Hey! So, I'm back from Vermillion, SD . All the family stuff went great. The fun level far exceeded my expectations, but actually it's not surprising. We're very punny on that side of the family, for instance after the post-wedding collapse we were in tears giggling over the word tulle as in it's all tulle much... Some observations for all youse east coasters: - MILK. Grown ups drink milk there. It was explained to me as a farm thing, but I was sure taken aback to over-hear three grown men order large glasses of milk (whole milk! with ice on the side!) with their dinner. - MEAT. It's what's for every meal. I didn't eat any Holy/Mad cows, however most of the beef there is raised locally, grass-fed, and quite cheap. Veggies, with the exception of corn and soybeans, are imported by truck, of fine quality, but expensive. - MUSIC. Well my cousin was married in America's Shrine to Music . (Betcha didn't know we had one of those!) I also had the pleasure of hearing some gen-u-ine old-time music played by dusty old guys with beards and overalls out back of a frontier bar. I get the feeling those guys would never call their violin anything other than a fiddle, and might be a bit confused by the current Brooklyn old-time/country resurgence crowd. - MONEY. I was taken into the Wal-Mart and oddly enough it reminded me of the British Marks & Spencers. Something about being able to buy a nightgown right across from the aisle with the frozen dinners. I went along on a quick trip to Sioux City, Iowa - the closest place to pick up a garter for the bridegroom toss tradition - and found a really cute lamp at "the Hobby Lobby" for $7.99. Also, for those of us who live in a housing market where a one-bedroom condo under a quarter-million sounds like an amazing deal, isn't it nice to know there are still towns where you can buy a whole house for well under $100k? - DISTANCE. I am related thru marriage to people who live in places like Salt Lake City, Utah and Gillette, Wyoming. As wonderfully diverse as it is here in NYC I don't often get to spend a day with people like these people. I enjoyed the change immensely.

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