Christina and Robert's Cross-Country Trip: Part 6, Minnesota

We left there midday, and Monday evening we arrived in Minnesota, where we stayed at Uncle Frank's. Everyone was so nice and welcoming to us, only unhappy that they couldn't have made it to the wedding, so the week there was like a second wedding for us. Below, our arrival in Minnesota, overlooking the backyard from Grandma Gracie's house.

Mark and then Uncle Frank reinstalled Norman's radio and fixed the one-wire mistake Robert and Dave had made--which had unfortunately caused the taillights and dashlights to never work. I liked seeing all the family pictures from long ago at Grandma Gracie's.

Tuesday we went to Uncle Frank's furniture store and Robert helped Mark out with some deliveries. Uncle Frank told us to pick out a chair for a wedding present, and we chose the most beautiful chair in the world--a recliner in a lovely blue fabric with a remote control massager and compartments in the arms, one to hold a book or a cold drink and a complete speaker phone built into the other arm. It's getting delivered to a furniture store in LA and we'll pick it up there any day now, with the help of Larry's feminine truck.

Tuesday night Grandma had the immediate family (Mike and his and Frank and his) over for dinner, her homemade ravioli. The process of walking the eight doors down the street from Frank's to Grandma's took an hour because we kept meeting relatives who also lived on the street and who wanted to talk to us. It was an amazingly friendly small-town feeling. Everyone has "gardens" behind their houses which Robert and I think count more as downright farms than gardens (to us, it's not a garden if you use a tractor in it, and Uncle Frank actually owns multiple tractors!!), even with raspberry bushes where we picked berries after dinner.

Wednesday afternoon Uncles Mike and Frank took off from work and all of us except Jerry who couldn't get off went out to Square Lake. We went on Uncle Frank's pontoon boat, went swimming, tubing behind the boat, and Robert (unsuccessfully) and Brian (skillfully) tried kneeboarding. Mark and Robert and I went fishing in the paddle boat with corn and hot-dogs as bait and I caught my first fish ever, a sunfish. We barbecued and ate and didn't leave there till almost nine, after which we stopped at a Dairy Queen for a blizzard, of course.

Friday Uncle Frank threw a big party for Robert and me, almost a second wedding reception, and Grandma invited everyone in the very large family--about 60 people came, all her brothers and sisters and many of their kids and grandkids. It was potluck and she made us our second homemade tiered wedding cake. They had a keg of beer, and at the end of the evening Uncle Frank hitched the haywagon up to his tractor and attached a Just Married sign and cans to the back of it, and two chairs for the bride and groom near the front, and then about 20 people and 1 dog piled on, all drinking, along with the keg itself, and Uncle Frank drove around the streets for about a half hour at 10 pm with everyone yelling, It's a wedding!! It was surreal for two New Yorkers, but lots of fun.

Sunday Uncle Frank, Aunt Martha, Grandma, and the boys and us went to a surprisingly good dim sum place for a shopping center in the middle of MN. Then Robert and I and Grandma went to Uncle Michael's house to visit with him and Aunt Nancy and Josie, Lexie, and Mitchell. We went out on his pontoon boat on White Bear Lake, and even went on his waterbikes.

One day Brian and Mark took us to the Mall of America and we walked around and went on the Ax, the logflume, and the Mystery Mine Ride in Camp Snoopy in the middle of the mall. Monday afternoon Mark and Brian took us to cousin Pat's lake to play more with water bikes and tubes and fish. I caught a bullhead catfish from the tube! MN was great, and we almost didn't want to leave, but after a week we had to--so they wouldn't get sick of us and would let us come back again.

More. . .

Go back to web essays or over to links. was made with a Mac.
© 2000 C&R Enterprises
Email or
Created: 8/16/98. Last Modified: 8/16/98