Rob and I had a nice 4 days up in Minot, North Dakota. Where is Minot? When looking at a map of North Dakota...look way up north about 40-60 miles south of Canada and you will find a dot labeled Minot (My-Not). It is a town of about 36,000 people and is the fourth largest city in the state.
Rob and I flew in on Tuesday afternoon and found that their international airport to be only two gates, but only one is used. Good times! We both laughed at each other and said, "Well we wanted an adventure!" I got the rental car while Rob went over to the only baggage claim and picked up our checked luggage. Yes we pay for checked luggage because I hate having to scramble for the correct ounces of liquids to get through security. Just easier for me to check the bag and see it at the final destination. Anyways...we went out and tried to find some lunch. Drove around for a bit and ended up at the mall hoping that they had some type of food court. They did and we had a few choices. I should have went with the Chinese place rather than the Japanese place that I went to. Oh well...I didn't matter. I knew we were having dinner later on with the hiring committee. We drove around for a little bit more and then headed over to the hotel.
The hotel room was nice and we both ended up taking an hour nap, as the day was really catching up to us since the alarm went off at 3:30am. An hour after sleeping and getting ready for dinner we were downstairs waiting for the hiring committee. We met the three gals who were there for dinner and were seated at our table. Now I am always a bit leary eating at a hotel restaurant, unless I at at a Hilton or some place like that. We were told though that everything on the menu is good. I went with a dish that was kind of like a Chicken Parm. Rob chose a salad where some of the other ladies went with a Chicken Stir-fry or Shrimp pasta. We were first given bread with some garlic infused olive oil for dipping the bread in. Let me just say that I am craving this again!! So yummy! Dinner went well and when we walked back to the hotel room I told Rob that I am feeling real good about this interview process for this school. He agreed!
Wednesday morning came around and the department head picked Rob up at the hotel so that I would have the rental car to explore and get to know more of Minot. Well I kind of just hung out at the hotel to relax and just be me for a while. I had lunch down at the hotel restaurant just because I didn't feel like driving out to find something. Around 245pm or so, I met Rob down on campus and we had a campus tour of Minot State. Such a lovely campus. I was able to meet up with one of the Social Work professors and get some general information about their program. I will talk more with whatever school we end up at as the time gets closer. After the campus tour, the department head took us over to a real-estate agent. the real-estate agent showed us around town and the different houses that may be up for rent or even for sale. She told us more about the city and made us just feel like we could really live there. :) We then had another dinner with the department head at a place that did Italian and American food. Good food, but just kind of odd that they market the place for more Italian food, but yet you could order steak and ribs if wanted. After dinner, Rob and I drove over past the state fairground and saw the dirt track where they race sprint cars on. One of the drivers that my dad tends follow on the World of Outlaws circuit was born in Minot and made his start there. The family still lives there where the driver resides in Fargo.
Thursday, Rob had only a couple hours at the school and was back at the hotel by 11am. We went and found some lunch (at Hardee's) and after a couple more trips back to the hotel we were on the road for the rest of the day. We drove over to Bainville, MT which is one of the closest eastern towns in Montana that is near the Western North Dakota state line. Rob had never been to Montana before and so we thought a 3 hour drive one way would be fun. It allowed us to see what else was on the northern western part of North Dakota. Not much except for tons and tons of Oil digging machines! North Dakota right now is on a boom for work! If you are looking for work, North Dakota is the place to be!! Oil companies are buying up hotels just to house their workers! I kid you not! Also you better be good about peeing on the side of the road if needed because there are not any rest areas available and only a handful of gas stations. One with a weak bladder, I had contemplated a couple of times on that three hour trip one way. You all laugh now...but you would do the same if you were in my situation. We ended the day with dinner at a no so bad Mexican restaurant back in Minot. The service was poor, but the food was pretty good for being that far north!
Friday morning we woke up early and packed everything up. Our flight didn't leave until 115pm, but we wanted to get breakfast, drive up passes the Air Force base and see some of the other areas of Minot before leaving. Breakfast was at Perkin's. Oh how I have missed Perkin's! If we move to Cleveland or Minot I would have Perkin's around. Perkins is kind of like a Denny's or an Ihop, but I think it is better than any of those! Well not as good as Chip's here in Connecticut, but no one could compete with them! After exploring a little bit more and wasting off some more gas in the rental car we headed back to the airport. Rob and I were both sad that we were leaving and said, "I would come back here, even though there is hardly anything around!" So call me crazy...but it is true! Next time we come back we will bring the passports so that we can go up into Canada. :)
Our flights were less than desirable...but hey who said that flying would be the best thing in the world back in economy! When we got to Minneapolis we did try to pay for a first class upgrade but since there were already so many Delta Elites waiting for an upgrade we were turned down. We were back in economy both squeezing in middle seats. Bleck! Why make a middle seat?! I mean really! And if you are going to have a middle seat...can you make it just as big as the window and aisle seat with the arm rests down?! I always realize how "big" I am when I fly and have to sit in the middle seat. *sigh* I know...it is a sign...I should get back down to a weight that is more desirable to the US standard. That will be for another blog posting! We arrived back at JFK International airport and pulled up to the driveway of our Connecticut house pretty late. The dogs were excited to see us but so tired as they had been sound asleep with Andrew. The two girls ended up staying downstairs with Andrew where the "old man" Sparky went upstairs to his own bed with us.
Today, Rob and I are taking it easy. I will get some pictures posted in a day or so. I have pictures posted over on my facebook page that some of you have seen already. Anyways...it is good to be home to sleep in my own bed, wear my comfy sweats and not have to worry about impressing anyone. ;)