Day 2 - St. Paul
|Thursday, June 8, 2023: We awoke to a beautiful sunny day and were on the road by 7:30 AM. We drove west on I-90 and crossed the Mississippi River ...
|... where Minnesota welcomed us. It always does.
|We headed to Rochester, Minnesota, and marvelled at their water tower shaped like a giant ear of corn.
|The downtown was beautiful and looked like all of the store fronts were brand new. There were lots of hotels in the area, and signs for parking lots for the nearby Mayo Clinic.
|We stopped at Hollandberry Pannekoeken, ...
|... where we had breakfast with Debbie's long-time friend Cris and her husband Jeff. We had a wonderful time catching up. Debbie hadn't seen them since their kids were very little.
|After breakfast, we made the short drive over to Oakwood Cemetery, ...
|... and took a short walk ...
|... to see where Cris's grandparents were buried. Debbie recalled that her grandmother's nickname was Nammy.
|We walked a few more rows, ...
|... to see where Cris had interred the ashes of her parents and her brother, Rich. Rich was Debbie's close friend from 1985 until his death in 1993.
|It was a very peaceful place, and we were very happy that Rich was finally laid to rest. We took a group shot to commemorate the occasion, and then said our goodbyes.
|As we were leaving the cemetery, Debbie noticed these two memorial stones dedicated to all of the people who have donated their bodies to the Mayo Clinic for anatomical study "so that others might live." There was one stone dedicated in 1985, and another that was dedicated in 2000. How sweet!
|As we were leaving town, Debbie noticed this statue of a goose in front of a building. It looks like something on parade. We started looking around at the surrounding area for more of them.
|Our search took us back toward the river, where we could see the cemetery across the water.
|We found one more goose statue outside the civic center, but we were unable to spot any more.
|We headed north toward the Twin Cities, and arrived in St. Paul shortly after noon. Debbie finally got a picture of the Mississippi National River Recreation Area sign that has eluded her for years. She always knows it is coming, but couldn't seem to get a picture of it until this trip.
|Of course our first stop was Carbone's Pizza on Randolph, known in our household as "the one true Carbone's."
|We sat in one of our favorite booths along the wall, where Debbie took a picture of the picture on the wall showing the original layout of the restaurant before they expanded and remodeled. We discussed how to recreate the original in LEGO until our pizza arrived.
|Look at that! A large Carbone's special with shrimp fresh out of the oven. We feasted until we were stuffed, and then packed up the leftovers to eat as a snack sometime this weekend.
|After lunch, we drove the short distance to Macalester College. Tom dropped Debbie off so that she could walk over to registration while he headed toward the dorms to hopefully get a parking spot on the street.
|Just before arriving at registration, Debbie was thrilled to find out that we had been assigned to Doty for our stay in the dorms. She had spent a lot of time in Doty when she was a student here, but had never lived there. How exciting! Registering right next to her at the same time was our friend, Ron, so they walked over to Doty together with plans to meet up again soon.
|We were assigned room 209, Dianne and Tom were right next door in 211, Nancy was just a few doors up the hall in 215, and Doreen, Heidi, and the Lisas were down the hall at the end. It was going to be a great weekend!
|Debbie had purchased drink tickets for the All-Class Social on Saturday night: five martini tickets and ten beer tickets. The first round of martinis were on us!
|Minifig Debbie is decked out in Macalester colors to show her school spirit.
|It's Ron! Ron's here! Ron's here! Debbie and Ron got caught up since the last time we had seen him in New Jersey in 2018.
|The day before, Debbie had found Mac's list of track record holders. In addition to her former fiancé, Peter, she found Ron's name listed twice, including as the reigning record holder for the decathlon, so Ron had some great stories about that, including one involving Bruce Jenner
|Lisa stopped in to say hello, and reminded us that the party at Kevin's house, aka The Festival Grounds, was already underway. We decided to head there immediately.
|Tom went to the van to get the Diablito and caught up with Debbie and Ron just before we got to Kevin's house.
|There was already a good number of people there. From the left: John, Paul, Ron, Pat, TJ, Mike, and Jeff (just his legs are visible).
|Kevin was already sporting this year's T-shirt and was gracious enough to model it for the camera. The quote on the front says: "Surrender to the splendor of the warm embrace of the fuss!"
|The back of the shirt says: "Come and get your love, come and get your love, come and get your love now!" Of course, we had to buy a shirt, so we got one in Debbie's size since Tom got the 2018 version.
|Bob showed up as Kevin was distributing name tags that had been left behind at previous parties. His new name was Shawn, and he was apparently here for his 30-year reunion instead of his 39th.
|Ron, John, and Pat went on a beer run and brought back lots of good stuff for the party. Those are heroes right there, people.
|Former temporary Texan Debbie went straight for the Lone Star, as did Paul. Cheers!
|There was much talking, seat-swapping, and catching up.
|Karen is here! We had last seen her in Prescott in 2018.
|Fresh from his dip in the pool, Art tried in vain to get Kevin's dog Oso to let go of the frisbee.
|Debbie shared the QR code containing the URL of the Spotlights that she had scanned, ...
|... and everyone spent the next few minutes paging through them looking for pictures of themselves and people they knew.
|Here's a picture of Mike from back in the day when he had way more hair, ...
|... and here's a picture of Paul with curly hair and glasses.
|Mike hadn't been back to Mac since he graduated, but joined in the fun as though he'd been attending reunions for years, leading someone to start calling him "Rookie of the Year." His wife Mary Helen was with him and fit right in too. Aren't they a cute couple?
|Here are Ron, Tom, and Kevin's partner Seika deep in conversation.
|We took a picture of the dead end street sign hanging on Kevin's garage and sent it to our friend Dean. He has a bazillion photos of the dead end street sign that used to be outside his mother's home and we thought he could use one more.
|Jeff, who had been re-designated as Virginia (Ginny), and Kevin pose for the camera.
|Oh, Oso. We both know you aren't going to drop it regardless of how precarious it looks like you are holding it.
|Kevin broke open the new bottle of Diablito, ...
|... and we toasted to a great reunion with great friends!
|He had shared almost a third of the bottle before the night was over.
|Hey! Tim's here!
|While Debbie and Jeff were getting caught up, ...
|... pizza was delivered.
|The deck lights came on as the sun went down, ...
|... and eventually we decided to call it a night and head back to campus.
|It had been a fantastic first day, and tomorrow would be even more fun once Dianne, Tom, and Nancy arrived.
Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy