Tuesday, July 25, 2017

What Happens at Grandma's Stays at Grandma's (Unless You Put It on the Internet)

I already mentioned the damage total from our most recent family vacation and detailed our return flight where they actually taxied out to the runway before making us get back off the plane and wait some more (clearly I'm still not quite over it yet,) but I wanted to share a little bit about where we went and what we did there!

What happens when the 8-person Evans family stays at Grandma's for a week, along with a homicidal cat and a dog who keeps eating everything?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

First of all, our flight TO Minnesota to visit my extended family was awesome, for the following reasons:
  1. Having a shuttle pick us up at our house and drive us to the airport was the best decision ever. Instead of stressing over traffic and trying to merge while feeling for a sippy cup on the floor, I talked with the driver about his grandkids and told everyone not to correct the 3-year-old when he kept calling it "the space shuttle."
  2. We took one zillion carryon bags because checked bags are extra and we aren't made of money, but since the flight was full they offered to check our carryons for free. YES, PLEASE.
  3. The 1-year-old was listed as the lap child on Phillip's ticket, meaning that anytime he cried on board the plane I could just shrug and point to the ticket and say, "Sorry, he's traveling with you."

What happens when the 8-person Evans family stays at Grandma's for a week, along with a homicidal cat and a dog who keeps eating everything?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Says right at the top: 'Phillip plus infant.' Rules are rules.

In all, it went as well as could possibly be expected, and after landing in Minnesota we headed to my mom's house where we were going to stay for the next week. Here's what we did there:

Wednesday


First thing in the morning, the power went out. I was a little concerned about not being able to cook for everybody, but what really worried me was the water situation. 

When you're on well water, the water gets pumped indoors via an electric pump. So no electricity means no showering or even flushing the toilet... with 8 people using the facilities, this could get ugly in a hurry.

I sent the kids outside to play fetch with the dog, and luckily, the power came back on within a few hours.

We went to the Mall of America, stopped in at IKEA next door, and went back to my mom's where the girls played with her old Barbies from the 60's and were totally confused by the style of all the clothes.

What happens when the 8-person Evans family stays at Grandma's for a week, along with a homicidal cat and a dog who keeps eating everything?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Does anyone know what "Midge" is a nickname for? My girls really want to know.


Thursday


My mom took us to the biggest playground I've ever seen, and seeing as I've been a parent for 13 years in 4 different states, that's saying something.

This thing had multiple levels and just went on and on. Even with two school buses full of summer campers running around, it wasn't even crowded. Although there was some fierce competition going on for the zipline.

What happens when the 8-person Evans family stays at Grandma's for a week, along with a homicidal cat and a dog who keeps eating everything?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
There was also a nice trail for walking the dog. So pretty much the best park ever.

My mom lives on a lake, and after lunch we took everyone out for a ride in the boat. Unfortunately the toddler hated his life jacket more than anyone has ever hated anything, and he spent the entire ride screaming and doing a move that was a cross between interpretive dance and a seizure.

What happens when the 8-person Evans family stays at Grandma's for a week, along with a homicidal cat and a dog who keeps eating everything?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
What happens when the 8-person Evans family stays at Grandma's for a week, along with a homicidal cat and a dog who keeps eating everything?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
The kids loved my hairstyle when we went fast.

That night, the kids kept trying to run through the closed screen door and knocking it out, and the dog ate the wooden spoon I was using to make dinner.


Friday


Not far from my mom's house is an eccentric couple who make unique sculptures. They decided to turn their property into a mini golf course with works of their own original art integrated into all the holes.

Here's the kind of thing I'm talking about:

What happens when the 8-person Evans family stays at Grandma's for a week, along with a homicidal cat and a dog who keeps eating everything?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

What happens when the 8-person Evans family stays at Grandma's for a week, along with a homicidal cat and a dog who keeps eating everything?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Hit your ball into this stone river and watch it float down.

It was confirmed to me yet again that the Evanses are not a sporty family when the kids kept calling the clubs "golf sticks" and I once heard someone refer to the ball as a "puck."

