After creating a stellar army of Lego mis-mash—Darth Vader never looked so good on a red bicycle; plastic army men never suffered such a severe defeat (whaddya expect: they have no moving parts; you’d be pretty stupid to stand in front of a fixed fixed bayonet)—I packed up my wine and new clothes and headed for Wisconsin. First time meeting the parents. Nervousness was not abound: I’d already put in a good show when Amber came out last summer.
My PR machine in motion long before this visit, I anticipated a smooth welcome into the Monday/Miller family. No problem. But, it had nothing to do with me. The hospitality flowed in the form of Christmas in February and a stock of choice bourbon (Granddad, Beam) and vodka (Gooooooooooooooose!). Not to mention, Tom and Patty helping me to feel at home. And I did. Kewaskum. My home away from home. West Bend. Where I could live if not quite held at gunpoint.
Milwaukee being what I call Chicago Unplugged. Great downtown with some really great architectural structures that are old warehouses-cum-lofts-and-apartments. Can’t wait to see the Giants beat up on the Brew Crew at Miller Park someday. Also, back in Kewaskum, the schedule was packed: dinners with extended family—Nic’s cousins are really cool; her aunts and uncles genuine—, not to mention all the people that Nic wanted to touch base with, all the people outside her own family that have helped to make her the wonderful woman she is.
We made dinner a couple times; Tom and Patty made a few good dishes, too. We ate more Mexican food in Milwaukee than we did in CA (something really wrong with that, right?). We met up with everyone from Nic’s hairdresser to her former grad-school professors. And quite honestly Milwaukee has the best brew and the best brew tours around. There were a couple times that I was able to stay home and, yes, voluntarily, scrape the snow and ice from the drive way and the deck; it was the only exercise I got aside from one run I took in SJ.
15 pounds heavier and numerous family members gained, time finally came to shove off one last time from the US to this place called Korea. We are waiting—still—for spring to spring. And all the good things that come with it.