So the next morning we were on the road by 7:00 am (as we had planned) and had a very snowy drive to Minnesota. We arrived at my mom's at about 5:00pm and she had spaghetti waiting for us. It never tasted so good!! We got our sleeping arrangements all set and got all our gear situated and started our vacation!! Monday morning meant the Mall of America (MoA) in all its glory. We promised the girls this excursion, so here it was!
Our first stop was the American Girl Store where we had a little dessert. It was all so cute. We sat at the fountain and had peppermint shakes and cookies!
We spent a long time there and got some shopping done and had a great time. The day was capped off by watching a little concert by the Shriner's band. Tuesday brought us to Excelsior and the knit shop. Travis had gone back to the MoA to have lunch with our brother-in-law, Jim. So, the womenfolk went to an Excelsior historic site for lunch, Antiquity Rose. It was a fun lunch and the girls behaved themselves well enough for the surroundings.
That night we had a family dinner at Maynard's in Excelsior. It is a hot spot in the summer, being that it is on the lake. It was a great dinner and we sure enjoyed ourselves. Next was Christmas Eve and we had a lot of people here at Mom's for dinner. Here is Maddie with her cousin (Gary's grand-daughter) Sophie. We think they look a lot alike. They are the same age and made fast friends. Hayley, Maddie, and Sophie spent the night with their heads together, just as kids should.
This is a sure sign that there were a lot of people there!!
More cousins: Kayla, Anna, Rozzie, and Morgan.
Travis and Jake sit and chat.
The basement band: Roz, Hayley, Maddie, Morgan, and Paul. They prepared a few Christmas songs for everyone's enjoyment.
Marissa with Owen and Maya.
Matt and Dylan and good buddies.
Owen put on a show for us with the drums.
Steph and Jake enjoy the show.
Maddie and Hayley having fun.
This is my sister, Sara. I am very thankful for her friendship!! It was fun to spend a Christmas with her and her family.
This is my husband, Travis. I am very thankful for him in my life. He is a pretty good husband and we have had a pretty good 20 years! It is nice that he was here with us the whole time. He usually drives us up and flies home, then flies back up and drives us home. Nice to have him here!!
My nephew, Jim, had to work until 7:00 and so he came later with Jim and it was nice to have him here.
Maya was very shy but once Travis drew her pictures of animals (he is better at drawing than any of us and she was pleased with how it looked) and she loves him now. He is pleased with his new-found friend. She is such a cutie.
So, the party ended and it was time to hunker down for some sleep. It was predicted that this year, Minnesota would have its largest Christmas snowfall since 1945!! Soon enough it was time to open presents!! Maddie opened up a Vera Bradley backpack - just like she wanted!!
Rozzie opened up the same thing, different color - just what she wanted!!
Morgan opened up her class ring!! She is very happy to finally have her ring! She had to wait a full week.Well, it was the biggest Christmas snow since 1923!! We measured the snow by the picnic table out on the deck. It snowed all day, too. There were very big flakes of snow. We loved it. It was a great Christmas gift.
Here is everyone at the Christmas breakfast table. We had eggs, bacon, french toast, and egg nog.
I know that was a lot of pictures, but it was just a snapshot of our Christmas. Next up...NOMROM!! Stay tuned!