I managed to not shed a tear, but my poor mama had a few waiting for us when we arrived...At three in the morning. After a four hour delay. Yeah...that was fun. We then had a 90 minute drive to my parent's house. We got home around 5 in the morning, so "late" that my dad had already taken off for work. We could smell his coffee pot when we walked in. And promptly crashed into our beds. (Thanks, Mom, for waiting patiently and driving us!)
On Friday, we pushed our breakfast plans to lunch plans in order to get some sleep. My mom and I picked up Grandma for lunch and ran in to a few old friends while enjoying food at the "new" Parkview Grille. It's on Main Street by Central Park and it's worth a stop if you want some good food that's not fast food. My brother stopped by for quick hugs and then we made a quick trip to my dad's work to get more hugs before Mike and I headed BACK to the Twin Cities area to spend some time with friends.
Our first stop was Mike's previous job. We enjoyed a few drinks while catching up with everyone and having a few good laughs. After that, we went on our way to my favorite brewery in town, Indeed Brewing. We were there for this brewery's grand opening, and it still holds my top spot! A few more friends met us here, and we enjoyed empanadas, beers, and lots of laughter and stories. We reminisced about weddings, school, and got caught up on everyone's jobs and love lives. I have amazing friends that can be serious and silly at the same time, and I love it!
That evening, we hit up three more breweries (all new to us-the brewery scene in Minneapolis is insane) and ended the night with an amazing gift from our hosts for the evening, Sam and Bridgette. We once again crashed hard into sleep and woke up early to catch breakfast at The Buttered Tin. This was a super cute place with good coffee and delicious breakfast. We had a short wait but it was an absolutely gorgeous morning, so we enjoyed the fresh air and chatted in the sun. Is there really anything better than sipping coffee in the sun, outside, with a great couple?
After breakfast, I got to spend time with my bestie, Miss Ashley, and Mike spent time with his business partner Dustin. We reconvened at Ashley's house, quickly changed in to our wedding attire, and set off on another hour long drive to the lovely ceremony for Nicole and Ben. We arrived with three minutes to spare, typical! Their wedding was gorgeously set in the groom's parent's back yard. With the sun shining, and a musician playing, I got to watch another one of my sorority sisters tie the knot. I'm always fine until I hug them, and then they always make me all teary!
Sunday was filled with family. I have a big family and absolutely love the obnoxious gatherings, meaningful stories, and genuine attitudes we all share. First, we had breakfast and snuck off to have some pictures taken (post on those soon), and by the time we arrived home after a DQ treat, family was already waiting for us at our house. We got more hugs, started to imbibe, and took it all in as more and more family came to show love. The evening was great, we enjoyed another bonfire, and ended the night each snuggled with a kitten in what I now know is my favorite place...my parent's back yard.
Monday was our last day. Each of my parents took the day off, and we finally had some time to just relax! We had French toast from real French bread (the best thing ever!) and later enjoyed lunch on the front deck. The sun was shining, the kittens were playing, and we had an amazing time talking and catching up. We always have a fun time with my parents, it is awesome how nicely we all get along. Sometimes, I'm certain my mom would trade me for my husband! I know that's not true, but it is really amazing to me how perfectly Mike fits in, and it makes me love him even more because I know my family loves him as well.
Tuesday was full of travel, and after a long day, we returned to our house with Church's Chicken in hand around 9:00 pm. We were happy to see our little Lola, and sleep in our own bed. It's hard when "home" now feels like it's in two different places! We are happy here in Austin, but after being home, I know my heart is more fulfilled in Minnesota.
Thank you to everyone who made time for us during our visit! We had an amazing time seeing friends and family and can't wait to return (hopefully before next July, which is our current plan).