Minnesota nice=A Very Nice Family Reunion

July 15, 2018

Minnesota nice=A Very Nice Family Reunion

IMG_4458 2.jpgHans bakery, with its Texas donuts, was one of the highlights of our
Minnesota Family Reunion, 2018.

I must admit, that in the midst of raising our active brood of four, it never occurred to me that my children’s homes may one day be thousands of miles from one another.
Yep, it happens. At present, we have offspring living in Florida, Maryland, and Minnesota (plus an honorary “sibling” in South Carolina). Four years/five family reunions ago, in an effort to gather for some family fun time, I initiated the idea for our (first) annual family reunion. 

The Schedule

My Minnesota daughter and son-in-law kindly offered their newly-purchased home for this year’s get together, with two of my “kiddies” able to make the trip north. 

IMG_4386My daughter and son-in-law hosted us for the week.
They have just added Pongo, this cute Dalmatian puppy, to their family.

IMG_5151My daughter had Minnesota “goodie bags” for each of us when we arrived.
Above is part of our Minnesota-themed booty.
Thank you! :o)

Each family planned our activities for one-two day(s), including deciding on and preparing, or going out, for meals. It was a wonderful week and a memorable time.
I share with you some “highlight” photos of our Minnesota Family Reunion, 2018,
or as some prefer to call it, The Bold North Family Vacation.  :o) Enjoy!

“Highlight” Reel Reunion Photos 


The Race

IMG_4375.jpgOur youngest son and his girlfriend flew up from Maryland, the day before everyone else,to participate in a local 5K with our daughter on Saturday morning.
They happily pose, and rest, after successfully finishing the race.

Psycho Suzi’s

IMG_0326IMG_4403Psycho Suzi’s, a popular Minneapolis restaurant with a playful island flair,
overlooks the Mississippi River.

IMG_4417They have good eats, including “done just right” crispy tater tots served with
every burger.

IMG_4422.jpgIt was the perfect spot to relax and enjoy our first night all together.


A Houseful of Great Cooks

IMG_4437IMG_4436The family all pitches in to make lunch, including the crushing of Oreos
for the yummy Easy Oreo Ice Cream Dessert.

Click here for the for Easy Oreo Ice Cream Dessert recipe.

Mini Golf

IMG_4446.jpgMini-golf is a “must do” activity at all of our family reunions. :o) 

Lord Fletcher’s

IMG_0307.jpgCasual dining at Lord Fletcher’s on Lake Minnetonka, serves up tasty local walleye/fish, along with other delicious dishes.


Hans Bakery for Breakfast


IMG_4463IMG_0020Chandler and his girlfriend had done their research,
telling me that we were going to a bakery that had donuts the size of your head.
They weren’t joking! :o)
Hans Bakery was a real treat!

Mall of America

IMG_4476These three fans wear their Might Duck shirts in honor of the of
Mighty Ducks movie trio.
Mighty Ducks 2there is a sequence where characters roller blade through
The Mall of America.

You can see that here.  The Mall of America shows up at about 44 seconds.

The Lego Store

IMG_0295There is a large Lego store at The Mall of America.

The Rainforest Cafe

IMG_4495 2.jpgWe all had lunch at the animatronicly-decorated Rainforest Cafe.
This restaurant location was the very first of this chain, opening in 1994.
My eldest photo bombed my photo.  :o)

Crayola Experience

IMG_4512 2I had to make this I‘m Annette labeled crayon at the Crayola Experience! :o)
This attraction is only one of four Crayola Experiences in the U.S.

IMG_4516Playing around with the coloring page machine.

IMG_4542Melt and molds made from crayons!

IMG_4546.jpgThere were crayons everywhere!

IMG_4517There were large crayons.

IMG_4548There were three pound crayons.

IMG_0027.jpgThere were really tall markers, too!

Read about all of the exhibit here.

Pizza for Dinner

IMG_4560Take-out pizza was on the menu for dinner.
Black Sheep Pizza is a Twin City specialty.
There is even one at the Minneapolis Airport!


Minnehaha Falls

IMG_4572 2.jpgMy daughter sports her Minnehaha Falls tee shirt,
as her hubby gives her a sweet kiss on the cheek in front of the romantic falls.

IMG_4581Everyone is all smiles while posing with the beautiful  Minnehaha Falls
in the background.


IMG_4623.jpgNever heard of Whirlyball?  
It is an entertaining game using bumper cars and lacrosse-type scoops,
played by two teams.

You can read more about Whirlyball here.

IMG_4609.jpgIt was a lot of fun!

IMG_4617.jpgAge one was too young to play Whirlyball,
so several us got to take turns taking care of this little lady.

Clubs are Trump

IMG_4644.jpgThe card game Clubs are Trump has fueled the fires of friendly competition in
my family for
 many years. 

Wednesday/4th of July

Bruggers Bagels for Breakfast

IMG_4649IMG_4664 2.jpgMy daughter and my hubby were up bright and early to pick up these festive
pre-ordered bagels from Brueggers Bagels on 4th of July morning.

Red, White, and Blue Cheesecake

IMG_4653 2My daughter creates this 4th of July treat, a patriotic cheesecake,
while wearing her WDW/Muppets tee shirt. :o).
(We were happy to have her in-laws join us for the day.  :o))

IMG_4668.jpgHaving a mini (can) soda in Minnesota! (Your pun for the day.  :o))

IMG_4672.jpgThere was a corn hole/bean bag competition.

