Sunday, August 10, 2014

Reynolds' Family Vacation 2014

It doesn't seem that terribly long ago that Kristie, Casey, KoKo, and I piled into her Sebring and headed down to the cities to stay with her little brother, Eddie.  We took in the Minneapolis Art Museum as well as the zoo, and, of course, the Mall of America.

My how time flied.  Casey is now thriving full time in Fargo working as a supervisor for Digi Key and KoKo is going to be sophomore at NCTC.  Oh, yeah.  And Kristie and I have two little ones, Kenzie and Cash, of our own!

This summer, close to a decade after our initial family vacation, we first went to Fargo to pick Casey up (KoKo had to work, so she couldn't come along).  Then we headed across 94 to Minneapolis.

We stayed at a Best Western Plus that was right next to the MOA.  The kids' favorite part was the pool area.  They could have spent their entire vacation there.  Lucky for us, Casey took Kenz there in the evening and let her wear him out.

Here Cash is checking out the pool area from our balcony overlooking the pool area.

On our first night, we just played in the pool area.  The next day, Friday, we took a shuttle over to the MOA where we spent the majority of our day.

We bought wrist bands for Nickelodeon Universe.  Surprisingly, Kenzie didn't go on as many rides as I expected.  But Cash had a pretty good time.  The highlight: Casey and I convinced Kenz to go on the log ride with us.  She didn't know about the two steep plunges until it was too late - otherwise, we'd never have gotten her to go with.  But she loved it!

Then we walked around the mall a bit before the kids found Build a Bear Workshop, where they both got teddy bears: Kenz got a Captain America bear and Cash got an Iron Man bear.  They quickly ran up a bill, but for the kids to enjoy themselves that much and to be treated so well, it was a small price to pay.

Kenz wasn't even all that thrilled to go on the Wonder Pets ride that she so enjoyed a few years ago.

Big brother Casey almost got her to go on the Brain Surge with him until she chickened out right at the end.

Cash couldn't wait to get his face pained!

I know he's clashing his super heroes here, but when it comes to Cash, the more super heroes the better!  He got so many smiles and second glances in his get up!

After awhile Cash and I could no longer resist the siren call of Lego Land.  They have areas where kids can build their own creations.  Best of all, they have a set up where you can build your own characters from an array of parts and then purchase them.  Brilliant idea.

Here is Cash's Lego version of his Granda Ed.

Kenz wanted me to send this picture to her Aunt Karla.

She was pretty happy with her face painting too.

My Mecca!

Cash and Kenz at the wishing well.

After the MOA we were pretty exhausted so we ordered food and relaxed at the pool.  After awhile  Cash was pretty beat, Kenzie got her second wind.  As I said earlier, we were fortunate to have Casey with as he took her back to the pool and played with her for another two hours.

The next morning we decided to leave one day early.  We originally planned to stay Saturday night and come home Sunday.  However, after two nights of tossing and turning in a hotel room bed, we were all ready for home, especially Casey and Kristie who were looking forward to having a relaxing Sunday at home before going back to work on Monday as opposed to spending 6 hours in the car.

So Saturday we ventured over to the Minnesota Zoo, which the kids loved.

The MN Trail exhibit, featuring animals from all over MN was one of the best.  The wolverine, which actually came out and charged toward us, was one of the highlights.

Here Kenz is at the tiger observation station pretending to log field notes.

Cash and Mom on their first camel back ride.

The zoo featured an exhibition of large mechanical insects.  This arachnid was our favorite.  Needless to say, we didn't linger long to look at this one.

Just before leaving, Cash and Kenz paused for a quick picture.

As soon as we headed out of the cities, Kenz and Cash fell asleep.  They were out all the way to Fergus Falls, where we stopped to eat at a small, mom and pop cafe called the Viking Cafe.  I'm not kidding. It was like going back in time to my childhood of the late '70's.  It reminded me of the old Murphy's Cafe in Red Lake Falls.

The burgers were thick.  The bacon was amazing.  The fries were plentiful.  We sat at a booth table and had ketchup that came in an actual bottle and drank Coke in glasses with crushed ice.  There was a counter that could seat at least 20 people there.  If Bob Seeger, the Jay Giles Band, or Eddie Rabbit would have been playing, I would have thought we'd have entered a worm hole somewhere and been transported back in time!

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