Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Return to Minnesota, Part 2

After breakfast Monday morning, Mark and I headed back to the Cities by way of Buffalo so we could visit with Mary (@maryonlakepulaski). Amanda Jean (@crazymomquilts) was also there.
 After lunch, we enjoyed a pontoon ride around Lake Pulaski.
My favorite picture of Mary.
And then while Mary, Amanda and I visited, Mark and Bob enjoyed the view from the deck.
 It was a special few hours with dear friends.

On Monday night we had dinner with Jordan, someone Mark has known for years. So here's the deal. We usually watch the 10 o'clock news here. Our favorite anchor, Gia Vang, left a few months ago for a larger market--Minneapolis. And guess who her boyfriend is--Jordan. Of course, we had never met Gia in person while she was here in Fresno, but we watched her every night. So when Mark made arrangements to have dinner with Jordan, I was hoping that he would also bring Gia. And he did. Yay!
We had such a good time! Gia posts every day on Instagram stories so I can get my daily "fix."
Donuts for dessert.
As we were leaving the restaurant, Gia mentioned that her birthday was in a few days. Turns out, she and Mark have birthdays on the same day, the 23rd of August. So now they are "birthday buddies."
Tuesday morning, there was a fantastic thunder storm, which we watched from our hotel room. The skies cleared in the afternoon and finally I was able to cross something off my bucket list--seeing the iconic Spoonbridge by the Walker Art Center.
I might have taken pictures from lots of angles. Okay, nearly every angle. But I won't post them all. :)
A funny story about the Spoonbridge--Gabe and I had talked about it a few weeks ago. He knew all about it--he often surprises me with some of the things he knows. Anyway, he had told me that he wanted to see it too. So I sent the first picture to Christa and told her to please show Gabe. When she showed him, she said she didn't know what it was and why I had sent it. He said, "It's the spoon and cherry. It's a famous landmark, Mom."

There are many pieces of art in the sculpture garden, including this giant blue rooster.
And this Love scupture.

In the evening, we had a little family gathering at the home of our niece, Jessica, and her husband, Dan, along with our sister-in-law, LouAnn.
Jessica's sister, Michelle, husband Darren, and two kids, Carsten and Lucy, were there as well.
His brother Leon and our sister-in-law, Sharon, were there too--not sure why I have no picture of them...

It was a fun evening. Again we had lovely weather.

Wednesday morning, we had hours to fill as our plane didn't leave until 4:50 (or so we thought).

We met Christina for breakfast at one of her favorite spots, the Hen House.

More funny bathroom signs.

She gave me the cutest stocking hat she knit for me. I love it to much!
The Mall of America is very close to the airport so we stopped there for a couple of hours.
There is a huge amusement park inside.
 Zip line.
 Scary rollercoaster. I'm sure our grandson, Levi, would love this one.
The mall was built on the original Metropolitan Stadium, home of the Minnesota Twins, and they have included a replica of  home plate in its original spot.
Harmon Killebrew hit the longest home run ever at the stadium, landing six rows into the second deck of the left field and shattered two seats. There is a red chair hanging on the wall marking the spot where the ball landed, 520 feet from home plate. Crazy!
We didn't go in any stores except for Crayola. All.that.color!

And then we headed for the airport.

The tile in the bathroom entrances is quite spectacular. I took photos of some I hadn't noticed before.

After the fiasco I went through a month earlier trying to get home, having to spend the night in Seattle because of flight delay--same airline, same flight time departure, we were thinking something like that couldn't happen this time around. How wrong we were. I'll try to give the short version. Our plane was having mechanical difficulties so it kept getting delayed. So like a month earlier, we realized that we would miss our connecting flight to Fresno. Our choices were to spend the night in Seattle (like the first time), but then the ticket agent said she could get us on a flight leaving in a few minutes, but it was on American, not Alaska. We ran to the gate, only to be told that the paperwork we had been given was not really a ticket. While we waited anxiously for the real boarding passes, they held the door for us, because once those doors are closed at the gate there is no way you are getting on that flight.

What we didn't think about was our luggage. Obviously we knew it would not make it to Fresno, but we figured it would come in on another flight the next day. We went to the airport the next morning, went to the Alaska counter, only to be told that our luggage was not in the system because we had flown American. We went to the American counter, to be told that our luggage was not in the system and where were our luggage tags?? We told them we had not been issued new luggage tags. After a tense couple of days, and thinking that our luggage was gone forever , we got a call Friday morning, from United Airlines (!) saying our luggage was at the airport. had been scheduled on Alaska through Seattle, we flew American through Phoenix, and our luggage arrived on United through Denver!! But at least it arrived!

And our week in Minnesota was wonderful.


05 08
Robby said... #

Your luggage takes the most interesting trips! More fabulous pictures, but how did Mark ever get YOU to leave the Crayola store? It seems like you might have considered moving in.

Needled Mom said... #

It looks like an amazing trip - art, friends and luggage woes! It doesn't get better than that.

Cathy O said... #

Minnesota is really a wonder of places and people! You seem to bring it all out in grand Mark and Cindy style! Thanks!

Lucy | Charm About You said... #

You always have such fun! Lovely seeing your adventures :) We saw the love sculpture in New York. The Crayola shop sounds like my idea of heaven!! Xx