Minneapolis Moments

I'm told that most Americans are still afraid to fly, leftover terror from last September, but evidently those people don't live in San Jose, because our flight on Thursday was completely full, and it was the first time I'd been on a completely-full flight since July 2000, and that was on Southwest, which doesn't count. Still, the Northwest folk, were, if not cheery, at least trying to recognize the 4th. Our lead flight attendant, Mel, was dressed as Uncle Sam, and, when asked why, said he was told he got a reprieve from income taxes til 2005 if he dressed that way. He was kidding, of course. Later, during the safety prep, he included the line, “This is a non-smoking flight. Anyone caught smoking will be thrown out the plane window.” It's the kind of line that only draws a laugh from 140 people trapped in an airplane with you, I think.

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When we got to the Radisson in Roseville, we were told by the very sweet but incredibly clueless desk person that no, this Radisson did not have in-room highspeed access. So we asked her if she could find us a room in a Radisson who did, and her solution was to give us the phone book. Oy. So we moved to the Radisson Plaza in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, to a foofy room that has in-room T1, and chocolate on the pillows, and – get this – was $10 less per night. Yay downtown! (Of course, being the geeks that we are, we bought a mini-hub so that we could share the in-room access.)

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Yesterday morning Claudia the Concierge found me a hair salon that would do hair coloring on short notice. She got me an appointment at Juut which calls itself a salonspa (no punctuation). I was a little worried that, since it was upscale and right next to Nieman Marcus, it would cost a small fortune, but was pleasantly surprised, because my $50 ($65 with the tip to Erica, who was just wonderful) got me a glass of water, a foot massage, all-0ver hair coloring, and not just the root-touch up I'd planned, and lovely tea. I wish there was a Juut in the mall near me; I'd switch my affiliations in a minute. In any case, we didn't just redo my roots, we actually recolored all my hair, because I'd mentioned that I'm working such long hours I don't have the time or inclination to keep up with dying it red, so she said, “Well, your own hair is really dark, and we can cover the red, but red's persistant, and we'll have to use so much green and blue that for a while this will be really dark.” The net result is that, until I wash this tomorrow, my hair is that black-brown-chestnut combination, that you generally see on Asians who've been in the sun a lot. It's very dark, and I'd never leave it this dark, and it's weird seeing dark hair in the mirror, when I've had some shade of red since I was 15 or so, but, I think I like it. It definitely brings out the Italian part of my heritage.

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New hair color means new makeup, so I stopped at Nieman Marcus, and indulged at the Clinique counter, and was reminded again how very polite midwesterners are. Walk into Nordstrom, and you get sniffed at, walk into Nieman Marcus, and they apologize for not knowing everything about Clinique because they usually cover Lancome. The saleswoman and I had fun picking a new lipstick (she tried some, too), and I ended up with Rasperry Glace. I added new blush to my purchases, and then asked about nail polish, and she said, “It'll take me a minute to find it, but if you don't mind waiting, it'll be worth it, because you'll get the free gift.” So I did – on both counts.

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After wandering through the skyway that led back to my hotel (almost all of the core of downtown Minneapolis is connected by skyways, which is great, because you can wander around and have signs that tell you how to get back, and air conditioning, and no mosquitoes), and hooking up with Fuzzy again, we dressed and left for the wedding. It was nice, as weddings go. Short, sweet, and the judge was great, telling them “We wish for you a home. Not one of wood and plaster, but a symbolic home, where your love and your personal values will take root and bloom. A home where truth and peace and social justice all dwell with you.” The readings were done by family members, and were everything from Elizabeth Barrett Browning, to Shakespeare, and really simple. The wedding itself was in a rented mansion, now owned by the Association of University Women. It was right next door to the Governor's Mansion on Summit Avenue in St. Paul, and was really lovely, and tasteful. Ben, the groom, a friend of Fuzzy's from college, is English, and so there were crackers for every guest. The were nice though, and didn't make everyone link arms to pull the crackers. I still want to know how they managed to get that many crackers that all had purple hats inside, since their colors were silver and purple, but I suppose you can order them that way. The reception was dry – a rule of the mansion, not a personal choice – but very warm, even though we really didn't know anyone. We sat with Julia's(the bride) boss, and I realized that she really has grown from the flighty nineteen year old we didn't really like when we first met her. We opted NOT to leave a personal message on the video tape, because Fuzzy couldn't think of anything, and I didn't think, “Congratulations you two. Julia, if you hurt Ben, I'll kill you,” would be entirely appropriate.

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So, we were back at the hotel by 10:30, and desperate for chocolate, we ordered room service, and then tumbled into bed. Today, all we've accomplished is eating breakfast, and Fuzzy's napping now. We might hit the Mall of America or might go on a Riverboat Cruise, but I'm not sure. I do know it'll be an early day, because we have to be up at dawn to make our 9:00 AM flight home.

Ah, home, I can't wait. I love seeing new places, but I love being tucked up at home, with my dogs, as well.

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Minneapolis Moments by Melissa Bartell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.