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  Monday January 26th, 2015    

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World travel (12/05/2012)
By Frances Edstrom

Think of the world’s great migrations. Last Saturday morning, I felt that I was undertaking one of the most difficult: getting two adults and two children out of Winona and to Minneapolis for an 11:00 a.m. curtain for How The Grinch Stole Christmas at the Children’s Theater Company in Minneapolis.

I started out at my house in Pleasant Valley, and was just rounding the round-about when I remembered I had left the tickets at home in a different purse. Back home. The dog rejoiced! But it was short-lived.

I started out again. This time, I got to my daughter’s house and they weren’t ready. I had driven right past the coffee shop without stopping, so decided to go back and get coffee. Back to her house. All ready. Get kids’ seats in car, get suitcases in car, get Peyton and Andie (all dressed up in their holiday finery) in car seats, get adults in car. (Morgan was dressed up, I was just dressed.) Drive.

Drive as far as Rochester on I-90 and Hwy. 52. Granddaughter number two had to make a bathroom stop, so they all did. It took a long, long time. I was getting nervous, since we had started off much later than I had hoped. They returned and we drove on.

I had programmed my GPS, but had second thoughts. Perhaps I should have Morgan get the map on her phone, so I would know well in advance what the route would be. MapQuest gave as Option Number One a route that made no sense to me, not the one I had tentatively planned. But, hey, it’s the Internet, it must be right! Not only does it tell you what route to take, it also tells you how long it is going to take. I added the estimated time to the clock on my dash, and calculated that we would not make it in time to see the play.

I made Morgan call Cassidy to check to see if there was a better route. I wanted to go on Hwy. 35W, and she corroborated. We told her where we were, and she said we had plenty of time. Still, I was nervous, especially when Andie spilled on her brand new dress. I needn’t have worried. The material was impregnable, and the liquid just brushed right off. The miracles of modern fashion chemistry.

We did arrive in time, and rushed into the theater to meet up with Cassidy, Angie, and Harry, who was very natty in his dress-up clothes, complete with a bow tie. We had tickets for the first row in the balcony. I let my fear of the kids not being able to see overtake my fear of heights, and it worked out quite well. The Children’s Theater Company can be relied upon for top-drawer productions, with great acting, singing, music, and fantastic costuming, sets, and special effects.

We watched, enthralled. (I could tell the kids were enthralled because even though they were bouncing and twitching, they were laughing in the right places.) At one point, little Cindy-Lou Who had just awakened to find “Santy Claus” (aka the Grinch) stealing all the presents and shoving them back up the “chimbley.”

Little Cindy-Lou tells the fake Santa Claus that the Whos in Whoville are afraid of the Grinch because his “hands and arms are horribly hairy.” Immediately following her line, a silent pause filled the theater, during which we could all hear Andie say, as she turned and looked at her cousin Harry, “horribly Harry?” You have to wonder what, if anything, they will remember of this trip to the theater.

We followed the play with lunch at one of my old haunts from my brief stint as a single girl, the Black Forest Inn. Yummy German food. That started us out on our world tour of good food. That night, we (minus kids—and Angie, who volunteered to babysit, because she had a project due for one of her master’s degree classes) went to Moscow on the Hill (Russia) for a drink. If you’ve never seen an entire back bar filled with nothing but vodka, you should see this one! We shared a paté for an appetizer, and then went on to La Grolla (Italy) for seafood. We were going to go somewhere else for dessert, but just couldn’t manage to eat any more. The next day we went to Bon Vie (France) for breakfast.

On the way home, we stopped at Nesbitt’s Nursery in Prescott, Wis. (Cheeseland?), for a Christmas tree for Cass and Angie, and the kids got to see Santa. No one was shy this year. They catch on quickly.

At home, I told the dog I was too tired to play, and refrained from telling him what a wonderful time I had with my little family. He gets jealous, you know. We both took a long winter’s nap, while visions of dog treats danced in his head. Not even a clatter arising on the lawn could have roused me! 


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