Bus, St. Paul and here we go.

Janet, our regular bus driver since our last bus driver retired, lost the bid for Edda’s route and her last day was on Friday. So we took a picture and bid her farewell and good luck and thanked her for taking care of the kiddos.

After the bus pickup, Jeremy and I flew to Minnesota. I know, most people when they arrange for a weekend away might fly to the Caribbean or a mountain lodge or whatever, but we do not do what most people do. Jeremy has business at the MN state capitol this next week, so we piggybacked on to his business trip to get his flight covered. I was eager to spend time with Dave, our friend from grad school. Jeremy actually did not feel well on this flight, he caught Edda’s cold – she’s had one all week. Not covid – no fever. But we flew and this is the trip that I felt like everything is almost back to pre-pandemic. I could hear sniffling/coughing all around the plane. Jeremy masked (and I did too) for the flight.

We are enthusiastic public transport riders and I’m not easily rattled and I’ve ridden both Boston (regularly) and NYC subways (touristy) way into the night by my-young-ish-self without any issue, but somehow on the light rail in the middle of the day on a Friday in Minneapolis, I felt vulnerable in a way I haven’t before on public transit. I don’t mind the random person sleeping on the chairs or an unshowered person shuffling around with the radio blaring, but when a very strong man walked onto the rail car right in front of me wielding a baseball bat (after he had rattled the bat against the rail car as it went past him on the platform), I thought that if that man decided to swing that bat very hard, it would be difficult for me to move my head out of the way of the arc of impact. I’m not sure what the answer is, but this light rail seemed particularly unrideable and there are a lot of people that need help and somehow we are failing to help each other out. The light rail is so beautiful – new, clean, took us exactly where we wanted to go in a timely manner and I would take it all the time over Ubering, driving or whatever-ing, but I also enjoy not looking at baseball bats that might be swung at my head.

Dave finished work early on Friday afternoon and headed to meet us at our hotel and we went on an outing to Minnehaha Falls which involved 1) ice cream 2) beer and 3) pouring rain. It was predicted to rain all weekend, which was a bummer for being a tourist. So after that, we headed to Dave’s house – well Dave’s mother’s house, where we saw the new basement renovation and Dave’s office and had a long talk with Dave’s mother, Linda, and ate take out burgers stuffed with cheese (apparently a Minnesota thing) called the Juicy Nookie Burger from The Nook where you bite into the burger and the cheese squirts out all over your shirt.

We went to bed early – at our hotel which was a converted convent which was a bit spooky, but also nice. On Saturday – it was still raining and me, Jeremy, Dave and Linda went to Key’s breakfast place, where we ate an enormous delicious breakfast and then Linda went home and we went to the American Swedish Institute because Jeremy had forgotten a tie and thought he could buy one at the gift shop, but no one sells any ties anymore and we paid to tour the house because Dave is 25% swedish and he’d never been. As we were paying for the tickets to the house, Jeremy and I both had to admit (me obviously and Jeremy less so) that Dave was the only Swede in the group and the kind lady said – we let everyone into the house – even the Norwegians and Dave piped up and said – well, I left out that I’m 50% Norwegian and we had a laugh.

And then we dropped Jeremy off at the hotel because he was still sick and wanted to rest. Dave and I went to a flour mill museum (which was fun, we were still trying to find a gift shop tie for Jeremy – no luck) in which we saw the ruins of a flour mill which had had a flour dust explosion. We walked along a pedestrian bridge where we discussed the falls in the middle of town. Then we went to TJ Maxx (to find a tie – no luck again) and a grocery store to find Diet Coke. Dave is very funny and I had a lot of fun laughing at random things Dave said – the same way we did in graduate school almost 30 years ago now.

Then we went back to Dave’s house where his mom had been hanging out and we chatted all afternoon laughing/telling stories and finding Dave’s old ties. Then Linda and I decided that we were friends and gave each other our phone numbers to text each other – thereby bypassing Dave completely if we want to talk to each other. We picked Jeremy up from the hotel – Jeremy picked out one of Dave’s ties which he wore to his sister’s (middle sister – he has three) wedding. We were going to go to a fancy restaurant for dinner because Dave got a $200 gift card for shoveling someone’s driveway (in Minnesota – that is no small task) and because – you know, for a romantic getaway, shouldn’t there be a fancy dinner with Dave (who was there on both our first and second dates (he reminded us)), but we were delinquent and did not reserve the table fast enough and they were booked until 9:15 pm whis is when we all wanted to be asleep. So we had the local take out pizza, a salad that we made and a small bundt cake. And that was fun too. I slept well and late – like until 8am EST.

We left Edda in the care of Ginny who spent Saturday with Edda and her family in a local park/swimming area where they ordered good food and ate well and enjoyed the great outdoors.

Seni, Ginny’s son, took care of Elka. They seem to really like each other, no?

One thought on “Bus, St. Paul and here we go.”

  1. What a great weekend away! The Minneapolis light rail is the only public transit that I’ve actually been thrown up on by a stranger. It’s so beautiful and convenient and when I lived in Minneapolis, I used it regularly, but there are some issues that come with it not being patrolled regularly as public transit is patrolled in a lot of other larger cities.

    My husband has a severe gluten intolerance and when we went to the Mill City Museum, it literally did not occur to me that it was probably the worst place to take him until we got to the giant wooden carving of a grain of rice with the gluten labeled. Then I laughed and laughed and we left.

Leave a Reply