We drove straight through (again with stops at Trader Joe's for road snacks) and lumbered into Knife River somewhere around 2 in the am. 'Twas worth the drive, as we knew we would be waking up this:
Serena was thrilled to wake and be surrounded by her beloved auntie Linda and uncle Dave as well as her cousin JoJo. Before Ben and I could wrestle into our running shoes, she was out exploring the rocky shore with her cousins.
They managed to have a lovely time and after a run I got to soak in a little enjoyment of the cool breezes and magical peace of Lake Superior.
We feasted, rested, and enjoyed family. There were no Hillary/Trump debates and this was best for all of us. We celebrated Grandma Sally's 86th birthday, Jonathan's B.S. degree, Ben's PhD, and Uncle Dave's birthday.
The time was much too short but alas, we had to away to join in with more family and more celebration. We drove across the state and a little more north to Lake Buchanan, where Ben's Aunt Penny has an airy cabin nestled between the lake and cornfields. Their family is particularly talented and constructed much of the house down to the boat deck and beds!
Once again, Serena was surrounded by loving family including Cousin Noey, her favorite.
Ben and I took a quick run through the cornfields and we all cleaned up to head to Ben's Grandpa's farm for celebrating Independence Day with (you guessed it) more family and food. We sang happy birthday to Grandpa Rosell who is entering his 90th year. A highlight for the little ones is always a ride on the Tin Lizzie :
I always enjoy walking around the farm itself, breathing in the fresh cool air.
After a couple of days of rich conversation, it was time to head south to St Paul, where we met up with special friends. Our plan had been to meet up at Sea Salt, an outdoor seafood eatery adjacent to Minnehaha Falls. It is an ideal set up for a perfect summer evening and most in the Twin Cities are aware- lines typically long enough to wince at, but on this evening, threat of torrential storms seemed to keep everyone away. We found a place under cover and the kids took the opportunity to play in the rain. We met up with one of our favorite people ever, Sarah, and three families with Chinese adoptee kiddos, two of the kids were adopted the same day as Serena. It was so rich to see them again and to see how the kids have grown.
After that lovely dinner, it was time to say good bye Minnesota, perhaps until next summer. Minnesota returned the goodbye with an amazing double rainbow: