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Holly McCamant: MEA weekend is filled with culture

Every MEA weekend, our family has the tradition of going down to the Twin Cities. It’s just about always the same.

On Friday night, we go to the Mall of America. The next day my dad and I run the Run For the Apples at Pine Tree Apple Orchard, and then do something really fun like going to the Midtown World Market. We usually see our Russian friends and my dad’s client, who owns the Twin Cities Corn Maze.

This year was no exception. On Friday, my dad, our foreign exchange student and I headed down to the cities. However, despite the fun I had last year, this year definitely takes the prize as the best MEA weekend I have ever had.

The first stop was the Mall of America. I’ve gone there in the past, but it’s kind of hard to shop with my parents. For some reason, my dad has no interest in teenage clothing stores. My mom also dislikes looking for hours at stuff that she has no need to buy. So, last year, I didn’t really get to go shopping.

However, it’s a completely different experience when you have a sister. Our German exchange student and I both like to shop, and I can actually go into stores that no middle aged man would dare enter.

Shopping at the Mall of America is also a lot more fun when you’re from Germany, where it’s not unusual to wait 30 minutes outside of a clothing store from America. Being able to go in and out the most popular stores in the country is the ultimate American experience.

You can go from looking at Statue of Liberty socks to computers in a minute. I’ve lived in the United States my whole life, but the excitement rubs off on you.

Never mind that the Mall of America was founded by two Canadians.

By the end of the day, we were glad to go to a motel and watch shows that my dad has no interest in. The next day, we had to get up early to run.

When we woke up, we soon discovered that the weather was… less than ideal. My German sister was having a hard time understanding why 900 people would pay to run five miles in the wet and cold of an apple orchard.

No, it wasn’t very fun for part of the race for me either, but it’s really hard to feel upset when there’s a little girl cheering everyone on at the top of her lungs. Both of us ended up really enjoying the race, despite not doing well during miles two and three.

We soon felt better when we met up with our friends from Russia. My parents have known these Russians as long as they’ve been in the United States, which is a year away from being as long as my parents have been married. We usually stay with them about once or twice a year.

So it was quite fun for two Russians, a German, a person who has traveled a lot and a girl that thinks about traveling to meet up over salmon egg caviar, Russian soup and Russian chocolate. The chocolate and soup was good, however, I’m not brave enough to eat salmon eggs.

Our next experience in our very cultural day happened because my dad had two girls begging him. The Midtown World Market is one of my favorite places to be, and our exchange student has heard me preach about the wonders of this market.

After Italian ice, German cookies and some of the best coffee I’ve ever had, we were off to the Twin Cities Corn Maze to chat with a Dutch who grew up in Brazil.

This weekend was pretty multicultural already, but my day was made when my sister opened a special package from her parents. Some people wonder why I want to travel, but they’ve obviously never had German chocolate.

Holly McCamant is a sophomore at Frazee-Vergas High School.