Tyler and Levi having a great time at Sandbox VR in Eden Prairie. Very cool setup and an incredibly immersive experience.

    Today we took Mazie to St. Olaf to move into the dorm. She has four days of New Student Orientation before classes start. The campus is beautiful and it was buzzing with all the new arrivals. It was a big milestone day filled with many tears and hugs by all of us.

    Tomorrow a new chapter begins and we take Mazie to St. Olaf to start her college adventure. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such a complicated and wide array of emotions. It is great, exciting, and so hard, tough all at the same time. 😬

    Renaissance Festival 2023

    We made our regular visit to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival today! We hit all of our favorites. Both kids made their regular attempts at Jacob’s Ladder but it still eludes them. Cheese curds, Turtles on a stick, and a Beef Stick for me.

    Family selfie at the King’s Gate.

    Knights Guard.

    There was a race up the climbing wall, and then Mazie and Tyler both did it again.

    Tyler trying out the archery.

    Tyler likes to whip tomatoes while being insulted.

    It is a tradition that I have to do the sledge hammer each year. I dinged it!

    Both kids love the trampoline jumping.

    We see Tuey everytime we go to the RenFest. He’s been performing at the RenFest for 42 years! (He’s 61 years old!)

    Made Swedish Pancakes this morning with my Mom. She prepared the batter and I worked the flat top. These pancakes are one of Tyler’s very favorite things.

    Took Tesla to Fargo for concert so using the Superchargers today. Mazie getting some lunges in while we charge.

    Tyler's 1:1 with Archie

    A few weeks ago Tyler was saying how cool it would be to have a 1:1 with Archie Black, our CEO. I shared that with Archie and he said he’d be happy to do that, but we should do lunch instead.

    So today Tyler came to work with me and Archie, Tyler, and I went to the Minneapolis Club for lunch. Tyler had a number of questions and Archie did as well for him.

    This picture was taken in Archie’s office before we left for lunch. He asked Tyler what his favorite sport was and of course he said soccer. Archie searched around and found one soccer ball he had (Chelsea) and gave Tyler that.

    Tyler seemed pretty comfortable in my office!

    My daughter Mazie posted her very first blog post, her photo walk in Soglio, Switzerland. She has her own micro.blog site for easy publishing. Also @mthingelstad. 🎉

    She is a fabulous writer so I’m hoping she will share her talents with the world.

    While we were in Soglio, Switzerland at the end of our hiking trip we all got our cameras out and did a photo walk of the village. Here are my ten highlights. Also see Mazie’s photos and Tyler’s photos.

    Breath it all in

    On the final evening of our Switzerland & Italy trip we slowly walked around the Duomo in Florence and took in the grandeur. We all admired it and Mazie and I “breathed it all in”. It’s a goofy thing we like to do to really take in the scene with a big, deep breath. It started by breathing in the waterfalls in Iceland.

    As we were standing there it hit me that this is the last family vacation we’ll take before she goes off to college.

    Many new journeys are ahead. But I’d be fine keeping things just as they are too.

    Switzerland & Italy Log - Day 12

    Weather: Cool and cloudy in morning. Warm and sunny in afternoon. Overall nice day.

    • Underwhelming breakfast at Combo hotel.
    • Walk to Venice in a Day experience start.
    • Walking tour of many of Venice sights.
    • Gondola ride through canals.
    • Started raining, duck into Ristorante Chianti just outside of Saint Marco Plazq for a delicious lunch. Tammy orders a bottle of Moscato d’Asti to go with lunch
    • Meet back with our group to see the Church of Saint Marco.
    • Detailed tour of Doge Palace and introduction to the Venetian government system pre-Napoleon.
    • explore to find gelato. Took a bit and found “a really cute place” that Mazie found.
    • Walk back to Combo hotel.
    • Tammy and Jamie both fall asleep.
    • Wake up just in time to walk to Pastry Tour.
    • Fast walk to train station to meet Maria, Pastry Tour guide. Jamie’s injured left leg hurt a lot.
    • Explore 5 different places.
    • Get 3 meatballs at restaurant recommended by Maria.
    • Walk back to hotel.
    • 😴

    Jump to day 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 or Switzerland & Italy 2023 collection.

    Switzerland & Italy Log - Day 11

    Weather: Started warm in the morning. Thunderstorms in Milan in afternoon. Warm in Venice.

    • Great breakfast at iQ Hotel. Impressive spread.
    • Check out of hotel.
    • M3 train to Duomo
    • Explore Galleria Vitoria Emanuele
    • Get coffee at ???
    • Take full tour of Duomo. Incredible! Rooftop views are impressive.
    • Tammy and Tyler run to get take home gift for his friends. Jamie and Mazie take pictures in Duomo plaza while thunderstorm approaches.
    • Duck into Metro just as storm arrives and take M3 back to Central FS.
    • Train 9735 from Milan to Venice
    • Arrived in Venice
    • Take water bus 4.2 to hotel
    • Checkin at Combo
    • Poor choice and decide to have a fairly simple and non-Italian dinner at the hotel
    • Walk around Venice for an hour and see the city. Amazing golden hour photo opportunities.
    • Return to Combo hotel.

