I leave in about a half an hour for the airport. I thought I would take some time before I go de-fur myself to share some things I'm reminded of about Minnesota before I leave.
1. ZOMGBBQ! There is a lot of space in this city. The metropolitan area sprawls miles and miles, and the houses are built on huge lots, leaving actual space between the houses. Space to plant things or have a dog run. My parents' car is equally spacious and I feel like I've been driving a boat in a big street. Thankfully the streets feel bigger too. Although this car just barely fits the parking spaces, even here.
2. I do have a Minnesota accent. I know that some of my friends can hear it sometimes in CA, but after 5 days of being here and hearing it on the television and in the streets, I hear it all the time.
3. My father wants grandchildren. He wondered aloud why his daughters hadn't learned to spawn. I replied that first there needs to be a desire for them. He's more persistent in this than my mother. I'm not sure why. I've never seen him be terribly excited about interacting with a baby or a child once I was an adult.
4. My family has very little cultural exposure. As a result, some of the most racist ideas come flowing out of their mouths. They don't mean it, I know, it's just that they don't know better. To varying degree, my parents are open to learning more, but my aunt...we went to a Vietnamese restaurant last night and there was very little actual Vietnamese food on the menu. It was mostly a combination of Chinese and Thai. I ordered Pho and I had to explain what it was and why I would want to eat it. My aunt commented that it was all just "Asian food" to her, then proceeded to tear apart her one experience of Japanese food.
5. It is cold here in the winter. I'm normally not very chilly. It takes me longer to get cold. I have rarely felt comfortably warm here for more than a few hours at a time. And the cold sucks the humidity out of the air and I feel like there is no liquid in my skin anymore. Lotion companies must do a booming business here.
I'm sure that there is more. I may add to this when I get home tonight. I'm looking so forward to my bed and being in a place that is diverse and comfortably warm and humid (yes, even Bay Area coolness is going to feel warm after this...and it hasn't even been that cold here!).