Tuesday, January 17, 2012

There's no place like home

One of my best guy friends got married a few months ago and I was lucky enough to get that time off to go back to the US for the wedding in Philadelphia.   I have never been there before, though I loved the vibe of downtown - it reminded me a lot of Minneapolis in the summer, though with even more weird random people wandering around.   Everybody was quite friendly.

The wedding was absolutely gorgeous and I was really happy to be exploring a new city with so many friends.  Despite it being an out of town wedding, over a dozen of my best friends also flew out, along with many other acquaintances and relatives of the groom that I have met over the years.  Staying in a fancy hotel with everyone for the weekend was incredibly entertaining.

The highlight of the wedding itself was actually during the ceremony.  The groom had selected two best men, both of them also good friends of mine.   One of them just has the type of personality that seems perfect for the job- he's completely on top of the challenge and responsibilities of being a best man.  The other, well... doesn't necessarily emit that vibe, and was the butt of many jokes in the time leading up to the wedding.  People were constantly teasing him... "just don't screw it up!"   It may have been a jinx.
During the wedding everything was going fine until the priest instructed the best men to hand over the rings to the groom.  The church was so silent you could hear a pin drop.

... So it was really easy to hear the ring drop.

All of the wedding guests tried not to giggle as the best men, groom, and priest scrambled to get the ring back and continue with the ceremony.  In retrospect, I think everyone saw it coming.  The bride laughed it off as well, and later during the reception, he poked fun at himself for what happened before delivering an incredibly touching and heartfelt toast.

I had so much trouble expressing this to him, and of course I'm sure it just sounded like one more person trying to console him after an embarrassing moment, but I thought that little unexpected mistake added so much character and humor to the event that it made it really special.  His response was even funnier, as he said that the sound of the ring hitting the church floor was actually a relief considering that he was starting to freak out when he opened the ring box and saw nothing inside!

For the rest of my trip I just hung around Minnesota, running, biking, kayaking, boating on Lake Minnetonka, and hitting up all the restaurants I could.  Chipotle probably saw a spike in their sales for the weeks I was back.   I also tore through bags of candy corn and Andes mints cookie monster style, washing them down with all the wonderful drinks and juices that you just cant get in Chile.

It was great to get to see my parents, sister, grandma and other friends and relatives.  Though it's not entirely true, it's always strange to have the feeling that almost no time has passed and so little has changed.  I feel like my life back in Minnesota merely goes on "pause" every time I'm away.

Oh, and there is no better way to appreciate Minnesota than hitting up the State Fair.   There is nothing that is beyond frying on a stick!
Giant slide at the State Fair.  I'm racing some friends. You can hardly see me as I'm currently in last place.  They cheated. 

Mall of America never ceases to impress me with its size.  Its huge! So are the decorations.
I don't really like beer, but how many friends do you think I could invite over for a drink with this? 

OH YES!   Cupcake from a place very close to my heart... and stomach.  And my all-time favorite, A&W Cream Soda. 

I'm not too patriotic in the traditional sense, but this gas station sure is! 

I <3 Minnesota

Mango waffles to die for. Victor's 1959 Cafe.  Go there.

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