather snuffly.
Here I am outside the Ellery House B&B in Duluth, Minnesota. It is a beautiful home!We went walking down Canal Park to the Rose Garden and enjoyed the gorgeous blooms.

Lake Superior in the background, Happy 10th Anniversary!

We opted to have breakfast in the dining room the next day, and were served this amazing fruit plate, along with a wonderful stuffed French toast dish and maple-cured bacon. A real highlight for me of this particular B&B is that they had an espresso bar set up that we could serve ourselves from, anytime. I took advantage of that! I thoroughly enjoyed my straight espresso with a chocolate chip cookie (upon arriving), my cappucino later that evening, and my vanilla latte with breakfast. Let's see, did we have a good time in Duluth or was it just all that espresso?!
The next day was sunny and clear so here is a much better view of the lake. That's the famous Lift Bridge in the background.

And one picture to leave you with--a sunset over Knife Lake, this is looking out of Mark and Beth's backyard. We returned there to spend just a few more days before getting on the road again. Earlier in the week it had rained, but the evening this picture was taken was just gorgeous. Wow, only God could paint a sky like this!


Gretchen said...

Rach, Your hair is getting so long -- I love it! So much fun to stay at the B&B. You guys are awesome. Not sure who I'm more jealous of -- your espresso drinks or John's fruit plate he's showing. YUM!

rachel said...

rach, your pics look great - and you do, too! Quit this worrying about being pang; you know as well as I that with those stairs in front of your house, it will be no time at all... (I had actually forgotten how to climb stairs until I went to your house last week, which I'm sorry to say...I walked in and my heart sank. "This is NOT rachel's house!" I thought to myself. But by the time I left, it looked much more like you then when I came!)

We miss you - and hope you have a great arrival back here, though we don't get sunsets like that and I certainly can't make lattes...but, oh chocolate cakes I CAN do... :0

Groovers said...

Happy late Anniversary, looks like you had a wonderful time. Beautiful pictures. Miss you, hope you are getting settled in back home in Asia. Lots of love! :)