Monday, October 7, 2013

Minneapolis Wedding

I arrive in Minneapolis on Thursday afternoon. My nephew's wedding isn't until Saturday, but Sarah and I have wedding dress shopping plans for Friday, so I have come in a day early. However Sarah has to work on Thursday so I have rented a car and go to see my friend Cyndi. Cyndi used to work for Lee at 3M long ago in Columbia, and she and her family lived in Singapore when we lived in Hong Kong. We catch up on our kids, our lives, and our various running adventures. We sit in Culvers eating ice cream and having a great time chatting away.

Sarah finishes work just as I say goodbye to Cyndi so I drive over to north Minneapolis and meet her at her house. This is my first time there as an overnight guest. I love their stylish colorful guest room. It has one cheery and bright turquoise wall and a red industrial style desk.

I wake to my first ever run in Sarah's neighborhood. Sarah lives on a street that is almost, but not quite, in "the hood", so it is important that I run the correct direction. With Sarah's instructions I head toward the greenway on a warmish, windy morning. It is a hot day for Minnesota with a predicted high of 85 degrees.

Suzanne, Erik mother, and Kris, Erik's sister, are joining us for this bout of dress shopping. Before we head out we take a moment to view the dress Sarah had ordered online. It's pretty but the snaps and buttons up the back are scary and it has some fit issues that would need to be fixed.

The first shop we visit is Che Bella in St. Paul. There another dress is added to the possibilities. The only downside to this shop is this feeling on my part that the girl that helped us, although perfectly nice, was a little too giddy for our tastes. If this dress ends up being "the one" however, that certainly won't stop us!
Lunch is at a place called Wiseacres, charming and delicious, with amazing salads and a pretty mean bratwurst burger! And we all split a bottle of wine too, pretty crazy behavior for me at lunch!

After we eat we head to a place called Joynelle, which is mostly custom dresses, with some samples from other designers too. We find yet another dress we really like, and then the designer comes up with an intriguing possibility. She proposes making a custom dress similar to the sample, but with straps and a low back. This again might be "it", but it's at the top of their budget. I will leave Sarah to ruminate on the possibilities.

I head to hotel and meet up with Lee, who flew in earlier today. We set in to wait for the Beckers and Joanne to arrive. Frequent phone calls monitor their progress, but they manage to hit the flood of Iowans coming to Minneapolis for a football game that evening. We keep having to push our dinner reservation back, but fortunately the restaurant is flexible.

Finally around 8 pm we all meet at Blackbird, a restaurant on Nicollet, south of downtown. We order almost every small plate and appetizer they have and share them all.

I Can't Resist a Picture of Henry and His Mom at the Ceremony!

The wedding day dawns rainy cloudy and windy. Thankfully I have no running planned for today. Instead I manage to meet Cody for pizza and conversation. I'm glad to report the picture with the tattoo on Facebook was a fake. He looks great, sans tattoo....

By wedding time the rain has stopped, but its still cloudy and threatening looking. Out we go to Noerenberg Gardens on the north shore of Lake Minnetonka. Its a beautiful setting for a wedding. The guests sit in chairs overlooking the gardens and the lake beyond. There are four bridesmaids and four groomsmen. The bridesmaid's dresses all belong to the same general color palette, a golden yellow, but each dress is a different style, chosen by the girl wearing the dress. I like this idea because everyone ends up with a dress they like and that flatters them. There are two little flower girls that are supposed to scatter rose petals in front of the bride. They take their job very seriously, and make sure every petal is scattered properly. As Danielle walks down the aisle Sam smiles shyly. Danielle looks like she might burst into tears at any moment. Their vows are meaningful and heartfelt. All too soon it's over. Another wedding.,,,,

We have about an hour between the ceremony and the reception so it's off to a bar in the warehouse district for a before dinner drink. Then we walk over to 514 Studios, a large warehouse space that can be rented for weddings and other parties. The food is really good, tilapia, black beans, salads and rice. They have a GREAT DJ that manages to get everyone out on the dance floor, even Lee and I. It was just a little too loud for my poor deaf ears, but otherwise it was perfect. My favorites were dancing to Twist and Shout, almost winning the "who is married the longest dance", and all the old ladies (including me) dancing to YMCA.  Then the dance floor was given over to the younger set and before too long it was time to return to the hotel.

Sunday morning I go for a run along the Mississippi River, my favorite place to run in Minneapolis. Then its over to Sarah's house to make pies for Suzanne's BBQ that night. This is supposed to be a little engagement celebration for the two families. Sarah is making ice cream, but her ice cream maker seems to be broken. However we improvise with a handheld mixer and the ice cream maker bowl and the ice cream is saved. Nicole comes over while the pies are being constructed. Its great to see her and hear about her plans. 

At Suzanne's house,we sit in her backyard enjoying the beautiful fall evening. Its too bad the only day of bad weather on this trip was the day of the wedding. Someone has brought a box of strange conversation starters by Charles Klosterman. They involve improbable situations concerning desert islands and personal actions that have far-reaching consequences. Its funny to see how each of us reacts to the questions. Sometimes the women have similar reactions and sometimes its the couples that agree, but it varies from one question to another. 

Suzanne serves really good ribs, corn, beans. The pies and ice cream are a hit as well. Its time to say our goodbyes and return to New Hampshire, at least for a little bit. We will be back in Minnesota for Thanksgiving; I can hardly wait.

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