Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Kym's Visit To Minnesoooottta

My "Moving's Little Instruction Manual"
I have been very, very blessed with an absolutely wonderful group of friends.  It is a shame that the majority of them live in Western New York.....but you already heard that sob story.  Yet, I have been extremely lucky that so many of my friends have taken the time to venture *alllllll the wayyyyy* to Minnesota to visit me.

Believe it or not, our husbands did not have to post bail for us!
My friend, Kym, a MOMS Club friend, had a little "Mama time" of her own and came to visit me.  Before I share the adventures during Kym's visit, I must share a little something about Kym.  Kym, fully understands the grind associated with leaving one's hometown and trying to find your way, while feeling like a fish out of water in a new city.  Kym had previously left WNY and relocated to Florida for a few years.  Circumstance had brought Kym back to the Buffalo area but her perspective was one that had given me much encouragement during the time that I was ready to (kicking and screaming) leave Buffalo.

Adorable PJs that Kym got for Jonathan - and they glow in the dark!
Madeline *loved* the Lalaloopsy Doll from Kym
During this time, in addition to the encouragement, Kym had given me a bunch of advice as a result of her own experiences.  I still recall that she and her husband, Alan, came to visit David and me (along with my friend Kelly) at our hotel room the night before we pulled out of town for our big move.  We talked a lot about the relocation and Kym had told me that this experience will certainly "let you know who your real friends are".  As much as I hated hearing that at the time, Kym was right.  I still recall giving Kym a hug that night, with us both holding back tears.  Kym left me with a "survival kit" for the long car ride, but also a "Moving's Little Instruction Manual" which she compiled and created herself.  I have meant to share this on my blog for quite some time and haven't gotten around to it.....but, on the heels of Kym's visit, now is a fitting occasion.

The "instuction manual" had a bunch of words of wisdom that Kym hoped would make my transplanting, half way across the country, run smoothly.  The manual had many of her own thoughts, interspersed with relevant quotes.  And, with Kym's permission, I would like to share a few....
#2 "I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but always ended up where I needed to be." -Douglas Adams
#5 (The one I thought of often during this past year) Don't think of this move as temporary.  Ebrace it as if it is the last place you'll call home.  Make it your home. 
#6 The trip there is going to be long and frustrating.  Try to enjoy the view.  It's your whole family's first of many exciting road trips.
#10 Expect setbacks.  Amy will suddenly meltdown and miss her house and her friends and etc.
#11 Be supportive of David. He does feel guilty about taking you away from your "home".
#17 Find a babysitter.  Keep life as normal as possible for you and David.  You still need to have date nights. You'll need each other now more than ever.
#21 Cry if you need to. No need to be a hero and hold it all in.  It'll just make you feel sadder.  But don't let it over take your life.  Remember, nobody died.  You just moved.
#25 Take lots of pictures and post them on Facebook so that we can all share in your new life.
#29 Don't forget that this is an adjustment for everyone. Including David.
#41 Refer to number 21 as often as possible
#42 If all else fails, go shopping.

Getting silly at the mall
I am pretty sure that Kym got me addicted to afternoon chocolate when she was here!
A great friend knows how to give priceless words of wisdom.  And during Kym's visit, we *both* took #42 (above) very seriously......of course, my living so close to the Mall of America didn't hurt the cause.

And I complain about the spills Jonathan makes when I grocery shop?? This one was my disaster at the mall!
Kym arrived on Tuesday afternoon (Oct. 2nd) .  We decided that the best plan was to have a laid back kind of night so that we could have a full first day at the Mall of America (MOA).  David grilled out some steaks and played bartender for us girls so that we could have some long over due time chatting and catching up.

Yes, there is even a wedding chapel at the mall.
On Wednesday (Oct. 3rd) , I put Madeline on the school bus and after a quick breakfast, Kym and I (with Jonathan in tow) headed out to the MOA.  Jonathan is typically a good shopper, but despite having several hours of shop time we still did not make it through the entire mall.  After heading back home to get Madeline off the school bus, we decided to take a walk around the lake near my house and take a quick trip to the playgroud before getting dinner in the oven.  Certainly more marathon shopping was in our future and so, again, we decided to have a relaxing evening.

Not that either one of us are fans, but Arnold Schwarzenegger was at MOA
Fairly Odd Coaster
Action shot of us on Rock Bottom Plunge
Say cheese!
Dinner at Tucci Benucch
On Thursday (Oct 4th), we girls had the same plan of attack - that is, get Madeline off to school and head out again.  This time we started our day at Ikea.  It has been about six months since I have been to Ikea so I was happy to browse and even happier about snagging a couple houseware items that I needed, as well as a Christmas gift. We headed back home, ate lunch and put Jonathan in for a nap.  The plan was to get Madeline off of the school bus, take the kids to the Minnesota Children's Museum in downtown St. Paul (near David's office) and then David would pick up the kids after work, allowing Kym and me some time to go out in the evening without a child entourage.  Well, you know the saying, "the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry".....sure enough, the museum, which is open to 8pm on many nights, closed that particular day at 4pm.  A quick adjustment of the sails brought us back to the MOA.  Madeline was able to ride a ride and David met us there for the "kid exchange".  Since we were at the mall, Kym and I  did a little more shopping and decided to ride a few rides.....yeehaw!  We road two coasters, The Fairly Odd Coaster and the Spongebob Squarepants Rock Bottom Plunge.  After screaming like little girls on the ride, we decided to have dinner.  We both chose Pasta Carbonara at Tucci Benucch Restaurant in the mall.

The obligatory pose with Mary Tyler Moore
The Shout House.....I'll be back!!
Friday was Kym's last full day visiting.  We needed to squeeze in any last minute things that we wanted to do before Kym headed home.  After a quick stop to run into the Children's Museum in St. Paul in order to pick up a souvenir item for her kids that we knew was sold there, can you guess what we did?? Yep, back to the mall!  Some might wonder if I get sick of taking all my visitors to the Mall of America.....the answer is a loud, "No!"  Yet, as my mom would have said about a regularly traveled route, "there are ruts in the road from my car and my car just goes on auto-pilot".  NOT a bad thing if those "ruts" are taking me shopping!  We finished up at the mall and once again needed to get back to get Madeline off the school bus.  Another girls' night out was on tap for the evening.  This time we girls invaded downtown Minneapolis.  After a quick driving tour of Minneapolis, we parked the car in what appeared to be a "bat cave" of a parking garage that Kym was convinced we would never find again at the end of the evening.  Although it was a cold night, we walked to a strip of restaurants nearby .  After not seeing anything that struck our fancy, we walked over to a different entertainment strip.  Again, I repeat.....it was a cold night!  Poor Kym! My dragging her all over downtown Minneapolis almost turned her into an icicle.  We ended up settling in at the Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery.  Although Kym & I had to get up at the crack of dawn to get Kym to the airport for a 7am flight, we decided to make one last stop before heading home.  We stopped into Shout House, a dueling piano bar.  Although we both were having a good time there, Kym knows that I could potentially become unleashed at a place like that!  The early morning wake-up call kept me restrained and for that, I believe Kym was grateful. (But, I will *no doubt* go back!!)

Kym and me at the Shout House
And just like that, all too soon, Kym's visit was over.  On Saturday, at 5:30 in the morning, we were on our way to the airport.  Kym's visit (David pm "kid duty" didn't hurt either) gave me a huge spirit boost.  And although Kym's trip here was a birthday gift to Kym from her husband, I must too say, "Thanks, Alan"!  Thanks...as time spent with a good friend was a gift to me too!

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