Minnesota 2014

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Friday, June 6, 2014: We flew into MSP airport first thing in the morning and headed straight to IKEA.
Oh, yeah, nothing like some smoked salmon, princess cake, and juice we can't pronounce to give you that lunch-in-Scandinavia feeling.
Where's this location? According to Google Maps, this longitude and latitude is the back yard of a home in Mollösund, in the south of Sweden.
The problem with visiting IKEA when you'll be flying home is that you can't buy anything really large, ...
... or anything cold. Not a problem, though, because we visited the IKEA in Cincinnati the very next month.
We headed to the Mall of America next. We were surprised to find a Peeps store, but of course we had to look around. We were able to resist the temptations of this wonderland but ended up with some purchases from the Lush store and the Toll House Cookies kiosk.
A highlight of any trip to the MoA is a visit to the LEGO store.
Oooh, so many Star Wars sets!
You can build your own set of minifigs here.
Here's the beautiful LEGO Architecture series.
This beautiful wall consisted of dozens of bins of individual LEGO pieces.
Here's a closer look, ...
... and here's a look inside one of the bins.
Green ones!
Black ones!
Transparent ones!
This giant sculpture stood guard over the store, ...
... as did these sculptures.
No photos can convey the immensity of this mall, but imagine that this entire amusement park here is surrounded by a gigantic racetrack with stores on either side of it.
In addition to stores and entertainment, there's an exhibit center. We were here to see "Star Trek: The Exhibition," none of which we can show you here because no photos were allowed.
We didn't opt to go to the Barbie Dreamhouse Experience, ...
... but we did wander through the gift shop for just a second.
At 5:00 sharp, we headed to Mancini's Char House, a favorite of Debbie's from her teen years.
Tom was looking great in his fabulous Nat Nast shirt, ...
... but not quite as good as this steak and lobster dinner.
After dinner, we headed over to Macalester for the start of Reunion Weekend. Of course, we had to see how the Rock was currently painted. The Class of 2014 had left their blue and orange mark on it most recently.
Across Grand Avenue, we admired sparkling new Markim Hall, home of the Institute for Global Citizenship. It is located where the old health services building used to be back in the 1980s. We'd be dining there the next evening with the Class of 1984.
Here's the view from Dupre Hall toward Kagin Commons, the school cafeteria. This tree didn't look much different than it had 31 years earlier when Debbie drew it as an art class assignment from a third-floor window in Dupre.
Rooms in Wallace and Bigelow Halls had been available to rent as lodging for the weekend, complete with special Reunion whiteboards to leave messages, just like in the old days.
We ran into some friends and stopped by one of the dorm lounges where the classes of 1983 and 1984 were represented.
We visited the first floor of Turck Hall where Debbie lived her freshman year. It was still a little dark and subterranean, ...
... but the south end of it had been extended and remodeled, so there's a rest room where Debbie's room used to be.
Doty Hall was untouched by the advances of time, and looked exactly as it did on a fall day in 1980 when Debbie first visited it.
Turck Hall and Doty Hall are joined by a breezeway, which was very convenient when Debbie lived in Turck and had a boyfriend in Doty.
The opening night reception for Debbie's class was on the plaza outside of the student union. Behold the awesome power of the Bundlings Weather Luck to cause the rainstorms headed toward us to split in two and go both north and south of us while we stayed dry.
Here are some classmates, ...
... and more classmates, ...
... and more, ...
... and more. We see Cameron and Kara at both college and high school reunions, since Debbie went to both college and high school with Cameron.
Eric addressed our group, ...
... then college president Brian Rosenberg addressed us too.
Here's the assembled crowd: left, ...
... center, ...
... and right side of the plaza.
President Rosenberg had his own golf cart for the weekend, since he would be busy running around campus speaking to all of the different classes.
An hour into the reception, our weather luck gave out and we had to move the party into the Student Union lobby.
Here are former Bigelow residents Lisa, Bob, and Debbie.
This sculpture in the Student Union is titled "Winging to the West," and was noted as being in memoriam for Jerry Rudquist, Debbie's favorite art professor.
We had to leave before the reception was over, ...
... because we had a date with Gordy and Lyn at the Groveland Tap. Debbie and Gordy worked together at Forepaugh's Restaurant when they were teens, and this was the first time they had seen each other since the 80s. We enjoyed many beers and getting to know Gordy's girlfriend, Lyn.

