Argh! My usual Friday routine has been disrupted! Typically, on Fridays that I have off, I will get up and watch Ugly Betty on the computer in the morning and then get down to real life tasks (i.e., getting groceries, trips to Target, etc.). But the new episode that was on last night has not been posted yet! Grrrr!!
So, at the request of others, I will be posting about my Midwest trip.
Last Wednesday night, I flew into Minneapolis. I got lots of chocolate chip cookies freshly baked on my favorite airline, Midwest Airlines. They were delicious. Then Jenny picked me up and we headed back to her apartment which is SUPER ADORABLE. Seriously. She is making me think more seriously about moving to the Twin Cities. When I graduated from library school, I really, really wanted a job in the Twin Cities, but fate laughed at me. And convinced me to move to Baltimore. But things have worked out here (obviously!), and I'm happy! But there is just something about living in the Midwest. Even in March!
So I spent Thursday with Jenny. We ate breakfast at the fabulous Finnish Bistro, which has decadent pastries and huge breakfast platters. We split a big old pastry with flaky crust, almonds, and a custard filling and the House Breakfast special -- scrambled eggs with potatoes, kielbasa, and a little bit of spinach. Very, very filling!
Then I got to go and see Jenny's cubicle at the U of M. She's in a room with a bunch of other anthropology grad students, all of whom seem very nice. Her graduate experience is much more what I would expect it to be like -- very different from my own! I even went to class with her and sat through an hour and a half lecture on human evolution (I think). Jenny and I passed notes back and forth and didn't really pay much attention to things.
Then we went to Uptown and looked around. I got some spices at Penzeys and saw a bridal shop. Much to my surprise, I found a dress there that I really liked...but I still wanted to go shopping with Mom. So I got the info on the dress, pictures, and kept going. We went to the Black Forest Inn for a late lunch. I got a really good casserole -- spraetzel, hamburger, and mushrooms, and Jenny had a bratwurst, rye bread, and German potato salad. I got beer too, and it was really tasty!
Friday we poked around the shops near Jenny's apartment a little bit and then headed into Wisconsin to Eau Claire. My friend and bridesmaid Katie is a professor/lecturer at UWEC, so we met up with her for lunch inbetween her classes. Jenny's boyfriend Adam also joined us for lunch at the Delany Inn -- a buffet lunch. We even got to see Katie's office, which is really quite nice! It was fun walking around UWEC again.
After hitting the mall in Eau Claire, Jenny and I hit the road to head down to Madison to meet up with my friend Kelly (also a bridesmaid) and go to her house to spend the night. We got there a little early, but after waiting for about a half an hour, Durand and Kelly showed up and we were led to their house on Lake Wisconsin. We had a nice visit and a delicious dinner (spaghetti with eggplant and shrimp, yummy garlic bread, and salad). Durand has most of the seasons of Danger Mouse on DVD, so we watched a whole bunch of episodes. Sadly, it isn't quite as much fun as I had remembered from childhood.
Kelly also got out her wedding pictures and pictures from her sister-in-law's wedding. We talked about weddings and things for a while. It was really fun evening!
The next day Kelly made us chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast and we headed in to Madison to meet up with Katie and David's Bridal. She was running a little late, but we finally all got together and tried on dresses, finding one that everyone liked. We had some time before our next appointment, so we had lunch at Panera before heading to a fancy bridal shop. This woman was really helpful -- telling us what would look good on everyone, given different body types. I bet it would've been good to get some advice for a wedding gown from her, but we were focused on bridesmaids on Saturday. We managed to go to two other places to try on dresses and found a few contenders before everyone headed back to their homes.
A decision was made later in the week and the girls will be wearing the David's Bridal dress that everyone liked:
So...it'll be pretty! And best of all, it's on sale right now, so they can save a bunch of cash! Huzzah!
Jenny and I headed back to Plymouth Saturday night. We spent Sunday not doing a whole lot -- church, relaxing, and a run for me. Jenny and Mom started making a suit jacket for Jenny -- it's a really pretty lightweight wool that will be really nice for her. Complicated to make, but it'll probably look awesome!
Monday was the big bridal day. We went to the Stone Manor Bridal Shop in Cedarburg. I had very high hopes for this shop -- Milwaukee Magazine had named it the best place to get a wedding dress. Plus they had a section of discontinued dresses for $199! But alas, it was not to be. The service wasn't very good, the selection was not what I was expected (ginormous trains!), and I didn't find anything. Boo. So we went to the mall for a bit and headed back to Plymouth. We decided to stop in Sheboygan Falls to their bridal shop to check it out...just in case.
The woman working was super helpful. They had a pretty big selection of "Destination Brides" (meaning simpler without huge trains) and also a pretty large selection of discontinued dresses. I tried on a lot of dresses and narrowed it down to two. I really liked one of them, but was worried about the fit, so we came back on Tuesday morning armed with better undergarmets. It still didn't fit exactly, but the seamstress reassured me that it could be let out enough to stop bunching at my hips. So...I bought the dress! It is very pretty and bride-like. And I have it with me in Maryland! Now all I have to do is get it dry-cleaned and altered!
It's weird -- now that I've got a dress and have figured out my bridesmaid's dresses, it seems like I get to plan more fun things. In some ways, finding a dress was kind of stressful. I kept worrying about finding one that fit me and that I liked, but I did manage to do it! Yay!
I got back to Baltimore on Wednesday night and had to work yesterday. It's back to business now.
Also, my Ugly Doll Jeero came along with me for a "Midwest Adventure." I put up lots of pictures of him on my Flickr page -- check it out!
Teaser pics of his and Icebat's adventure follow.
And that's all I've got for today!!