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Home again, home again

It was quite the trip. Fortunately, the travel part was uneventful (the flights were on time, our luggage arrived promptly, and there were cookies!), because our time in Minnesota was a whirlwind. Here are a few highlights.

We arrived on Wednesday and spent the first few days at my sister's house. She worked on Thursday, and J.P. and my BIL went golfing, so I spent the day with the kids. We grocery shopped, did Father's Day crafts, and baked toffee bars in preparation for a jewelry party (Wait for the site to scroll through the pics. See that watch with the turquoise stones? I got that!) on Thursday night. It was quite successful—there were about 15 people, and Character Builder got nearly $500 in free jewelry. Must've been the toffee bars . . . .

Then we headed to my hometown for the weekend (my sister now lives about an hour away). I had to wipe the drool from my chin when I saw my stepdad's collection of Nikon gear. I knew he had a lot, but he got a new cabinet and now it's all in one place. I had to take three pictures to get it all in (the other two can be seen on Flickr). Apparently I was so overwhelmed that I didn't even make sure everything was in focus.

The candy store

I had fun playing around with a few of the lenses. I'm in love with the blurred background look, so I think I might have to break down and buy the 50mm f/1.8 lens. Fortunately, it's relatively cheap. I didn't want to try the more expensive lenses for fear that I'd fall in love with them! Here are a few shots with the 50mm.

Pally (left) & Jackie (right)

Night photo experiment

My cousin got married on Saturday, and they asked J.P. and me to do the videotaping. Well, it was all J.P., but I kept him company and also managed to take about a hundred shots from the church's balcony. Two or three of them even turned out! Fortunately, they paid someone to take the real photos. The bride and groom volunteer with the fire department, and this was their cake topper:

Cake topper

Pretty cute, huh? The reception was a lot of fun, but unfortunately it was really HOT in the hall. We spent a little time outside, and I had to kick off my shoes for a while. Can you say ouch?

Ouch

Back inside, I drove J.P. to drink with all of my picture-taking.

He's had enough

We spent Father's Day with my dad, of course. My grandparents, aunt and uncle, and cousin were also there, and it was nice to just relax for a while. The weather was gorgeous, and we played games in the yard.

Lauren is staying with Grandma and Grandpa this week so she can go to dance day camp (my stepmom works in the office of a dance studio), so I unobtrusively crashed the party on Monday morning to see how she was doing. She's quite the little individualist, isn't she?

Individualist

We headed back to Minneapolis yesterday afternoon to meet some friends for happy hour. It was another gorgeous day, and I passed the time with some 65 MPH landscape photos. This scenery is pretty typical for most of the drive (though I did tweak the saturation just a bit).

Landscape at 65 MPH

This morning we got up and headed to the airport. We had a great time, but it's wonderful to be home. I can't wait to sleep in my own bed!
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