We had a great trip to Minnesota. It was one of those trips where everything seemed to go right. We headed out Thursday, July 2nd at 4:45pm-destination Avon, Minnesota.
Reid and I drove through the night while the kiddos slept. It went pretty smoothly-they woke up a few times whenever we stopped, but returned to sleep without too much trouble. Reid ended up doing most of the driving. We made it to the Minnesota border around daylight. After a nice break for kids and nap for Papa we headed toward Avon, and discovered a town called New Ulm with the second oldest family owned brewery in the U.S.-it just happened to be named Schells Brewery. We knew this town was our destination for the evening-it seemed too perfect-no? After some lunch and playing peek-a-boo in the park we headed out to find our spot for the evening.
The camp ground at the state park was full, but we found out we could camp in the fairgrounds for 10 bucks. We were the only folks there, and it was a beautifully shaded park-another nap for kids and Papa and then off to the brewery-to view the gardens, the peacocks, and buy some German sausage and Schells beer for dinner.
In the morning after some yummy biscuits for breakfast, we headed just a couple hours down the road to Avon-town of 1,000. Expecting 2,000 for the free 35th year celebration of a Prairie Home Companion (they ended up hosting 10,000 people). The outdoor field opened at 1pm-we were there at 12, waiting with lots of other folks.
We had an hour to scope out the perfect spot, and we ended up staying right where we were in the shade of the trees rather than fight through the rush of people to claim a spot in the sun-I think this was our best decision of the weekend. 7 hours in the sun with 2 small kids, one sick at this point sounds like disaster. Well, disaster averted.
We had lots of fun and made some great Minnesota friends-who we spent several hours in close proximity too. Charlotte, although feverish for 2 days seemed to be fine when her fever was down (thanks to motrin)-never fear grandparents that your grandchild was suffering on this vacation. She got treated to ice cream and Beebopareebop Rhubarb Pie, as well as way too many cookies from sweet little 2 year-old Sophie next to us. Timothy enjoyed viewing the show from the chair and danced to his little hearts content. After a night in a hotel recovering and cleaning up-we headed out on the road again. On this day we took a long break at the Sioux Falls Zoo-where Charlotte and Mama got to ride a camel!! Big fun.
Then we headed out for a few more hours of driving and we camped in Valentine, Nebraska. The next morning we headed towards Wyoming and stopped just before the border to have a few hours of fun at Fort Robinson. I must say, we will return to this fort!! What a great vacation spot, and super reasonable. We rode in a horse drawn carriage for 4 bucks! We even went swimming in the pool and Charlotte jumped off the diving board!! There was so much to see and do there we will have to return.
We made it home by 7pm Monday night and everyone was ready to be out of the car. Overall a great vacation was had, and it is really exciting to know that our family is crossing into another phase. One full of adventure, roadtrips, and kids who are a little bit more easily packed along. I find as Reid and I raise our kids and grow as a family that I am often reminded of my own childhood. Adventures that we had, and the fun things that we did-and I sure do appreciate them more now than I did as a kid. I am hoping my kids will have great memories too.