Back on the grid (with links)

I'm back, and had a great trip.

My older son had such a great time at camp. He came back speaking far more Norwegian than I thought he would in only five days. I highly, highly recommend the Concordia Language Villages for anyone who wants to give their kids a total immersion language experience in a safe and fun camp experience. I went to the same camp as a kid, and was surprised at how much Norwegian came back to me just during the process of checking him in to the camp!

While my older son was at camp, my younger son and I had the whole week alone, driving across Minnesota seeing relatives. My son got to play on a farm with his third cousins, and we saw every one of my aunts and uncles that are currently in the United States. My son charmed my aunt's dog who was afraid of children (not anymore), played at the best playground in the country (Hyland Park Play Area in Bloomington, MN), and caught caterpillars with my friend Amy's son.

Speaking of my friend Amy, you should all follow her blog. She's a friend of mine from culinary school, and she worked in some of the best kitchens in NYC, and then moved back to Minnesota. When I got to her house she'd just turned in the manuscript for what looks like the msot fantastic book on Midwestern cuisine (yes, cuisine) I've seen. She writes about enjoying food and the process of creating delicious things, and I cannot wait until her book is out.

We went to Winona to visit my 96-year-old grandmother, and had fun just doing nothing. I ran around the lake every day, and my son chilled out and did puzzles. I also went to a lovely yarn store in downtown Winona called Yarnology that had a "give and take" basket that I think is brilliant. You can bring skeins from your stash that you don't want and leave them, and take whatever you want. Genius. (I bought some yarn for a project for someone who sometimes reads this, so I don't want to talk about it, but this is the pattern. And the owner of the store may have convinced me to actually log in to my Ravelry account. Maybe.)

In eight days I drove 2700 miles, and am ready to stay home for a bit, but am definitely in for the camp thing next year. Who else wants to send their kids?

Now back to normal, whatever normal is. What happened to you last week?