A dude from Dave's program had a "Mallow Roast & Drum Circle" that he invited us to. Who can pass up an offer like that? Plus, we were all super curious about this 'drum circle.' Unfortunately, we had some tired kiddos who couldn't hold out so we missed the drums.
The Cannons also got an invite so we all enjoyed some roasted mallows together. Here is Eric, Sterling & Tol with Whitney, Andrea & baby Calvin in the background.
Tol is looking a little constipated in this pic... or something. But Chel looks cute and those mallows look FANTASTIC!
Anyone who knows me knows that I love me some mallows!Mmmmmm...
Upon our arrival to Rochester, we were told that apple picking is a MUST-DO. We decided that Chel's visit would be the perfect time to head to Mazeppa's APPLE RIDGE ORCHARD.
We took a tractor rideup the hill to the orchard.
We went through a corn maze while picking some SERIOUS ears of corn that were left on the stalks. We also liked looking at all the fuzzy bear caterpillars (that is what Tol is holding). Those things are everywhere out here!
Then on to the actual apple picking.
It's all-you-can-eat apples while you're there, then you pay for the ones you take home. Let's just say we tried A LOT of apples that day (and bought a lot of apples that day). There were about 5 varieties in season and all were DELISH! Some better than others, of course. And I LOVE this pic off Addi chillin' on the pumpkin eating her apple. It does look like something I would stage, but it is the real thing. Addi found herself a nice little seat to enjoy the fruits of her labors. There was (obviously) a giant pumpkin patch there, as well. But we didn't have enough hands to carry our picked pumpkins, along with our apples, down the hill so we ended up buying the pre-picked pumpkins. Lame, I know.
There was also a little petting zoo with baby goats and bunnies. The animals loved the dried corn on the cob. Tol & Ad loved feeding it to them.
After we headed back down the hill, payed for our loot and ate our caramel apples (yummy!), we went home and I made a DELICIOUS, if I may say so myself, homemade apple pie. There's nothing like making an apple pie with apples you picked yourself to make you feel like a DOMESTIC DIVA!.. which we all know I certainly AM NOT!
We were lucky enough to have our first official visitor- AUNTIE CHEL! She came for almost a week and it was a constant PARTAY! Let's just say that Chel and I really know how to have a good time :) I've come to realize that Rochester isn't the place you visit to do and see A LOT. Unless, of course, you want to DO a lot with us at home and SEE a lot of us at home. Supposedly, the warmer months are a different story. Luckily, we did have some decent weather and were able to get out and see a little of Rochester. In fact, most of what we did were "firsts" for me, too.
Small world. A good friend of Chelsea's (from Brighton) lives here in Rochester. Her name is Andrea (or 'Tibet' to all the Brighton-eers) and her husband is in the same program as Dave. Pretty Cool. I just adore them and their 4 darling kiddos. I'm lucky that they've become great friends of ours. Anyway, we decided it would be a good idea to reunite AMAZON & TIBET and, along with some other friends and neighbors, go to...
And I'm just now realizing that I didn't get a single pic of Andrea. oops.
Feeding the baby goats.
Aren't they the cutest little curly-haired kids you've ever seen? And yes, I think my bone-straight-haired kids are pretty cute, too.
Cute girlies sharing a stroller.
We are lucky that our kids like one another and play together so well. That makes mine and Andrea's play dates SO much more enjoyable :)
I hesitate doing this post because it seems a bit narcissistic, but a bunch of people have asked to see pics of our new place. I do like our house, but I definitely wouldn't say it's totally blog-worthy. Please don't judge me and my decorating (or lack of). I'm SO putting myself out there with this post.
And I'm nervous. Can you tell?
Anyway, Introducing our Minnesota Abode... with a little Halloween flare.
same room, different angle
more pics including a close-up of my Target rug that I LOVE!
same room, different angle
(ready for visitors!!!!)
Downstairs family room
same room, different angle
more of Tol's room
and more of Addi's room. And there's Addi in her new shoes that she lives in.
There you have it: our house that, with a few coats of paint and all our STUFF, turned into our HOME. *CHEESY!*
Now come see it IN PERSON!
We decided to explore some local Rochester beauty, especially before it turned FREEZING, and went to Chester Woods State Park.
We were hoping we'd be able to rent a canoe or paddle boat, but no such luck. I think we visited a little too late in the season.
So we went on quite the little nature walk and explored. Tol & Addi loved picking the flowers (not sure if that's even allowed) and looking for bugs.
And then we hit the Chester Woods playground. My kids could spend hours at the playground. And check out Addi in the "Check this out!" pic. Could I have captured this fall better? And so you know, Addi got up with a huge sandy smile. She's one tough cookie, usually.
Minnesota really is beautiful. It's a different kind of beautiful. It is a simple kind of beautiful, lots of fields and rolling hills. Lot's of green and blue. I hate admitting that my first impression of the place was 'boring.' It's just that I wasn't used to it. I never even visited the Midwest so this type of scenery was completely new to me. But I'm happy to say that I've already grown to embrace & appreciate the beauty. To me, Minnesota's simple beauty is super calming and we all know I needed some of that!