When I found out that the Idaho State University volleyball team would be playing a game in Grand Forks, North Dakota, I got extremely excited. Why, you ask? First, Grand Forks is only 5 hours north of where we live. Second, neither of us had been to North Dakota and we were happy to check that off our 50 states list. Third, and most importantly, my little sister, Marissa, is a freshman on the team. When the weekend of the game came, Kyle and I packed up the car and drove into the night. Upon arrival, the night was chilly and wet, but we set up our camp.
Like I have mentioned before, to save money when traveling, we often camp out instead of getting a hotel room. Temperatures dipping to 40 degrees during a cool September night don’t even stop us. And conveniently, Grand Forks is located on the boarder of North Dakota and Minnesota, which means we can camp in Minnesota where we have a State Park Pass, and then visit in Grand Forks. Thankfully, we came well prepared for the cold and rain and were quite cozy in our tent (if you attempt this, just remember two layers on the bottom equals one on top – thank you Bear Grylls).
The next morning, we drove to Marissa’s hotel, picked her up and went to Starbucks to enjoy a warm cup of cider. It had rained hard all through the night and the area was quite soggy. It was nice to spend time in someplace dry and to spend time with Marissa. We were probably a little too loud for the comfort of the other people there but what do you expect from sisters?
When doing my research on Grand Forks, I learned the city holds a farmer’s market each Saturday. We decided to check it out and were pleased to find a quaint market with some great people. We enjoyed getting to know a man that makes wood carvings with a chainsaw, sampling lefsa (and a “health breakfast” hot dog for Kyle), and learning about kohlrabi, a vegetable we hadn’t heard of before. I just love meeting locals.
The farmer’s market wasn’t big enough to spend longer than an hour there so we ventured over to a park we had seen on our drive in the night before. This wasn’t just any park, it was built like a castle. Despite the sprinkling rain, we had a bit of fun in the playground. If there is one thing about spending time with my sister, it is the amount of fun we have doing nothing. Simply running around a playground, and interacting with all of the parts is a blast!
At this point we had to drive Marissa back to the hotel so she could prep for her game with the rest of her team. Since it was still raining, and our “hotel room” was our slightly soggy tent, we opted to go see Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 at a local theater. Thankfully, by the time the movie ended, the rain had passed. Unfortunately, in our absence, some of our bedding had gotten wet. We spent the next couple of hours drying them by the fire.