Tonight’s is our Minnesota Meet & Greet at 5:00 pm at Grizzly’s in Plymouth, Minnesota…Rundown of a typical busy day…

Perfect pink orchids.

Before we arrived in Minnesota two weeks ago today, we’d anticipated we’d be visiting a wide array of sightseeing spots in Minnesota when we were with our family members during this extended visit. 

Waterfall incorporated into the landscape.

As it’s turned out, our time together has revolved around the usual activities that family members who live nearby do many things together. How often do you go sightseeing in your town, area or village? Not much, if any.

We’d assumed we’d be taking photos of popular tourist locations, which we’d post online with our many stories to tell. It hasn’t been that way at all. We’ve blended into daily life commensurate with that of most grandparents, driving grandchildren around town, attending ballgames, local events, activities planned at parks and lakes.

Lush-lined walkways and paths.

Sure, we have a few tourist-type events planned on our remaining online Cozi calendar and family organizer, which, no doubt, we’ll share in upcoming posts. But, we’ve hesitated to post photos during the flurry of activity at our family member’s homes and out and about at more specific points of interest.

I’ve often left the camera behind when I’ve had the one-on-one days with the grandchildren preferring that my hands are free to engage with them instead of snapping photos. Plus, we’ve visited many kid-related venues where indeed parents and grandparents don’t want their little loved ones appearing in our images.

Every path was providing visual cotton candy.

Plus, I haven’t wanted to leave the camera in the car while at a movie theatre while I attended  this week’s three “kid” movies, including “Captain Underpants,” “Wonder Woman,” and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the Long Haul!”

As a result, although I continue to be mindful of potential photo ops, we’re engrossed and committed to living and loving to the fullest during our six weeks in Minnesota, now with only 28 days remaining until we depart for Nevada.

The appealing restaurant at the gardens.

Speaking of photos ops…tonight is our Minnesota Meet & Greet at Grizzly’s Wood-Fired Grill at 220 Carlson Parkway, Plymouth, MN 55447. If you’ve found you can or cannot attend, please email as soon as possible. 

Space is limited at the restaurant. We’ve had a few cancellations, which we’ve been able to fill in the past 24 hours. But, it’s still not too late to notify us of a spot if you’d like to attend. Typical for most events, we expect a small percentage of “no-shows” and can easily overbook by a few more spots at this last minute. 

Appealing decor and menu. But, we seldom dine off the ship when on tour with concerns about the food would be challenging for my way of eating and the pointless expenditure when the ship’s food meets our requirements and budget.

Update on yesterday…whew!  It was a busy day as follows:

 8:00 am:  Pick up granddaughter Madighan from her home (40 minutes in traffic from the hotel)
 9:00 am:  Return to the hotel for self serve buffet breakfast, which the kids love (30 minutes in traffic)
10:30 am: Drive to Arbor Lakes to shop with Madighan (30 minutes in traffic)
11:30 am: Find the local Chuck E. Cheese so Madighan could play games (She doesn’t like their pizza and wasn’t hungry.  She only drank water while we played games)
12:30 pm:  Drove to a make-your-own frozen yogurt shop in Maple Grove (10 minutes in traffic)
 1:30 pm:  Drove back to Arbor Lakes movie theatre to watch the movie. She was full of frozen yogurt and didn’t want a movie snack or drink. (That was a short drive)
 3:30 pm:  Left the movie theatre, drove to a local craft store to purchase a coloring set for Madighan to stay occupied at Mary’s during the barbecue.  As it turned out, she played with grandson Vincent and great grand nephew David and was never bored for a moment.
 4:00 pm:  Drove to Coon Rapids to pick up two of Tom’s sisters, Patty and Sister Beth, and nephew, Jim. (60 minutes in traffic)
5:00 pm:  Drove to Tom’s sister Mary’s home (10 minutes on city streets) for the weekly barbecue.
8:45 pm:  Returned Patty, Sister Beth, and Jim to Patty’s home (10 minutes on city streets)
9:00 pm:  Madighan and I returned to her home in St. Louis Park (30 minutes in lighter traffic), where I dropped her off, visited with daughter-in-law Camille and grandchildren Maisie and Miles.
9:45 pm:  Returned to the hotel in light traffic (22 minutes)

Time we spent driving: slightly over 4 hours.

Building on the grounds of Butchart Gardens.

As for Tom, his day was equally busy. He’d borrowed one of son Greg’s pickup trucks to get around on our split busy days. He’s not here now for me to ask about the rundown on his day (he’s out with grandson Vincent) but, based on his visit to nephew Tim, lunch with his retired railroad buddies, and later visit brother Jerome in hospital and eventually meeting us at the barbecue at Mary’s, his day included almost as much driving as mine.

We do not doubt that our remaining days in Minnesota will be comparable to those as stated above. This level of activity may be typical for many grandparents who are actively involved in the day-to-day lives of their grandchildren, adult children, and other family members. We commend them for their dedication.

With no signs on this building, we expected this might be a residence for one of the families of this family-owned business.

But, love doesn’t always manifest in the “doing.” For us, once we’re gone again, the love will manifest in our “hearts and minds” for the precious time we spent in the past, in this summer of 2017, and at other times when we’ll visit in the future.

Tomorrow, we’ll be back with photos from the Minnesota Meet & Greet and most likely many stories to tell about those who generously took the time to come and visit with us. We’re humbled and grateful for all of this!

Photo from one year ago today, June 9, 2016:

Each day in Bali, we rescued many grasshoppers who were drowning in the pool. Once we take them out, they dry off for a while in the sun and then fly off.  Some appear dead but often come to life a bit later. For more details in Bali, please click here.