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Monday, December 27, 2010

57th Stop: Minneapolis, Minnesota (Part 2)

‘Twas the night before Christmas Eve and Casey was hosting a massive reunion for my alma mater, Apple Valley High School. Only the brave ventured out it yet another winter blizzard. Nonetheless, it was a great turnout and I got a chance to catch up with some friends I haven’t seen since high school. One of them, Eric, just graduated from an elite Air Force fighter pilot school and is now one of the best pilots in the country. Another, Mark, got a lucky break on the el-train in Singapore and broke into the modeling and eventually the Asian TV and film industry. Liz is now a network news broadcaster. It was nice talking with Erin who recently returned from South Africa where she built a library in a rural community and hearing about Emily and Lindsey's children. Kudos to them and to everyone else, especially the young mothers!

A high school reunion party isn’t a reunion party without a little drama. Without naming any names, there are two stories to tell. But I don’t want to get in trouble, so if you really want to know, I’ll have to tell you in strict confidentiality, face-to-face :-) Thanks to Casey for hosting me and helping buy a bednet to protect a family from malaria!

On Christmas Eve, my mom and Danny had the whole family over, plus the Frenchies for an Italian seafood feast. The dish, called cioppino, originated in the San Francisco Bay area among Italian fisherman. Thanks Danny, it was delicious! Christmas day ensued, with too many presents for Louis (please don’t spoil him Santa!) and a wonderful brunch at Maria and Dave’s place.

God bless every American home
Capitol Building in Saint Paul
Hey, won't you give me S'mores!

Somewhere in between, Thomas taught us all how to play bambu, a fun card game that is actually several games in one. See the rules here if you’re looking for a great way to while away the time by a fireplace with s’mores and hot beverages.

Mickey's Diner

We still had a couple days more to visit Saint Paul and run some last minute errands before Thomas, Christelle and the kids went back to France. On Sunday, we went to Saint Paul to see the Capitol building, the cathedral, and eat in a traditional downtown restaurant, Mickey’s Diner. Christelle and Thomas also insisted on going bag to the mall for a teeth whitening session. Smile!

This ends the adventure with the Frenchies. On behalf of my family and me, I want to thank you again for bringing Louis with you and sharing in our family’s Christmas celebration. We all truly appreciated your presence and you are more than welcome back to Minnesota when it is warmer, with or without me!

To be continued...


  1. Hello my friend ! I'm happy to see you in a few days. Thank's for these good moments in your compapany. Thomas.

  2. Looking forward to it!!! big fat kisses from Argentina, on my way to Portugal as I type...

  3. It was such a wonderful holiday, great to have so many festivities going on and such happy and fun people to share them with. Certainly a Christmas with many great memories...and great French cooking from Christelle and Thomas and John!


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