Sunday, October 23, 2016

MEA Weekend, 2016

So it's now MEA weekend (Minnesota Education Association)...a weekend in which teacher's have the option of spending two day in state association sponsored professional development workshops, or...take a four day weekend.  There are many dedicated souls who choose to go to the workshops, and then there are the rest of us dedicated souls, who just NEED four days to recuperate, recover, and brace for the Halloween to Christmas chaos to come...

Duane and I don't typically travel on MEA weekend, because it's BASICALLY IMPOSSIBLE to fly anywhere because ALMOST EVERYONE IS FLYING SOMEWHERE FOR MEA.  We looked at all of our desired destinations (and laughed a little bit that we even thought we'd get on a flight to one of them).  We looked at all of our "can't get anywhere else, so let's fly here" destinations (and laughed a little bit that we even though we'd get on a flight to one of them).

We ended up taking a "Daycation" (Duane had to work today), and drove to Northfield, Minnesota instead.  Duane found a state park that looked like a cool play to spend a "warmish" fall day, and so we went there, then had lunch and did a little shopping in Northfield.

We started at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park...complete with winding woodland paths, beautiful fall foliage, and a waterfall!

 "Snake Grass"...which we used to find on my grandparents farm!!

After a DELIGHTFUL morning at the park, we headed into Northfield to find a place for lunch.  Before that, however, we needed to check out a place called Cakewalk.  We've REALLY missed Sweet Bebe Cakes since they closed a few years ago, and were happy to find that, although not exactly like the cupcakes we adored, these were quite nice!

OF COURSE, as happens all too frequently, as we walked in the door, a kid sitting on one of the sofas near the counter shouted out "Mr. S!" of the kindergartners from my school in Hopkins was staying with his grandparents in Northfield, and HAPPENED to be buying cupcakes at the same time as we were...what are the odds??!  He was really excited that he knew someone in Northfield, and, as they were leaving, I heard him say to his grandma "That's so cool!"!!!!

I got to meet his grandma, and we had a nice chat about the area, AND she gave us a great recommendation for a place to go for lunch...the Tavern of Northfield.

The place was packed!  In it's early days the tavern was connected to the stables in which visitors to Northfield stabled their horses....very historic!  I had a delicious baked macaroni and cheese with bacon, and Duane had a chicken parmesan sandwich.  Both were really tasty!

After lunch, we walked along the river for a bit, then checked out an antique store on Main Street, popped into Econofoods to pick up a few things, and headed back to the cities!

Here's hoping YOU were able to take a relaxing, "soul revitalizing" daycation recently too!!!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Emilie's Trip Home and Mom and Dad's Visit!

Emilie was home for the first time since leaving for her Sophomore year of college in August.  Although it was a quick visit, and I only got to see her twice, it was GREAT to have her home.

Mom and dad drove up on Sunday to see her (and us!), and they all came over for dinner on Sunday night.  I made Italian Beef Stew with Ravioli, and we had a GREAT time hanging out, and catching up!!!

Here's hoping YOU were able to reconnect with loved ones recently too!!!