Monday, April 29, 2013

The Mama/Daughter Adventure Begins

"How many days til we go to Minneapolis now, Mama?"... "How many days til we see Nana today, Mama?"  And so the countdown would go for several weeks, then 9 days left, then 8 and on and on.  Ruby was so excited to take the trip back to the U.S. with me, I was honestly a bit surprised.  How could I possibly entertain her as much as her brother could?
Amsterdam Airport

I was excited, too.  But, I don't think I realized as much as Ruby did how special it would be to have this time together - just Mama and Ruby.  Even the 17 hours in the air with a 6 hour lay-over in Amsterdam couldn't spoil Ruby's unbridled joy. She handled that traveling better than any of the grown-ups I've known - happy the whole time. When she was tired, she said, "I'm tired, Mommy," and she rolled over and went to sleep. When the pressure on her ears bothered her - 20 hours into traveling across the world in a middle seat on a packed plane - she told me in a matter-of-fact way that her ears bothered her. Simple as that.

Since landing, she has danced, giggled, skipped with me through the streets of Minneapolis, cut paper happily, relished her toe nails being painted sparkly blue.  She's a ray of light, and most definately one of the coolest people I know.

It all started when I realized I could bring Ruby along for a conference in Minneapolis and build in an extra week (6 days to be exact) in NY/NY (Matthew and Michael have school/work obligations). 
Jetlagged Sunrise over the Mississippi
Otherwise, the maternal grandparents and great grandma wouldn't see EITHER of their grand/great-grandchildren for 14 months.  The key to making it work was having a grandparent willing to watch Ruby while I spent 4 days at a conference. Luckily, Nana obliged.  Later, Papa (my Dad) also agreed to come just for the 2 days ahead of the conference to have some more undivided visiting time.

Schubert Museum
So, once the four of us got our schedules to sync up on sunday morning and into monday, we headed to the Landmark Center and saw a brass band, explored the Schubert Museum, took the bus (not quite as exciting as a boda boda, but definately fun for Miss Ruby) to St. Peter's Cathedral, and completely pooped out Nana and Papa (not to mention Mama) at the Mall of America. The amusement park in the middle was definately the most dramatic, and Ruby enjoyed a few rides, while Nana and Papa took their opportunity to rest on a bench.
St. Peter's Cathedral

Riding the Big Bunny at the Carousel

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