Sunday, October 24, 2010

Why Not Minot?

We love that we continue to stay in touch with our dear friends from when we lived in Greater Grand Forks.  When we used to live there, we'd get together regularly with several couples and their children for "family game nights" or spur-of-the-moment suppers or elaborate parties; and at various times since then, we have reunited when they have come to southwest ND to visit us or when we have returned to the Red River Valley for holidays or more of those parties!  3.5 years ago we all met up in Minot, ND, a site about an equal distance away from home for all of us, for a weekend of swimming at the hotel's water park, shopping, eating, and most of all hanging out together and playing games.  And this weekend we headed back to Minot again for the same purpose!

Unfortunately, only one of the group of "regulars" at our friends-with-families get-togethers was available to join us this weekend, but we went ahead with it anyway due to the difficult of finding another open weekend on our calendars.  We drove to Minot on Friday and joined Jay, Erin, and their kids at Buffalo Wild Wings for supper before heading back to the hotel, where the kids played together in one of our rooms and the adults gathered in the hotel's dining room area to play games, eat snacks, enjoy beverages, and laugh our fool heads off.

On Saturday Erin and Susan went off to shop and get pedicures while the kids swam in the hotel's pool under the close supervision of Jay and me (when we could be bothered to look up from the new iPads that Jay and Erin bought; Erin let me try hers out for the morning).  We ate dinner at Mi Mexico and spent some time at the Dakota Square shopping mall in the afternoon (highlights: frou-frou coffee, live music, and plenty of browsing time at Barnes & Noble; and "cake batter" ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery).  Back at the hotel, we ordered in supper from Nite Train Pizza and repeated the previous night's entertainment plan of snacks + drinks + games, laughing ourselves into fits of tears.  Awesome!

Gabriel, Suzanna, Abigail, Hillary, and Hanna gathered in Jay and Erin's room for games each evening.

Jay and Erin and I in the hotel lobby after check-out

Erin and Susan

The whole gang

After breakfast this morning, I left everybody else behind at the mall while I drove north to Glenburn, ND.  You may recall that I was asked to serve on the board of directors for Camp Trollfjorden, the summertime Norwegian language and culture camp that our family attended the past two summers (remember this and this?).  Well, my first board meeting was today at the rural home of Kari, another board member.  She and her husband Cory are from Norway but have lived their adult lives in ND.  She is in charge of planning the camp's menus of authentic Norwegian dishes, and she helps the retreat center's cook prepare the food, too.

I was told in advance that today's meeting would be preceded by dinner prepared by Kari, and it was an impressive spread!  Her dining table was laid out beautifully, and the meal included lettuce salad, sweet salad (a mix of fruit, whipped topping, pudding, etc.), ham, mashed potatoes and ham gravy, steamed vegetables, homemade lefse and buns with homemade grape jelly, trays of pickles and raw vegetables, cranberry sauce, and most likely other items that I've forgotten.  She cleared the table so we could use it for our meeting, and we had mixed nuts and mint chocolates while we drank coffee throughout the meeting.  When we were done, she served more coffee with homemade apple pie (made from apples grown in their yard) and vanilla ice cream.  The food and warm hospitality were so terrific that I almost am not even disappointed that, at the meeting, I was elected to serve as treasurer for the camp!


  1. Jay and Erin's kids are getting big very quickly! I'm sure it's like you haven't even missed a day once you join forces on each visit. Great friendships always last. :-)

    Your life is equal to burning the candle at both ends. Sheesh!

  2. Sandy, I agree. I don't know why we never have days during which we have NOTHING on the schedule to attend and nothing on the agenda to complete for the next day. I understand that some people in the world DO have days like that. Maybe it's just a myth.

  3. Sandy -- you're right--all the kids are growing up too quickly, and we do pick up like we've never been apart whenever we're together. They're wonderful friends and we miss seeing them more often.
    Kevin -- I'm afraid we will NEVER have lives like that. Maybe someday....if we ever retire...but probably not.