Words to live by: Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. Arms big enough to catch you from wherever you fall. He will catch you and protect you when other shaky supports that we trust collapse.
Since my hubby was 13 years old, he has had a goal to visit all 50 states. When got married, 5 years ago, I joined in on the quest. Our recent getaway to visit Minnesota, was to visit friends, but to also help accomplish that goal.
The company that my husband works for, Thrivent Financial, has it home office in Minneapolis, so needless to say, he has been here, many times. He has lots of favorite places he like to visit and fond memories here too. One place he has wanted to show me for awhile is Central Lutheran Church. We decided to attend worship there on Sunday. Even though it is a very old church, they have many nice updates to make it user friendly.
I don’t have a picture of the front of the church since we entered a side door.
Love this modern coffee bar – “Holy Grounds”.
Truth to take with you as you leave.
This was one of the many sunflower farms we saw along the road. I really enjoyed all the beautiful farmland we saw along the way.
We were greeted by hour host, Jim who was childhood friend of Steve’s father. He lost his wife 3 years ago and although his kids and grands visit often, I think he really appreciated our company and the chance to show us around.
This is the view from the deck and living room. He has a ski boat, a pontoon boat and 3 jet skis.
The first day, he took us out on the ski boat. I haven’t skied in about 4 years but was excited to give it a try. Well, that my friends was all I did – try! The combination of choppy water, unfamiliar skis and ahem..being a little bit older, did not work together in my favor. Had a great time anyway, even though I can’t brag that I got up!
Jim enjoyed taking us to his favorite local restaurants. The first night, we went to “Bugaboo Bay”, which was a cute place right on the lake with beautiful views.
That’s Jim there, trying to decide what to drink.
The next day, Jim showed us around “Alex” as it is known to the locals.
This is “Big Ole” (OH-Lee). Ole, is a fairly common Scandanavian name. Since Steve is Swedish, I called this photo:
Big Swede, Little Swede.
After touring around town, we went back to the house for a tour of the lake on the pontoon boat or “party barge” as we like to call it!
The view of the house as we pulled away.
We actually went under this little bridge to get to Little Darling. Everybody Duck!
We easily spent the next few hours going all over Lake Carlos and the lake next door, Little Darling Lake. There are so many extraordinary homes on the lake and we had fun picking our favorites. The sun was warm and we got too hot, we just jumped in and swam around for awhile. What perfect way to spend the afternoon.
For dinner that night, we went to “Chet’s Lakeside Inn”, a family owned restaurant.
Hmmmmm……I wonder what they serve here?
Didn’t get photos inside because it was a little dark. But the dinner was outstanding!
I kept saying to Steve what a nice guy Jim was. I really think he enjoyed having us as much as we enjoyed being there! Win-win.
The next morning we were off to accomplish one of the main reasons we came – to get to North Dakota and South Dakota! We drove through more beautiful farmland and within a couple of hours we were in North Dakota!
We drove a little way into North Dakota and came to a casino. We walked around in there, but it was not really our cup of tea so we just got back on the road.
It didn’t take too long and we were in South Dakota!
This was it – state #50 for Steve!
#46 for me. I still need Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Wyoming. Anybody want to invite me to visit?? Haha.
We went into the visitor center as we entered South Dakota and the attendants recommended that we go to Sissiton to climb the Nicolette Tower. It was only about 20 minutes away so we went for it.
Once up to the top, you can see 3 states – South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota all at once. It was also good workout when you have been in the car for a few hours!
So now it was time to buckle up and drive all the way across Minnesota to get back to Minneapolis and the airport. Somebody’s foot may have been a little too heavy and next thing you know, we saw this in our rearview:
A Minnestota state trooper. Oops. But let me tell you something – people in Minnesota are NICE, and this trooper was no exception. She let us off with a written warning and some great advice on how to handle the upcoming road detour. That dear readers is known as “Minnesota Nice”! It’s a thing.
As we approached Minneapolis, we decided to get a nice dinner before getting to the airport. We went to a nice steak house, Pittsburg Blue. As soon as we sat down, we informed the waiter that we needed to catch a plane so we would need to get our food as soon as possible. No problem. We had a great, last vacation meal and were just about to pay the bill, when hubby got the text: “Your flight will be delayed 2 1/2 hours”. Seriously? We just rushed our trip and dinner? The waiter came around and offered us the dessert menu. We had nothing else to do!
We decided to go to the airport and see if we could get on different flight. No luck. In fact, our flight was pushed back another 30 minutes. Well that is how it went every 30 minutes, they would announce it would be even later. Around midnight they told us that our flight would not leave until 9:15 the next morning!
They provided mats, pillows and blankets for us to spend the night right there at Gate C 8. The problem is that some passengers helped themselves to 2-3 of each, leaving others without. That made me so mad. My husband and I managed to get a a mat and a blanket each, but no pillow. Steve used my purse for a pillow and I used our carry on bag. As we looked around, some people were actually making forts out of the extras they took. We decided to move our little sleeping nook into the hallway to get away from the TV that was on all night. Between the bright fluorescent lights, the loud announcements that went on all night, people walking by and the fear of being robbed, it was a rough night!
Here is the view from our mat:
I didn’t take any other pics of our fellow passengers in their various sleeping situations. I was A) Too emotional and B) I felt like it was an envision of privacy
All night as I clutched this thin, little blanket and tried to keep track of my “stuff”, I couldn’t help feeling like we looked like refugees or homeless people. Which for one long night, we were.
It was a crazy end to our vacation. And story we will have forever!
How about you? Do you have any vacation snafus that you will never forget?
Have a lovely day my friends!