Minnesota: Land of 10,000 Bright Ideas (and Some Lakes)

Posted: August 31st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Discoveries, Friends and Strangers, Parenting, Summer, Travel | 3 Comments »

I’m considering changing the name of this blog to vactionload. Although that really doesn’t mean anything. It might actually be an even worse name than motherload.

Besides, someone from The New York Times is probably already using that name.

We got back from The Land of 10,000 Lakes earlier this week, not to be confused with The Land of 10,000 Latkes which I’m not sure but I think is in New York somewhere. Or maybe Florida. Anyway, Mark went to college there (I know what you’re thinking: Harvard isn’t in Minnesota. He actually went to Princeton. Okay, so not really, but the school he went to did end in -ton. And for that reason alone it should be in the Ivy League, don’t you think?)

Turns out that Mark’s college chums who we see on this trip both are brewers. WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF THAT? It’s like finding out that you have to go see your friend’s band, but then learning that there will be free money given away there that night. Except that Mark’s friends aren’t in a band. And the whole “friend’s band” thing implies it’s a band you’d never really want to listen to. (Special message to my friends in bands: I am so not talking about YOUR bands.) Anyway, the lucky thing is that Mark’s non-band friends not only don’t sing bad loud songs they wrote themselves that you have to pretend you like, but they’re also actually quite lovely to spend time with.

And guess what else? FREE BEER.

And they made delicioso chilaquiles for breakfast. With homemade salsa. And homemade TORTILLA CHIPS. I mean, that is if you like that kinda thing.

When you spend a lot of time with free beer—I mean people who are in the malted beverage business—it’s amazing how many really terrific ideas you come up with. And how often you have to pee.

And since so many brilliant ideas came to me this weekend I just couldn’t keep them pent up.

Brilliant idea #1: Make a beer that doesn’t make you have to pee. I know what you’re thinking–I’m a FREAKING GENIUS.  And, you know, you’re right. I mean, even if the beer just wells up inside your belly and sloshes around, wouldn’t that be the best? Like, if there could be some kinda time-release pee chemical that allows you to not have to relieve yourself of your night’s-worth (or day’s-worth, or day-and-night’s-worth) of drinking until the next morning, HOW GOOD WOULD THAT BE? Don’t get me wrong, that would be one loooong tinkle sesh. But think of all the time saved stumbling around in a bathroom when you’d really rather be with your friends burping the alphabet or having a long-distance gleeking competition. (Note to Budweiser: You’d better not steal this idea. The seven readers of this blog will testify in court that I had it first.)

ANOTHER million-dollar idea. Our friend Gary works at a brewery called Bell’s. (Even though Bell is someone’s name I think, their logo has three bells on it, but whenever I look at it I just see Pilgrim hats. Am I normal? Am I drunk? Quite possibly.) Anyway, because I’m such a giver I’ve come up with the name for their next best-selling, brilliantly-branded beer: Bell’s Palsy. You love it, right? I’m still working on the jingle, but I think it’s something like, “Finally, a beer with long-term neurological side-effects.”

I lost my fishing virginity. Guess what? This old 40-something gal just popped her fishing cherry! That’s what fisher-folk call it, right? And what’s weird is for something so dumb and boring fishing is SO MUCH FUN. I had absolutely no skill, luck, or natural talent for this “sport” and didn’t catch a single fish all weekend. But it’s clearly an optimist’s sport. I just kept casting.

I got carded. As in, a waitress asked to see my I.D. before serving me alcohol in a restaurant. And might I add she did not ask if I had a brail version of my driver’s license. It was so unusual as to be terrifying. If a gal my age could be confused with someone under 21 I can only conclude that the women of Minnesota are experiencing severe and horrific accelerated-aging issues brought on by exposure to cold weather. And lutefisk. I’m currently drafting a business plan to develop a vast network of free plastic surgery clinics throughout the state (this is Brilliant Idea #3 for those keeping count). I’m coming, gals! You just hold tight.

Families should always pack a non-parent. THANK GOD our dear friend Gary, “Uncle Gary” to our girls, hasn’t come to his senses and refused to take part in this annual vacation. Being with a sweet, kind-hearted person who isn’t in the daily parenting trenches means when your kid whines for someone to read to them, SOMEONE WILL. It means when your kid tangles their fishing line for the gumpzillionth time, he will be patient enough to untangle it. And did I mention he makes delicious life-affirming beer? What parent doesn’t need one of those in the morning?

Airport sinks don’t see me. You know those magical sinks in airport bathrooms that are supposed to turn on when you walk up to them? They never, EVER work for me. Truly, if I want any hopes of clean hands I have to have my kids stand in front of them for me. When I’ve traveled alone and stood in front of those sinks with a glop of pink liquid soap in my hands and a tauntingly bone-dry faucet staring back at me, strangers have stepped in to help me with this. People who maybe were about to miss their flights but were moved by my pathetic Invisible to Sinks Syndrome. Although I do appear in photographs, I have considered the fact that I’m some kind of ghost. It’s just hard to know who to go to for verification on that. I’m not sure I’ll ever know why this happens so I’ll just assume it means that I’m very very pretty. And smart.

After reading all this blather you might wonder—or more likely you don’t give a rat’s ass—whether this string of unrelated musings and occurrences in sum total equaled a swell all-around vacation. To that I say in the words of many a Minnesotan, you betcha.


3 Comments on “Minnesota: Land of 10,000 Bright Ideas (and Some Lakes)”

  1. 1 Jennifer Burden @WorldMomsBlog said at 11:42 am on August 31st, 2012:

    You crack me up!

    You are the first person that I know that found she had special powers from trying to use airport sinks. I knew you were a really special gal. This proves it!!!

    Jen :)

  2. 2 kristen from motherload said at 12:22 pm on August 31st, 2012:

    Jennifer, If you also suffered from Invisible to Sinks Syndrome you’d understand my need to put a positive spin on it. Otherwise I’d never fly anywhere again, and then I wouldn’t get to wear plastic tiaras with other bloggers at bars in NYC. And then where would my life be?!

  3. 3 HfromBristol said at 11:12 am on September 27th, 2012:

    Carlton ? In northfield?
    Hey so thats a nice kinda town they got there then. Not a bad commute to work in St. Paul either.

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