Saturday, June 7, 2014: We headed over to Minneapolis to eat breakfast at one of the very last open Pannekoeken Hus restaurants on earth.
Hello, beautiful pannekoeken. We love you so.
Debbie's high school friend Norie joined us for breakfast.
After breakfast, we drove to the Four Firkins, ...
... which is a beer-drinker's dream of a store.
Rachel and Cory had found this place and told us that they stocked Schilling Cider, and they were right. We bought up their very limited inventory to take home with us and to distribute to relatives the next day.
Next, we headed out to this building on Bush Lake Road in Edina, former home of Intran Corporation, Debbie's first job out of college.
Then we went to this building on 90th Street in Bloomington, which is the second of three Intran headquarters where Debbie worked before leaving Minnesota and Intran in 1987.
Any trip to Minnesota would not be complete without a stop at Carbone's on Randolph.
This beautiful plate of food is the Carbone's Special.
We were joined for lunch by Debbie's friend Tim, from her days at Mother's Restaurant in college. Like Gordy, this is the first time they had seen each other since the 80s. The tough thing about coming back to Minnesota is that there are so many people to catch up with but we can only see a handful of people each time.
There's a new Macalester College bookstore across Snelling Avenue from the campus.
We went in and many, many dollars fell out of our wallet, while many, many Macalester garments went into our shopping bag.
We returned to the Mac campus to do a little more wandering around.
The middle portion and the Art portion of the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center had been either remodeled or rebuilt since our last visit.
The interior was unrecognizable but beautiful.
There's the entrance to the Art department, which is where Debbie spent many hours her sophomore and junior year until she realized that she was meant to be a computer programmer instead of a graphic artist.
Here's the north side of the Art building.
We passed Weyerhauser Chapel, unchanged all these years.
We met up with classmates again for a memorial service for our late classmate, Todd. This tree was planted in his honor.
Family and friends said a few words each about him.
Then we took lots of group photos.
With Tom being the only non-Mac alum in the crowd, he acted as photographer for everyone.
Debbie took a photo of Catherine and John under the tree they planted when they got married 20-some years earlier, ...
... then Tom did the honors again for another group photo under the tree.
The next reunion event was the All-Class Social in the new Leonard Center.
Here's the shiny track, ...
... and the track and field record board.
There was a huge mural running along the walls on three sides.
The mural depicted flags of many nations symbolizing Mac's commitment to an international student body, but was made up of thousands of tiny photographs ...
... of life at Mac and around the world.
Here's the view of the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center from the Leonard Center.
Classmates were starting to gather in groups according to year. Here are Bob, Sarah, Eric, Nancy, John, Dianne, and Debbie.
Debbie brought along a couple of vintage t-shirts and was happy to pass them on to friends who not only would appreciate them but could still fit into them.
Each class was called to dinner separately.
The Class of 1984 was called shortly before 7:00 PM, ...
... and we were escorted to dinner by a bagpiper.
Here's the photo that was featured on Macalester's reunion page. Clearly, we were enjoying the spectacle!
We walked across campus past the student union, across Grand Avenue, ...
... to Markim Hall.
It's a lovely building.
This is surely the first and only page on this website that contains two separate photos of a longitude/latitude pair. This is on the floor in the center of the room.
Eric addressed our class, ...
... while we enjoyed a delicious meal.
Economics Professor Vasant Sukhatme addressed us next. Debbie hadn't taken any classes with him, but many at the dinner had, so his talk was very well-received.
There was mingling ...
... and more mingling.
After 9:00 PM, it was time to join the rest of the classes in the center of campus. One danger of Macalester is that there are likely to be bagpipes around any corner, and sure enough, here were two.
We headed over to the Great Macalester Get Together in the big tent on the lawn in front of Old Main. Tom got us a couple of Grain Belt beers then tucked the bottlecaps into the pocket of his jacket. We found them the next time he wore that jacket the next month.
There was popcorn to snack on ...
... and a lovely array of desserts.
A good time was had by all.

Sunday, June 8, 2014: We slept in a bit the next morning, then enjoyed a McDonald's breakfast with this beautiful view of IKEA from our room at the Hampton Inn.
We went to IKEA again to pick up some cake to carry home.
We passed the Macalester campus again on our way to ...
... Hugo, Minnesota. This snow marker in the ground conveniently notes the location of a fire hydrant when the snow drifts get too high to find it. Fortunately, it was summer so it wasn't needed.
We were at cousin Laura's house, where Debbie's aunt Mary had helped put on a big lunch spread for our visit.
Cousin Melissa was there with her family too.
Here's Mary.
Laura and Melissa's kids spent some time together inside while the adults chatted.
Prior to our visit, Shawn had posted this on Facebook, ...
... so we had to verify that he had properly cleaned his space shuttle model.
Thumbs up! The model is clean!
Debbie got to hold adorable baby Gavin before his naptime.
Mmmmm, pie for dessert.
We got a group photo of everyone (except napping Gavin) then had to head to the airport.
We passed the Macalester campus one last time.
Mary had packed some sandwiches for us to bring on the flight with us, so here's our dinner on the plane. Thanks, Mary!

** THE END **

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