We decided to load up the van with the kids and Pup and head to Minnesota last week. It was the children's winter break from school.
We had planned to leave by early evening on Wednesday but, my Beloved had an assignment due for school and I was still cleaning and packing. We put the kids to bed after 8 and by 10 our Ben was vomiting.
Bless his heart. He fell asleep on a pile of clean blankets on the floor while I was changing his bed.
I began another load of laundry. By 3 in the morning we were ready to go.
We weren't sure if we should. Benjamin is emotionally intelligent. He is articulate and reasonable for a 6 year old. He was ready to go. No fever, no sickness so, our little troupers found their seats and buckled in for the 26 hour drive.
Pup joined us and usually sat between the driver and passenger seats on the center console. Our Honda Odyssey has made the trek to and from California, to Wyoming and back, and up and down the Maine to Massachusetts coast. Now it's made the trek to Minnesota and back. We pray before every journey.
I began the drive and drove and drove while the others slept. I drove through sleet and freezing rain; through hail and snow. Driving the toll roads gets expensive but, they are clear and salted and sanded and safe.By morning it was time for me to have a break. We entered Indiana covered in ice. The morning sun sent silvery spikes through each blade of ice. It was magical looking. Every tree encased in ice. Miles and miles of trees encased in ice. Pennsylvania covered in ice. Ohio covered in ice. Indiana covered in ice. Illinois covered in ice. Wisconsin covered in ice. It was surreal.
We made it into Minnesota by 5 in the morning.
We crashed into beds and had naps.
We promised our children a day at the Mall of America.
We dropped Pup off at the best doggie day care. Peanut's Place. They were ready for him.
The Mall of America is in Bloomington, MN. It is ginormous. 7 acres BIG. There is a theme park in the middle of it and a Lego store smack dab next to the amusement park. It is a young boy's dream of a place.
The wall of Legos is impressive. Of course, Lego is smart in it's marketing. The store is like a museum with little cubbies filled with characters and buildings and themes.
Walls are packed with Lego boxes. Lego statues are on the ceiling and in the store. The whole store structure looks like one big Lego.
We had to pull the boys forward and out of the store. Thankfully, the amusement park is eye candy too.
We spent the day riding the rides. Over and over again. I highly recommend going to this amusement park on a Thursday when their schools are in session. We had the place to ourselves. There were no lines to wait in, no pushy people or restroom stalls to wait for. It was our own private playground. Fun!
We hadn't had fun like that in a long while. With the prospect of income in the very near future, there was a burden missing from our shoulders. It was a lot of fun watching my Beloved with his sons. Grant and Max are the roller coaster riders. They went on the log ride over and over again. Charlotte and Ben are the more gentle riders. They loved the Backyardagain swings.
It was fun dropping nickels in the counter top jukebox and selecting songs. The Lollipop song, In the Jungle, and Joy to the World (Jeremiah was a bullfrog) are the favorites.
By late afternoon, we were all tired and ready to fetch the Pup and rest in our hotel.
Pup was thrilled to see us and his newly trimmed nails looked great.
We slept well. Friday we explored Minnesota. We checked out my Beloved's new place of employment, looked at neighborhoods and schools and lakes and towns.
There are still a lot of unanswered questions. When will my Beloved begin work? How long until we need to move? Should we try to keep the kids in school here? Will we break even on the sell of our home or lose money? Where should we live there? What can we afford?
One day at a time. Sometimes, one step at a time.
Thankfully, we have the love and support of many.
We left for home on Saturday. It was good to be home. Home is here.