Thursday, May 31, 2012

Host Service

Andrew and I served as good hosts for my sister. It was her third visit to Minneapolis, all within the last five years, but her first visit of any significant length. She had a very pleasant stay.

She arrived the Friday before last. Both Andrew and I took off work early that day and welcomed her at the airport and brought her home.

We stayed in that first night—it was my sister’s choice.

My sister liked our new house. She did not object that our living room and dining room were completely unfurnished.

She appreciated the attraction of our giant kitchen, with its windows and skylights.

She also appreciated the beauty and comfort of our upstairs den/living room, which served as her bedroom. It had everything necessary to keep her comfortable and amused: beautiful furnishings and accoutrements (courtesy of Andrew’s mother, who had selected not only the sofas, chairs, bookcases, desks and tables but also the lamps, rugs, wall prints and window treatments), books, music, computers and large windows overlooking the park. My sister fell in love with the room instantly, as I had expected.

The first Saturday of her visit, my sister had Andrew and me show her around Eden Prairie for a couple of hours so that she might acquaint herself with where we now live. That evening, Andrew and I took her to downtown Minneapolis, where we had dinner at a nice restaurant and attended a Minnesota Orchestra concert.

The first Sunday of her visit, we spent the day at Andrew’s parents’ house. My sister already knew everyone except Helena, not yet born the last time my sister visited Minneapolis. We did little more than play with the kids all day that Sunday.

Andrew and I had to work last week, so my sister was left to her own devices during the weekdays (we left behind one of our cars for her use each day). She chose to stay in on three of those five days. I think she liked having time to herself and a house to herself.

One day last week, she spent all day at the Minneapolis Institute Of Arts. On another day, she spent a few hours at The Walker Art Center.

On Tuesday night, Andrew and I took her to dinner, followed by a performance of Jeffrey Hatcher’s “Compleat Female Stage Beauty” at Minneapolis Theatre Garage. On Thursday night, Andrew and I took her to dinner, followed by a performance of Beth Henley’s “Crimes Of The Heart” at Bloomington Civic Theatre. On Friday night, Andrew and I took her (and Alex) to dinner, followed by a performance of Agatha Christie’s “The Hollow” at Theater In The Round.

There was nothing at The Guthrie we had wanted to see, but my sister did not mind, as we had taken her to a performance at The Guthrie in 2008.

On the second Saturday, Andrew and I took my sister to Cathedral Of Saint Paul and The Basilica Of Saint Mary, the two most impressive church edifices in the Upper Midwest. That evening, Andrew and I took her back to Saint Paul, where we had dinner at a nice restaurant and attended a Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra concert.

The second Sunday, Andrew and I took my sister—and the kids, as well as Alec and Alex—to the Minnesota Zoo. It was a fun afternoon, mostly because the kids were fascinated by the animals.

On Memorial Day, we spent the day at Andrew’s parents’ house, eating, relaxing and playing with the kids.

My sister has now seen pretty much everything worth seeing in the Twin Cities. In fact, between her most recent visit, her visit in the summer of 2007 and her visit in the summer of 2008, she has seen most of the key attractions in Minneapolis and Saint Paul at least twice.

My sister returned to Oklahoma on Tuesday. Since Andrew and I were at work that day, Andrew’s mother took my sister to the airport for her flight home.

My sister will remain home all summer, working at a summer job. Her time in Minneapolis WAS her summer vacation—it was her only free time between her college graduation and her summer job.

It does not look like anyone in my family or Andrew’s family has a trip planned for this summer. I would like to go somewhere, but Andrew and I are building up vacation time, hoping—perhaps—to spend a week or ten days in Paris in September.

Because my sister was here over Memorial Day Weekend, Andrew’s parents delayed opening the lake house for the summer, which they typically do over the first holiday weekend of each summer. Early tomorrow evening, consequently, we will make up for lost time and head up to the lake for the weekend. Everyone in the family will make the trek.

I look forward to it.

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