Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Family vacation in Rapid and Minnesota

For the last few years, my parents have been talking to us about scheduling a family vacation together during our time back in the US.  We have made it a family tradition to go to Rapid City, SD so we went again and did some new things we hadn't done before.
Super fun place called Flags and Wheels with lazer tag, bumper cars, and go carts.
 Kaiden on a "train" at McDonald's Farm.  The goats there are pretty sassy! 
 Hills Alive concert.  We were able to see a few performers at Hills Alive, a free Christian concert in a park.  Casting Crowns did such a great job of being worshipful, God-honoring, and not setting themselves up as being some kind of rock band idols.  Really appreciate them.
 We got to hang out a few times with our friends Bryan and Laura Faltynski and their 3 kids while in Rapid.  Winter runs a coffee peddler cart for work so we stopped to bug her.  Bryan and Laura also had us to their church (Common Ground Church) to share about Vanuatu and missions work.  Check them out if you live in the area!
 Storybook Island is always a winner, being free!
 Awesome face painting!
 For me?!!
 Kaiden can't get enough of trains.
We went on the 1880 train, which is an hour long ride on a car attached to a steam engine.  It's loud, steamy, and great scenery.  Fun to do! 
 Addy and I riding on the train.
 Addy picked out a bit of a funny outfit to wear around...
 Addy, Si, and I on a tramway up a mountain to get to slide back down - one of our favorite activities!
 Custer State Park is really beautiful to drive through, but take Dramamine first!  They cut this corridor of trees so you can see the faces of Mount Rushmore at the end (but you can't really see them on the picture).

At the end of our time in SD, we went to MN for a family reunion with my mom's family.  We did this in 2011 when we were back last as well, and it was such a nice time to see everyone again, especially my grandma, who has had pretty poor health the last few years.  We cherished having time with her again!  My uncle hired a photographer to take pictures of the family, so I'll add those in when we get access to them.
 My aunt and uncle, my cousins and their families invited us to Valley Fair. 

 The kids liked this Snoopy nerf place way more than the rollercoasters so we spent a long time here.
 Lucy kindly fetched balls for Kaiden to vacuum up.
 Addy hugging her lego friend at the Lego store in the Mall of America.
 Outside the Crayola store at the Mall of America
 The Como zoo is free and had a baby orangutan.  So cute!
 Gorgeous and divine smelling arboretum at the zoo.
 Some people were getting engagement pictures here and Addy snorted and said "why do people have to come here to get love pictures anyway?"  :)
 Japanese gardens.
 I stayed at my grandma's apartment, and it was really nice to have quality time with her.  She's a fantastic prayer warrior for our Vanuatu ministry.  Her health has been poor the last few years so we were so grateful for more time with her!
The look-alikes.  Gwen, Gretch, my mom, grandma.
With my 93 year old grandmother.

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