Celebrating Thirty Years


Years ago, Bill planned a surprise getaway for our tenth anniversary. It's one we will never forget.  Coordinating everything, he picked me up at work, surprising me with an evening out.  We drove two hours to a Farm to Table Spa.


One awkward moment. One funny moment

1) Dinner was served family style, roasted chicken, in owner's dining room. Did they know I'm a vegetarian?

2) Bill packed my overnight bag with an odd selection of items - he packed only old clothes, including a pair of shorts I used for painting.  As I gave him a strange look, he realized he forgot to grab my workout bag, which was in my car.   We ended up driving back to my office to get my toiletries, running shoes and workout gear.  I know you are asking yourself why someone would do this - the closest store was over an hour away, and we wanted to run/hike the next day.  Driving back made the most sense to us.

We spent our 25th anniversary standing on top of Mount Kilimanjaro.  This is where we met Larry, celebrating his 70th birthday with 40-50 friends on safari. Larry is the reason why we celebrate so many life moments, big or small. Creating memories. 

In June, Bill and I celebrated a milestone anniversary.  Where to celebrate was easy, in Minnesota. Our anniversary was an good excuse for a long weekend away. Over the next few months, Bill and a few friends came up with the following ideas:

  •     Golf/spa weekend at the lake resort
  •     A boating weekend with a sunset BBQ near a barn, complete with a band and dancing.
  •     Renting Paisley Park

After discussing our ideas (mine was closer to a round of golf, followed by dinner), we landed on several small gatherings over three days.  Choosing simple, relaxing, fun over planning.  Making time to catch up with people we haven't seen since moving away in 2002.


We had so much fun reconnecting with friends that we hadn't seen in years. How did we spent the weekend?

  • Thursday: Family night
  • Friday Day: General Mills Reunion Day!  It included lunch and volunteering for the ladies, while the men golfed.
  • Friday Evening: GM Reunion continued with a BBQ.
  • Saturday: Boat races and lunch with a small group. In the evening we had a Celebration Sunset Dinner Cruise on Lake Minnetonka.  Followed by an after 'happy hour' at a patio bar close by.
  • Sunday: Brunch with Bill's family before flying back to New Jersey.

The weekend was filled with so much joy - our hearts are full.  Below is a glimpse into the weekend.

Friday BBQ/White Party: I took just enough photos to capture the evening.  The pizza oven worked beautifully and we are forever thankful to our friends for hosting us for the weekend, and throwing the BBQ.

Lake Minnetonka: Like many Minnesotan's,  we have so many memories on this lake.  Lifelong friendships were made here, Andrew learned to water ski, we lived on our boat EVERY weekend, etc...   


Look at these happy faces!

One of the best ideas we had was hiring a photographer for the evening.  If you live in Minneapolis and are looking for a photographer, we recommend fotokyr. We asked Kyrsten to capture the night with candid photography, and she did a fantastic job!

  • One of the best gifts from the weekend was reconnecting with High School friends, most we had not seen since graduation.  Facebook has let us keep up with each other over the years but seeing everyone in person was such a gift!!
  • The GM crew is our family away from family.
  • Friends among strangers:  You know who you are! Our bond is so strong with a few people that we knew they would join us on Saturday night (if they could) even though they might not know anyone on the dinner cruise.  xxoo

We wanted everyone to walk away feeling glad they made the drive, taking time from their lives to reconnect and enjoy. To all that celebrated with us, thank you! 

Cheers to a healthy, loving future.

Mari Partyka1 Comment