Matthew and I have been in Minneapolis for the past four days, along with my parents, my sister and her family, and a family that is friends with my sister and her kids. All in all, we were seven adults and six kids. The kids, in particular, had a blast: playing, swimming, laughing, going for walks and to the zoo, crafting, eating way too many treats...and then doing it all over again. I also got some shopping done. OK, who am I kidding? I got lots of shopping done! Specifically, I brought home a van-packed load of home furnishings from IKEA; the accumulation of two years' of lists. My, I love that store - the prices are so reasonable for relatively good quality items. I bought a lot of lovely, but inexpensive, espresso-brown shelving for the new living-room-turned-library (including glass doors for the upper row of shelving), a small matching table to nestle between library chairs, lamps, little pots, throws, picture frames for Matthew's bedroom, and a new kitchen table and chairs - not my dream table by any means, but a whole lot better than my current twenty-five-old battered table and better suited than my dream table for the activities of young children. I have never seen my van packed as full as when we left Minneapolis yesterday morning. It took a fair bit of work just getting our little bit of luggage into it when we were ready to come home!
Matthew's a pretty good little traveller. It helps that he doesn't watch much tv at home and that when we're on a driving trip, he gets to spend at least half of the time watching something on the dvd player! This was our third driving trip together: twice to Minneapolis (about 7.5 hours' drive each way) and our trip last fall to Calgary and Drumheller, Alberta (about 11-12 hours drive one way). I genuinely love traveling with him. I came home exhausted, though: driving; tons of heavy lifting and loading; not as much sleep as I'd like; etc etc.
Now we just have to get started on the gazillion assemble-yourself projects that are currently lying boxed in my front entrance!