Last weekend we threw together a long weekend trip up to the Twin Cities for some fun and shopping. Since we didn’t take a vacation this year we have just been doing some fun things a little closer to home. The weekend was packed with many fun little excursions and of course plenty of swimming in the hotel pool! The main purpose for going there was to go to IKEA to buy a shelf I had found for our school room that we are putting together downstairs. Thankfully I went with a list and a plan so IKEA didn’t get the best of me. We did end up going there two times though and I could go back still. It’s a good thing we don’t have one closer to home…..Our good friends/neighbors came up with us for one night to go to IKEA too. I was so glad to have a friend with me that had been there before and knew the layout so I wasn’t completely overwhelmed.
We spent a couple of hours one afternoon at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden wandering around and taking in the sights. I had seen pictures of this sculpture in particular and it was pretty neat to see it in person. It’s pretty impressive. I think it was Lilly that took a pic of us in the garden area there.
We had bits and pieces of down time in the hotel for watching football and swimming. I got this great shot of my handsome boys taking in a game. They look SO much alike.
We spent Monday at the Minnesota Zoo. It was so nice to be there without a crowd. As usual, the day started out silly as the kids picked the bison’s nose and Mark took him by the horns. We all posed to see how big our wing spans were and enjoyed some pretty interesting animals.
Tuesday started with a driving tour of Minneapolis that included driving by and all around Target Field, Target Center and the Metrodome. Toby and Mark really enjoyed this part since they can now say they have seen where the Minnesota Twins and Vikings play. Lilly and I humored them.
The highlight of the trip for me and Mark was a visit to the Cathedral of St. Paul National Shrine of the Apostle Paul. It was breathtaking. The stained glass, the sculptures, the carvings, the magnitude of it’s beauty and historical/religious relevance made me remember again why I love the Catholic Church. Every detail in the Cathedral has a significant meaning and was done with the utmost care in glorifying our heavenly father. Amazing.
Mark and Toby posed in front of a statue of St. Mark and Lilly had to stop at every Saint and altar to offer up a quick prayer. The kids were most impressed with the Lego Cathedral downstairs.
Our last stop was the Science Museum of Minnesota. A couple of years ago I was up there for a homeschool conference and a friend and I went to this museum to see the Dead Sea Scrolls that were on exhibit then. I knew that I had to bring the family back. There are a ton of things to do in there for all ages. I was a little bummed because I thought the King Tut exhibit was still there since we are studying ancient Egypt but we missed it by a few weeks. The dinosaur skeletons were cool though and there were plenty of other things to do and see there including musical stairs! The weather exhibit was really interesting too.
Before we went in we spotted this car in the parking garage. Kind of crazy!
We also made two trips to the Mall of America but didn’t really do any shopping. Just wandered around and checked things out. The Lego store was a big hit both times.
The weather was absolutely perfect the entire time we were there. Bright blue sunny skies but cool, crisp autumn air. It was a perfect amount of time to get away without feeling overwhelmed with getting ready to go or coming home with a ton of things to unpack and laundry to do. It was especially great to just get away and be together, away from the busy days of our normal life.