Posted on October 14, 2016
Minnesota- The Great American Road Trip
I really enjoy driving at night. I know it is not everyone’s cup of tea, but for me a night drive is like a meditation. When we left Texas, we took off for Minnesota in the middle of the night. The drive was pleasant, without any surprises and my favorite part was of course, the sunrise the next morning.
Once we arrived in Minnesota, we had the pleasure of staying with Uncle Michael and Charlene. Bean loves to spend time with Uncle Michael. The last time she was with him, they stayed in a hotel in downtown Chicago with his twin granddaughters, Bean’s cousins, and they had a great time. We saw them most recently at Thanksgiving 2015.
Bean loves the humongous stuffed animals that Uncle Michael has at his house for the children. She loves the enormous pool in the backyard, along with the swing set. I believe her favorite thing is the basement with the TV and table games. When Uncle Michael told us he had prepared our room, Bean was adamant that she wanted to sleep in the basement. So that is where we slept…with the TV. Bean knows that we don’t have a TV at our house so she takes every opportunity to have movie night every night when we are travelling, if she can.
The two most memorable things that we did in Minnesota were spend time with Uncle Michael and Charlene, and visit Paisley Palace. Charlene was recently appointed as a judge. I have never had the opportunity to speak with a judge on a personal level. It was fascinating for me. Like most jobs, there is a training period. She had lots of books to review with many laws and procedures to memorize. She also had a training period and another judge who helped her with the work with which she was not familiar. I would have enjoyed spending more time talking about the process, but this was a time of study for Charlene and not a time of relaxation.
On a bright and sunny day, we went out to visit Paisley Palace. To my surprise, it was situated in an industrial park. I only became interested in Prince a few weeks before his death. At my former job, the residents enjoyed singing Purple Rain since they were big fans of the music from the 1980’s. I knew how he stopped going by a name for a few years and not much else. In the weeks before his death, I became interested in him due to my interest in Misty Copeland. They worked together on a few projects and I wanted to know what type of music artist could collaborate with a ballerina. I learned a lot about him. It was a shock when I heard he died.
Paisley Palace was a monstrous looking hulk of a building. It was not only a home but also a recording studio. We did not see the inside of the building. We were able to see the outpouring of love fans from all around the world left as a tribute to the way he touched their lives. I feel that was important to notice. It didn’t really matter if I enjoyed his music or not. What mattered is that what he did made a difference in the life of others.
That is also how I want to live my life and why I was glad Bean was able to learn a little about “the Prince” as well.
Our visit to Minnesota lasted shorter than our visit to Texas because we had to get to Chicago to see our newest family member…Gabriella. It was a joy to be in our city again for a few days and see a few of our old friends. In the short time that I was there, I attended a picnic, a birthday party, went to dinner, met the baby, and hung out at the park. It was a beautiful whirlwind stop. Early on the morning of the last day, our dear friend Patti took us downtown to catch our Megabus. We were off to our next destination!