So we didn’t find a hotel in Montana. And every hotel we went into between great falls and Medora, ND, had vacancy signs but the people at the desks were total dicks. By the time we got to Medora, it was around ten in the morning and we decided to say “Fuck it, we’re just going to Grandma’s from here.”
I decided to drive from Medora to Fargo because I had done that drive before with my family.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Medora, if you ever get the chance to visit, I suggest it. It’s in the bad lands in North Dakota and it’s a very pretty landscape of endless fields and the painted canyons. The musical there is breathtakingly wonderful, the old fashioned pictures are great, and there’s lots to do if you’re there for a day or two. I highly recommend it. I’ve been there a few times and I would love to go again in the near future.
Anyway, since Alex isn’t really big on sight seeing, he decided to sleep while I drove. While I had chosen to drive so he could enjoy the beauty that is North Dakota (I don’t care what anyone says, NoDak is beautiful).
At around one PM, we drive through Bismark, to which I decide it’s time to call Grandma and let her know that we’re halfway across NoDak.
Me: Hey Grandma, we’re in Bismark!
Grandma: Okay. So when will you be here?
Me: Uh… How far is Bismark from Fargo?
Grandma: I dunno, not too far I don’t think. I’ll have dinner ready at five. Get here by five.
Me: Uh… okay.
So we keep driving and once we get into Fargo I am totally confused. Fargo had doubled in size the last time I had gone there. To which Alex, of course, is teasing me.
Alex: I thought you knew Fargo really well.
Me: I’ve never known it really well, but nothing is the same. WHERE THE FUCK AM I?!
So I go onto google maps which has caused Alex to take away my driving privelages, which is when we notice Luna.
Luna is shaking in the backseat. Her tail is wagging and her ears are up. We’re confused until we realize that the rolling fields of grass look like a giant dog park to her, since the dog park in Alaska was always in a large grassy field.
We roll our eyes. She thinks that after four days of straight driving we’re at a giant dog park. Poor girl.
We get to grandma’s to which we arrived ten to five, where grandma was putting food on the table.
Now, I’m pretty sure my grandma is a Wizard.
You see, she was a farmer’s wife for 47 years, and about nine years ago my grandpa died, but she never lost that farmer’s wife mentality. On top of that, she’s a full blooded Norwegian and has a really thick Minnesota accent and honestly looks like a grandma. She has the big glasses, short curly white hair, a few inches shorter than me, pleasantly plump, and has a very distinguishable laugh that I adore. She fits into the grandma look and persona very well.
The reason I say that she’s a wizard is because the food she makes tastes like she used the tears of angels to season it with, all cream based food, with a pistachio dessert that is to die for. And we were so full. And we woke up full the next day, 14 hours after we ate.
Like, not even kidding, I’m pretty sure I was going to die.
Now, my grandma is 80 years old and has lost her filter, giving her quite a bit of spunk that she’s never had before. She mentions about how she doesn’t like animals in the house. My dogs are passed out on the floor in the living room.
Me: Do you want me to put them outside?
Grandma: No, they can be in here. But I really don’t like animals in the house.
Me: So tell me, what was it like growing up in the dirty thirties?
Gramdma: Well we had nothing. No television, no food, hardly any clothes. Dust everywhere. And we never had animals in the house. (these are her exact words)
Me: I told you I can put them in the garage or outside.
Grandma: Oh no, they’re fine. I just don’t think animals belong in the house.
I posted on facebook that Alex and I had made it to Grandmas after four days of driving, to which it seemed a lot of my cousins decided to stop by to say hi. Alex came out to say hi then retreated to the bedroom to pass out. My cousins and aunt were confused, until I explained that we drove for over 30 hours from Prince George, British Columbia, all the way to Minnesota.
When they realized that I had been awake for close to 32 hours, they wished me luck on the rest of the trip and left. But only after mooching some dessert from Grandma.
Next morning at 7:30, grandma had breakfast for us. And we were still full from the night before.
Seriously, she’s a damn wizard. We forced ourselves to eat the freakin’ delicious breakfast she made, fed the dogs the leftovers, to which she told us how she doesn’t like animals in the house, we gave her a hug, and off to Minneapolis we went.
I had Alex drive most of the way, but there is one place, in Clearwater, that is possibly the best truckstop ever. The Nelson Bros. Truck Stop and Bakery. They serve wild rice sausage, everything smothered in gravy, two breakfast platters of food that’s cheap, and their apple fritters are about a pound from how freaking huge they are. This is a favorite of Alex’s to stop at when we go to Minnesota, so we stopped in and got some pastries and sausage, immediately regretting the fritters because we were still full from Grandmas.
Now, I understand this is a fairly boring post so far, but it’s about to get entertaining.
Since I’m originally from Minneapolis and I used to steal my moms car at two in the morning to drive around, then fill up the gas tank so mom wouldn’t notice (sorry to break it to you this way mom), I like to think that I know Minneapolis pretty well.
Except I forgot that I haven’t lived in Minneapolis in five years and I hadn’t been to Minnesota in the summer for the past five years.
And every single fucking highway was closed for construction so I had to take the FUCKING SIDE ROADS.
But I couldn’t tell Alex this. Because he said if I got lost once, I wasn’t allowed to drive the rest of the trip.
So we were on I-94 from montana and it goes right through Minneapolis, which is perfect. But in order to get to my home town, which is technically a suburb of Minneapolis, I have to hop onto 694.
I saw a sign for 494 and for 694. I got excited because I was like OH MY GOD I RECOGNIZE 494 SO THAT MUST BE THE ROAD THAT GETS ME TO MY MOMS HOUSE!
Oh, how wrong I was.
I take 494 and after I’ve gone thirty miles south of my mom’s house and end up in fucking Minnetonka, I decide to tell Alex that we’re horribly lost and I have no idea where we are. And we need to call my mom.
Alex: Hey, we’re in Minneapolis and we’re lost.
Mom: Haha, Leah’s driving isn’t she?
Alex: Yes, actually. We’re in… Minnetonka?
Mom: WHAT THE HELL?! How the hell did you end up in Minnetonka
Step-dad (who was listening to mom): They took 494 instead of 694, didn’t they?
Alex: I heard him say that, yeah we’re on 494.
Step dad (who takes the phone from my mom): Alex, why did you let a woman drive?
Me: (while driving into the town I was born in, Crystal) OH MY GOD I KNOW WHERE WE ARE!
Me: I’M SIX BLOCKS FROM MY DADS HOUSE! SCREW YOU GUYS I KNOW HOW TO GET HOME!
To which all the roads had changed names and locations because of the construction in the past five years, so we had to look on google maps on how to get to my moms house. To which my entire family teased me relentlessly for the entire eight day visit in Minneapolis.
My defense: They never told me there was insane amounts of construction in Minneapolis.
Their retort: It’s Minnesota in the summer, of course there’s construction.
The fourths and final part shall be posted next week. Give your thoughts on this installment of the trip. While this part was slow, it’ll pick up for the next piece.
Comments? Thoughts? Suggestions? Cockroaches? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!