Minnesotan Nostalgia.

4 Oct

I’m back to work today after my wonderful (too short!) trip to Minnesota.

My flight out Thursday night was uneventful and I arrived in Minnesota at 10:30. My parents and oldest brother, Jeremy, and his wife, Jennifer, picked me up from the airport and we drove down to Rochester (where I grew up). After talking a bit, we all called it a night around 1:00 am.

We spent the first part of Friday eating breakfast, getting wedding and baby gifts together, and I went through a bunch of stuff I had stored in my old closet before going to college. I threw away a bunch of stuff – old pictures, old notes, old boyfriend memories, etc. I am not a keeper. If I don’t think I’ll actually use it or look at it, I toss it. Done!

After some frantic rushing due to a car malfunction, we made our way up to Minneapolis for the rehearsal and groom’s dinner – my mom was a reader and my brother was an usher in the wedding. We were about 20 minutes late to the rehearsal because of traffic but other people showed up late as well so all was well. After we checked in to our hotel and I changed, we headed over to the rehearsal dinner at Loring Kitchen + Bar. It was a great time – perhaps because it was an open bar and I probably had the equivalent of 4 glasses of wine (they kept refilling it before it got empty so it was hard to keep track). We returned to the hotel and went to bed around 11:30.

We stayed downtown at The Hotel Minneapolis. The cousin of mine that was getting married is actually part owner of the hotel and was involved in the development of the hotel. We got to see the inside when it was just an empty space with carpeting over the gorgeous marble floors!

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Before going to bed on Friday, I discovered St. Anthony Main was only 3 blocks away and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go for a run on my old stomping grounds. So many memories!

The trails I used to run on.

The lab Travis worked at.

The Panera we ate at every Sunday morning.

The building I lived in my junior year of college.

Ahhh… Minnesota.

Even though it was only 47 degrees out and I had only brought a t-shirt and shorts to run in, and I could tell I had drank a bit too much the night before, and I didn’t have anything to eat beforehand, I enjoyed every minute of that run. And I finally got to take advantage of the lower elevation without humidity! I ran 3.93 miles in 39:05 – a 9:57/mile pace. Heck yes!

We went out for brunch at Key’s Grill & Bar (delicous cinnamon french toast!) and then it was time for the wedding. Josh and Laura got married at The Basilica of St. Mary. This cathedral is gorgeous.

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Their ceremony was a very traditional Catholic one and was very nice. I’m not generally a fan of Catholic homilies but it’s not my wedding.

After the ceremony, we went back to the hotel (where the reception also was) and ate some snacks in my cousin Colleen’s room (she’s actually only 9 months younger than my mom so it’s weird to call her my cousin). Then we headed over to Nicollet Mall to walk around and look at the shops. I had only brought 2 pairs of boots with heels + my casual slip-on sneakers (which would’ve looked very weird with my wedding outfit) so my feet were very unhappy by the time we were done walking around.

When we got back, the wedding reception had started. We retrieved our gifts and headed downstairs to the open bar. I had a “Laura’s signature cocktail” made with black cherry vodka, ginger ale and some other stuff, plus two glasses of wine. The cocktail hour was held in the lounge area of the hotel and the dinner was in the restaurant – perfect space for a wedding reception if you can swing it!

At dinner, I got to sit with all my brothers, 2 sisters-in-law, my cousin-in-law, and my brother’s and cousin’s girlfriends. Fun! Everyone missed Travis and wondered where he was. I wished he could have been there too but when you live 1,000 miles away, you miss out on a lot of things. I was just thankful that I could make it.

Since my dancing partner was missing and no one else from our group seemed particularly interested in dancing, I didn’t dance at all. We just sat around talking until we all went to bed around 11:30. I actually went to bed before my parents! I felt like such a loser. But when I get exhausted and want to go to bed, I am absolutely worthless so it’s no use trying to stay up.

Sunday morning, I got up early again to do 20 minutes on the elliptical + some strength training in the hotel gym. Then we went to breakfast at Bruegger’s Bagels where I had an egg + cheese on a pumpkin bagel (not as gross as it sounds) and a pumpkin coffee. I miss Bruegger’s. (Although I have to admit that Panera’s breakfast sandwiches are way better because they use real eggs, not egg patties.) And then we went to church at Bethlehem Baptist! It was so fun to be back there, even though I didn’t see/get to talk to anyone I knew. Piper’s sermon on sharing yourself with others was great – you can listen to it here.

After church, we hightailed it over to Roseville to pick up the food for the baby shower and then hightailed it back downtown Minneapolis to Colle + McVoy where my brother, Chris, works. They have a cafeteria space that people often use for wedding receptions and parties and it was perfect! Best part, it was free. We were running about 30 minutes late but luckily, so was everyone else! We ate a bunch of food, played some games, and opened gifts. It was a great time (I don’t have pictures yet, but when I do, I’ll post them – my SIL is so cute with her baby bump!)

The shower was only supposed to last until 2 but we didn’t leave there until 5! After we cleaned up and loaded the car, we drove back down to Rochester. We ate some burgers and fries at Newt’s and then got the tour of all the new additions/renovations around Rochester. I really think Rochester is a nice town. If I didn’t have this weird thing about not wanting to move back to the town I grew up in (and if Travis didn’t consider southern MN to be only one notch above Iowa), I would be tempted to move there. It’s changed a lot since I was in high school (for the better). Back at the house, we looked at old pictures of Jeremy until it was 10:45 and time for bed!

Monday morning, Jeremy and Jen took off after breakfast. After I packed up, showered and went through some more old stuff, my dad, mom and I went out to lunch at a new restaurant called Pi Pizza. I had a veggie pizza with red onions, sweet corn, green peppers, tomatoes and goat cheese. It was so good that I ate the entire thing!

Then my dad headed to work and my mom and I went on a walk around Silver Lake, looked at the U of M’s Rochester campus downtown and had some Italian gelato. I ate so many sweets this weekend! (And it hasn’t ended because I ate a cookie after lunch today. But no more! Time to get back on a normal eating schedule/diet.)

At 3:00, it was time to head to the airport and by 4:30, I was inside the airport, waiting at the gate for my flight that didn’t leave until 7:30! I had gotten the time change mixed up and thought my flight left at 6:30. I bought a newspaper, read every article I was remotely interested in, and then did the crossword. Then I got a sandwich and a latte, called Travis, and read some posts on Google Reader. Finally, my flight was boarding.

As we took off, I looked out on the lights of the Cities and was sad to be leaving. For some reason, Minnesota just feels like home. Bugs, snow and humidity notwithstanding, I love Minnesota. And even though we enjoy Colorado and have great friends, a great church and good jobs, it just doesn’t compare.

I can’t wait to move back!

3 Responses to “Minnesotan Nostalgia.”

  1. B. in the Know October 4, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

    Glad you had a good time here! Sad I missed you – but I love the sound of you moving back!!
    Much love,
    B

  2. Lisa October 4, 2011 at 11:26 pm #

    All sounds wonderful! Thanks for sharing the weekend w/ us! Did you go to the U, or an I not seeing your old dorm quite right?

    Great run too. Way to rock sub-10 pace!!

  3. specialkkluthe October 5, 2011 at 7:02 am #

    I was a few miles from the U proper so my dorm wasn’t in any of the pics.

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