Booked trip to Minneapolis, Minnesota to visit family...

We stopped at the Glinsce pier to check out the boats.
"Fascinating Fact of the Day About Ireland"
The patron saint of Ireland is Saint Patrick, who was said to have rid the country of snakes.
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There's no doubt, I'd love to be able to get out for more sightseeing.  It's been a month today since our arrival and the clock seems to be clicking faster each day.
The cold, windy and rainy weather has been a huge factor in keeping us in.

Not only do I not want to take a risk of falling on wet slippery surfaces but the cold seems to go right through us.  While I'm not yet feeling 100%, the thought of shivering isn't appealing.  No matter how many layers I pile on, I can't seem to warm up when we're outdoors.

I suppose we can also attribute the feeling of being chilled so readily based on how long we spent in South Africa in mostly hot temperatures.  I can't imagine how cold we'll feel when we visit Minnesota in the US this upcoming November.

Seafaring vessel.
As time seems to pass so quickly, we knew it was time to book our plans for the two weeks we'll spend in Minnesota beginning on November 8th, ending on November 22nd when we'll fly to Nevada to visit more family where we'll stay for a few more weeks.

As much as it seems logical to stay with family while we visit Minnesota, the reality is they either don't have the room and/or have cats to which I am allergic.  We have no choice other than to stay in a hotel.

Nor do we have any interest in imposing on Tom's other family members or any of our friends, many who have offered.  It's daunting to host us as houseguests.  We have a lot of "stuff," we require a huge data load on their WiFi service and it creates a lot of stress for the host when trying to figure out meals with my way of eating.

Most likely, these three boats are used for fishing.
Bottom line, we stay in a hotel.  We eat most of our meals in restaurants when not dining with our children and their families.  We choose hotels that include breakfast.  

We chose a hotel conveniently located to our kids, within a 12-minute drive and within 25 minutes to most of our friends.  Unfortunately, our grandchildren will be in school during the days, based on the time of year.  Instead, we'll see them in the evenings and over the two weekends in Minnesota.

After searching online a few days ago, we were able to book a hotel, airfare and a car for the two weeks.  Prices on hotels and car rentals are high in Minnesota.  We spent hours in research finally able to piece it all together. 

Boat on a dry dock next to fishing gear.
We chose TownePlace Suites by Marriott located in St. Louis Park which proved to be centrally located, close to the busy thoroughfare, Highway 100, at a cost of Euro 1352, US $1532 for the 14 nights.  

In addition, we booked a car through rentalcars.com, a Ford Fiesta, which we'd had in South Africa and found to be perfect for us, for a total of Euro 362, US $410.

The one-way airfare from Fort Lauderdale to Minneapolis is Euro 328, US $372 plus the additional Euro $88, US $100 for baggage for a total of Euro 416, US $472 (for both of us).

Dining and food expense out should run about an average of Euro 1765, US $2000 considering we'll spend some evenings dining at the homes of our children.

A short channel at the pier.  The boat launch is on the opposite side of this pier.
Thus our total cost for 14 nights in Minneapolis will be as follows:
Hotel:  Euro 1352, US $1532
Rental Car:  Euro 362, US $410.
Airfare:  Euro 416, US $472
Food:  Euro 1765, US $2000
Miscellaneous including entertainment with grandkids, etc.: Euro 706, US $800
Total Cost for 14 nights: Euro 4601, US $5214

It's easy to underestimate costs for such a trip.  When all is said and done, including visiting Nevada and Arizona, which we'll post as soon as we've booked hotels and cars, we can easily expect to spend another Euro 8827, US $10,000.

All of these expenses are of particular relevance to us now more than ever, as our health insurance company fails to pay medical bills for the recent four surgeries.  We continue to be pro-active on handling this but at this point have no option other than to pay large sums out-of-pocket.

We'll be back with more tomorrow as we continue to contemplate plans for the future. Have a fantastic day!
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Photo from one year ago today, June 12, 2018:
An elephant scratching her right eye.  For more photos, please click here.

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