Monday, November 24, 2008

My Annual Trip to Minneapolis

What a wonderful weekend in Minneapolis with my friend Michelle! As a birthday gift, her husband Michael flew me in to surprise her (truly a gift for me too). With any surprise, there is the unveiling. Michael decided to build a "fort" out of chairs and a blanket for me to hide in (while still in his scrubs from work):

I had an incredibly difficult time being quiet and not laughing as she came down the stairs. Later Michelle told me that she had been hoping that I was her surprise but when she saw the fort she got worried that her surprise was actually this device from the SkyMall catalogue that allows you to hang from your ankles. (Apparently even after nearly 7 years of knowing each other I still have a lot to learn about my friend...) But she was really happy that it was me and not the Inversion Stretch Station.

The best thing that happened this weekend was that I got to meet Michelle and Michael's son Phoenix for the first time. He is an absolutely delightful 5 month old who smiles and chats all the time and is clearly in LOVE with his amazing parents. He even maintained his sweet disposition while having his first cold ever - (courtesy of a sick playmate at daycare named Salvatore, who I imagine to look like Maggie Simpson's arch-nemesis Baby Gerald).

Michelle and Michael's family is complete with Little Cat, also known as the Hall Monitor. She patrols the house checking on the baby, the parents and the leaves falling outside the window on her neon-colored toenails.

I am amazed at how much Michelle and Michael are able to do in addition to caring for a very young person. They whipped up all sorts of delicious food all weekend long. For dinner on Saturday we made think, savory Spanakopita, an abundance of sauteed beets and homemade pita bread with zaatar. Thankfully Michelle did the kneading with the pita bread because I can't handle the way flour feels- it's like nails on a chalkboard to me, ugh.

It was a beautiful dinner, complimented by a game of "would you still be my friend if..." (They did not want to be my friend anymore if all I ever ate ever was plain hot dogs, no bun.)

The cherry on top of the weekend (not the spoon this time guys) was stopping to get the new Guns N' Roses album Chinese Democracy. We were worried that it was going to be sold out and that we were going to have to go searching at various Best Buy stores in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area- I mean my god, we've been waiting 17 years for this! I asked one person beside us if he wanted his picture taken for posterity next to the display; Michelle asked the store manager if they brought in extra staff to deal with the crowds. (If you're not laughing right now then you just might be as lame as the snow queen manager who didn't crack a smile at our hilarity.)

I love my friend Michelle so much and am so grateful to hubby Michael for making this weekend possible. Since this is the second year in a row that I came to Minneapolis on the weekend before Thanksgiving, we decided that we should make it an annual tradition. What a wonderful trip to look forward to!


Reem Tara said...

Beautiful! I'm SO glad you got to go. Phoenix is effing adorable, and the comparison of Salvatore to Gerald is one of my favorite things this week.

Michelle rules. Friends rule. And...FORTS rule. God. I cannot believe you hid in a fort. Jesus christ...magnificent.

Sara Ashes said...

I couldn't stop thinking of you and Emil and the basement when i was in the fort!

Phoenixmom said...

Alright. This post was so lovely, and made me feel so giddy inside that I felt compelled to start m own blog and post my version of the weekend's events here:

I hope you are having a great thanksgiving weekend and can't wait to catch up soon.

Phoenixmom said...

umm. im new at this. did my last one work? long story short. i am inspired by your post and your friendship and have now started a blog of my own, with entry #1 being my take on our weekend. i hope you are having a lovely thanksgiving and can't wait to see you again soon. say hi to the fam for me. also, check out