Friday, September 11, 2015

All the best laid plans...

Every year, in a family tradition, we meet up with Tracy's sisters family (Tammy, Jeff, Georgia, Joey and Herbie) to go camping at a midway point between Michigan and where ever we are living (MPLS or Toronto)  :) we have had some AMAZING fun times and seen cool parts of the upper Midwest.

This year was no exception. We had reservations at Fayette State Park in the UP (eh) and were loaded for bear ... food, check.  camping equipment,  check.  Stopping in Wausau for Sammies pizza and new Nikes at the Eastbay outlet store, check.  We were ready to go and the kids were excited for cousin time.

However, as you saw from the title of this blog, all the best laid plans....

Due to for unforeseen/unpredicted events, we had to make a last minute call to cancel. Needless to say, the kids were devastated.  Kay in particular called the "unfair" card that she wasn't going to get her allotted yearly bonding time with Georgia. It was a sad night.

However, we rallied on all the silver linings of such a decision ... You wont have to miss school! ....  You get to go football/gymnastics/taekwondo practice  ...

They weren't buying it.

So, we switched gears.  Ok, we'll take advantage of a FULL unplanned weekend and staycation.

Rules of the staycation:
~ there would be 1 mandatory fun family activity. No friends involved and no whining.
~ each kid got to pick one friend activity
~ Tom/Tracy got a date night

Seems fair.

So, where did it all land up?  A very fun weekend of sleep, low key activities and enjoying the last really hot weekend of "summer" in MPLS.

Mandatory family fun activity - Bunker Hills Beach. Not an original idea since this is an outdoor water park and it was 95 degrees on Labor day weekend but.. 6 water slides, a wave pool (the kids favorite), ice cream, Mike/Ikes, hamburgers, a climbing wall, lazy river... really really fun day.

Kids friend activities: 
  • Jimmy - Bar Mitzvah for a new friend Rafi with his posse PLUS a VERY grown up trip to the State Fair WITHOUT adults. He and his 3 best friends (aka the posse) were dropped at an express bus, headed straight to the fair and walked around completely independent and big men on campus for hours.  They loved it and for all my angst and letting 4 14 yr olds out into the world without adult supervisor, they performed nicely. Jimmy went on one antigravity ride and called it a day. He also drank 6 bottles of water instead of soda and managed to spend only 1/2 of the money he took with him (shocking) AND ... they all found their way back to the bus and home. Very proud of these guys.
  • Kay - Sleep over and playdate that lasted 36 hours. They made sweets, choreographed a full dance, watched 3 movies, sat by the bonfire, explored global market including a Thai lunch of pho and bubble tea, ate more popcorn than imaginable and went swimming in Cedar Lake.

  • Billy - A LONG afternoon playdate that was nicely balanced for the introvert pair.  Downtime on their tablets playing a video game against each other without talking and then 2+ straight hours at Cedar Lake wrestling in the water. 
  • Tom/Tracy date night - impromptu dinner out with Wade/Angela at the "hot" new restaurant in town - Nighthawk.  Tracy LOVED her dish but let's not get started on Tom. Long story short, they ran out of what he went there for and he had a hard time switching gears. We did go bar hopping after dinner (more like wine bar hopping) and got to see some fun places in Uptown. Not to mention Tom's 1st experience with Uber. All was well 
  • Family date nights (these were the bonus activities) - we had the Petersetters (Kristin, Craig, Anders and Bjorn) over for a homemade Indian dinner and bonfire. Kristin is Tracy's dog walking buddy and closest neighborhood friend.  Craig is a former major league baseball player who keeps it on the QT (just kidding),  Anders is part of the posse and our 3rd son and Bjorn is great creative friends with Kay/Billy and Billy's "bus" buddy (aka, Tom takes Billy and Bjorn to school everyday)
  • PLUS.... Wendy, Annemiek and Lucy (Nikki's friend) came over for a smoked turkey dinner that kicked BUTT.  They brought a fresh corn/avocado salad with a tomato pie, we ate on the back deck on the new picnic tabel and it heavenly.   
So, while we were bummed we didn't partake in tradition, we made the best of the situation.

And ... all was well.

Now, if you need any camping food (pop tarts, cereal, bagels, pasta, s'more materials, chips, soda, beer, etc) stop by - we have a TON of it:)