Well, one of Kelli's friends got married today, so we ran up to Minneapolis with two little girls. It sounded like a fun reason to get away and enjoy some family time. My line of work hasn't exactly been flourishing in this economy, so we had to do it on the cheap.
Step 1. Book a Marriott with one of our free nights. Yeap, sign up for a Marriott credit card (or many other major hotel chains) and get anywhere from 1 to 3 nights free. Watch out, some of them have annual fees, so we'll be closing our Marriott account here shortly.
Step 2. Pack everything but the kitchen sink. Pack and Play, water toys, food, pop, milk, juice boxes, snacks, beyond the normal overnight stuff that we all need. For those of you who don't have kids yet, you have no clue how much stuff you'll need. Take your normal amount of luggage and triple it (for the first kid).
Step 3. Leave town (on time!)
Step 4. Make the big out-to-eat treat for the weekend the McDonald's dollar menu at a McDonald's with a playland. To quote Elena, "Is this a kid's meal?" "Yes, because you're a kid and you're eating it." Kelli and I ate stuff we packed, minus her side salad. $3 at McDonald's has been our only expenditure so far, other than gas.
Step 5. Go to the wedding. Very nice service. The bride walking down the aisle to "All Creatures of Our God and King" sang by a girls' chorus was pretty cool. This makes the second wedding in as many weeks that I have mistakenly not worn a suit coat to. How do you know what the dress code is at a wedding? Just when you think that no one except the guys in the wedding party, dad, and the pastor wear a suit coat to a wedding, you're shown up two straight weddings. Of course, if I would have fully understood which church this was, and that Central Baptist Seminary was a part of it, that would have clued me in to the necessary suit coat. Being at the church brought back visions of FBBC, mostly good, but some not so good. I still wonder how sinners and tax collectors can be ushered into churches where everyone else is nearly perfect in every way.
Step 6. Go back the hotel and play in the pool for a good hour and a half. Oh yes, go back to the hotel after getting totally lost. In what city do they name a street the same name on both sides of an interstate? In west Minneapolis they do.
Step 7. Do an improvised dinner in a hotel room with the food we packed. Feeding a hyper 18 month old in a hotel room with no kitchen table or high chair is a mess waiting to happen.
Step 8. Spend some family time together, put the girls to bed, and let Kelli run out to do some shopping while I sit here and write this and keep an eye on the girls. And yes, the shopping will also be on the cheap.