Thursday, July 18, 2013

Vacation State Picture of the Day - July 18, 2013

My family recently returned home from a huge vacation to Saratoga Springs, NY with a quick visit to New York City adding in. Our plan was to fly our little Pacer to Saratoga Springs for our 11th Short Wing Piper Club convention. I wrote about the start of our trip in a recent post, The Airplane Notebook. In that post I mentioned we had taken off for NY in our Pacer but were waiting out the weather in Rushford, MN.

Guess what? The weather never got better so we flew the Pacer back home and decided to drive to New York. It took us 22 hours to drive to Saratoga Springs - that's a whole lot of driving! After the convention we drove to Yonkers, NY where we left our car with Short Wing friends, Andy and Gloria, then took the train to NYC. We spent a day and a half in NYC then it was train back to car and car back to home. We drove the return trip without stopping to sleep at a hotel. I don't think we'll do that again though, I will admit, it was nice to get back home earlier than we had planned.

Our trip to NewYork was exceptional! On the way to Saratoga Springs we stopped at Niagara Falls. In Saratoga Springs we saw so many interesting things there from museums to shops to some of the famous Saratoga springs to a fabulous 4th of July celebration. We would all love to go back to Saratoga Springs - it is such a fabulous town! In New York City we saw an off-Broadway show, Peter and the Starcatcher, ate great food, took the Staten Island Ferry past the Statue of Liberty and went to the observation deck of the Empire State Building.

We all loved our trip and are so fortunate that we were able to travel across the country and see so much of the U.S. But you know what? We saw a lot of sights and had many new experiences as we traveled across the country - but in doing so, we all realized how much we like our own state of Minnesota, and how nice we have it here at our own home.

So, to showcase how lovely it is right here at our home, here are two Vacation State pictures for the day. These are pictures of one of my gardens. Enjoy - and remember to spend some time each day in a Vacation State of Mind!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Lago del Bosco - parte due

Yesterday I went on a one day road trip to Hackensack, MN, with my daughter, Rose, my mom, Char, and my son, Ryan.  Why so much driving in one day? Because we dropped off Rose at Lago del Bosco - Concordia Language Villages Italian Language Camp - where she will spend two weeks immersed in Italian language and cultural activities.

Rose attended Italian camp for one week last summer and had a great experience. Last year was Rose's first ever summer camp experience - and I was a bit worried about her. I wrote about my worries and Rose's experience in my blog last year (Concordia Language Villages even posted the blog on the Lago del Bosco Village Pages!) You can read that blog if you click HERE:

This year, dropping Rose off at camp was a much less worrisome experience because she had such a great time last year and we knew what to expect. Things that were overwhelming last year were much easier to deal with. We knew where to park and unload Rose's gear. We understood the process of going through "customs" and had an idea of where things were. We even recognized one of Rose's counselors from last year, Letizia!

Last year we found Rose's cabin and Rose struggled to figure out which bunk to pick and wanted help making her bed. This year when we found Rose's cabin she confidently walked in, looked around, said "this is my bunk" and put her things on the bed. She didn't want help unpacking or making her bed like she did last year. She didn't need any help getting checked in, figuring out where to go or what to say (she remembers enough Italian from last year that she could manage understanding the counselors and is quick enough to figure out what she does not understand right away). The only thing she wanted help with is finding her can of bug spray in her suitcase. Then she was pretty much ready for us all to go and get on with her camp experience. So we left Rose in the art building to make her "targhetta"(her name tag - this year Rose's camp name is "Lia"), took a picture or two and said our good-byes. Then Mom, Ryan and I headed back to the car and the long drive home and left Rose at camp.

Rose, aka "Lia," in Cabin Puglia at Lago del Bosco
It's such a good feeling to know my daughter is growing up, getting more confident with new situations and can handle life on her own. But, you know what? It's still hard to leave Rose at camp because I'll miss my kid. She's so much fun to be around! But then I remember that part of the reason that Rose is such fun kid is because she's had opportunities to get off on her own to learn and grow at places like Lago del Bosco. So I'll miss Rose these next two weeks. But I'm okay with that because at the end of camp I'll head back up north and pick up an even more wonderful Rose.