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Blue Sky

The End of the Vacation: Everyday Magic, Day 358

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

From the 14th floor of the hotel in downtown St. Paul, my family and I watch an obscure documentary on Russia after the Soviet Union collapse while early fireworks blossom in the distance over the Mississippi river and curved lines of golden street lights tell the stories of comings and goings.

Tomorrow we pry ourselves out of bed early and begin the long drive home, and in the days to come, I’ll share many waterfalls and other twists of the oxymoronic family vacation notion and reality. But for now, I land on the convergences of today.

Later, the men in my family called me in a panic — Natalie and I were shopping in Ikea and they were at Mall of America — to say they were beginning to have claustrophobic hyber-ventilation bouts in the blaring noise of a massive mall that held a very loud indoor amusement park.

We met in the Ikea parking lot, Natalie and I hauling some throw pillows while Daniel told me, “It was just terrible, Mom,”

Then it was dinner at a Japanese restaurant where Forest bravely tried something that turned out to be raw beef in garlic sauce, followed by a follow-up dinner for Forest at Mickey’s Dinner, where the floor may be greasy but the food is delish and the history is 72 years full of pancakes, hash browns and burgers.

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