Summer Trip 2011

This summer we used Elise’s cousin’s wedding as an excuse for a much needed trip home.  Our trip spanned over a week and we were able to visit Branden’s family in Minnesota and Elise’s family in Iowa.

We flew into Minneapolis on a Saturday.  Our friend Joe (a pilot for Delta Airlines) happened to be at the airport and surprised us by meeting us at the gate.  He helped us navigate to the rental car counter.  Once there, they did not have any of the type of car we had reserved (a compact sedan) so they upgraded us (for free) and we ended up with a small SUV – a Fort Escape.

From there we headed to Branden’s grandparents, where we would be staying during our time in Minnesota.  Shortly after we arrived, Branden’s brothers, uncle, and one of his cousins arrived for an impromptu family get-together.  We played a lot of games, ate a lot of food, and had a great time.  Reagan got a small squirt gun and had fun spraying herself with it.  When she wasn’t soaking herself, she was chasing after the strung-together golf balls for the bolo/trailer-trash horseshoes game.

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The next day, we went to St Peter, Minnesota, for a Rademacher family get-together.  Almost the entire clan of Rademachers showed up – all of Branden’s aunts and uncles, and most of the cousins and their families.  It was much cooler than forecast before the trip began, and Branden had only packed shorts for the trip.  He was slightly chilly most of the day.  Again there was a lot of food, a lot of visiting, and a lot of fun.  Reagan got a new green ball that kept her entertained for most of the day.  She also played on the playground and watched her uncles play Trailer-Trash Horseshoes.

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The third day of our trip we headed to the Minnesota Zoo with Branden’s Mom and Dad.  Reagan enjoyed watching the monkeys, the fish zipping around in the aquarium, and the grizzly bear.  Her favorite part of the trip, though, was probably the monorail ride.

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The next day we headed to the Mall of America, again with Branden’s Mom and Dad.  We spent most of our time in the Nickelodeon Universe amusement park.  Reagan enjoyed the rides and did not want to leave.  Before leaving, we stopped in Lego Land where Reagan found a life-size Woody (from Toy Story) made out of Legos.  She also got an oversized Sponge Bob hat.

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The next day we headed out for Iowa.  On our way we swung through Rochester to visit our good friends Joe and Anna.  They hosted us for lunch and Reagan got to play with two large balls – a red one and a blue one.  She claimed the blue one and Anna was to play with the red one.  Switching was absolutely not allowed.  Unfortunately, our visit was too short as we needed to be at Elise’s folks’ home by dinner time.

That night some of Elise’s family came over for dinner.  The remainder of the trip seemed to fly by.  We went hiking (well, walking really) on the High Trussel Trail to a bridge that was many many stories above the Des Moines River.  We went shopping at the ISU University Bookstore for alumni memorabilia.  We went out for ice cream.  We visited with more family.  Reagan got to ride on Prince (the pony).

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Before we knew it it was Friday and we were driving up to Okaboji to attend the wedding.  At the wedding, Reagan strutted her stuff on the dance floor and pretty much refused to sit still and relax (as her parents wanted to do).  Sunday morning came too soon and we were driving back to the airport.  The flight was quick and uneventful and BAM – we were home.

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