Thursday, February 28, 2008

Minnesota - The Unabridged Trip Documentary

I'm going on my memory, so I may miss a few details here and there. But this ought to be enough for all my readers since I'm pretty sure not many of you care for the inane details of my relaxation trip to sunny Minneapolis.

Day 1 started out pretty miserable. Ryan and I discovered that, combined, we got about two hours of sleep before our 8:30am direct flight to Minneapolis. I guess part of it was pre-trip jitters. On my end, my roommates decided to have a party, which kept me up pretty late. I can't complain, because it was my own choice. I'm a socialite and a night owl, so I can't really help it. Needless to say, I passed out for the entirety of the two-plus hour flight. We landed and retrieved our bags after meeting up with Katie and Mandie at the baggage claim (most people sit out in the car and this was a nice gesture). After some directional confusion (read: girls forgot where they parked), we found the whip and piled in. The Altima was off and running towards Burnsville, our home for the next five days.

As I mentioned in the previous post, we saw After Ashley the first night. We hung out with the cast and crew afterwards at the theatre bar, and then at Pizza Luces (forgive the lack of an accent on the e) where we got some of the worst service ever.

Sunday was a lazy day. Baller cat hung out.

We slept in, watched a movie, then got Chinese food with the Cheung family at Ryan's favorite spot. I think it was called Mandarin Kitchen, but I might be remembering wrong. The meal took about 4 hours. Most of us were through eating at a reasonable time, but Ryan decided it would be wise to make the most of the trip and eat his weight in Chinese food. We amused ourselves with "Would You Rather..." questions while he gorged himself.

"Would you rather...sacrifice your 30 closest friends, or personally kill the other 256 million people in the United States?"

Other events on the trip included a trip to the science museum (see previous post again), two trips to the famous Mall of America, and a journey through the Underwater Adventure World.

Mandie, with her ranger hat on.

For the biggest mall in this country, it had a blatant lack of music stores and Big Black merchandise. I'm on a sudden Rob & Big kick and want a Big Black tee shirt. I know, I'm a dork. Ryan is trying to turn me in to a skater.

Not my thing.

Various other hanging out moments included...

The Underwater Adventure was a neat little aquarium inside the MOA. We were mall employees for the day and got in for free. We got to pet stingrays and sharks under the supervision of a Fargo native whose voice--and more specifically, accent--were painfully hard on the ears.

Fortunately, we found a tortoise willing to give rides and we skedaddled out of there as quickly as possible. Woooooooo!

A couple of dinners out at Applebees, Ruby Tuesday's, and the Roasted Pear were good times of course. An attempted (read: failed) hypnosis gave us a few minutes of mild comedy. Ryan couldn't take the "warming and massaging" chant from Daniel seriously, and never found his quiet spot so that he could succumb to the hypnosis.

All in all, this trip was amazing. I'm sure I'm leaving out important details. But this is a pretty good, brief synopsis with visual aids. Anything else you want to know, you know how to find me.

On a quick post script, Virginia Tech basketball has had a phenomenal week thus far. We avenged our loss at Georgia Tech and swept Boston College in what might have been our best game of the season. We held them to under 50 points after a second half that had us playing NCAA tournament quality basketball.

As for the promised poor commercial piloting section, there's not much to say. The descent and subsequent landing on our return flight today was one of the worst I've ever experienced. The turbulence didn't subside as we cleared the cloud cover. The pilot was yawing and pivoting in the wind and bounced the plane twice on each wheel--individually--before straightening us out for a hard brake.

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