Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mankato Weekend

I thought I'd write about this weekend a bit, now that my conference is done and I've had some time to reflect on the fun. On Friday after school, I dropped Avery off at the vet for boarding, and then I headed out with the Kurths toward Jefferson, where Jason grew up. We stopped in Des Moines for supper and then went the rest of the way. Thanks to the hospitality of Jason's mom (Granny Pat to all of us), we had the perfect place to stay, and we didn't have to get a hotel room for two nights.

Emma and I slept in the back bedroom. I'd wanted to crochet Pat a couple of dishcloths as a thank-you, and of course, I'd put it off way too long. I was finishing up that night, and Emma was snuggled in beside me. She was tired because she broke her collarbone earlier in the week (fell of the jungle gym at recess... teachers, including mom Mrs. Kurth got her an ice pack and sent her back to class... no one believed the poor little Diva that something was seriously wrong... the trials of being a drama queen), and she was still on tylenol with codeine at night. I wasn't complaining... I was hoping she'd sleep hard enough to not kick me in the night. ;) She was very interested in the crocheting, and she was very excited about the surprise for Granny Pat. I told her the story about how my grandma had taught me to crochet on Christmas Eve when I was in 6th grade. That's one of the most special presents I ever received. She fell asleep before I finished the last dishcloth, and in the morning she helped me tie the ribbon and deliver the present.

After a restful night, we left for Mankato. The kids were excited about time with Granny Pat and Grandpa Terry. Emma was very exuberant about waving goodbye, and as we were pulling out, she tripped and fell over a step, right on her bum shoulder. Ugh. Traumatic exit for us, but she got settled and was fine.

Jason lived in Mankato for several years, so Suzanne and I got to hear all his fun college stories, and we got to see his old favorite hangouts. Pagliai's Pizza was the first stop. It's kind of a little hole in the wall, but the pizza is a local favorite. We had the buffalo chicken pizza, and it was great... spicy, deep dish... delicious!

We toured campus a bit. A lot had changed since Jason had gone to school there. We stopped at the bookstore, and I got a Minnesota State University hoodie. Then we called Stephen. He came over and met us at the Union. I was so glad to see him. He's really become like a little brother to me, and I was anxious to see how he was doing. We shopped at the mall for a bit, and then we checked into our hotel. We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn, and it was really nice. Excellent pillows. We ate supper at a place called Grizzly's, and then we dropped Stephen off at the theatre.

Miss Saigon was amazing. Stephen and two other of the summer interns from the Sondheim Center were in the show. They had their own little cheering section that Saturday night because three more of our Sondheim crew had gone up to see the show too. I just love the show anyway. It and Les Miserables are my favorites. I just love love love the music. This clip from YouTube is from the Tony Awards and shows two of my very favorite singers on earth... Lea Salonga and Liz Callaway. sigh.

I've seen Miss Saigon twice, and the Minnesota State production surprised the heck out of me. I was moved in places this time that surprised me. I got most emotional during the Fall of Saigon scene with the helicopter. I don't remember ever being that upset in that particular spot in the show before. The way they did it was so intense and emotional. I was a wreck. Their Kim was Equity from New York, and she was amazing. She lifted the caliber of performance from the entire cast. Everything was so well done. The lighting was especially interesting and beautiful. If every production at MNSU is like this, I'm definitely going back for more!

Our crew all met at a cafe after the show for some social time, and after dropping Stephen off at the dorm, we headed for the hotel. We were wiped, but in a good way.

Stephen joined us for breakfast the next morning. It was nice chatting, just the four of us. These pics are from breakfast.

We made our way back to Jefferson to pick up the kids, stopping in Ames for lunch at the Pizza Pit. We helped return Granny Pat's back to normal. This pic is Jack "helping" put the toys away. ha

I had rehearsal when I got home on Sunday, and then I went to school to prep for my sub, since I was going to miss two days this week. Needless to say, I was so completely exhausted when I finally went to bed on Sunday, but the weekend was totally worth it. This is the first little trip that I've taken with Jason & Suzanne, and I had a great time. I hope we can do it again!


  1. Isn't there a Pagliai's Pizza in Iowa City? I used to eat there in college!

  2. You actually posted a picture of someone in an Iowa State shirt? That's the first step to shedding the black and yellow and wearing the crimson and gold. I'm proud of you Tena.

  3. I'm a very caring person, Frank. I believe in charity and empathy for all people, Iowa State Fans included.


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