Another relatively flat, long day of driving, with gorgeous blue skies surrounding us. Slade~ is amazing in his stamina to maintain wakefulness over long periods of time while driving. Not me … Nope, I am ready for sleepy-sleep after sitting for 4 hours behind a wheel. Good thing I haven’t needed to drive yet on this cross-country journey ;). I’m LOVING the beauty of our MAC laptop … the ability to work anywhere anytime as long as I have a charged battery is fabulous. Keeps me occupied on those long quiet stretches of flat straight interstate!
A luxurious stop in Jamestown at the giant Buffalo statue initiated a novel quirky idea in my mind … I wanted to establish a tradition for slaDE~ and myself in our travels. I wanted to stop at every “The World’s Biggest” icon so that we can cre8te some wonderful zany memories of North America’s unconventional novel fascination in their ‘super-size’ phenomenon. We are such a domineering continent that focuses on what I call the triple-B = ‘the biggest, baddest, bestest’. And you wonder why obesity and materialism are such issues in our society nowadays?! Anyway, these stops along our path add for some interesting and imaginative rest stops (when slaDE~ gets in motion, it’s hard to get him to stop sometimes!).
With a bit of directional hesitation and uncertainty, we found our way to my old-time friend’s home in Minot ND. I’ve known Tony O for at least 8 or 9 years, but I haven’t seen him or his lovely wife Karen in about 6 years! Tony is one of my faithful blog-followers and I’m ever so grateful for his continuing friendship! So in planning our trip north of Illinois, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to stop and visit with my old friends. And what a fantastic visit it was! From the time we arrived until the time we lay our heads down, our time was filled with rambunctious laughter, great conversation, spectacular food and an embracing heartfelt North Dakota welcome that leaves us wanting to come back for more!
Tony and Karen have a really interesting extended family living within the confines of their home … 2 dogs (a Labranard and German Shepherd), 2 cats (W – like George W and Phoebe), 3 ring-necked African turtle doves, a Cockatoo named Oblado, a pig named Libby and an Albino African frog (with a strange lopsided tumour jutting out of its neck) to keep the company of several fish. Oddly enough, they all cohabitate together peacefully, if not noisily :).
After our warm introduction to their extended family, Tony and Karen treated us to a fine Italian meal at ‘Michael’s’. Some of the best soup that I’ve ever tasted! But the evening was still early, even though we were some of the last patrons at the restaurant. We went on a lovely drive through Eastwood Park, scanning the ‘Festival of Lights’ … a sight to behold. From start to finish, we laughed at the ingenuity and cre8tivity of the local residents. However, the light show after leaving the park left me amazed and alert …. a house in the country had invested in a really cool combination of musical lights. Thousands of lights bobbed and swayed to this homeowners own broadcast radio selection of Christmas music. Once dialled in, you could enjoy the flashing and dancing illumination that must have set this household back thousands of dollars in lights and electricity! But hey, ‘tis the season to be excessive and flashy ;).
One final stop at Tony O’s hangar-ed dropzone (which also houses the local air museum!) topped off our whirlwind tour of this quaint little city of Minot. And being the light-weight that I am, I was ready for bed before you could say ‘we’re home!’.