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Wow! Two days here in the motherland have just flown by, and my heart is so full!

Tuesday we spent going out to a lovely brunch with Diane (Marianne’s sister) at a lovely little place in south Minneapolis called the Blackbird Cafe.

Absolutely delightful and amazing, rivaling any of our favorite Portland haunts, but without the lines! Yay!! Also huge thanks to Diane and Bob for hosting us, feeding us, and just being their kind and generous Minnesotan selves Dontchaknow!!!

Then errands, laundry, and a trip to Carver Minnesota about 20 minutes away to see the old family cemetery, and place flowers on my uncle Tommy’s grave…so cool!  The day was then topped off with a lovely dinner with our nephew Joel, his wife Erica, their boys Jake and Will, and their sweet new puppy Storm! Bob and Diane prepared a phenomenal dinner, complete with cookies from the state fair! This picture does not do justice to the cuteness or the fun factor we had with all of them!!!

Wednesday we had breakfast with Taylors dad John, and got to take him on a brief shopping trip….something he looks forward to with great delight! Then lunch with my dear Verkennes relatives, (my moms side) Bill and his wife Diane, Gerry and her husband Jim, and Mike. It was so delightful seeing all of them, talking about family history, and just getting to know each other a little more. Bill gave me oodles of genealogy info that I hope to have time to read and share with folks back in the NW! I cannot thank them enough for their time, kindness, warmth and generosity! Hugs to you all!

Then we capped off the day with a lovely dinner with my brother Phil, his wife Jamie, son Cecil and daughter Ashley.  What a true delight! I had not seen Phil for about 22 years, and he and his family are warm and loving and delightful! Marianne and I left feeling so fortunate for our time with you guys! Thank you all for such an amazing evening!!! And we cannot wait to connect on FaceTime!

So to all our relatives that we have had the joy of spending time with thus far, we cannot thank you enough for the generous love and warmth that you have shown Marianne and I on this visit! Our hearts are full, and we are leaving with a sense of connection and joy! We are so glad to have had a few moments in this oh so short visit with each of you, and hoping for a future filled with more of the same!!!

Sometimes trips are about seeing things and visiting places, but I am learning, again and again, that nothing is as fulfilling as seeing people you love, even if you didn’t know them much before,  because you have the gift of knowing them now, in this moment…

Thanks for the travels, and your gifts in our lives!!!