It was the most fun I've had mini golfing in a while just because each hole was so unusual, but the 1-year-old didn't share my enthusiasm. He only wanted two things: to not wear a hat and to run around in the parking lot.

What happens when the 8-person Evans family stays at Grandma's for a week, along with a homicidal cat and a dog who keeps eating everything?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Moms are the worst.

After we finished golfing, we walked around to see the sculptures dotting the rest of the property beyond the mini golf course.

Some of them, I understood and appreciated. Like rock, paper, scissors!

What happens when the 8-person Evans family stays at Grandma's for a week, along with a homicidal cat and a dog who keeps eating everything?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

Others, not so much.

What happens when the 8-person Evans family stays at Grandma's for a week, along with a homicidal cat and a dog who keeps eating everything?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Anyone? Bueller??

It was a great day, and Phillip and I even got a nice picture of the two of us.

What happens when the 8-person Evans family stays at Grandma's for a week, along with a homicidal cat and a dog who keeps eating everything?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

Unfortunately, his allergies to my mom's cat were driving him crazy by this time and he says his red, puffy eyes remind him of Darth Sidious. But I think my hair looked nice.

Saturday


We took the kids to a nearby working farm and got to go in the pens with all the animals.

The 3-year-old was upset that the chickens all ran away too fast for him to pet them. The sheep kept following around the 1-year-old and nibbling on his clothes.

What happens when the 8-person Evans family stays at Grandma's for a week, along with a homicidal cat and a dog who keeps eating everything?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

There were also pigs, calves, and a vegetable garden where the kids got watering cans and were told to go nuts.

I also won the hat battle. I'm pleased to say that it came in handy at naptime, when the brim slipped down over the toddler's eyes and he fell asleep in his stroller.

What happens when the 8-person Evans family stays at Grandma's for a week, along with a homicidal cat and a dog who keeps eating everything?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

In the afternoon, my aunts and uncles came over for a boat ride and games. My team won Pictionary but I have no idea how they guessed some of my drawings.

My favorite was when my word was "end" so I drew a book with word squiggles and put ______ ______ at the bottom. My teammate said, "Story? Book? Ummm... two words at the end of a book, what are they? What are they? ...Wait! THE END!" I was laughing so hard I couldn't even say she got it right!

And the dog ate a second spatula and a stick of butter WITH THE WRAPPER STILL ON.

Sunday


We couldn't find the toddler's dress pants so he wore shorts to church. And my 9-year-old had to go in tennis shoes because someone had locked us all out of the bedroom with the suitcases.

When we got home, we searched high and low but couldn't find the key to the door. I Googled "how to pick a lock" and gave Phillip the first result that came up, from a site called Art of Manliness. I think he was offended. We followed the instructions and aside from ruining all my bobby pins, didn't accomplish anything.

The kids were getting antsy and then my cousin came over with his wife and daughter, so we took them out in the boat while Phillip stayed home to work on the lock. As I left, I heard him asking my mom for a paper clip, some fishing line, and a vacuum cleaner.

About 30 minutes later, I got this text:

What happens when the 8-person Evans family stays at Grandma's for a week, along with a homicidal cat and a dog who keeps eating everything?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

Can anybody guess how he did it??

Also, I realized my 9-year-old inherited my penchant for hyperbole when I told him to use the downstairs shower instead of the upstairs one and he said, "But that one is, like, microscopic!"

Monday


Have you ever heard of an "escape room?" It's hard to describe, but if you imagine the movie National Treasure taking place in a single room, you'd be pretty close.

My 13-year-old, my uncles, my aunt, my cousin, my mom, my brother, and I went to a place called Breakout Games and tried one called "Island Escape."  And failed miserably.

What happens when the 8-person Evans family stays at Grandma's for a week, along with a homicidal cat and a dog who keeps eating everything?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

We had one hour to solve the clues. We didn't even come close to unlocking the boat and getting off the island before the volcano erupted (maybe we should've brought Phillip and some fishing line?) but we had fun, anyway.

