One thing which worried bunny_hugger when my mother started talking of coming out to see her was that my beloved wasn't sure what exactly my mother hoped to see. At the risk of reading my mother's mind, I'd say it's fairly straightforward curiosity: she wants to see the place where I'm going to be living, soon, besides hoping to meet bunny_hugger's parents. She'd made similar visits just to look around when I went to grad school, and for that matter to meet my advisor before he took me away to Singapore the first time, and on top of that to see Singapore for herself. Surely she'd be at least as interested in Lansing.
But the nominal subject was to get an idea of where the big hotels in the area are, and how they relate to the English Inn where we'll be having the ceremony. We went to her hotel, maybe later in the morning than expected --- bunny_hugger and particularly I got to bed late and needed sleep --- but if we'd come a few moments later my mother would've had the chance to finish her book. That particular hotel seemed all right, but there was a rowdy pack of kids and their chaperone-or-parents in, raising the general level of rambunctiousness throughout the hotel (and the bar; the hotel gave two free drinks with the reservation).
So we began with comparing the locations of the major chain hotels to one another, to bunny_hugger's house, and to the highway which should be the first leg of the trip. This also involved figuring out how difficult it is to get from any of them to the highway, which is not hard at all. The major arteries are a nice straightforward grid, much like midtown Manhattan's except better-aligned to the compass directions. There are some risks from the hotels too near the Michigan State campus, because the campus brings with it a herd of students, who dart into traffic in ways that make squirrels shake their heads and wonder if students understand what roads mean. (Also see: every campus ever.)
With the hotels spotted --- though not inspected; my mother's reasonably confident that Marriott of Lansing is not worse than, say, Marriott of Lansingburgh, New York --- we went for lunch. Here we went to the Ethiopian place we'd floated briefly as a possible wedding-and-reception site. They've got lunch menus including a platter for two-or-three people which would fit us fine; the question was, the purely vegetarian one or the one with three vegetable and two meat options? My mother said she'd like the meat, if I'd share, and bunny_hugger has repeatedly said that it was fine for me to not be vegetarian, much as I've tried to be. I did weigh the conflicting interests --- mine in not eating so much meat, my mother's in really wanting some beef or chicken --- and came down on my mother's side. (It's not the first time I've eaten meat, or knowingly eaten meat, in front of bunny_hugger, mind you.)
After that we went out to the English Inn, so my mother could understand how complicated the journey is, or really isn't: it's highways nearly the whole way there, and just not missing it when it comes up is the hard part. We got approximate mileages for all the big points, too (particularly: nine miles on M-99 is too many). And despite the overcast day we got to tromp around the grounds, letting my mother see what the yard, the rose trellis, the fountains, the river, and the specific spot for the ceremony --- the pergola --- look like. My mother was delighted with the way it looked, and started wondering about details of the ceremony that bunny_hugger and I had really not thought that important, like whether we're going to be looking toward the river or the audience as we trade vows.
We did poke inside, where we couldn't inspect the room where we're to hold our reception because there was some kind of reception going on. We got some views of it, anyway, and debated just what was going on: birthday, wedding, anniversary, some other event? I had the feeling of an anniversary, but couldn't say it definitely was. There was talk about how long two people had been together, at least.
The Inn is also, uhm, an inn, so we were allowed to go upstairs and loko at the lush bedrooms. The rooms were already booked for the weekend of our wedding, so my parents and aunts aren't staying there, but my mother did put in a request for standby to be told in case there are three cancellations. My mother would really like to stay with her college-friends who've become my aunts, and the Inn would be a great place for that. We shall see.
However, given that it's not fifteen miles from bunny_hugger's home to the Inn, and the hotels are just a couple miles from her home, it seems absurd to suppose that anyone in my party isn't going to be staying in Lansing the last weekend of June. It was on the way back that we got our mileage estimates.
The second part of the day would be bringing my mother into bunny_hugger's home, and introducing our parents.
Trivia: There were 47 minor baseball leagues in 1953. By 1960 there were 21. Source: Bottom Of The Ninth: Branch Rickey, Casey Stengel, and the Daring Scheme To Save Baseball From Itself, Michael Shapiro.
Currently Reading: Secret Wars And Secret Policies In The Americas, 1842 - 1929, Friedrich E Schuler.
PS: Thinking about the lottery, since I did some thinking about it. This I actually did while on campus, using the WordPress app on my iPad, a new form of content-writing and why it came out a little weird (to me). But I liked sitting in a little corner of the building and tapping out an article like that and posting it just as if that were a normal thing to do.