Our trip was oh, so fun!! I love North Dakota! Okay, I wouldn't go that far, but we did have a really good time in Jeff's hometown, Garrison. I was pleasantly surprised at the scenery. I was thinking North Dakota would be all flat and brown, but it was green and a lot of it was rolling. There are parts of flat prairie, but that is pretty in its own way too. The area around Garrison has a lot of fields of yellow flowers -- I found out later that they are canola fields. So, everytime you have popcorn, popped with canola oil, it probably came from North Dakota.
Anyway --- Danny and I were able to leave at about 2:00 on Friday. Traffic leaving the Minneapolis metro was horrendous - tons of people on their way to the lakes up north. It took us two hours to get to St. Cloud, a trip that would normally take about an hour. So, that was a nightmare. Once we got past there, we were able to maintain good speed and finally made it in to Garrison at about 10:00. Right before that, Danny and I stopped to buy beer at a town called Washburn. It was a bar called The Captain's Cabin that also has off-sale (you can buy cases of beer, etc.). The record did pretty much scratch when we walked in. The ladies working were like, "Ohhh....good lookin' strangers!! Hey, Linda - we just found our dates for the night!!" So, that was kinda funny. Anyway, we got in to Garrison to discover the streets are really weird in that town - they have avenues and streets running parallel, so we were driving around forever before we found Jeff's parents' house. Yeah, tell me how dumb Danny and I felt basically getting lost in a town of 1300 people. Oh well - we managed not to strangle each other. Immediately upon our arrival, being stressed from the ass-backwards streets of Garrison, Danny and I demanded relaxing with a couple beers before heading downtown to the street dance and bars, where we finally got to meet Jeff's fabulous sister, Trina (she's a year older than he is). It was fun, but nothing really exciting happened that night. We stayed up drinking at his parents' (Wade & Connie), then Jeff, Danny and one of Jeff's old friends wanted to go the little Garrison airport, where some sort of town breakfast was being served. Trina and I stayed up talking and I think I finally crashed at about 5:00. She told me to quit having a crush on Jeff; that he didn't make good boyfriend material!
Trina and I woke up on Saturday at about 11:00 to find Danny and Jeff still up *and* still drinking!! They were just hammered. Jeff was walking around in a white, flouncy buttondown and really lowcut black swim trunks with a pink bandana around his shaved head (he always wears bandanas)! What his dad must of thought of that little ensemble, I can only imagine. Then he started dancing in front of his dad (he's a gruff, but really nice, traditional small town North Dakota guy) to Britney Spears' Toxic
. This is about the time we were like, "Jeff, get to bed!!" They are just a crazy family - it was pretty funny. Jeff and Danny finally went to bed, so I hung out on the deck talking to Trina, Connie, Shawna (Jeff's roommate) and Audrey (Jeff's aunt). Trina and I decided to start in on ghetto mimosas - this version was Bacardi "O" with orange juice. We all kept drinking and talking all day -- Jeff and Danny got up that evening. Later we changed and went back downtown to a packed bar called The Office, where a ton of people Jeff went to high school with were hanging out (he was class of 1989). Nothing really eventful again, but still fun.
Drama ensued later when Shawna was being hit on by and flirting with Jeff's high school crush, Doyle, whom he still likes. Jeff has also always thought that Doyle is a closet case. Turns out he's not, because Shawna wound up going home with him -- after Jeff told her five times that he wouldn't be mad. Well...he was mad. So, I wound up having to talk to him and calm him down at his parents' house that night. *Then* he was livid at his sister for "always wanting to be the center of attention." He didn't really like it when I said, "Hmmm....kinda like you??" Anyway, he just went to bed and that wasn't the best night we had there.
We got up and started drinking again on Sunday -- I tell ya, they can throw 'em back there! The parade was going past their street, so we sat on the curb and watched the horses, firetrucks and class floats go by, screaming for candy. Trina was really funny there, running around picking up candy (she's 35, mind you). We just all hung out listening to CDs and drinking until it was time to go downtown again. We all went to a bar called Gordy's and got really crazy. At one point, it was just Jeff and I on the dance floor and some country/rock song came on..."The Devil went down to Georgia..." During the part when the fiddle takes over, both of us kicked off our shoes and did a country jig...this is when the whole bar turned around to watch us. The country jig turned in to a dance line routine, ending with kicks. I'm surprised we didn't get run out of town on a rail after that little number. Anyway - it was so funny and everyone kept reminding us of it the whole next day. I wish I had my camera with that night!!
On Monday, we were all feeling a little ragged, but we had to go to some family reunion of Wade's at a town about 45 minutes away. Upon arrival, they told us that everyone was at "the lake." So, we had to trek over there and literally drive through a prairie (on a red dirt road) to get to the campsite. This is where we decided to try having a few beers to celebrate Jeff's birthday (the next day). We didn't get back from there until about midnight and went to the bar for last call. Then we just hung out in the garage all night. Jeff made it until about 7 a.m., but Trina and I stayed up talking. Then Trina's uncle showed up at about 8 in the morning looking for beer (he was with a carload of others). We just wound up sitting in the garage talking to these people and I finally dozed off, then went to bed, at about 9:30 or 10:00 (Tuesday morning). Trina stayed up until noon!
Danny woke up me at about 1:30 and we left for home at about 3:00. Connie gave us each a southwest style blanket as a token of friendship (she's a full blooded Native American), so I thought that was very nice. Trina didn't want us to go and Wade told us to come back anytime and that he thought we were the best people. Danny and I didn't want to come back to reality either -- but, the time came and we had to start the long drive back to Minneapolis.
We left Garrison about 3:00, ate a quick bite in Bismarck (the ND capital) and got home at 10:00. Jeff and Shawna are driving back today.
I'll post pictures when I get some -- I have 2 rolls of film at Target and need to bring 2 more there someday soon -- so, eventually, this blog will be picture mania.
All-in-all, we had an absolute blast in North Dakota -- Jeff's family is awesome -- and I hope to go back soon!!