    Jump to day 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 or Switzerland & Italy 2023 collection.

    Switzerland & Italy Log - Day 10

    Weather: Hot and hot

    • Amazing breakfast at iQ Motel
    • Catch express train 8803 from Milan to Modena for Ferrari Day!
    • Walk out of train station wrong way because of cute train mural on walls
    • Walk to Enzo Ferrari Museam
    • Briefly explore the smaller side of museam
    • Shuttle to Maranello
    • See the museam- Jamie shed some tears at the F1 racing display
    • Photo shoot in yellow Ferrari
    • Lunch at Museam Cafe (much better than the equivalent in the US and cheaper)
    • Panaramic factory tour- short naps for all
    • Shuttle back to Modena
    • Racing simulation for Mazie and Tyler
    • See larger section of the Rnzo Ferrari museam
    • Macarons, coffee, and chocolate crumble at museam cafe
    • Walk back to train station and wait for delayed train
    • Train back to Milan- seating troubles
    • Train 40 mins late, so have to take a White Taxi to Mad Machines
    • Taxi driver hauls it like we’re on the Amazing Race, but we are still 5 mins late
    • Time Machine: another amazing escape room with so many rooms and creative challenges
    • Tram to Pizzeria Fabrico
    • Delicious pizza, pasta, and tiramisu
    • Metro back to hotel
    • 😴

    Jump to day 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 or Switzerland & Italy 2023 collection.

    Tyler and I were having fun watching the max speed of our train back to Milan. Hit 245 km/h or 152 miles/h. Felt fast! 🚄

    Switzerland & Italy Log - Day 8

    Weather: Cool morning in Sils Maria. Big thunderstorm in mid-morning by Vicosoprano. Cloudy most of the day on trail. Nice on arrival into Soglio with heavy rain in later afternoon. Cool evening.

    • Breakfast at Hotel Edelweiss
    • Tammy gets trail lunch at Volg
    • Bus to Vicosoprano
    • Begin hike to Soglio
    • Hunkered down to avoid thunderstorm
    • Resumed hike with long ascent
    • Beautiful trail across several waterfalls
    • Slippery rocks: Tyler falls twice, Jamie slips many times and falls once
    • Amazing Roman Road on trail
    • Arrive in Soglio
    • Explore village
    • Shop at Soglio Products for various lotions
    • Cappuccino and snack at Palazzo Salis while waiting out another downpour
    • Return to hotel for rain gear
    • Tyler and Dad watch end of Tour de France stage. Tyler writes another blog post. Mazie and Mom shop in village.
    • All Go out for photo walk in Soglio.
    • Final group dinner.

    Jump to day 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 or Switzerland & Italy 2023 collection.

    Switzerland & Italy Log - Day 7

    Weather: Very cool in the morning warming up through the day. Very pleasant all around.

    • Breakfast at hotel
    • Walk from hotel for hike
    • Hike begins with a gentle ascent above the treeline
    • Walk through amazing village of Grevasalvas
    • Break at rocky overlook before descending
    • Descend and take path around lake
    • Lunch on the trail
    • Return to Sils Maria
    • Tammy and Mazie do some shopping, buy cool local bowls
    • Coffee and snacks at Grond Cafe
    • Mazie and Tyler explore
    • Tammy and Jamie relax
    • Dinner at hotel with delicious Apple Strudel for dessert!

    Jump to day 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 or Switzerland & Italy 2023 collection.

    Tyler felt this picture needed to happen. 🤣

    Tyler, Mazie, and Tammy at the Segantini Hütte.

    Lost Wallet

    Update: My wallet was recovered!

    Yesterday morning I realized I had lost my wallet. The previous day we had finished our first hike and while waiting for the train in Ardez I gave Tyler some cash so that he could get small ice cream cups for the group from this self-serve stand. That was the last time I saw my wallet.

    I realized I didn’t have it when walking to dinner that night, but assumed it was in the room and didn’t think much of it. The next morning I looked for it and started to worry when I didn’t find it right away. Where was it?

    I traced my actions and remembered the ice cream. I also remembered that Tyler brought me change back and I put that in my wallet. But i didn’t. I found the change in my pants pocket.

    So where did my wallet go? I suspect I set it down by the train station thinking I would put the change in it, then I didn’t. I also was rearranging my backpack at the same time.

    Our guides did there best to try and find it. Dave actually took the train back to Ardez the next morning to look for it but no luck, and then hiked back to the group. The hotel called around as well, no luck. By the late afternoon after having looked everywhere multiple times I declared it lost.

    I keep all my important numbers and info in 1Password and years ago read a suggestion to tag items with “Wallet” that are in your wallet. That paid off yesterday when I was able to confidently inventory all I needed to deal with.

    Net it isn’t too big of a deal. Unfortunately I had a good bit of spending money in it and that is gone. But everything else is in the process of getting replaced now. And having everything on my phone gives a good backup.

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