Despite a late start to our day, we’ve managed to stop and see everything we wanted too….and are still close to on schedule. (Lesson learned, I’m lying to myself if I think uploading a blog post and adding some pictures will only take 10 to 15 minutes or so. I need to not do anything but get ready and get the room packed up in the morning.)
Sweetling, however, was completely ready to conquer Minnesota.
Our first stop was a giant otter statue in Otter Tail County MN.
There was a picnic table pushed up against the back of the statue, which people had obviously used to climb up onto the statue. I was sorely tempted to do the same, but even Boybot thought this sounded like a bad idea. So we settled for photos in front.
I drove my family crazy trying to get the perfect picture of a pretty little lake in the country side. But they just flew by too quickly. I had to just settle for trying to take a snapshot of any lake. There were MANY to choice from.
Lunch was Crave’s Burgers in Moorehead MN. They were good burgers with some fun topping options. Boybot has decided we need to make their avocado burger when we get home. Boybot is making quite the list for me.
My favorite quote of the day also happened right after lunch. It’s a little less horrible if you at least know that we were in a restaurant, seated at a table, when this was said. I’ll let you figure out who the speaker was. “What is this? Should I eat it? I’m going to eat it. It’s crunchy. I still don’t know what it was.”
Also in Moorehead, we visited the Hje….. Cultural Center to see the Viking ship and the stave church.
Before we went in, the Jedi had to be on a short conference call, so the kids and I went on an explore. We found our way down to a river bank, to look for a rock from Minnesota. (In retrospect, I think it’s the river that forms the state line between Minnesota and South Dakota.) Under a street overpass, we found a canoe launch/dock. We explored a little, dug in the mud for two rocks and headed back up to meet the Jedi.
The Viking ship was really cool. You should look up its history and read about the people who built it and the crew of 13 who sailed it from Minnesota to Norway.
Outside, a beautiful stave church had been built and hand carved to be a near exact replica of the ----- church in Norway.
I think one of the things that impressed me most with each of these were that they were the result of some hard work, dedication, and initiative of local residents who decided they wanted to really explore and celebrate their Norwegian ancestry.
We drove across the little river to visit Fargo North Dakota. (That’s when I realized the river the kids and I were exploring was a state line.) We stopped to add another sticker to our van.
We had planned on visiting the Fargo Air Museum, but when we got there, it was super tiny…especially for the $8 admission price per person.
Instead, we decided to drive on and visit the Pioneer Village in Jamestown.
You know how much I like all things pioneer.
This village was right next door to a Buffalo Museum, which had a small herd of bison grazing the hills nearby.
And, of course, the world’s largest buffalo monument.
Though we had slated a dinner stop at the Frontier Grill in Jamestown, no one was hungry yet. As I type this we are driving on to Bismark for dinner at Happy Joe’s Pizza.
Addendum to add--
Sadly, Happy Joe's Pizza wasn't quite what we were expecting. We decided not to go in and instead found this nice little German-American Diner. I hope the name shows up in a photo, because I surely don't remember it.
We had some yummy yellow soup. If it weren't past midnight local time, I'd try to find these names.
And we had some ground beef patties wrapped in a flaky pastry and deep fried.
AND we stopped at k-mart for batteries for the camera. And visible through the big glass store front were those coin-eating machines that dispenses cheap toys in little plastic bubbles. Both kids want to go in and look for "guys". So I took a roll of laundry quarters and went in with the kids while the Jedi hunted down batteries. No guys were found, but some little animals were.