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G.G 70th Birthday Twin Cities Adventures

Originally Scott was supposed to be gone this week on a work trip. I had asked my parents if they could come to help with the kids while I was at work. 

Unfortunately I wasn't going down to shoot one of the big boat shows in Florida. On the plus side we'd get to spend time with G.G. on her 70th birthday weekend.

With the trip cancelled I asked if they still wanted to come. Before they arrived Meadow made neopolitan cookies. 

These were some of the best cookies we've ever made. Thanks, Meadow's cookie cookbook.

The next morning Theo asked grandpa if they could snuggle together.

I had plans to take my parents to a pizza farm. Since the drive was an hour away we tried to find things to do in the area. We picked up some food for a picnic and hiked at Rice Lake State Park. 

I feel like this is the second time I've had a job and Brooke's taken the kids to this state park.
True story.

Most of the leaves are gone near the Twin Cities, but not down here. 

We found a baby turtle by the playground. We thought it was still alive but when we brought it to water it didn't move.

Before leaving we found a geocache that we couldn't find the last time we looked. Theo forgot what geocaching was. He wanted nothing to do with until he saw that sometimes they include toys.

On the way to the pizza farm we stopped at a brewery on the way. Directions kept taking us through farm fields. When you arrive at Half Pint you drive up in a driveway to a farm. The driveway splits to the right to get to the brewery. It was a nice little brewery.

Just don't get lost on the way?
This time we checked out Pleasant Grove Pizza Farm.  

Eventually I showed up.

For it being a warm night it wasn't too busy. 

I should have had my parents bring the pop up picnic table. 

The farm had trails to explore, llamas and yard games. 

On our drive back we stopped at Giesenbrau Bier Co in New Prague. The kids rootbeers were in little mugs. 

I wish this place was closer. It's hard to find a good german style beer these days other than Utepils. I loved their pint cups and wished they'd had a sticker.

Apparently they were serving Pleasant Grove Pizza farm pizzas this night. 

At least they were supposed to. I didn't see any on site.

The next day we took my parents to Bauer Brothers Salvage. 

This place is so cool but also sad to see these things had been removed. 

It's also items saved from demolitions. So not all bad. 

Oh, we can add another fake fire place.

There's so much to explore here. 

Some of the pricing for the furniture is a little steep. 

That's an understatement. If they priced better they'd definitely not be sitting on items for years and years.

I find better deals on Facebook Marketplace. 

One of the employees lead us up to the roof to checkout the view. 

Next we checked out the new Mississippi River park in North.

It's more of an overlook to a previously inaccessible section of the river.

Then we went over to Silverwood Park. The weather was so beautiful today. 

I'm not sure why Brooke took us to the suburbs, but this place was pretty cool. It used to be a youth camp for the Salvation Army, but relatively recently was converted to a public park.

Meadow was over doing things and just wanted to go home. 

Another pretty spot. 

For some reason Brooke's parents were walking backwards.

I had been wanting to come here because it's also a sculpture park. Now Meadow was having fun. 

We need to come back here on Theo's 5th birthday. 

Most of the sculptures here were interactive. 

We also did an unusual geocache.

It's my mom's birthday week and this year she wanted to celebrate with everyone together. It didn't quite work with our schedules. Since they were going to be in Minneapolis, I said we'd take her somewhere fancy. We originally wanted to go to Bar La Grassa but nothing was available for our party size. We finally decided on The Lexington in St Paul. 

We don't normally eat at establishments like this, I definitely felt out of place. But it was a nice dining experience. 

Way too fancy, but we knew G.G. would love it.

Gail was mad at me for not using my glass and drinking a low brow beer out of the bottle.

The kids did so great. When looking at the menus online we didn't see anything for kids. We were happy when we arrived to see that we were given kids menus. The kids behaved so well during dinner despite the long meal. 

I had a pretty incredible lobster pasta.

Surf and turf for mother of course. 

When I made the reservation it asked me what the occasion was. At the end of the meal they brought out ice cream for mom. 

We may have passed around said ice cream. 

The next morning I picked up the brunch box from Brueggers. 

We had to treat them after them treating us at the very fancy restaurant.

While they played and watched the Packers game. Mom and I visited her uncle for the afternoon. 

I made a pot pie for dinner. I'm not sure why I don't make these more frequently.

Then we checked out the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular at the Minnesota Zoo. I had always wanted to go but wasn't sure it was worth it for the price. 

At first it seemed just OK, but it soon got really good with the detailed carvings and classic carved pumpkins by the dozen.

I would say it was worth going. Every year? Maybe not but was still really cool. 

Plus it was 65 degrees, a perfect fall evening. 

The kids loved spotting all the characters they knew. 

Just look at all those pumpkins!

Thanks for visiting mom and dad. Can't wait to have you again.

And happy (redacted) birthday, G.G.


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