Saturday, March 20, 2010

Swimming, Shopping, Satiating, and Snoozing

We're back now from a long day in Bismarck. We got up at 4:30 A.M. (Mountain time) to get Hillary to the Bismarck State College Aquatic and Wellness Center in time for warmups before her event in the state swim meet ("2010 North Dakota USA Swimming Short Course Championships," that is). Recall that, back in January, she qualified to compete at state in the Girls 8 and Under 25-Yard Backstroke event. The qualifying time was 24.69 seconds, and she swam it in 24.00. Well, today she . . .

. . . warmed up . . .

. . . hung out with teammates and enjoyed a snack bag put together by some of the parents in our swim club . . .

. . . swam her event with a tummy full of those snacks . . .

. . . and swam more slowly than her original state-qualifying time in January!

Oh, well, there were many positives: (1) she had fun; (2) we enjoyed being there to cheer her on; (3) her Grandpa Gustafson and Uncle Jerrett both came to watch her swim; (4) we liked being able to see the impressive new swimming facility; and (5) her event was toward the start of the day, so we were outta there by about 10:00 A.M. (Central time), giving us most of the day to shop and to dine out.

And, boy oh boy, did we do both! We spent a lot of time at several stores having the girls try on clothes (Easter dresses, dresses for church, shoes to match Easter dresses and dresses for church, etc.), but there were a few other fun little purchases, too. At the Kirkwood Mall, we bought a couple of stadium chairs at Scheels Outfitters so that Susan and I can sit in the bleachers at swim meets with a little portable cushion beneath our butts and a little back rest behind us.

While Susan took Suzanna and Abigail to one clothes store, Hillary and I stopped at Stabo Scandinavian Imports and bought a cookbook, a Swedish pancake mix, some Swedish spice mixes, a rømmegrøt mix ["sour cream porridge"], a couple bottles of a Swedish "winter soft drink" to sample, some Swedish lingonberry and cloudberry preserves, and some Finnish hand lotion. Even though we weren't home to make Scandinavian Saturday supper this evening, we definitely had that theme on our minds as we purchased all these items!

Oh, and we also tried on a Viking hat, complete with Aryan braids sewn into it!

At the Gateway Fashion Mall, we browsed an antiques shop called Not Too Shabby and bought a set of etched vintage glassware that matches some wine glasses that my sister has from our mom.

Pretty, huh?

Susan and I also stopped in Vintner's Cellar Winery to take advantage of their special: buy two bottles, get one bottle of dessert wine free. We purchased Bee Blush (a rosé flavored with honey and raspberries from ND) and Dakota Delight (a white zinfandel made with rhubarb and strawberries from ND) and were given a bottle of white chocolate port.

We were hungry for our late dinner at Red Lobster but not yet very hungry for our late supper at Texas Roadhouse, where we decided just to share a few appetizers amongst the five of us--and that was plenty. As wonderful as the food was at each restaurant, equally wonderful was the opportunity to sit down and rest our aching backs and feet. Shopping can be tiring! It's not surprising that the ride home was so very quiet . . . and sleepy . . .


  1. Thanks for stopping into our Bismarck Scheels store and picking up the stadium chairs, life is much more enjoyable when you can sit comfortably. Best of luck during all of your future swim meets!

    Thanks again for your support,

  2. I loved these kind of days as kids. Remember the many trips to Minot for eye appointments or just school shopping? Yes! Those were the days!

  3. Just reading about it makes me tired again -- what a day!