I met up with my fellow wayfarers, Sangram and Arindam at terminal A of Logan airport and made way to the check-in kiosks. I was really excited about seeing my first Christian marriage, and looking forward to the trip. I kept hopping around in the airport in anticipation , while the guys laughed at my childlike demeanor.
While Sangram and Arindam brooded about the 'Bahut kharcha ho gaya' factor at Au bon pain (French translation: At Good Bread), I sipped at my coffee and savored my apple croissant quite obliviously.
The flight was uneventful, except for the National Geographic magazine that I borrowed from Sangram and he showed me some vacation destinations including St. Moritz in the Engadine valley in Switzerland.
At Minneapolis we met two other people who would be attending the wedding : Balint Karosi- a friend and the organist at the wedding, and Karen- another of Mitch's friends.
We pooled a car from Minneapolis, dropped Karen at her Grandma's place, had lunch at a joint called Hamburgers. The freshly baked bread and the fresh ground meat made it a haven for steak lovers. And it was dirt cheap compared to Boston. While any high end steak house could charge you $ 30 + in Boston, I had a combo meal - of a swiss melt steak with mushrooms and onions, a vanilla shake and fries for just $12.49.
The state, also called "Land of 10,000 Lakes" , would be a perfect vacation spot for anglers too. I had seen quite a few water bodies when we were airborne. However, I imagined that our tight schedule wouldn't probably permit fishing, and I was content with feasting my eyes on the lush green meadows.
Someone mentioned ( I think it was Karen) that it was drier than usual. I looked at the tint of yellow in the grass. Anyways, it was a welcome break from a city like Boston. ( I love Boston, but a change is invigorating)The great stretches of land reminded me of my Colorado trip. Except, Minnesota appeared a lot greener. Colorado is more reddish.
We left the twin cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul behind us and drove some 60 miles on Interstate 35 to reach Owatonna, our destination. For some impalpable reason, the traffic was moving at snail pace. Gawd ! It was as bad as I-93 South in Boston with two left lanes closed at rush hours.
We took exit 48 on Mitch's direction and met Mitch and Sushma - the to-be groom and bride at Preferred Outlets. Sush was still doing some last minute shopping for her wedding and told me about the really cheap clutches she saw there. From Calvin Klein to Nike, Bath and Body works to Levi's - there were stores of all kinds and I wanted to start shopping right away. But I knew I had to control my impulse. I voiced my desire anyways. Sangram mock copied me, 'I really should find time to shop here', but I knew he had made a mental note of it.
We just had time enough to check into our hotel. My chums were not helping and I was feeling a little weak. A quick shower pepped me up and a new brush of eye shadow took care of the rest. I discovered a disaster among my toiletries. I had forgotten my bronzer. Would have to go without make up on the wedding. I was glad though. My skin could breath. Trying to look glamorous can be a pain in the wrong place. I am the most comfortable in a pair of shorts, an old t shirt and my glasses.
We were at the Trinity Lutheran Church before 6: 30 PM CDT and I got a fair idea of how everything was going to be the the following day.
A pastor had flown from Boston and I was surprised to see his competence at remembering names from the guest list. The wedding ceremony participants included the Maid of Honor- Meenu, Sush's best friend (I am guessing),the Flower girl - Paridhi- Sush's kid cousin, Best Man- Sangram, and Groomsmen Mark and Matt Schull (Mitch's elder brother)
We had dinner at a place called ' Celebrations', where the reception would take place the following day. There I met the rest of the Schull family and also the youngest guest at the wedding.
The bed looked very inviting by the time we went back to our hotel. It boasted of free wi-fi and free HBO on TV. None of us had got our laptops but we checked our mails from our phones. I remember seeing Stallone in Demolition Man; there was this funny scene about a Moral Statute Machine (in the future) charging for violation of Verbal Morality Statute. I guess that was exactly when I had fallen asleep.