Saturday, May 5, 2012

Hellena's Visit

Our Korean friend Hellena arrived on Sunday and we were sooo excited to show her Minnesota.  Rocketman had to work on Monday but was taking the rest of the week off so we decided to head to the Outlet Mall for some major shopping.  Coach Outlet was a huge hit.  In Korea, Coach purses run about double what they are here in the States then add the outlet prices and you have a steal.  While in the outlet store we saw a group from China speaking Manderin.  Hellena understood what they were saying and they were remarking about all the beautiful purses.  I wasn't planning on doing a lot of spending but I ended up with some deals too good to pass up.

Hellena said that Koreans also love North Face and Columbia.  Prices are very high for those desirable brands.  The outlet mall had a Columbia store and Hellena found quite a few things there at great prices.

We came home with the trunk full and smiles on our faces.  We were also very tired.
                                       Here's Hellena looking at all the things she bought.
She loved, loved, loved our deck.  She found it a perfect place to do her nails.  The weather all week was fantastic.  It stormed at night and was beautiful every day.  The temperatures were perfect, not too hot or cold.
We also had to take her to the Mall of America.  This photo is of Hellena, Rocketman and my sister, Wendy, would went along with us.  Rocketman even found something that fit which was hard because of how tall he is.
 We ate at Bubba Gump and I had the Shrimp in the Broth.  It was heavenly.  Everyone enjoyed their lunch.
 We also had to visit my favorite store, The Afternoon.  It has all kind of unique knicknacks.
 When we arrived home from the mall, I got a call from our daughter asking if we could watch the little guy, Ezra, for the morning.  He had come home with a fever and couldn't go to daycare the next day.  Our son-in-law would be home around lunchtime but I needed to be there at 7 am so she could get to work on time. 

I thought I would go myself but both Hellena and Rocketman said they wanted to go too.  We left at 6 am and arrived in plenty of time.  We also watched Noah for about an hour until it was time for him to go to school.  He loved Hellena.

                   She was wonderful with him as they were constructing something out of Legos.
 He's Rocketman with fever guy.  He had just cut his two upper front teeth and the source of the fever.
He fell in love with Hellena too.  It got to be Ezra's morning naptime and he was tired so I took him upstairs to lay down.  I came back down to an alarmed Hellena.  She wondered why I didn't stay up there with him.  She said that Korean moms stay with their babies, rubbing their backs until they fall asleep.  She was really upset and I told her that this is how we do it here.  Her sister has a 4 and 5 year old and she sleeps with the kids every night.
 Her last day at our house, we visited Stillwater which is a big tourist attraction and a beautiful place to see the St. Croix River.  This is the Stillwater Lift Bridge.
                                                      Again, the day was perfect.
        As I said before, Hellena LOVED our deck and one afternoon I looked outside to this sight.
Here's a closer view.  I had given her some of my old Oprah magazines and she made good use of them.

The week went by entirely too fast and it was hard to say goodbye.  She left Saturday morning for Incheon and oh how I wanted to be on that flight with her.  Her suitcase and carry-on bag were stuffed with presents and also things she had bought for herself. 

She really changed the way I looked at my life right now and I'm forever grateful for that.  I returned to our house after being away 3 out of the last 5 years.  Almost every room needs to be painted (wallpaper removed) and we desperately need new carpet and flooring for the kitchen.  I'm holding off because we need to repaint first.  I was bummed at the state of our house.

But Hellena made it seem like we live in a mansion.  She loved the lawn and wished she could mow the lawn.  The weeds she saw in the rocks were in a chore but a chance to be out in fresh air.  She spent more time on our deck than I had in a year but that will change now.

Now, I'm thankful for what will have and little by little the work will get done but in the meantime I will enjoy and be grateful for the life I have.  Thank you Hellena and we miss you terribly!

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