Sunday, August 23, 2009

Trip to Minnesota

We flew into Fargo, ND and got a rental car (2009 Mazda 6) to go to Bagley, MN. The drive was very picturesque on back roads through the Detroit Lakes area and it really reminded me of Sweden. It explains why all those Scandinavians settled there.

We visited the Tamarack wildlife refuge and saw a few birds and a few chipmunks. I guess it really wasn't the season to be spotting wildlife, but regardless, it was a nice day spent together. We listened to some really good NPR programming and had very interesting discussions about it. It's just great to be together again.

In the evening we finally arrived in Bagley. First impression from inside the car: It's small. First impression from outside the car: It smells like cows. That being said, it was a cute little town with the bare necessities. There was Hanks Hardware, the SuperValu, Jennifer's Hardware, Daroo's Pizza, Subs & Mexican (the local international food place), DairyLand (the local ice cream shop) and last but not least, the Dutch Mill Motel & Video (which also offers in sun tans, not furs). There were several other establishments, but I can probably count them on my fingers.

The motel was very clean, but very old and probably doesn't feature in the Travel Channel's best hotels list. But we learned they are the cheapest motel in northern Minnesota and that was good enough for us. We weren't planning on spending much time in the room anyways.

The following day, we went to Itasca State Park, which is where the mighty Mississippi begins its journey to the Gulf of Mexico. It begins in Itasca Lake and meanders north and east before actually turning south. Very interesting and quite a nice park to visit. Just make sure to bring bug spray aka. "Minnesota cologne," because the mosquitoes are relentless.

Later in the evening we went to Sam and Nathaniel's wedding which featured the funniest preacher I've ever seen, a Model A Ford, some of the best finger food I've ever had and more family and friends than I could count. It was a lot of fun and the reception, although segregated, was a total hit once the dancing began. I also was surprised by the amount of singing that took place. I've never been to a wedding where the guests get up and sing songs to the bride and groom.

Wedding lasted until about midnight which worked well for us because we had to get up early and drive back to Fargo. Once in Fargo we grabbed some breakfast at the Atomic Cafe and attempted to make our way to the airport. This was very difficult because all the roads were closed off for the air show. Lucky for us, we were there early and were able to watch the show for an hour or two prior to having to get on our plane.

We flew together to Chicago and then had to go our separate ways. Yet another weekend that was way too short but well worth the trip. We want to go back to Minnesota to go bicycling with Sam and take in some more of the natural beauty up there.

Pictures will follow as soon as Amber has some time to post them. (It's Blitz week now and it may take a while).

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