July 10, 2005

The Best Of Me ............................. (Duluth)

Well leave it to me to screw up on the Duluth plans. I spent the better part of last night ironing the kids "nice clothes" for a reception up in Duluth for my cousin Jordan and his new wife Cara. They were married last October, but Cara's parents threw them this reception for those of the family members that lived here in the mid-west that weren't able to make it out to California for thier official wedding.

Anyway, I planned for the kids to change into their nice clothes in the car once we got close to Duluth. Last night, I laid out a lovely skirt and summer sweater set combo with heels and panty-hose for me. YES! Pantyhose! YIKES! Haven't worn those since Madame Butterfly. Anyway, I double checked the invite yesterday for the time that the "reception" started. Oops. not 5-9p.m. like I wrote down in my planner, but rather 1-5 p.m. Okay, no big deal right? We will just go a few hours earlier than planned.Glad I caught that in time. I got on-line to mapquest and printed out directions to the AmericInn (where I am assuming the reception is being held.) I assume this because there is an insert in the invitation with it's address and local directions.......and right above that it says in bold type. Jordan and Cara's Minnesota Reception.

Flashforward to this morning. First off....we get a late start........(I will take the blame on this too, as I had a hard time getting out of bed with having gone to bed so late from preparation the night before.)The one rather large glass of Pinot Noir didn't help much either So, instead of getting to Duluth and having lunch before the reception at 1:00 as planned......we will now go straight to the reception and cross our fingers that there will be food waiting for us there. All the while, I am thinking how strange to host a reception at the Americ-Inn and at such odd hours. Oh well..........

We are in the car and almost there with only about 1/2 an hour left of the drive and the kids are starving. We pull over at the DQ. Not much for Byron to eat here. So he decides on a Slushie. So do the kids. Meatless burgers and Slushies all around please. We decide to eat inside the Dairy Queen so that no one gets french fry grease on their good clothes in the car. All goes well, and even Olivia (who is known for several spills a day) manages not to even get a single drop of Catsup on her cute new little skort and blouse set. Whew.

We are back in the car and on our way again. We locate the Americ-Inn. And realize very quickly that this is not the kind of place that a reception would be held.....and there are like no cars in the parking lot.

Panic time. Did I read the invite wrong? Why am I sweating so profusely? I thought it was suppose to be cooler up north. Amy said it was supposed to be cooler up north. Ah damn ... What was I thinking in wearing support hose for? Ah yes, I did read the invite wrong. The reception is at Cara's parents house in Saginaw.....and the Americ-Inn is where out of town guests are encouraged to book a room. O.k. Fine, but where on earth is Saginaw? Thank God for cell phones. Anybody who really knows me knows that the number 9 on my cell phone hasn't worked since about a month after I got it last year. (I refused to take it back and exchange it....because after-all it was my fault that it wasn't working.) A word to all cell phone users out there. Always check your pockets before throwing your clothes into the washing machine. If the cell phone gets washed.....the nine WILL die. Of course the contact number given for the reception has a nine in it. So I call 411 instead and ask that they connect me. (411 is also the same number I would call in the event of an actual emergency- to patch me through to 911 (which is the only reason I have a cell phone in the first place- for emergencies. What-ever!

Yay! Finally the phone is ringing on the other end and Cara's mother answered. She gave us good and articulate directions on the phone. Of course.......I read those off wrong to Byron too and we took the VERY scenic route around Duluth. Heads up here....I should never be put in charge of navigation. Big mistake. Huge!

We finally get to Saginaw...and arrive at the party only 2 hours late. That's okay. We are there. We walk up a dirt path in the sweltering humid heat near Lake Carribou. Everyone else who is arriving or leaving this reception at this time are dressed in shorts and t-shirts. You know, BBQ attire. Of course I am innapropriately dressed and look like I am going to Trumps wedding reception. (minus the fur and diamonds) And.... My three children (for the first time in a long time) don't look orphaned, actually wearing nicely pressed slacks and slick combed hair.

We don't know anybody here. Except for my cousin. "Hey, Jordan." and his bride. ..."Hi Cara!" Hugs all around. We talk and sweat some more and the kids are complaining now of the heat. We get soda's (or pop is what they call it hear in the mid-west) from the coolers propped on the side of the house. That feels nice. I tell the kids that they can go to the car and change back into their play clothes. Hesitantly I say this because I foreshadow them going into the mini-van once again only to emerge out orphaned-looking again with mis-matched wrinkled clothing. Oh well.....with this heat....buh-bye vanity. In fact, I push my way to the front of my family and jump into the back seat first to strip off the panty hose. ahhhh. I'm free. So liberating. and then on goes the capri jeans and t-shirt and sandals. We are now all happy campers. Back to the reception and arriving like an entirely differnt looking family.

We sat and ate and talked and laughed. I met many wonderful new people. Cara's family is very nice indeed. Of course they are, why wouldn't they be,right? Cara is such a doll.

I was able to catch up a bit with my cousin Jordan. That was nice. We grew up together in San Jose and hadn't seen each other in a long time. I brought out my knitting and continued working on the sock that I had started in the car for the long drive. All was going well now. 'cause truly, I am the happiest when I am knitting away.

We left at 5:30 and decided since we were so close to Lake Superior that we would go and check it. This was so much fun as well. Walking along North shore reminded Byron and I of Monterey Bay in California. One of our absolute favorite places to get away to on weekends when living on the west coast. Anyway, back to Duluth.....We saw the lighthouses and had a nice dinner at Old Chicago and even walked across the bridge. (ah, what's the name of that bridge?) It's the one that elevates when boats go underneath it? Anyway, we all had so much fun even despite the blister on Olivia's heel from wearing her dressy shoes all day.

We all want to go back soon. It turned out to be a very fun and adventures day....and the reception for Jordan and Cara was a delight. Much more relaxed and comfortable than the anticipated dinner/dancing at the Americ-Inn would have been. Why I hadn't read the invite in it's entirety beforehand.... I will never know.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Amy said...

Hey, all's well that ends well! Isn't Duluth a lovely place to visit? And what do you mean, it was hot???

10:14 AM  

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