Minnesota with Bates Family 2011 - Day 1




Every summer I try to figure out a way to get up to Minnesota to visit my best friend Mike Bates and his family - wife Katie, daughter Reese + son Mason. It's always been important for me to spend time with him but now it's more important than ever because I'm Mason's Godfather. This trip usually corresponds with the Brewers playing the Twins but this year that was over the 4th of July weekend. Not wanting to miss the 3rd of July I had to make it work sometime else. And then Mike told me his parents were coming up Labor Day weekend so I caught a ride.

Taylor is 4 and Reese is 3 and they are the best of friends. Taylor told me to get out of her town the (the hot tub) then the giggled like crazy when I turned the shower on for them. It was weird game we played but that's how kids are. They're so unpredictable.

Mike lives in Blackduck which is 4 hours North of Minneapolis so it's easiest for us all to meet in the Twin Cities. We met at this Best Western Hotel and went swimming right away. Mike's sister Kristin (Mason's Godmother) took him swimming in the pool.




Reese is a little ball of energy and kept running from the big pool to the hot tub, which caused some concern from her parents. Not only was she running on the pool deck but she was going off on her own. This caused her to get quite a stern talking to by her parents.











Steve Bates (Mike's Dad) was hanging out in the hot tub with a bunch of kids. While that may seem weird it's actually not because this was a very kid friendly hotel and this place was swarming with them. Plus he was just trying to relax. He didn't ask for riffraff.

But they weren't mad for long because she didn't know better and one of the reasons we were up here was to celebrate her birthday. She blew out the candles, we had cake and she opened up presents. It was a good time and I'm glad that the entire family was here.














Ryan (Mike's brother) also came up with his wife Nicole and their daughter Taylor. Ryan was talking with his Mom Bernie while also watching Taylor run from pool to pool. Ever the watchful father, he was still able to multitask and spend quality time with his mother.

Reese is a little firecracker. I don't get her. Sometimes she's flinging water at me and chasing me around and sometimes she doesn't seem to recognize me and won't talk to me. Right now I was her best friend in the entire world and we were having so much fun at the pool.















One of the pools was only like a foot deep and had kid friendly pool fun like a swan slide, water spouts and water falls. It was perfect for the kids and I didn't mind trying to keep up with them. It was definitely a break from the norm where I'm usually watching myself.














After chasing the kids around the pool area and getting out of their town I was dying for some adult time with my best buddy. Mike and I went to the hotel restaurant bar to grab a couple of beers and catch up. It was so nice to hang out and talk like old times and I realize how much I miss just goofing around. It's too bad he lives so far away. But that's what makes times like this so special. It was going to be a great weekend.