At the end a young 20-something employee offered to take our picture, and the look on his face was priceless when I gave him my digital camera. He handled it like I'd just tossed him an antique vase from the Ming Dynasty, and after a moment had to ask me how to turn it on.

I may have cackled like an old lady at that point. I couldn't help it.

Afterward, we had lunch at a Chinese restaurant and my daughter got the saddest fortune in her fortune cookie:

What happens when the 8-person Evans family stays at Grandma's for a week, along with a homicidal cat and a dog who keeps eating everything?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

It was the tiny cut-off sliver from the end of the strip of fortunes. With nothing on it.

Tuesday


By now we were getting used to the dog eating everything, and while handing out sandwiches Phillip told the preschooler, "Be careful not to drop that, we don't want You-Know-Who to eat it." My girls, hearing a familiar phrase from Harry Potter, said in unison: "Voldemort?"

It was 4th of July, and the rest of our extended family came over that afternoon to spend the day with us.

We swam in the lake (the 3-year-old kept freaking out about "sea lions" and it took us a little while to realize he meant 'seaweed') and played cornhole (but I had to take the baby inside when he kept trying to crawl on the boards.) My aunt and uncle brought a little plastic pail for the 1-year-old to play with on the beach.

What happens when the 8-person Evans family stays at Grandma's for a week, along with a homicidal cat and a dog who keeps eating everything?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
You don't think he knew this came from a bar, do you?

That evening my mom took the older kids to a fireworks show while Phillip and I stayed home and put the little kids to bed.

She tried to let the dog out to go to the bathroom before they left, but the neighbors were already starting to light off theirs and she was too scared of all the booming and crackling noises. "Don't worry," Phillip told the dog sympathetically, "I can't poop when someone's shooting at me, either."


And that was Week One of our Minnesota vacation. In the morning we packed up the Evans family circus and went to stay with my dad and stepmom 40 minutes away, which you'll hear more about about next week in Part II...

Click to Share:
Unremarkable Files

12 comments:

  1. Midge is short for Margaret! At least my friend Midge's real name is Margaret.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Huh. I guess it's one of those nicknames that has pretty much nothing in common with the actual name. Like Bill or Hank.

      Delete
  2. At a fast glance, your daughter's fortune slip looks like a pregnancy test strip!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I was thinking that Midge is short for Margaret, too. We went to Mall of America and the Ikea next door some years ago. Angel and I walked through the whole entire Ikea as newlyweds with a mostly empty house and couldn't think of anything we actually needed in our house so we didn't buy anything. That's been mostly the story of our lives...and is probably the reason my 10 year old sister bought me a toaster for my birthday because I've been making toast in a frying pan for years...it works just fine. That mini-golf place looks awesome and I want to go there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can totally see you two minimalists doing that. I don't think we're as minimalist as you are, but most people would say that I am, too. It's a mindset. You just never feel like you need anything!

      Delete
    2. Oh, and I never would've guessed 'Margaret.' All I could think of was 'Midget' and I was pretty sure that wasn't right.

      Delete
  4. It looks like you had a wonderful trip. I agree that you did get a good picture of you and your husband.

    ReplyDelete
  5. A blogger I like to read has a (2-year-old?) daughter named Mary Jane. They call her Midge for short.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Seriously, Phillip has the best comments . . . I die every time you quote him! Is the huge park in Minnetonka by the man-made lake? I remember there being a huge mulit-level park around there last time we went before we moved.

    And I wouldn't have expected anything less of my girls than the Voldemort response to "You Know Who". One of our pictures from our Orlando trip is my desktop picture and it makes me happy and sad all at the same time whenever I turn on my computer. I really need to come out and visit you guys again soon.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow, never a dull moment with your family! There's an Escape Room business that opened up about a year ago in my town. I keep meaning to check it out but haven't gotten around to it. I'm totally diggin' those sculptures. Very creative!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would be awesome for a girls' night out or a teenager's birthday party. I'd like to go back myself and maybe actually escape from the escape room this time.

      Delete
  8. I'm scared to try the new escape room that opened near us. Yikes.

    Sounds like a lot of fun was had in Week 1!

    ReplyDelete