Steven (unzeugmatic) wrote,

Running Jacinta Ragged

I leave for the airport shortly to pick up my Australian friend Jacinta, who is in the US for the first time. I somehow managed to convince her to put Minnesota on her itinerary, to spend the Fourth of July in the Midwest.

I met Jacinta and her husband Paul went I went to Perth a few years ago to give a talk at a System Administrator's conference. Every evening I'd sit in the lobby of the conference hotel with the delightful Australians, laughing about our different cultures. I remember lots and lots of laughing. Paul and Jacinta were part of those happy memories, of my introduction to the country. After the conference I spent a few days in their home city of Melbourne, where they invited me to a meeting of the Perl User's Group they run. When I returned to Melbourne less than a year later for a two-week work trip on one week's notice, Jacinta took charge of arranging a couple of dinner outings with the Melbourne system administrators. She was a big part of why I felt so at home in Australia, and I encouraged her and Paul to come see me in Minnesota sometime. (Paul, unfortunately, is not able to join Jacinta for this leg of the trip).

So what are we doing while she's here?

This evening I'm taking her to Merlin's Rest, a local pub that hosts a monthly Scotch tasting on the first Thursday. Matt and Deb are joining us for dinner first.

Tomorrow I'm taking the day off. I think I'll take Jacinta out to Stillwater, a wonderful historic town on the St. Croix about half an hour away.

Tomorrow evening we're going to Jim and Denise's wedding. Yes, that could seem odd, to take her to a wedding of people who are strangers to her, but the wedding is preceded by a shape-note singing and followed by a contra dance so it's really a community party where she can meet my friends.

Saturday? Still in the air. I, myself, have been looking for an excuse to go back to the Minneapolis Institute of Art, an amazing museum very near my home with astonishing holdings and free admission. There's a contra dance at Tapestry in the evening we might consider. Or maybe we'll see a movie or a play. The Twin Cities is our (freshwater) oyster.

Sunday is July 4th, when my Morris team and the Bells of the North join the block party on Deb and Matt's block. We dance and have a picnic. It is as wholesome and quintessential of a Midwest Fourth as you could want.

I usually don't go to fireworks, but this year I think I'll have to, what with my foreign visitor. So maybe we'll head downtown to watch the fireworks over the Mississippi and then go for a beer at the Minneapolis Eagle.

Monday evening is the monthly shanty sing. I'm still pondering what we'll do with the day. Maybe a walk around the lakes, or a visit to Minnehaha Falls? Maybe we'll just sit around online all day and catch up with things?

Jacinta leaves early Tuesday afternoon, so I'm taking a half-day vacation to allow for sleeping in and a leisurely breakfast.

And that's the America I will show my Aussie friend!
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