We arrived safely in North Dakota after a long 8+ hour drive, most of which was in the dark, and when I say dark, I mean dark. There aren’t a lot of city lights along the interstates in North Dakota. On the plus side though, you can actually see the stars, so so many of them. I could gaze up at a star-filled sky all night. I decided since we were going to get in pretty late, we should at least make the most of the road trip. We made a quick (and I mean really quick) stop at the infamous Red Pepper in Grant Forks for Grinders. Basically, they’re warm sub-style sandwiches topped with a weird consistency taco meat. I think they’re delicious, which says a lot because I’m not a fan of questionable meat. Our first day in North Dakota was Thanksgiving! Of course the food was delicious, but it was so nice to be with family. I think the only Thanksgiving tradition my family has (besides being together for a meal at Grandma’s house) is Mickayla and Mackenzie breaking the wish bone. Grandma always saves it for them after the turkey is carved, and they break it after the meal. Also another favorite memory of mine: my Grandpa and his cool whip. (or should we call it dream whip?) Whenever there is pie and cool whip, he gets the sweetest smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye, and says, “I like pie with my cool whip!” and then smiles my favorite grandpa-smile. It seemed like it snowed all day on Thanksgiving. It was a really beautiful snow though, like you were standing in a snow globe beautiful. Sadly, I didn’t get any photos of the snow falling, but we did get in a fair amount of shoveling after it finally stopped falling. (That’s almost as nice, right?) Oh, and did I mention it was freezing? It was below zero the entire time we were there. That didn’t completely keep us in though. We checked out the festivities downtown for the lighting of the Christmas tree with my sweet, wonderful grandma. After about 30 minutes I was ready to move on to something warmer. I hate it when I can’t feel my toes. Good thing my most-favorite bakery was nearby! Mackenzie joined us for a treat as well. That chocolate cake was heavenly. Grant picked up a new pocket watch at Hobby Lobby. (I just can’t resist that place) And I scored a small victory with this little moment of friendship. Despite the cold and snow, it was a great trip to North Dakota. I got to catch up with more friends and family than I anticipated. (But sadly I still missed a few!) We are grateful for family and friends, near and far, that are just so so good to us. And thank you Minnesota, for welcoming us back with such familiarity. I refuse to get used to this.