Most years on my birthday I tend not to bring attention to myself. I don’t announce it on Facebook, or let everyone at work know “It’s my birthday”. This year has been a huge difference from all those previous years. One of my best friends in the world, Hannah McKnight, and I have for a long time causally talked about getting together someday to meet in person. Last spring we started to seriously talk about the possibility and since we both share a November birthday, it was only natural that we got together and celebrate. And girl did we ever!
My wife joyed the trip, as we made a nice little vacation out of our visit to Minneapolis. As the time passed and we got closer to November I started to make detailed plans for our trip. I knew I was going to be getting dressed up twice, once for a dinner with Hannah, and then another outing with the MN T-Girls group to a brewery and dinner. I spent a couple of weeks thinking about the outfits that would be appropriate for each event along with the right shoes and purse to go with it. In all, my wife and I had one checked bag and one carry on bag each, giving us some options in case plans changed. More on planning and packing in a future post…
We arrived in town on a Wednesday and headed straight to Surly Brewing Company, which is a very popular craft brewery in town. We thoroughly enjoyed the delicious beer and food along with a fun tour. That night we enjoyed a stand up show by Jim Jefferies, who is one of our favorite comedians, and we were not disappointed as he served up a two hour-long stand up comedy routine.
Thursday was spent going to the Walker Art Center to take in some awesome exhibits they had on display and of course check out the Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture out in the sculpture garden. We also checked out some shopping at the Mall Of America and some shops along Grand Avenue near St. Paul.
The real big events started on Friday when we were due to meet up with Hannah for dinner at Ling and Louie’s downtown Minneapolis, just a few blocks away from our hotel. I started to get ready in the afternoon since I had lots to do, removing hair, doing my makeup, and finally deciding on what I was going to wear. On our walk to the restaurant I was so excited to finally meet my friend who I had only ever communicated with through email. So exciting!! 🙂
Hannah was dressed in a beautiful print dress, while I decided to go with a pair of jeans, and button up top and jacket. The jacket came in handy because for us southerners from Tennessee, it was cold! For Hannah, it was warm enough not to even wear a jacket! LOL. Meeting up with Hannah was amazing. We talked, we ate, we drank, and had an amazing time finally meeting face-to-face.
As the night ended, we finalized the plans for the following day. On Saturday we met up at an Ulta store near St. Paul and we all had something done. Hannah and I had makeover (thank you Tawni!!) while my wife had her hair styled (she looked amazing!!). The hair and makeup people at Ulta did an amazing job on us and were so very helpful. I even got some new products, because a girl can never have too much makeup! 🙂 Hannah was wearing a red hot dress, while I felt amazing in my black crochet dress and jean jackets.
Next up was Sidhe Brewing Company, which is an LGBT-friendly place to enjoy a pint of beer or two. I especially enjoyed the nut brown ale. We also got to meet members of the MN T-Girls group who were celebrating their two-year anniversary as a group. It was great to meet the girls and great to see the brewery so busy with people looking to enjoy some good times.
The night ended with an amazing dinner at PUBLIC, a wonderful restaurant in downtown St. Paul. We sat at the chef’s table as we enjoyed each other’s company over some tasty wine, delicious food, and a yummy cheesecake. I enjoyed getting a chance to talk to the other girls, and make some rough plans for a future get together. Before calling it a night, I thanked everyone for such great company and a warm welcome to the twin cities. I also want to thank Hannah for planning the outings and being such a great host and an amazing friend. This trip really allowed our friendship to bloom. It was a great experience and something completely different to celebrate a birthday.
In closing, this trip really pushed me outside my normal routines, and I think I really needed it. There were so many new and first time experiences packed into just a couple of days, which I hope to elaborate more in the future. First time traveling with all my femme clothes, first time agonizing about what to pack for a trip, first time getting a makeover, first time using a multi-stall woman’s restroom (most other places I had been to were single occupancy, lower anxiety…), first time dressing up on back-to-back days, first time wandering around downtown St. Paul in 4 inch heels after dinner trying to find where you parked your rental car… LOL. I’m so happy to have made the trip, I am happy to have made some new friends, happy to have experienced and learn so many new things, and happy to have finally met my BFF, Hannah! YAY! 🙂
I hope you all get a chance to experience something new and break the routines from time to time. Much love to all,