Today is the last day of BEDA! My grandma (who reads my blog) actually asked me tonight, "have you blogged yet today? You'd better hop to it!" So here I am, on strict orders from Grandma Horner.
I will admit, I am a little sad this month of blogging is over. I've had a lot of fun writing every day this month - through all the craziness and traveling and tiredness and adventure, this blog is the one thing that's stayed constant and that was really nice. But, as usual, after BEDA is over I'll try my best to go back to a normal blogging schedule. I'll try not to let more than a week go by without an update, though I say that every time.
Anyway! Monday was kind of a slower day (basically it wasn't jam-packed with relatives, so it felt less eventful than the rest of the trip so far) but it was kind of relaxing to just "hang out" in North Dakota with my parents. We got up and went to Kroll's Diner for breakfast, and not a single one of us could help ordering a big bowl of Knoephla soup. It's so bizarre to me; foods like that are just 'those things my mom and grandmas make', you know? No one in Seattle knows what the heck Knoephla is. But in North Dakota, you can totally just find it on a menu in a diner and that is always strange to see. Anyway. The soup was good.
Then we stopped and visited with a family friend named Vern for a little while, and on our way back to the hotel we passed the old bar my dad use to own. Yeah. My dad owned a bar. You guys wonder why I have such a cool life all the time? I have a LOT to live up to, haha. Anyway, the bar is called the Midway Tavern, and it's still called that even though my dad hasn't owned it in over twenty years. I'd never been inside, so we stopped for a little while so my dad could show me around. We ordered beer and tomato juice (the only way I think beer is even tolerable to drink) and my dad chatted with the new owner while my mom and I played one of those electronic bar games. I think we tied. Then my dad told me all these crazy stories from his days of owning the place. I really love hearing new stories about when my parents were my age. Sometimes you forget that your parents ever WERE your age, so it's nice to be reminded. Especially when my parents were actually pretty cool in those days.
My mom and I stopped at the mall briefly (mostly to check out the few stores they have in Bismarck that we don't have back home) but then we went back to the hotel to get my dad and head out for BAR BINGO. I can't even tell you what a quintessential North Dakota pastime "Bar Bingo" feels like for me. We went to "Main Bar" (which is, wait for it, the bar on Main Street) and they told us they would only play bingo if at least twenty people bought in. My mom and I were on a mission then, going around to all the old bearded dudes sitting at the bar, convincing them they needed to play bingo with us. We finally got enough people, bought our cards, borrowed the bar's green bingo dabbers and settled in for a couple of action-packed games.
Guys, I freaking love bingo. Part of me cant wait to be old so I can just play bingo all the time without anyone judging me. When I get back to Seattle, I'm going to make it my mission to find a place that does bingo near where I live so I can drag my friends there and play all the time. I don't know why I didn't think of this before.
Anyway, I won! In the second game, I got straight bingo (half the fun is getting to yell out "BINGO!" especially in a dingy little dive bar) and I won four whole dollars. Pretty exciting. I was really close to blackout too, afterward, but I didn't quite win that one. I made friends with the bingo-caller; he went to the same college as me, weirdly. I have no idea how someone graduates from UW and ends up calling bingo numbers in Mandan, ND, but to each their own.
After bar bingo ended, my mom took my dad and I out to her favorite Mexican restaurant, "Fiesta Villa". I guess she used to go there with her girlfriends all the time when she was younger. We ordered a big plate of nachos and some margaritas, but the real highlight of the night was my parents being totally goofy and making me laugh so hard I couldn't even breathe. This might not be as funny to you guys as it was to me, but I am going to try to explain it.
So we're sitting out on the patio and this family walks in; one of them was a woman carrying a baby in a little baby holder on her stomach. The whole thing was covered with a blanket. As they walked by, my mom leaned over and whispered to me, "I bet that baby is fake." I rolled my eyes at her, but a moment later my dad (who hadn't been listening) leaned in across the table and said to us, "That's probably not even a real baby." At this, I almost spit my drink out, right over the table. "Why," I asked them exasperatedly, "are you both so convinced that woman has a fake baby? Why would anyone even bring a FAKE BABY to a restaurant?"
My parents were cracking up, and they both kept spouting nonsense about fake babies and how rude it is to bring a fake baby to a restaurant and how we weren't going to fall for it, and I said again, "GUYS. It's not like there's a BABY DISCOUNT at the Fiesta Villa! There is no benefit to having a baby here!" My mom just sat back in her chair, crossed her arms and said, "Well, there's no way I'm letting someone have a fake baby in here."
Then she got up out of her chair and waltzed over next to the family, pretending to be interested in the plants behind them but was obviously looking to see if the baby was real. Her eyes got wide and she came barreling back to my dad and I, saying, "It's real! It was definitely moving! It's a real baby!"
Needless to say, a few minutes later the family moved to a table inside. I overheard them say to the waiter that it was because of the bees flying around, but I think they were afraid my mom was going to steal their baby. Or something. Because I was afraid for them.
...though it would have served them right if it had been a fake baby.
I still need to write about all my time with my other grandparents, but I'll finish my North Dakota write-up in the next few days. I can't believe I am already flying home tomorrow. I definitely wish I had more time with my relatives right now... but I guess this just means I need to make sure I get out here again soon. It's so tough to plan a trip strictly for pleasure/family time when I travel so much the way it is, but being here reminded me very vividly how important it is. So I just need to make time, like I did with this trip. :)
Thanks for joining me for BEDA, guys! Have a great September and I'll talk to you all soon.
Flights taken: 21
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19 hours ago