He didn't know it but he happened to stop by on Sept. 23, which this year marked the 17th "anniversary" of when Ray and I met, at college in Marshall, Minn., where Schwan's is headquartered.
It got us thinking about ol' times.
A few days later, we got an invite in the mail from Ray's football alumni club or something from college, inviting him to Homecoming, on Oct. 1.
It was something we've long discussed -- but never done. The Vikings schedule always got in the way, or it was too far a drive, or the kids were too busy, or something or another.
As it happened, though, the Vikes played on Monday that week. And we didn't have any plans. And we were way overdue to sneak out of town, just the four of us.
And so ... we went.
The focus of the trip was on Marshall, on our past, on introducing our little ones to where we met, on our college days.
But it quickly grew beyond that, as we were too cheap to get a hotel room. Ray and I spent countless hours at Camden State Park down there during and after our college days. And the weather looked good, so we decided, Why not?, and booked a campsite.
It would be our first-ever just-the-four-of-us family camping trip.
It was a fantastic weekend. One of our best ever.
So, here's a photo recap!
From the college-aspect portion of the trip:
Why, exactly, Lola's shoe is already off and on the armrest before we even left the driveway is not exactly clear
After every Southwest State football game (almost), we would end up at Applebee's, looking out a window at this exact view. It was a bit surreal to see this view again.
I found my (old) name on a display of old college newspapers. Kinda' cool!
This is the exact spot we met on Sept. 23, 1999. Pic by Lola.
Seeing the new (to us -- I think it's about five years old maybe?) football stadium.
Fun with pom-poms.
She had a great time. She actually was quite interested in the game.
This one was not interested in the game. Ha. But she sure was cute.
Yep, our little cutie.
But the campus side of things was only half the fun -- and, really, while we enjoyed seeing the college and the town again, it was the camping that we loved the most.
Just a perfect experience: great weather, fantastic attitudes from everyone, and some wonderful sights. We also took a several-mile hike Sunday morning after we packed up but before we left town.
Simply a spectacular weekend.