Ritchie Crew

Ritchie Crew

Sunday, November 29, 2015


Santa stayed at our hotel while we were on vacation!  We were right next to Mall of America and at night after Santa was finished with his long busy days he would come to sleep at the hotel.  Santa would stop by the lobby and breakfast area occasionally on his way in/out of the hotel to check on the children and make certain they were being good.  Santa was always dressed in Christmas clothes, even on his off time. He would have on a red and white striped polo shirt with green and red converse shoes.  He told us one morning that he had dirty laundry in his basket, but we all know they were toys he had purchased at the mall;)

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Day 7: Jungle Book

Yesterday was our last official day of vacation.  We are sad to see it end, but also excited to go home to start putting up Christmas decorations.  We traveled by taxi to the Children's Theater in Minneapolis yesterday to see Jungle Book.  I did not get any pictures, but here are a few with credits to citypages and startribune:

Caroline enjoyed the play, and we think we are going to start getting tickets to the plays in Little Rock.  She is at a great age with her imagination.  We leave at two this afternoon to head to our home sweet home.  Hopefully we will not run into any bad weather...Arkansas here we come!

Day 6: Thanksgiving Day at Water Park of America

We spent Thanksgiving Day at Water Park of America.  I did not get any pictures because I did not want to carry my phone around all day.  We splashed and played and had the best Thanksgiving.  As always, this was Matt and Caroline's favorite part of vacation.  They cannot get enough of the slides!  Best water park we have been to so far!

Day 5- St. Paul Children's Museum and Dick's Last Resort

 Wednesday we traveled to St. Paul's Children's Museum by transit.  We had a low key day and we excited for Wyatt to be able to roam, crawl, and play as he wished.   He has been a wonderful baby, but we feel so bad because most of his time is spent in his stroller on this trip.  He had a blast at the museum being able to roam as he pleased.
Wyatt playing outside the castle with Daddy

Caroline with a shell
 We left the Children's Museum in St. Paul and took a short walk to the overview of the river.
 That night we decided to eat at Dick's Last Resort.  The restaurant is known for the intentional wacky and obnoxious staff.  The seating is picnic style seating with other families.  You get to wear funny hats, which Caroline was not wearing her hat!  She didn't even know what her hat said which made it even more funny.  Fun atmosphere for those who can take a joke.  If you do not want to be teased, then I would choose another option for dining.
Sirron's hat said: not his kids
Matt's hat said: voted for Obama
Caroline's hat said: future Denny's waitress
Wyatt's hat said: poop factory

Day 4-Minneapolis

 We rode the Transit into Downtown Minneapolis on Day 4 to explore.  We used the skyways to walk from building to building.  We went to Nicollett Avenue, a major street in Minneapolis, known for the shopping, restaurants, and where most the business takes place.  While waiting on the transit to arrive you will see these buttons everywhere.  You push for heat and look what you get!  Heat!  Minneapolis is not the warmest place, but they sure know how to make you feel cozy and warm.  We found ourselves overdressed most of the time.

Downtown Minneapolis

Transit that we took for most of our transportation
 We took our longest and coldest journey to the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis, which crosses the Mississippi River with St. Anthony Falls. It is the only arched stone bridge that bridges the entire way across the Mississippi River.  It was made in 1883 as a railroad bridge, but now serves as a pedestrian and bicycle bridge.  I did not get a full picture of the bridge because we were not about to walk to the other bridge just for a picture, it was a little cold and windy for the picture.

Guthrie Theater and Flour Mill from Stone Arch Bridge

St. Anthony Falls taken from Stone Arch Bridge

Beginning of Stone Arch Bridge

Caroline and I decided we were going to have our nails painted.  She has been wanting to have her nails painted for quite some time, so the boys went back to the hotel and napped while we had our nails painted and did a little shopping.  

First morning on our way to the Transit Center

New US Bank Football Stadium under construction

Happy Thanksgiving from Our Little Turkey

 Caroline celebrated Thanksgiving last week at her school, and isn't she the cutest little turkey!  We are so thankful for her school and teacher.  She is learning and loving school.  Our little Running Puppy had a great Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Day 3- Mall of America

 We spent the day at Mall of America, and look who we got to see!  Santa was at Mall of America!  He has been there for the last three days and Caroline made the comment that it was a good place for him to be because he can purchase any toy he wants at the mall.  Good thinking;)

We visited the Amazing Mirror Maze, which has been one of Caroline's favorites so far.  She wanted to do it over and over again and I must say at first you think this is no big maze, but after a bit I was seeing multiples of my kids.  My two kids turned into six quickly!

 We visited the Lego Store in amazement at all the extensive Lego work.  The prices amazed us that people pay the amounts they do for Lego kits. Kits were hundreds of dollars, and I am sure a lot of time spent.

 And everyone needs to make a wish...
 ...and ride a few rides

 Santa!  Caroline told Santa what she wanted for Christmas and she told Santa what Jensen had asked him for this Christmas.  Wyatt enjoyed playing in Santa's lap.  Both walked away with smiles and treats, and one little girl's winter trip was filled with Christmas joy.
 We spent the afternoon at Mall of American Aquarium.  Our favorite part was getting to feed the stingrays.  It took Caroline a bit to get warmed up to the idea.

Ready for the next day...

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Day 2-Mall of America-Nickelodeon Universe

 If you plan on visiting Mall of America let me recommended staying at Country Inn and Suites by Carlson at Mall of America.  It has been a pleasant stay and they have a skyway that connects one side of the road to the other.  You are only outside for a minute before entering the warmth.  The weather is chilly in Minnesota, but they are prepared for it.  As the week has progressed we have found ourselves wearing fewer layers because we are only outside for a short minute before entering a skyway.  Minneapolis has the largest continuous skyway system in the world which spans over 8 miles connecting 69 blocks.  They have an app for their skyway system, and you need one!

First stop at Mall of America was in front of the Christmas Tree area so I could take a picture.

Practicing for Nutcraker
 And guess what we got to visit....American Girl.  It was a quicker visit than what I planned.  Caroline does not care much for the dolls, but she does however enjoy checking out all the strollers and bottles.  She had a quick glance over the store and picked a new carrier for Sarah and a new bottle set.
 We spent the majority of Day 2 at Nickelodeon Universe in Mall of America.  This is an indoor theme park in the center of the mall.  Not as many rides as Disney or Six Flags, but Nickelodeon gets my pick for my favorite theme park.  The rides were very unique, spaced out well, short wait times, and with the wrist band you could come and go as you please.  Well done Nickelodeon.  Great park to visit for adults or if you have a family!

view of part of nickelodeon from the mall entrance

last ride of the day...we shut the park down

 Caroline wanted Wyatt to meet Sponge Bob.
Day 2 was loads of fun at Mall of America!