I was on the road again. This time, reconnecting with my family living near Minneapolis. I seem to be doing this a lot lately, so check out my other reconnections here and here.
My brother Gene was 84 years old Tuesday. The reason for my visit. I wanted to hang out with him. He walks three miles every day at the Burnsville Center enclosed mall. So I did too. Gene goes at a clip almost too fast for me and I'm 14 years younger. He's done that for years. Now he walks it in two sessions, half in the morning, half in the afternoon. A great role model for me.
Later, we met with his friends who also walk the mall at 7:00 AM. That's me in the patterned shirt.
After a short road trip to a quiet country cemetery to view cherished family's graves, I took him to El Azteca for lunch. It has the best Mexican food I've ever eaten. Their margaritas are tinged with an orange flavor mellowing their taste. I ate up their piquant chile relleno telling Gene, "I so want to come back here the next time I visit. Their food is amazing!"
I've never seen this either. Your waiter prepares guacamole from whole avocados as you like it right at your table.
Wednesday included another early morning walk at the mall and some errands. Later we stopped by Cub Foods to visit with the friends he's made who frequent the store. I met some of them when I visited four years ago on my last trip here.
My trip's grand finale was Gene's birthday party, a day late. It was at Casper's...Restaurant. 14 family and friends met for happy hour and shared good food.
Have a look at a few of my many celebration pictures.
No birthday party ends without eating cake and singing happy birthday.
Even with Gene's vocal protests.
And Gene's wonderful smile. The one I always remember.
My plan is to return again sooner and more frequently. Four years was four years too long.