I am back from our trip. If you remember, I may have mentioned that we were going to North Dakota. We are both originally from South Dakota, but my nephew was getting married up north where he went to school in the town where his bride is from. Also, my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law and her husband and kids live just across the border in Moorhead, Minnesota. When it came to deciding if we were going to the wedding, we decided we could do that and then take a couple days to see my husband's family so we decided to do both.
When I made travel plans, we decided to fly in and out of Fargo, ND. I checked on Google maps and the wedding location, Minot, didn't seem too far away. Once everything was booked and I checked the map again, I was surprised to discover that it was almost 400 miles away!
Here was the itinerary (and what really happened):
Flight from Richmond, VA to Chicago: Friday at 5:45 AM
(Since the flight was so early and we are an hour from Richmond, we decided to drive to Richmond on Thursday night. My husband would get home from work as usual around 6:30-7:00, he would change, and then we would have dinner on the way up to Richmond--I figured we would get there around 8-8:30. What actually happened was that around 6pm we got hit with that freak wind storm that swept across a great portion of the eastern US. It knocked out power in various places across the area causing a huge traffic jam on the freeway to Richmond and other dramas. We finally arrived at our hotel at 10:30pm. We had to get up at 3:45 AM to get to the airport, etc.)
Flight from Chicago to Fargo, ND.
(Delayed an hour.)
We landed in Fargo around 11 AM eastern and got our rental car and started heading for Minot--the city of the wedding and where our hotel was located.
Here's a map. Fargo is in the bottom left corner. We had to travel to the north and a little left of center. Can you see Minot? Anyway, it was a lot of North Dakota to see. I had previously been in Fargo once before, but that was pretty much it. My husband had really only been driven across the border into the state so he could say he had been there, so it was all new territory for us both. We headed up the freeway to Grand Forks and then west from there. We had lunch in Grand Forks.
We both grew up in the Midwest and there is a regional chain of Mexican fast-food restaurants called Taco Johns. Maybe some of you are familiar with them. Probably it isn't that different from Taco Bell, but since it had been years since we've been to the area, we wanted Taco Johns. So we found one and had lunch there. Then we hit the road again.
Here is a photo. North Dakota is fairly flat, but there were more trees than I expected--just not in this photo. Can you make out the large, white wind generator in the center?
We finally made it to the bride's parents house in time for the rehearsal dinner, which was a cookout full of yummy foods. We visited for a while and then continued on to Minot. (The bride's family live about an hour northeast of Minot in a tiny town.) We sat around the pool in the hotel visiting with everyone until 11pm when we finally went to bed. (Remember we had been up since 3:45 Eastern)
The next day, Saturday, was the wedding. It was at 1:30, so we had the morning to relax, etc. My other sister (not the mother of the groom) had arrived late the previous day. She had had a wisdom tooth extracted on Thursday and was swollen and in pain! Most people had to go for photos before lunch, but she, my niece, my parents, and my husband and I were free until the wedding. We were talking about where to have lunch when my sister said she wanted Taco Johns! (See, we all love it!) So we went again. They we got dressed up and went to the wedding.
The wedding was in one of those small, white country churches in the middle of nowhere that is common to the Midwest. The bride's father is the pastor there, so it was a really touching ceremony.
After the festivities, we all trooped back to the hotel to change and relax. My sister (the mother of the groom) who lives in California, decided to provide supper for everyone and the bride and groom wanted pizza, but she wanted Taco Johns, so she got both and so we had it again for supper!
The next morning, Sunday, was Father's Day and most of us were leaving, so we all met and had a Father's Day breakfast together and then went our separate ways. We drove back to Fargo because my MIL lives just over the river in Moorhead.
Since this is getting long, I will leave part 2 until tomorrow!
Have a great day!