Saturday, June 1, 2013

Tourist in My Own Town

Having a house guest for a month is not the easiest thing in the world. It is also a lot of fun, though. My kid sister is staying with us for a whole month. She is from Louisiana, just graduated from high school and took us up on our offer to have her stay awhile. I always wanted a sister around but we were raised 1,300 miles apart for her whole life. I am enjoying getting to know her in person and not just over the phone and instant messages. Having her stay, we are getting to do all sorts of fun things around town. It is actually giving me great practice at hauling all three little ones around. This is not an easy task, but my Sis is so worth the efforts!

At first, we made a family trip to Como Zoo and walked through the Sculpture Gardens. We have had two big family dinner gatherings, one of which included a fifteen person game of Pictionary, which was ridiculously cute because we had the five children ages ten to two be on their own team together. The littlest ones would have their parent tell them a simple word to draw, like "circle" or "line". My daughter thought I said "lime" and gave it her best three year old shot. Precious. One of my older nephews decided to try drawing from a card and drew a piece of cheese. After further inspection of the card, it actually said "chess" but we let it slide and giggled about it for a bit. Too cute!

The last week has been very busy. I have felt like a tourist in my own town, in a good way. It is nice to see all the attractions surrounding you when you can watch someone else enjoying it all for the first time. Makes things almost like new again. Wednesday we took the three little ones to Theodore Wirth Park. I have been researching free or inexpensive things to do around the Twin Cities and the Eloise Butler Wildlife Garden and Bird Sanctuary seemed like a nice thing to do. We drove all the way there and found parking meters that we were not prepared for; that was not mentioned online at the site I visited. Also, the trails were not stroller accessible, having many wooden steps and dirt paths instead of the paved trails that I was expecting, only having visited paved trails in that area in the past. So, we decided to turn around and drive over to the huge beautiful playground we had passed when first entering the park. DJ loved the play area and then we took a long walk around the lake. Pretty Perfect.

On Thursday we had the twins spend the day over at Oma's house so my sister and I could take DJ to The Children's Museum in St. Paul. It was so much easier to chase her around and give her lots of attention without the babies around. She did have a mini meltdown in the car on the way there, but once we arrived she realized exactly what was going on and cheered right up. I think she felt special to have the big girls all to herself. It was also not busy in the museum and DJ didn't have to wait in line for almost anything. I was fully prepared to be surrounded by kids on field trips since it is the last week or two of school for most places. But, it was not packed and we enjoyed every minute. We crawled though the ant tunnels, made a thunder storm, created big bubbles, saw Dora, played town and grocery store, painted our faces and so much more. I also packed us a bag lunch in order to save a little money. PB&J with veggie chips and an apple. Mmm.

Super Market play

Friday we had a long daytime walking tour through downtown Anoka. We stopped by Pizza Man and got their carry out special, a one topping medium pizza for six bucks! We took it up to Akin Park and let DJ play on the playground. We also had a surprise lunch visit from her Daddy, my wonderful hubby, whom we are lucky to have working so close to home. Then we walked over to Two Scoops, an awesome little family owned ice cream shop, and had dessert. Later on, in the evening, we decided to walk up to Billy's Bar and Grill for dinner and sat out on their patio to take advantage of the beautiful weather. This is our favorite place to go eat in the summer and it is only three blocks from home. Ahh, the little things.

Hannah and I wrapped up the night with girlie movies and doing each others hair and make up after the kiddos went to bed. I like having my little sister around! Coming up this week we have the Minnesota Zoo tomorrow and then a trip to the Mall of America on Wednesday with my neighbor and her teen aged daughter. Another busy week is ahead of me but we only have a few things left to squeeze in before I have to send her all the way back to Louisiana. I feel so lucky to be able to do all of this with her. I am grateful to my sons for sharing their bedroom with her and my husband for agreeing to open up our home for a whole month. I am not taking this time for granted.

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