We flew into MSP on Wednesday, August 22nd, not seeing Senator Larry Craig, darn it! The news came out about his lewd conduct this week, but MSP has lovely restrooms and both Lin and I escaped untoward advances from Right Wing Republican hypocrites. Thrifty RentACar was out of the Dodge Caliber, so we got a Hyundai Elantra, and it was just fine. The GPS got us to Eagan and into the Marriott TownPlace which was quite nice, with more features than we needed. It was close to the Kleins, Don and Sannee, and we went off to dinner at their house. I intend to describe the great time we had with the Kleins in a separate entry, with pictures.
On Friday, August 24th, after a breakfast with the Kleins at Panera, we drove to MSP and flew east to Chicago, to go south and west to Omaha. Thrifty couldn't find a Caliber sized car, so for an extra $5, we ended up in a Chrysler 300 for the 60 mile drive to Lincoln, and the familiar Marriott Cornhusker Hotel. I was struck by the $53/day Elantra, and the $19/day 300. The explanation, in part is the weekend rate, and the cities. The 300 was okay, and the Magellan 700 GPS that I had packed, was a lifesaver. If only the vacuum would stick to the windshield. Both the Elantra and the 300 had a nice shelf above the dash where I could wedge the GPS in place so that when the vacuum failed the thing wouldn't fly loose and strike the floor, or the accelerator. Small stuff.
Matt selected a good old American Nebraskan Steak restaurant for dinner and we went off in Laurie's Scion XB, Laurie driving. Gosh, she's cute. She's my youngest daughter and she turned 23 in June. Matt and Laurie have been married for 4 years. Matt is an artist with talent in painting and in the art of making stained glass windows and artifacts. On Saturday, we visited the shop where he works and I learned a great deal about leaded windows and restorations and a field that I really knew nothing about. Matt surprised us with a fantastic creation of cut leaded glass that he made specifically for us. Sort of at the level of the Tiffany Lamps. A picture will be inserted in a subsequent entry. Incredible talent! He also made a watercolor for Lin's brother Randy that was amazing. It's being framed now, so I can't photograph it.
The next night we went off to Nha Trang, Lincoln's best Viet Namese restaurant with Matt's mother, also named Linda, as is my wife, and my sister. Her boyfriend, Rob, was formerly in Army Intelligence, and Rob's father in the CIA. He, too, feels that the Iraq invasion was wrong and stupid, and he is a Viet Nam vet. Interestingly, he knows Republican Senator Chuck Hegel and fought in Viet Nam quite close to Hegel's unit. Rob was in signal intelligence in Viet Nam and later in Berlin.
Hegel is a rational Republican whom I greatly respect, until we get to core Republican issues.... but I still respect him, really. The food was good, if not great, and we were home by Sunday afternoon.
I managed to make real progress on the airplanes and at the airport in Phillips' "American Theocracy."
Hopefully, I will get to picture posting, as Matt's artistry needs to be shared.
Regrets: No runzas in Lincoln. I love them. Thanks, mycroftca