April 21, 2016 was a painful day for the millions who loved The Purple One. I was in tears at work; I’ve been a Prince fan for as long as I can remember. There was never a time I didn’t listen to his music.
As a kid, his 80s hits were the soundtrack to the dance parties I had with my cousins. As a teen, I rediscovered Purple Rain.
As an adult, I dove deeper into his archives and wondered how one man could be so talented. I caught my first Prince concert then, fueling my admiration. I love the emotional highs and sultry lows of his vocal range. His command of the stage and his dance moves were everything. He fearlessly pushed boundaries while always keeping his focus on the music.
My focus, months after his death, was on a different type of pain.
My doctor was confident that pain from my toe surgery would subside within a week and walking wouldn’t be a problem. Taking his advice, we planned our final trip of the summer to Minnesota, 10 days after surgery.
I like my doctor but he’s a fibber.
The constant throbbing pain and swelling I was experiencing was more than I’d anticipated. As our five-day trip to see friends and family approached, so did my reservations. I figured flying would be tricky and my limitations may put a damper on the trip for everyone.
Navigating TSA is annoying on a normal day. Throw in a leg brace and a cane and it’s nightmarish.
Aside from the air travel, we had a great time. I was able to rent a wheelchair at the Minnesota History Museum, Mall of America and Valley Fair amusement park so getting around wasn’t much of a problem. My restrictions forced more down time, out of character for us, but turned out to be just what the doctor ordered.
No trip is complete without a few hiccups. The most notable was getting banned from a roller coaster at Valley Fair just as we were getting on. We didn’t know my brace would be a problem until after we waited in the 30-minute line. Apparently I didn’t miss out.
This leads me to my favorite adventure: the paisley one.
There will never be another Prince. I’m still sad but was thrilled to see his studio where so much incredible music was created. Tributes from all over the world lined the surrounding fence. Everything from fan art and purple roller skates to underwear and bags of Doritos were left to honor the artist, months after his death.
Here is a taste of the memorials found at Paisley Park in Chanhassen, MN:
Our trip was a much needed escape from Fresno’s summer heat and polluted air. I couldn’t get over the blue in the Minnesota sky or the puff of its clouds. The time we spent with our family and friends was worth the inconvenience of my bum foot.