Voyage of the McKnight Treaders- Day 6 & 7

Posted: July 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

Days 6 & 7 saw us depart Niverville, MB and head south of the border to North Dakota on I-29 south.  We had a great overnight stay at Eve and Jenna Kimbo’s place with the 2 children Aiden and Chloe, along with Jenna’s parents.  Gotta say we didn’t have too much fun outside with the mosquitos, but the wiener roast was a good way to cap a long day!  It was really cool though for Amy and Jenna to re-connect from their Goderich days after so many years.  Jenna’s husband Eve has a pretty amazing story and testimony from his homeland of the Republic of Congo, and what he endured to get here to Canada…God is good!

I think we’d get to places a lot quicker if I wasn’t such a sucker for taking in scenery and wanting to see every town we pass by!  But we did make a quick pit stop in Morris, MB, home of the Manitoba Stampede.  At least I didn’t get denied entry to the US border this time…no problems getting across, although the kids are always willing to share many details of our itinerary with the border officer…wonder where they get that from!  We made our way through Grand Forks, ND and even got to witness some guy being arrested and cuffed on the hood of a police cruiser on the main street…that made Braden’s day!  It was a pretty quaint town with a nice downtown area and the Red River passing through (I think…).  It was one of those places I like to call, ‘any-town USA’!

After the ‘Cop’s’ adventure, we trekked back on the I-29 south to Fargo, ND…very cool place with that nostalgic ‘historical old town meets up-and-coming small city atmosphere.’  We grabbed some KFC and had a little family picnic in a park, where Julia kept making conversation with some little guy in a stroller while his parents played tennis in the court area…it was pretty funny seeing Julia go back-and-forth with this fella!  After some fun in the park, and running away from the mosquitos (they just have this automatic timer that right around 6:30/7pm they’re out for blood!), we headed back onto the road for Fergus Falls, MN…if only we had video footage of Shawn trying to back his way out of trouble with the trailer…you know one of those 23-point turns!

We arrived in Fergus Falls around 8:30pm and checked into our hotel, which for $40 on Priceline, was not a bad deal considering!  The front lobby was decked out in lavish Hindi decor…should have got some pics…they went all out and splurged on lobby ambience!  The area itself was fairly sketchy, but by the Lord’s grace nothing happened!  We headed into town in the morning after breakfast to take some pics, and I must say it’s a beautiful little hidden gem…lots of lakes, woodlands, very nice and clean downtown…and yes…lots of mosquitos! 

Back on the I-94 south, we headed down to Minneapolis, MN with a lunch stop in St. Cloud before we hit the I-494 for the Twin Cities and Bloomington, where our hotel was located…with props again to Priceline for an amazing hotel deal!  We got the room for $60, with the normal rate being $180!  Bloomington is definitely a tourist zone, with Mall of America, Waterpark of America, Sea Life Aquarium, Valley Fair Amusement Park among the top of the attractions.  We got to our hotel around 2pm and checked in quick, then raced over to the theatres at Mall of America to take the kids to see Cars 2.  When we got out, Braden almost had a seizure when he looked up and saw a 125 ft. Lego robot, helicopter (life-size)…and other creations from Legoland…not-t0-mention Nickelodean Universe!  We decided to stay an extra night (thanks to the price deal) and catch up on some sleep, and allow the kids to take in some fun and sights…and Amy and I as well!  We spent the rest of the evening @ the mall and Nickelodean Universe before heading back to the hotel for some much-needed rest. 

At this point in the journey, Amy was starting to feel the strain of lack-of-sleep, strange beds, eating on the run, and trying to manage life as the social co-ordinator for the kids while in the van…and trying to get a little rest in between!  Our longest days of driving were now behind us, and we planned on shorter drives, which meant an extra night’s stay somewhere (plus the extra night we already agreed to do in Bloomington/Minny).

And that’s about the extent of days 6 & 7…next up is days 8 & 9, which include visits to Waterpark of America, Ikea, downtown Minneapolis, Wabasha MN, Tomah WI, Wisconsin Dells WI, and finally Madison, WI.  Stay tuned for more adventures from the Voyage of the McKnight Treakers!

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