Saturday, January 17, 2015

Our Trip to Minnesota

Things have been quiet on this blog for the last week or so as we've been visiting friends and family back in Minnesota. One might wonder why we would willingly leave summer in Australia in exchange for snow and negative temperatures in Minnesota, which is a valid question. The answer: Peter had to attend a work meeting in New Orleans, so it made sense to combine his work trip with our first trip back to the States.

Peter left for his meeting last Tuesday, and Sam and I left for Minnesota on Wednesday. The flight home seemed much shorter than the one we took out to Australia, but somehow I was awake for all 15 hours. On our second flight from Los Angeles to Minneapolis, I had the pleasure of sitting next to a guy who spent a large portion of the four hour flight singing- loudly. He also cleared his throat quite graphically and proceeded to spit into the barf bag numerous times. Oh, and he spilled a glass of water on me. Needless to say, I was happy to FINALLY land in Minneapolis after a full 24 hours spent in planes and airports. Sidenote: during our travel, we lost 117 degrees. When we left Melbourne it was 102 degrees and when we landed in Minneapolis the temperature was -15. I wasn't quite prepared for the cold, and almost ran back on the plane upon feeling that first gust of freezing air.

We had a whirlwind of a week in Minnesota and fit in just about everything possible. I didn't take that many pictures, primarily because I virtually forgot about my phone while I was there, as it only worked when I was connected to WiFi. However, I'll highlight a few events from our trip during which I managed to take some pictures:

On Thursday I spent the day with my Mom and got to see the new house they moved into a few months ago. Here is the view out the back window: 
 We spent the day planning some details for her and my grandparent's trip to Australia next month. They will fly into Sydney and Peter and I will meet them there to explore for a few days before we all fly back to Melbourne. We're excited to check out Sydney and are also looking forward to having family here again for most of the month of February! 
I drove for the first time in six months and managed to stay on the right side of the road (not that the lines are very clear). I don't miss this. 

Peter arrived from New Orleans on Friday around dinner time and we went over to my Dad's house to spend the weekend there. While we've been gone, they remodeled their kitchen. It turned out really well! 
Largest fridge ever and three ovens! 
Induction burners (not entirely sure what they're used for). 
Coolest feature: the amount of time left on the dishwasher cycle is projected onto the floor. How awesome is that. 
Reunited with these weirdos, aka my sisters. 
One of my Dad's favorite hobbies is target shooting/gun collecting. He got a new (extremely large) gun a few months ago and was excited to show it to us. Here's Peter looking through to scope. It wasn't loaded, of course. 
My Dad bartending. 

On Saturday night, I got together with my college friends, who are so awesome they made t-shirts for me! In college we used to find any excuse to dress in matching outfits, so the tradition lives on! 
This picture is a little blurry, probably because I couldn't contain my excitement, but my shirt said "I'm back from the outback". All of theirs said "She's back from the outback". My friends are clever people. They even made Australia-themed food and drinks. 
From left to right: "shrimp on the barbie", "dingo dip", "kangaroo stew", and "down under dip". 
"Snakebite punch" which was finished within the hour.
Group photo! It was so great to see all my college roommates at once. It felt just like old times in the Six Pack (our college house). If I could move them all to Melbourne, my life would be complete. 
Pro tip: if you ever want a lot of attention at a bar, wear matching neon kangaroo shirts. We had approximately 2827292 people ask about them throughout the night.

On Sunday, Peter and I had dinner with a bunch of our high school friends. We had a blast and were so happy to see everyone. There are more pictures somewhere, but the only one that's appeared on Facebook thus far is this one of a couple of us girls:
More people I wish I could bring back to Melbourne with me!

I was able to visit my sister Ali at work and see her relatively new apartment. When we left for Melbourne she had just moved in and it's since been decorated! 
Ali peacin in her cube. 
Her super cute living room! 

We stayed with Peter's parents for the last few days before heading back to Melbourne. One of the joys of staying with in-laws is digging up blackmail worthy photos of your husband.
On our last night, we met some of Peter's extended family for dinner at Big Bowl, one of our favorite restaurants: 

Our journey back to Melbourne was about 32 hours long. The last of our three flights was cancelled, which added a couple additional hours of wait time in the Sydney airport. We arrived home around 3 pm on Friday and were asleep by 8. I took this sunset picture out the window somewhere between Minneapolis and Los Angeles: 

Even though it was painfully cold, we had a fabulous trip to Minneapolis and thank our friends and family for making time to see us! There really is no place like home. 


  1. It's always so wonderful to see family, but after so many days, it's just as wonderful to get back to your own home. Glad you had a great time. Your dad's kitchen is so awesome!. I'm drooling over the wet bar and fridge!

    1. Very true; I was ready to get back home, especially after traveling for so long!

  2. Sounds like a great trip home! I can't even imagine negative temps, I'm struggling with the 50's over here in Texas...

    1. It was pretty brutal, especially coming from the Australian summer!

  3. So glad you got to make a trip home. Not sure how I would deal with the cold at the moment though. I am really enjoying days like yesterday that felt like 102.

    1. The hundreds are a little hot for me unless there's a beach involved, but I'm liking the 70s and 80s we've been experiencing in Melbourne since we've been back!

  4. That's an AR-15 made by Bison Armory, in case anyone wonders, .223 caliber. Bison's web site:

  5. Omg how sweet are your friends?! Dingo dip! Hilarious!



Welcome! I started Laura and Peter Down Under in July 2014 when my husband and I moved from the States to Melbourne, Australia for his job. I blog about expat life, our travels, food, and whatever else comes to mind. Follow along on our adventures Down Under!



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