Saturday, November 2, 2013

July Vacation and Family Reunion

So this summer we took a trip to Minnesota. This time we drove out there in our minivan. At first I thought it was going to be horrible because I have preschool age kids, but it wasn't that bad. As long as I had snacks and movies for them to watch, they were happy. It took us about 20 hours each way and we did it in two days.

We first headed out and drove east going through Wyoming, Nebraska, and Iowa. We finally got there just in time to celebrate the 4th of July with family. Every fourth of July the Mathias family has a tradition of going out and golfing. This was my first time in an actual game. I didn't totally botch it, but I wasn't any close to 1st place. The older guys took a few titles.

The boys enjoyed playing outside in the hot and humid climate.
Uncle Danny showered them with attention and with water
 After our long drive, we were all so exhausted-especially Andy. He zonked out for 3 hours
 A few weeks before our trip we found out that Grandma Mathias developed irreversible heart problems and that she was most likely going to be spending her last few days here on Earth.

 Smiling bright as ever
 Grandma and I at the hospital. She ended up being discharged and placed in hospice care...

Andy and Ben LOVED to play Uncle Sam's drums. It sounded horrible but they sure enjoyed it-haha

 Ben developed a love for Milo and Molly- the two kitties at Steve's mom's house

 Andy also got spoiled by Grandma Debby
 While in MN, I managed to visit a few of my friends that I haven't seen in ages!
Scott, Candace, and Rebekah are friends from my old singles branch.

Ben and Andy loved playing with Rebekah

 and Ben got to hang with her. They are so cute :)

 I also went out with Mathew, Diana, and Aaron and we had such a great time talking about our pasts and our present.

A few days later we all went on a day trip to Duluth.

 We enjoyed the scenic views... and each other- ahem! lol

 We stopped and got a tour of Split Rock Lighthouse 

( Our tour guide had the strongest Minnesotan accent I had ever heard! I couldn't understand half what he was saying- and I'm from MN! Living in the twin cities is so different hahaha)

 The "lighthouse operator" ( he looks like he could be in a movie)

 Andy throwing rocks (one of his favorite outdoor activities)

 After we got back we all enjoyed my green smoothie recipe

We went to the Mall of America and took a trip in their mirror maze. It was very fun and confusing. If you weren't careful, you would smack into yourself in the mirror. haha

 Steve and the boys were in Lego heaven. LEGO LAND!

Ben building with Grandpa

 The boys really love him. lol!
 I did get to visit one of my favorite families- The Galindo Family

Laura and I go Waaaaaay back....7th grade

The last part of our trip was the Mathias Family Reunion. This was my first Mathias Reunion so I was under pressure to remember everyone's names- ahhhhhh There are LOTS of Mathiases. My own family reunions consist of like 20 people. We're a small family. But there were lots and lots of people, and lots more that weren't able to come. 

Our first activity was a getting to know you Family Bingo game...
  and a yummy BBQ

The kids loved playing the games

 and they loved taking the candy from the candy bin...

and eating unlimited suckers for the night...

The boys really enjoyed getting TONS of attention especially from grandma and grandpa

There was even a night of Mathias fireworks

The next day was filled with different activities, but we decided to go Geocaching. 

and we found our first one!

 Piknick by the lakeside. 

and swimming...

I did manage to get a tan...

Uncle Sam showing off his gymnastic skills..

 Everyone enjoying the Mathias Talent show.... there was everything from guitars, singing, playing the recorder with your nose, the famous cup routine, kazooing to the StarWars theme, dancing, and everything in between!

And of course I had to fit in a photography session or two :D

A drastic change in humidity, a 20 hour travel commute to and back with lots of M&Ms in between and lots of junk food might have done some harm to my body (even though I went on a few runs). It was so much fun though and I can't wait to go again! Maybe our destination will be California next time?

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