Visiting the Land of 10,000 Lakes

Minnesota = Land of 10,000 Lakes

Sometimes my frugalness can end up costing me more than I bargained for. This past weekend my mom, my sister, the kids and I ventured to Minnesota. We made it all the way there from Nebraska on one tank of gas, and filled it up there. The second day, my “check engine” light came on. My first gut feeling is that I bought a “lemon” as my van is 2 months old with only 2000 miles on it.

So, I use my handy-dandy On-Star to do a vehicle diagnostic check as we didn’t notice anything wrong. They said the engine was running lean and to go to the nearest service station. On-Star even gave us directions and a phone number. What took hours to diagnose was the fact that I used some “cheap Minnesota ethanol gas” when I filled up, and my van can’t handle that low of octane gas. So, I had to pay $171 for them to drain out my cheap gas! You know, I wondered why that gas pump was 20¢ per gallon cheaper than the rest!

But all in all, we had a nice time. We stayed with my aunt and uncle in their beautiful cabin by the lake. The kids enjoyed the boat, the hottub, and making S’mores in the Chiminea (Mexican Fireplace). I enjoyed my aunt’s wonderful cooking!

We spent one day at the Mall of America, but I wish we would have had another day, as we didn’t get to see it all. We could have spent another whole day at Camp Snoopy alone, but we did manage to get a few amusement rides in. The girls’ favorite store at the mall was Friends 2B Made, a spin off of the Build-A-Bear Workshop, where they each made a doll. Plus there was no sales tax on the school clothes we bought!

The trip actually went better than I expected. I was anticipating more fighting and screaming among the siblings! They only started really acting up today on the way home. When I threatened we may not go on another trip if they continue to fight, my son (the only male with six females) responds, “Good!”

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