If only every week could be like the one I spent in the Twin Cities of Minnesota in early November. Dining out, shopping, going to the theatre, visiting the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and culminating as a presenter and attendee at the Minnesota Out Campus Conference at Century College near St. Paul over the weekend made me one very happy girl! Making it ever better was enjoying the company of my lovely wife who went everywhere with me and then did some things on her own while I attended the conference.
Needless to say, I did not get much sleep, but I'm certainly not complaining. We had a great time and will do so again in mid-December when she flies out of Minneapolis-St. Paul for the holidays. We're planning on attending a murder mystery dinner Friday at the Spaghetti Factory before she leaves on Saturday and get some holiday shopping in as well.
Our extra-long weekend began on Thursday night. After checking into our hotel she went swimming leaving me to get dressed and ready to go to the theater. I chose my maroon skirt with a black ruffled bodysuit blouse and black pumps. I like bodysuits because they stay tucked and look trim and this one was a great find because it was a size Tall. I'm always searching for Tall items as I'm 6 feet tall with long arms and prefer to wear long sleeves.
My wife got herself ready and wore a colorful pleated stretch dress with her black high heel boots and looked fantastic. We definitely looked like two girls dressed for an evening out on the town. Off we went to downtown where we took in a performance of Disenchanted at the Illusion Theatre, a mildly risqué play about the "real" stories of Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella --- the story that Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse did not tell you! It was very funny and the audience was mostly other women, so we fit right in.
We then went off to Crave Restaurant for some drinks and the late night happy hour where the bartender said "Hello Ladies" when we sat down at the bar, crossed our legs and took in the ambiance. When my wife went to the ladies room, I watched the male chefs and waitstaff check her out as she walked past and I couldn't blame them!
At 11pm, we walked a few blocks back to the parking garage and made our way back to the hotel. Our first night made me feel like I had gone to some womanly heaven and I looked forward to the next day and our trip to the Art Institute.
On Friday, we slept in a bit and then got ready to go to lunch first and make our way to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. It's a beautiful three-story building filled with art from all over the world, but we would only have time to tour the third floor which was filled with art representative of Europe and the America's for the past three centuries.
I chose a new outfit that combined black and brown color blocking, which is a style I really like. I wore a black suede skirt with a black knit top coupled with brown tights and a dark brown suede zippered jacket and my black low heels. It's a dressy casual outfit that works well in Minneapolis where tights and boots our popular with the women who live there.
I really enjoy going to Minneapolis because the women are always dressed nicely and a transgender woman can fit in so much easier. It's a very liberal city with a large LGBT population and hospitality staff who are used to seeing and serving our community. As yet, I don't believe I've ever been called anything other than “Ma’am,” “Ladies” or some other feminine name. It just makes you feel wonderful to know that people accept you for who you want to be.
We first made our way to the Textile Center of Minnesota along the Mississippi River. My wife sews and she was really excited to go there and obtain information about their services and classes, as well as seeing the different methods used in designing textiles and fabrics.
An hour later, we made our way to the Art Institute and had lunch in their cafe before we toured the third floor. We both took each other’s picture with the big plastic dog, whose name eludes me, in the modern art wing.
There were several whimsical pieces of art here and my wife took several pictures of me posing with them. This is a fantastic place to go and just be yourself. It's so easy to blend in and move about freely or to just sit for awhile and people-watch. And the floors were made of marble or a heavy tile, so that walking with heels made that oh-so-wonderful click/click/click that just seems to announce that a well-dressed woman is walking your way.
The Institute closes at 5, so we made our way downtown with the hopes of catching the early dueling pianos show at Shout, but we couldn't find a place to park and the traffic was too heavy, so we abandoned that idea and parked in a garage to go shopping and find a place to eat dinner.
We walked our way through the Skywalk to Macy's where I looked at boots in the shoes section. Unfortunately, the only ones that I liked and weren't over $100 weren't available in my size (11). Oh, when we asked for directions of a saleswoman working in womenswear, we were pretty sure that she was a transwoman. I thought how lucky she was to work in such a great place as I've considered applying for a part-time job en femme as well. I think I'd find working in hosiery to be my ideal department!
On we went and after spending another 30 minutes or so shopping, we made our way out onto to Nicollet Mall where we forgot to have our picture taken by the Mary Tyler Moore statute at 7th Avenue. Mary Tyler Moore was one of my very first female fashion idols, especially the first two years she appeared on her show. I loved so many of her outfits and they made an impression on me that has lasted to this day.
My current fashion maven is Kate Middleton. Her style is one that I wish I could afford to femulate every day. Do you know that she was the one that re-introduced wearing hosiery as a "required" item to the wardrobe of women in the U.K? Pantyhose and nylons sales were slipping until she came along and showed how they completed and complimented an outfit. If I could look like her, I think I'd flip the switch!
At 10th and Nicollet, you'll find Zelo, a classy Italian restaurant where we had dined before on previous trips to the big city. We were seated right away by the host with a "follow me ladies" and sat side-by-side at a table along the wall. No one took any undue notice of us. Conversations didn't stop, forks still shoveled food and our waitress greeted us with a "How are you ladies doing tonight? I'll be your server." She was nothing but friendly and accommodating the entire time we were there.
My wife had ravioli and a dark beer and I dined on chicken parmesan with a glass of Riesling. Fabulous! The ambiance was great, the other diners were classy and dignified and the service was what you would expect from a first class restaurant. Oh, and the bread was very yummy!
We passed on dessert and since I had to get up early the next morning, we made our way back to our car, but we did stop in at Target to buy some nylons and some makeup. I almost bought a pair of burgundy suede pumps, but I wasn't sure they'd go with last night's skirt, so I sighed and passed them up (but I'll go back wearing that skirt next month and see).
We joined the after-dinner crowds on the mall hurrying to their own destinations, walked a few blocks to our car and then drove back to our hotel.
Other than a few prolonged questioning (or perhaps knowing) looks, we spent the day in downtown Minneapolis as two women enjoying some of the city's favorite spaces and places. It was another great day en femme and I was looking forward to the conference on Saturday.
Jeanine’s adventure in Minneapolis will continue here tomorrow.
Phil Black, professional femulator, circa 1950.