The trip back to Minnesota has come and gone, and I managed to catch up with 46 friends, family, co-workers, and acquaintances. Yes, while on the plane ride home I managed to make a list. It was great to see so many people in six days, but most of them were for just a few minutes. I’d just start having a conversation with someone and then it was off to the next thing!

There were some funny moments on the trip, but probably the funniest was on my way to meet Lauren to go to the airport. We always leave really early at my suggestion and then sit at the airport for hours. Well not this time! The flight was at 5:30, and Lauren wasn’t even leaving work until 4. I showed up at her office around 3:20, hoping to coax her out a little early, but she had too much work to do, so I went to the bar next door and ordered a beer. The waitress brought it out in a dainty little glass and I had finished it in several minutes. Around 3:55 I asked for a larger beer, and I watched as she used both arms to hoist this gargantuan stein out of a cooler and set it under the tap. Of course Lauren was now finishing work and I had 60 oz. of beer in front of me. But I managed to gulp it down in record time and met Lauren as she was leaving her office. By the time we fought rush hour traffic through light rain and found a parking spot, it was already 5:00, and then Lauren’s flight wasn’t showing up on the kiosk. Nevertheless, we cruised through security and had a spare minute to relieve my bladder before taking our seats. Yeah… we need to find some middle ground when it comes to airport arrivals in the future.

We got in late Friday and spent the night hanging out with the Poulters. While I had seen my parents in February when they came to visit, Lauren hadn’t seen hers since Christmas. The next morning we had a very small window to get together with my old college friend Chris Ahrendt and his family for coffee, and then another small window to visit with Lauren’s grandma, aunt, and brother and his girlfriend as they were passing through town after a week at the family cabin. After that, it was off to Rogers for the big Kayla-Vincent wedding, where we hung out with Jason, Patrick, and the whole gang for the night.

Sunday morning we had breakfast at the Rosok house, and then we met Walsh and Sarah to drive up to the Poulter cabin. Steve was already there doing some projects, and was excited to show us around the cabin and lake. During our two-night stay, some of the highlights included boating and swimming on the lake, sitting around roaring campfires, a meat raffle at the nearby bar, and drinking heavily. The temps never got anywhere close to 80 and at night it was down in the 50s, certainly a nice change of pace.

Tuesday we came back to Minneapolis and went to the Twins game with Walsh, Nick, and the Rosoks. The Twins lost to the Tigers 8-4, but we were mostly just hanging out chatting during the game. Afterwards Walsh took Lauren and me to the Marvel Bar, where Walsh knows Minneapolis’ best bartender, who created a drink using Cabin Still, the bottom-shelf bourbon of choice of Steve Poulter. That’s the very short version of the long story of how Steve inspired this signature drink at the city’s hottest new bar.

Wednesday I visited my old stomping grounds at Microboards, though the visit was all business as I got demos on the company’s two latest products. Lauren then dropped me off at Liz Burke’s house while she had lunch with her old Supervalu co-workers. That afternoon we hung out with the Glanzers who had driven into town to see us and do some shopping. And at night, both families got together at the local German restaurant for a hearty 30th birthday dinner in my honor.

Thursday we had a quick breakfast with Ma and Pa, then made a quick trip to the Mall of America before our flight home. We were upgraded for free to the economy comfort seats, the first row behind first class, making for a comfy flight home to Austin. When we got off the plane we were greeted by 102-degree weather after actually being cold that morning in Minneapolis.

All in all, a great trip back. Woulda been nice to have made it out to South Dakota and seen the rest of the family, but given our busy month there was no time to extend the trip any further. Yes, it was go-go-go the whole time aside from the time at the cabin, but now we’ve got a couple weeks to relax before closing on the house on the 30th. Thanks to our good friends the Megos who watched our little devil beagle while we were away.

I’ve already posted all the photos on Facebook, so I’m not going to do it again here.