Realizing this would probably be my last shot to go to Minnesota and see friends and family before baby Allen arrives, I decided to take a little trip back to my hometown this past weekend. My visits back to Minnesota lately have been jam packed full of weddings and/or events, but this one was on my terms and I set my own schedule, which made it feel more relaxing and more like it was my own trip.
I arrived on Wednesday evening after an uneventful travel day. The weather in Minnesota was wonderful and slated to be better as each day passed. Spring was just arriving there so it was not quite as green and lush as the town I left. For my first evening I enjoyed hors d’oeuvres on my mom’s deck with my brother and my friend Kelsey. Eventually we made our way inside for dinner once the sun went down. As has been the case for many, many years, Kelsey is an extension of my family and my mom fondly refers to her as her “other” daughter. Kelsey and I were on the diving team together in high school and our friendship goes way back to middle school. She fits in quite well with my family, too. She’s hilarious and extremely genuine and I wish I could spend more time with her, and I wish I would have thought to get a photo together!
Thursday came early and I was able to sneak in a quick breakfast with my brother before he set off on his busy day and before I headed over to my dad’s house for our day together. It’s quite convenient – my parents live 2 blocks from each other so I can easily bounce between their houses when I come to town. My dad and I had a nice leisurely afternoon together – we had lunch in White Bear Lake, then took a long walk along the lake. I accompanied him on an errand and then we eventually went out to dinner. He is undergoing a whole house renovation and it was fun to see the progress he had made since my last visit. I only wish I could have spent more time with him during my stay!
My Friday was a bit busy – I had lunch in downtown Stillwater with my aunt Sarah and we did a little bit of shopping as well. From there I had time to squeeze in a quick walk with my mom before getting picked up by a friend. I met up with my girlfriends from high school to go out to dinner, but a couple of us stopped by Sarah’s parent’s house for a quick visit with her mom, and of course to enjoy some of her famous blue ribbon cookies.
We went out to dinner in Stillwater, which is the town next to where I grew up, and had a great time catching up. Three of the seven of us girls are pregnant right now and we’re due within five weeks of each other, so it’s a lot of fun to go through that together. As always, it was really fun to catch up with the girls.
Saturday was my day with my mom. We headed into White Bear mid-morning to go get my nails done and have some lunch. From there we did some shopping in St. Paul and took a nice walk together. My mom got me the “original” princess torte cake that I grew up having on my birthday, so it was fun to have some birthday cake and compare the cake that Alex just found out here. There are some subtle differences but both cakes are delicious! We had a great evening chatting back at her place and before I knew it, my trip was coming to an end.
I flew out early Sunday morning and made it back to Seattle with plenty of time to enjoy the absolutely gorgeous day, as well as pick up Jackson and get settled in for the week ahead. My trip went by so fast, as it always does, but I know I’ll look back on the time I was able to spend with my family and friends and remember this “last trip before baby” quite fondly. Oh, and I apologize, family, for my lack of photos with you! 🙁