I'm late. I'm always late...a "latepants" if you will. Can't help it. Any minute that I arrive early to something is a minute that I could have been working on one of the ten-thousand other things I have on my to do list. So, I'm either exactly on time, or late...mostly late. Except for cake deliveries. In seventeen years of delivering cakes, I can think of two times that I ran late. One was an unexpected traffic jam that snuck up on me, resulting in a hurried set up that caused the caterer to prolong the cocktail hour by ten minutes, the other was due to a tornado warning, in which, my husband, the Captain, had fortunately already arrived with the cake, and called me off from driving into the storm. Of course, my only question..."is the cake alright?" and my brilliant husband's response "It's on a kitchen cart in the basement of the hotel with me and the hotel staff and guests." Apparently, it was the only inanimate object moved to safety...gotta love the Captain.
The trick to keeping Latepants from being late, is in the padding. We arrive at each venue two hours before the guests arrive. That gives me an hour and a half to set up the cake and take photos, and another half hour of cushion time in case the guest's arrive early, or we hit traffic, etc.
The only exception to this rule is at the Minnesota History Center. We love it there. Top notch staff, great food, friendly people. The only hitch...it's a museum, therefore, open to the public until five o'clock each day. So, when Jenna hired us for her wedding, and informed me that the guests would be arriving at 6:00, we had to throw our meticulously padded timing out the window. Can we set up a cake in an hour. Sure. If we have to.
Jenna had a fabulous vintage aesthetic to her wedding. Her sense of color is fabulous (one of my worst design traits) and her knack for personalization, amazing. She should be a wedding planner... actually, she opened her own business this year...wedding planning. She's great, if you need the number, give me a call! We had a great design session, combining her and her fiance's love of travel, with their vintage look and color scheme and her vision that the cake should look like a stack of hat boxes. I've always wanted to do a hatbox cake, and the beautiful vintage hatboxes that she found online as inspiration, made designing this little sweetie a sheer delight. We added a band to match the waistline detail of her dress on the top tier, and the beautiful damask pattern from her hand-made table runners to another, and put lyrics from a song that she wrote for the wedding ceremony on the bottom. Multi talented, much? Finally, we found art from vintage post cards, and made frosting-backed travel stickers and postcards for the cakes to tell the couple's story in geography.
When we got to 94, we were redirected to 94 west, and taking one look at the line of traffic trying to get back into Minneapolis on 94 east, I decided to drive through the city. The Captain and I both went to the U of MN, and lived in Minneapolis for several years...so I called him so he could direct me to the next entrance onto 94. Easy, we drove through downtown (which by the way, everyone else decided to do) and attempted to get onto 94 at the Metrodome, nope, that entrance was closed, Seven Corners, closed, the detour took people onto 35W North, but I'm smarter than the detour, right? Wrong. Poor Jenna got the tour through Dinkytown, onto University Avenue, which, just out of coincidence, was not only shut down to one lane, but was covered with Fraternity and Sorority members having some kind of festival...
The idea was to get down to 280 and cut back over to 94, but with the lane closure on University, I was travelling an average of 4 miles per hour, and starting to FREAK OUT. Finally, I remembered the entrance onto 94 that I used to take when I lived on Erie Street. The Captain advised against the risk, but I was getting nowhere on University Avenue. So, I made a last minute decision, and cut right, leaving Jenna to try to maneuver over. I hung up with the Captain, and called Jenna to direct her to where I hoped we could make it onto the Highway. And, by the grace of the cake gods, it was open. The skies opened, and I think I heard the faint sounding of horns, as I made it onto I - 94 via the Huron entrance. Which I had all to myself. Nothing makes you recall every scene from every Post-Apocalyptic, and/or Zombie movie more than having Interstate 94 in Minneapolis, all to yourself. Not a single car or construction vehicle, not a soul, besides me and my cake, from the U of MN Minneapolis campus all the way to Cretin/Vandalia. A stretch of road that measures approximately 3 miles, and felt like 30 miles waiting for Mad Max and Tina Turner to come carry me off to Thunderdome.
Not my ideal day, but as these photos of the Bride and Groom show, no one was the wiser. Until now...