Oct 16, 2010

Minnesota - again

Out on the patio in Stillwater, MN.

Sadly, my grandma Ruth passed away the evening of September 27. It was a blessing that London and I had been able to visit her at the beginning of August to say our I love yous and goodbyes. She was even able to cross off all the items on her bucket list, from having an ice cream social to say goodbye to friends to getting a private tour of the Twins' new stadium, Target field. During that tour she got to go down on the field and take some pictures.

My grandma was a great lady. While I didn't get to see her often, she always made the most of the time when we did. One winter she and my grandpa rented an apartment in Chico for 3 months or so. They helped my mom out by shuttling me to karate lessons and my grandma volunteered in my classroom. The best was when we'd go to see them for dinner and she's sneak me candies from the candy dish on their coffee table.

My grandma was also the one who helped me ring in 1990. My parents were out celebrating with friends and my grandpa went to bed early - he said he'd seen enough decades pass. But I was intent on staying up until the stroke of midnight to say goodbye to the 80's. Grandma let me stay up with her. At midnight we said goodbye to 1989 and hello to 1990 together.

I'm so glad she made the long plane rides to come for my high school graduation and wedding, and that she got to hold London in her arms before passing.

London, Cameron and I flew to Minnesota to be with my family and attend the graveside service and party that Sunday. No funeral for my grandma - she wanted us to celebrate her life, not mourn her passing. She'd lived a long, happy life. At the end of the graveside service we sang "Take me out to the ballgame" in her honor.

Leave it to my grandma to pass during the most beautiful time of the year versus the cold winter when the ground is frozen. I'd never been to Minnesota in the fall. The leaves were changing, with bright yellows, oranges and reds all over and the air was cool and crisp.

While there, we spent some time at the Mall of America to see my aunt's new store, Get Social. Someone was handing out coupons to the aquarium, so we decided to see what it was all about and take London. While we have yet to visit an aquarium that tops Monterrey's, I was impressed. The first part was dedicated to Minnesota's aquatic landscape and included a Giant Alligator Turtle. London loves the Koi fish at the beginning and even followed the sharks as the swam over us in the tunnel. The aquarium also had a great exhibit on Sea Horses, my favorite. Too bad I forgot the camera!

We were the last to leave on Monday and had a whole day to kill before our flight home. We ended up driving to Stillwater, MN to see more of the colors. It's a cute little town along the Mississippi, which at the time was very high, flooding along the banks. We wandered in and out of the shops and had a lovely lunch at the local malt shop, enjoying ourselves on the back patio.


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