IMG_4658We had a cute baby dancing to Little Baby Bum.

IMG_4675IMG_4686 2IMG_4683
IMG_4682.jpgThere was an Eagle-making contest.

You can find the instructions for this edible Eagle here.
(I used mini-chocolate chips for the eyes,
rather than what the instructions suggest.)

IMG_4729IMG_4734IMG_4731IMG_4732We made s’mores.

It was a great 4th of July!


Dizzy’s Pancakes for Breakfast

IMG_4742My hubby makes a “mean” pancake.  They are the best!  
The grand children’s nickname for him is Dizzy, so these are now known as
Dizzy’s Pancakes.

IMG_4751.jpgYou can find the recipe for these pancakes here.

Take Me to the Zoo

IMG_4752.jpgWe were all excited to go to the Minnesota Zoo.
It’s good to have your aunt around to help you out.  :o)

IMG_4788Baby wonder


IMG_4764I had to share my leopard photo. Isn’t he pretty?

IMG_4805The otters are always a treat to watch.


IMG_4815We enjoyed watching the feeding time for the penguins.

IMG_4778.jpgIt was a fun day at the zoo, and I even got to see my first moose in person!


The Famous Juicy Lucy

IMG_4816 2.jpg

A local tourist destination, that is also frequented by locals, The 5-8 Club  has also been  featured on The Travel Channel’s Man Vs. Food. Once a speakeasy, it is now home to the original (well, at least one of two places who claim the original crown) Juicy Lucy.
(A Juicy Lucy is two burgers wrapped around cheese, and cooked to perfection.)

You can see a 2.5 minute clip about The 5-8 Club from The Travel Channel here.
Beware!  Viewing this may make you hungry for a Juicy Lucy! :o)

IMG_4821I enjoyed the tasty Fried Cheese Curds!

IMG_4827.jpgThe Juicy Lucy was yummy, and the cheese in the center made this sandwich
a winner!

The Park

Several evenings we all went to the local park to play soccer, baseball, play on the playground, swing, and just plain relax.

IMG_4834A big smile to go along with this new zoo Spider-moose shirt.

IMG_4847Happy to be on the swings.

IMG_4845Snuggling with Pongo. 


IMG_4867Our reunion time together was nearing and end,
as some of us headed home Friday, while the rest of us flew home on Saturday.
Keeping that in mind, I asked some of the gang to pose for this morning photo.

The Mad Hatter Restaurant/Tea Room

IMG_4874 2.jpgThe Mad Hatter Restaurant and Tea Room was the location for our final
(2018) family reunion event.

IMG_4884 2

Set in the historic Woodbury House, built in 1857, the beautiful grounds sit next to the scenic Rum River.

IMG_4891 2Are these three pondering what to order for lunch?


The Mad Hatter afforded this relaxing spot as we waited for our table.

IMG_4902We all enjoyed the ambience of this lovely old house,
as we decided what to order for lunch.

IMG_0566.jpgIMG_4914IMG_4909Sipping on flavorful tea during lunch was fun!

IMG_4920 2.jpgAs you can see, I personally enjoyed the iced variety of tea, along with quiche (corn cob smoked ham, apple, tarragon & smoked gouda) and Minnesota Wild Rice Soup.

For my personal recipe for Minnesota Wild Rice Soup, click here.

The food was delicious! 
I especially enjoyed my dessert choice of Flourless Chocolate Torte!

IMG_4918.jpgIt had been a week of special family memories!

Previous Family Reunion Posts (with a lot of photos)

Want to see photos of, and read about, other past family reunions?
Click on the blue items below.

2014 at Walt Disney World

2015 at Hilton Head, South Carolina

2016 in Maryland  including Washington DC, Gettysburg

2017 was in Florida, but I never got around to writing the blog post for this one. :oO
It was really fun, though! (Maybe I’ll write about it one of these days…)

Previous Minnesota Posts

Click on other Minnesota posts, below.

September 2013-Mall of America, Mickey’s Diner and Other Midwestern Sites of Minneapolis, Minnesota

October 2015-Minnesota Nice

September 2017-Happily Eating My Way Through the Minnesota State Fair

Does your family do an annual get together? I would love to hear about it in the comments section!

Thank you to my family members for contributing photos for this blog, and for patiently posing for photos when I “requested”, yet again, SMILE! :o)

Thanks for reading!


I’m Annette
I post my blog once per month. Look for my next blog post on (or close to) 

 Thursday, August 16.  Thank you, readers, for your support
for my new posting schedule.  :o)

I appreciate my readers, and I would love to hear your kind comments!
Please post yours in my comment section.

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IMG_4894.jpgI think our busy week may have worn her out.  :o)

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17 Responses to Minnesota nice=A Very Nice Family Reunion

  1. Jenny Sharpe says:

    How wonderful Annette. Love your new haircut. What a beautiful family it is truly wonderful.


  2. bwbuttons@q.com says:

    What fond memories were made — enjoyed you sharing the experience and family with us.. Barb


  3. Michelle says:

    Looks like you had a wonderful week! How special to be able to get together like that!!
    You and your husband have a beautiful family!


  4. greg says:

    Great photos of your beautiful family! Great job to everyone on such an action packed week!


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