Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Twin cities wrap-up

We are still in the church parking lot in Uptown. Our conference ended Sunday evening, but it was exhausting, and it has taken us until now to recuperate and catch up. Part of our obligation as appointed delegates to the assembly is to produce a report, which we do in the form of a blog. It took each of us several hours to finish our reports, and we've also been wrapped up in Red Cross curriculum development over the last two days.

Speaking of which, one of the lead developers has been deployed to Texas (to the same city we were in for Dolly two years ago) in anticipation of Alex, so Louise has had to take on more of that work as well. She had a conference call yesterday afternoon while I rode downtown for an 80-minute massage (ahhhh), whereas my call is coming up in another hour and a half.

The massage was a direct result of an "80-minutes for the price of an hour" flyer that we picked up at the Pride Festival on Saturday. It was a great festival and I wished we could have spent more time there, but Saturday and Sunday were our two busiest days. We ended up at the festival by marching there from the convention center with some 3,000 of our fellow Unitarian Universalists to witness for marriage equality, as part of our Standing on the Side of Love campaign. Although witnessing for marriage equality at a Pride Festival is somewhat akin to preaching to the choir.

I generally don't pick up these sorts of flyers, but $75 for an 80-minute massage is a bargain in any major city, so I jumped on it. The joint was run by Aveda, and the therapist pitched products to me when she was done, the first time that's happened to me (although Louise gets the pitch more or less every time).

In addition to the often dry business of the association, the conference had a number of highlights for me, including the march. One was a surprise visit from Minnesota Senator Al Franken. Senator Franken is a very funny guy, and his speech was both amusing and moving. At one point he even choked up a bit, a side of Al that I'd never seen either in the comedian or in the distinguished gentleman from Minnesota. Earlier in the conference we met and heard from the Secretary of State, whose office had to deal with the fallout of Franken's hotly contested election.

As usual it was great to catch up with many dear friends. We had nearly perfect weather for most of our stay, having only had to run the air conditioner one day. Scooters are a perfect way to get around town here in the nice weather, and we saw hundreds of them, including perhaps the largest inventory of any scooter shop we've ever visited when we dropped by Scooterville so Louise could purchase the Go-Go Gear jacket she's been lusting after since they were first announced.

(This armored riding jacket is my birthday gift from my Mom last year. I'm so glad to finally have it! Thanks, Mom! -Louise)

Minneapolis also turned out to be the confluence of a number of blog readers. In addition to Craig whom we saw Wednesday and Brian and Hillary from Thursday, we also met a different Brian on Monday and fellow NüRVers Ben and Karen yesterday. It was great meeting with every one while we were in town.

Mostly due to the perfect weather, this has been a great stay for dining as well. We ate out nightly, with Porter and Frye, Ichiban (Teppanyaki), Skywaters (in the Hilton), and Loring Park Kitchen having been our choices in walking distance of the convention center. When not downtown, we ate here in Uptown or nearby Lynlake at Pizza Luce, El Meson (walking distance), and The View (on Lake Calhoun, which we later rode around). All our choices proved to be excellent, but then again there are so many restaurants here that we could afford to stick to the ones with good on-line reviews.

In fact, the neighborhoods here have been so attractive that we are a bit sad to be leaving, but we feel we need to vacate in consideration of the church, not wanting to overstay our welcome. So after today's conference call we will head out on the road. Absent any specific assignment from the Red Cross, we will mosey down the Mississippi on the Great River Road, and should be somewhere near Red Wing tonight.


  1. Hey guys,

    Check out the Cairo Customs House in Southern Illinois.


  2. It was great to finally get to meet you! GA, as usual, beat me into the ground as well. :-)

  3. @JD: We've been to Cairo more than once, but have never stopped at the museum. If we cross the river this trip, maybe we'll stop.

    @Lance: Sorry I did not get the chance to poke my head in along with Louise.


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