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27 February, 2012

Minneapolis is for Lovers {President's Day Weekend}

I have a secret love affair of President's Day weekend.  It's one of those long weekends with no obligations and no celebrations that give students a day or two off from school, or employees a day or two  off from work.

For many years we used the four day weekend to take the youth group up to West Virginia to go skiing.  Due to the economy, we haven't done the trip in a couple of years.  And thankfully not this year because, um, there isn't any snow.

Some time last year we got word that Eric's cousin, Paul, would be getting married over President's Day weekend in Minneapolis.  At the time I was a little disappointed that we'd have a three month old and it'd be too cold to take her out and about for all the festivities.  However, with such a warm winter, we decided to brave it.

We bundled up our Little B and off we went!

It was a weekend of firsts for Evie:  first plane ride, first hotel stay, first time away from home for more than 24 hours, first time wearing disposable diapers for three full days, first time meeting Eric's extended family, and first time attending an all day event (wedding & reception).

It was also a weekend of firsts for Eric and I:  first time taking a baby through security, first time taking breast milk through security, first time pumping in an airport (me, not Eric), first time being responsible for someone on a plane, and first time sleeping with Evie in a separate room.

The airport and plane ride to Minnesota were easy as pie.  Evie was asleep for most of the hustle and bustle.  She even slept through most of our day at the Mall of America.  It was so nice having Eric's parents, sister and her husband to help us!

Evie and I took naps in the afternoon and then we headed to the Rehearsal Dinner, or as they called it, the Groom's Dinner.  We had delicious Indian food and beer, and mango ice cream for dessert!  It was great to introduce the family to our little girl, and to see all of Eric's family for the first time in almost two years.

On Saturday we had a leisurely brunch at the hotel. Eric and I tag teamed sitting in our hotel room while Evie slept (read: we took naps too!) and visiting with family.

Saturday afternoon we drove through some Minnesota country side (snow!) to a tiny rustic chapel for Paul and Laura's wedding.

Their wedding ceremony was a little non-traditional, but heartfelt and beautiful nonetheless.

Eric's favorite part of the ceremony (I was in the basement consoling a screaming baby) was the unity candle.  The bride and groom are both volunteer fire fighters.  Instead of lighting the candle together, the officiant lit it and the couple blew out the "fire" together.  The candle even looked like a house!

My favorite part was the get away car - which was actually a fire truck!  How cool is that???

The reception was awesome!  It was a huge ball room with the biggest wedding reception dance floor I've ever seen.  Because the Bride is vegetarian, the whole reception was vegetarian.  We had fruit skewers for an appetizer / salad, and veggie lasagna and roasted veggies for our entree.  Instead of a cake, they had an ice cream sundae bar (just like us!).

They also left decks of cards and barrels of dice on the tables. Family and friends spent the night playing card and dice games, and dancing from 5pm - 12:30 am!  Talk about a party!

I took Evie back to the hotel around 10, but Eric stayed at the reception and then closed down a nearby bar with his siblings and cousins.  Part of me was disappointed not to go out, and part of me loved falling asleep in the middle of the bed watching TV (cable! yay!).

Sunday morning was the family brunch with the bride and groom.  More delicious food (the only meat served was bacon!) and visiting with family.  We went over to the groom's parents (Eric's aunt and uncle) for a light luncheon before heading to the airport.

Our flight home was a bit more eventful.  Evie pooped loudly as we were going through security. Mmmm.  And then proceeded to scream for the first 30 and last 30 minutes of the flight.  So glad to take an exhausted and hungry baby on a plane during her bewitching hour.  I almost cried but held it together just long enough to make it to the bathroom after the flight.  A few sweet ladies comforted me and told me she wasn't that bad and that the rude man that complained about her must not have kids :)

It was so nice to get home and get Evie back in her routine.  I think she enjoyed being able to stretch her legs and not be in her car seat or be held.  She slept a record eleven and a half hours that night!

Monday was a much needed chill day.  Eric was off from work so we took advantage of the sunny 55 degrees and took Evie out for a 3 mile walk in her new B.O.B stroller!

PS If you're ever in the Minneapolis airport with a wee one they have a nursing room with all the comforts of home!

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