Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Road Trip: Day 9

Road Report
Today's route: East Grand Forks, MN to Tioga, ND on Hwy 2 (296 miles).  Severe winter weather is occurring in most of ND, and several blizzards are headed toward the Red River Valley this weekend.  Although I didn't relish driving through the gale-force winds, the drifting and blowing snow (and frequent whiteout conditions), and the negative temperatures with double-digit below-zero wind chill factors, I suspected that today was our best chance of making it across the state before things got even worse.  So the drive was a little scary until midway between Devils Lake and Rugby, but road conditions got progressively better the closer we got to Tioga, and we made it to Dad and Beverly's safe and sound.

Notable Events
Today was Suzanna's 13th birthday!  (And she spent a good chunk of it in the vehicle, perhaps viewing the weather outside and wondering if she'd live to see another day.)

After packing up the vehicle and bidding adieu to our friends Jay and Erin, we stopped at a gas station for fuel and for water and snacks to keep us satisfied during the drive to my dad and stepmother's home.  We made a stop at Cold Stone Creamery in Minot to buy Suzanna a birthday treat (and to give me a chance to unclench my fingers from the steering wheel and get the blood flowing through my digits again).

Because what could be a better treat than ice cream when the wind chill outdoors is about negative 25 degrees?
Eventually we made it to Dad and Beverly's so that Suzanna could spend her birthday with Grandpa and Grandma . . . and so that we could have another Christmas celebration, this time with them.  First we ate spaghetti for supper.  Then we got into comfy clothes and gathered in the living room to open presents.  All the girls received very nice gifts; and afterward, Suzanna got to open a birthday card from Grandma and Grandpa announcing that her birthday gift from them is a jewelry armoire!  They have reserved it for her at a store in Dickinson so that we wouldn't have to haul it in our vehicle on the way home; we'll just pick it up when we get back.

opening Christmas gifts
Beverly read the girls some interesting facts about Christmas and afterward asked them to recall something that they had just learned, giving each of them another Christmas treat as a reward!
Of course, we had to have birthday cake and ice cream before going to bed.  Happy birthday, Suzanna!


  1. RE: the Cold Stone stop--when we were in Minot in October, Suzanna said, "Mom, you can come back here in December and get me a birthday cake from Cold Stone." I knew that Grandma would have a birthday cake prepared, and I didn't know how well an ice cream cake would make the trip from Minot to Tioga, so we settled for individual ice cream treats instead!

  2. I love Cold Stone Creamery! It's not close to my house so I don't get there very often.
    I'm glad you all made it safe. Tis the season for continuous celebrations!