Sunday, May 25, 2014

Vacation, Day 1: Mint leaves and St. Pius yearbook ...


ROCHESTER, Minn. -- On our first night of vacation, we were blurry and spent. It's hot here, like real hot. In Duluth, just as you're about to overheat, a lake wind blows and you can mostly forget about summer. We'd run all over town, visited a great-grandma, cruised the mall, chased the baby to every cranny of my parents house. Now we were full of grilled bratwursts, potato salad and going comatose to the sounds of Twins' baseball.

"Let's just go out for one drink," I yawned.
"It's Cocktail Saturday," Chuck yawned.

The place is Prohibition-themed, as should be all bars below street level. The drinks are the thing and the bartenders hunch over beakers and get real science-y as they combine gin, lemon, some other stuff. One wore an apron. Chuck ordered a Manhattan. I got something called the Steve French.

After much fussing, our bartender eyed his creations. He frowned.

He picked a mint leaf, set it in his palm, squashed it like a bug, dropped it in my pale yellow drink.

"There."

The thing was delicious. Light, summer-flavored. The world could get real tilty after a few without ever wincing to the tell-tale alcohol-induced trachea burn.

On our way out of the bar -- we were headed somewhere rooftop-ish -- we pass a signature jawline backlit as it cruised down the steps. I made a grab for the guy behind him just as Jawline stopped, turned around and said "Christa?" Two guys I've known since first grade on Jaw's wedding/birthday weekend.

Whenever we come to Rochester, I hope for a random sighting. The girl we saw at Target doesn't cut it. Seems like she unfriended me on Facebook and that I didn't notice suggests it doesn't matter and we will all be okay. I just wasn't meant to know which 1980s sitcom family is most like her family. ("Full House," probs).

But these guys: This is the mother load. A reason to come to Rochester. This is the best sighting you can hope for. It's Jaw's wedding weekend and his he pulled a wedding party straight out of the St. Piux X yearbook. He listed off invitees, people who might even stop by the bar, and I got giddier and gidder.

At one point I wondered: Why can't we be invited to this all-star event?

We spun back into the speakeasy, talked about letter jackets, the internet and architecture. We hung out just long enough to get invited to the wedding. Can't wait to see if we go.

2 comments:

Jodi said...

I love Vacation Christa! (i actually love them all, but just wanted to give a special shout out to VC)

Christa said...

I like her too. She's so free.