Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Minnesota Niiiice

I remember being a cocky high school senior and discussing with my family the fact that we'd never have a high school reunion because my friends and I were dispersing all over the country. My wise Uncle Kevin said that people don't stay gone long. Family brings you home. He was right and he wasn't. Half of the girls that got taxed with the lifelong commitment to planning reunions at 18 are Minnesota residents, and the other half are not.

My case seems to be a little different than most. When my parents semi-retired to Nashville, it felt like they were making me a new home. They were making it easier on me to be so far away from my family because maybe one day, I'd be there too. Life has served us all some suprises along the way and I don't think any of us imagined our path would look quite like it does today. So going "home" to Minnesota doesn't feel like home anymore. I can't curl up in my childhood bed. I can't ride my bike to the park. I can't hit up LeeAnn Chin as soon as my plane lands. Yet, I will always be a Minnesotan.

With that said, I am not sure I can quite do my weekend justice. I was busy, well entertained and very well fed! It took a village to get me around town, find a place to sleep and keep me busy. Although it didn't feel like home, it didn't feel like a stranger either.

The weekend just wouldn't have been nearly as much fun if it weren't for my cousin Casey. She did such a wonderful job shuttling me around town and making sure I could squeeze an entire Minnesota vacation into a 48 hour stop. Friday afternoon, her and my new cousin-in-law, Nick, picked me up at the airport and whisked me away to (Maple) G. Love for some special sauce (and waffle fries). We also managed to squeeze in pedicures, a trip to the outlets for tax free shopping and dinner on the Mississippi.

A highlite on my whirlwind weekend may have been a tour of Target Field. See, I leave for a couple years (ok, ten) and a lifelong staple of my childhood is no longer home of the Minnesota Twins. How dare they change things on me! Even more appaling, apparently Mauer and Morneau didn't read my letter requesting that they come home special just for me. At least we did get to tour it from the outside and I have to say it is one of the most amazing stadiums I have seen in a while. Much less commercial than most. Although some would argue it isn't a good thing, it looked more like a municipal building.

The emperor strikes back with a rare straight hair sighting and a a golden glove throne.

Looks like a fancy college library, doesn't it?!

We were up and at'em bright and early Saturday morning. Casey and Karen hosted a little shower shindig for B.B. King. It was such a wonderful excuse to see my family. B.B. was quite spoiled too!

With Grandma June and a fine Grape Juice.

With the diaper cake and the hostess with the mostess.

Saturday night my over-achieving friends continued to over-achieve, hosting one mighty successful 10 year reunion at Solera in downtown Minneapolis. For those of you keeping tally, I was not the only pregnant one there. However, I was the only pregnant lady without a date. Unfortunately, my dress didn't leave the question to debate.

With Ro, Anne, giant bump, and Ami. Beautiful, smart and all insanely talented.

With my very first friend in New Brighton, Erica. Now mommy of two! Its amazing how we took very different paths and somehow ended up with very similar life stories. Now this is why people go back for reunions!

In yet another wonderful turn of events, I got a chance to see Mary. Nothing says sisterly bonding like dining at the Mall of America, complete with faux thunderstorms to set the mood. It made me feel like maybe home is simply with your sister.

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