Monday, July 09, 2007

Minneslowta - The Land Of A Thousand Lakes

We flew back to Minneapolis on the long fourth on July weekend to attend the Altar Boy’s wedding. The flight east was uneventful but it felt way too long. We rented a car and drove to the Best Man and Matron Of Honor’s (The Altar Boy’s Parents) place.

On the way I displayed my lack of knowledge of State Mottos. We passed a lake and I said there’s one of the one thousand lakes of Minnesota. The wife, practically rolling her eyes, said “It’s Ten Thousand lakes and you’d better not tell the Best Man and Matron Of Honor or they’ll smack you” or something in that vein. We were amazed that most of the traffic was driving the speed limit. Later in the trip I coined the name Minneslowta. We told the Godson (The Altar Boy’s brother) and he was indignant. Oh well, the fact is I was driving on LA Time and everyone was driving on Minneslowta time. It was irritating though it made it easy to merge into traffic.

We were taken out to eat by the Best Man, Matron Of Honor, and Godson. As we were leaving there condo, the Best Man said “He had to put on his shoes.” We took this to mean that he was passing gas. From that point on, everyone was putting on their shoes. Dinner was followed by our customary hours of family, religion, and politics. We always have interesting conversation with them. We don’t always agree but we always have a good time. The Godson broke it up at about 1:30 am and we went to bed. The next day the conversation continued until the Matron Of Honor got back from doing errands – then it was all “Are you ready yet?” “What were you doing while I was out?” “I’m ready; He’s the one who’s not ready."

The wife and I parted company with the Best Man, Matron Of Honor, and Godson as they were heading to Rochester to prepare for the wedding. The wife and I headed out to Stillwater, a really cool town on the banks of the St. Croix Lake (formally the St. Croix River before the Mississippi silted up one end). The town is full of old buildings, restaurants, pubs, and quaint little shops. I dropped off the wife so she could walk the shops and I went geocaching. (More about my geocaching in my next post.)

After caching, I met up with the wife in a pub. We had something to drink to cool us off and re-hydrate. The wife picked up some cool Thoreau posters for the Godson and the Altar Boy (They’re both teachers and will use them). We left Stillwater and drove to Aunt D’s place. She is the Altar Boy and Godson’s Grandmother and a wonderful woman. We took her out to dinner and had a great time.

The next day, Friday, we ate breakfast and lounged around the Best Man and Matron Of Honor’s condo changing our shoes before we picked up Aunt D and drove down to Rochester. We were going to attend the rehearsal (The wife was a reader). There was a little time before we had to go so I went to do a couple of geocaches in the area. The rehearsal went well. We left the rehearsal and, driving LA fast, were the first to arrive at the rehearsal dinner. The rehearsal dinner, at a Rochester Italian Restaurant, was delicious and awesome all rolled up into one.

On Saturday – the Altar boy’s BIG day – 07/07/07 – I went out in the morning to do two more geocaches. I returned to the hotel, took a shower and got ready for the wedding. We showed up a little early and sat in the cool church waiting for the ceremony to start. The church in Chatfield is beautiful - a great setting for a wedding. The Father officiating at the wedding, born in Kenya, was ordained just two months before the wedding and it was his first. He seemed like a very nice man – great sense of humor. The ceremony went on without any major hitches. The flower girls were cute and ornery as expected. The wife managed to say “On their wedding night…” and “Lust” without giggling. Everyone applauded for Mr. and Mrs. Altar Boy.

After the wedding we sped (LA Speed) to the reception hall in Eyota, MN to get good tables for the wife’s clan. We were one of the first to arrive. Aunt C brought "The Book" that the Matron Of Honor had bought her in Stillwater a few years ago. She dog-eared a few pages and wrote comments next to interesting pages. It was passed around the group so that others could write in it before it was added to the wedding gift pile. That Aunt C – what a pistol!

The reception was fun. The wife bought shots for the ushers (She had threatened them if they were late for the ceremony – they were not so she rewarded them. Good guys. They started calling her the Candy Lady.). The bride drank beer out of the wife’s shoe – an old tradition … or is it a new one? Not sure. We all sang the Schnitzelbunk – more like we sang La La while the Altar Boy sang since we don’t know German. The Altar Boy and his fellow college friends all dropped trow during Billy Joel’s Piano Man, another new tradition for our family weddings. I have to say that I married into a fun party-hardy family. Since I don’t drink, I indulged myself with white wedding cake. Only five pieces, at the wife’s encouragement, I might add.

After the reception we drove back to our hotel and a few of us went across the street to Perkins for some early morning breakfast at 12:30 am.

The next morning – actually the same day … whatever, I’m confused – We said our goodbyes and the wife took me to the Minneapolis airport. I flew home while the wife drove to Nebraska to visit some friends and further adventures. Since I try to keep Homer's Travels anonymous, I can't link to any pictures of the wedding and reception except for the Corn Water tower in Rochester.

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