So, What Has Been Going On?

Apologies for not blogging yesterday. There were a few things that were on my mind, and I knew that if I did blog, I’d end up ranting and coming off as a bitter, angry individual. And that isn’t good, so I thought I’d step back, maintain my cool persona (what? I’m cool…right?) and then return when I was in a better mood, and less likely to ugh, rage at the injustices of the world.

So, here I am. It is nearly the end of my second week in Minnesota, and well, it has been a strange one.

Firstly, the weather has been all over the place. Last week it had started to improve (if you recall, it was snowing when I arrived), and we actually had some sun and heat, which was a nice change. But that lasted as long as…Monday, and since then we’ve had storm clouds (Tuesday), rain (Friday, today) and –this is the best bit– cold, blustery winds that go right through you (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and probably this weekend too). As a result, I’ve not been able to cycle that much because well, I’m a fair weather rider. If it’s nasty, I ain’t going out. I don’t value exercise that much. Pfft. Who do you think I am?

Having said that, I did go out yesterday for a bike ride. Because I hadn’t exercised since Monday, I decided not to attempt the Pequot route and instead went in the opposite direction, to Nisswa.

Nisswa is a lovely little town that Vanna describes as  ‘ritzy’ (it is a lot more expensive than Crosby, for example…though that doesn’t take much), and though I liked cycling through it, the folks who make the decisions in Nisswa (I’d say the local council but I think that is just an English thing…and local councils are too busy doing nothing to do anything productive…) clearly need to stop spending all their money trying to make the place an even bigger tourist attraction and focus on sorting out the roads, because they are bloody awful.

If I wasn’t wincing from the ride discomfort (as most of you are probably aware, cycling isn’t the most comfortable activity in the first place, but riding on these roads? Well that was something else), I was holding my breath and hoping not to die as another car zoomed past, missed me by centimeters. You see, the hard shoulder is all gravel and sand, meaning I have to ride on the road and risk death.

How fantastic is that? The road to Breezy is lovely because I have about five feet of tarmac all to myself. And there are “Share the road” signs everywhere, so I know I’m welcome. Trying to get to Nisswa was the complete opposite. Not fun. And it’s a shame, because the route is quite pleasant otherwise. Nice views, flat terrain…you can complete 11 miles without too much of a struggle. Well, you could, if you know, you weren’t bouncing around the place and crying. Don’t think I’ll be trying that one again in a hurry.

So yeah, as I was saying prior to that cycling anecdote (hey, nobody said anecdotes had to be good), the weather has been a definite hindrance to our plans. Another problem has been Vanna’s health, as the poor lamb has been suffering from a cold/cough/throat infection since last weekend. She’s been taking medication for it all week, but it is only now starting to clear up. She’s been wanting to go out on a few bike rides with me, but it’s kinda hard to do that when you can’t breathe that well.  Hopefully both Vanna and the weather will pick up and we might get to do some of the exploring that we’ve been planning since my arrival.

What else have we done?

Well, I accompanied Vanna to work on Wednesday and helped her out there with her clients, because, well, I’m just that good (generous, kind…these are not words Vanna used afterwards). And on Thursday, Vanna and I spent the day in Brainerd helping Vanna’s dad get his truck. We were out there for hours, which wouldn’t have been a bad thing were it not for the fact I made probably the worst clothing decision of my life. I optimistically went for t-shirt and shorts, thinking it was going to be a nice day. HA! Sure it was sunny…but it was also freezing cold. As soon as I got out the car, I was shivering.

Consequently, I was pretty miserable for most of the trip. But things improved when we went to see Becky (Vanna’s friend’s mother) for tea. We had tacos and homemade shortcake. It was delicious and not too unhealthy. And then, just as we were about to head home, two deer wandered into the back garden. Unfortunately my camera was in the car (getting it would disturb the deer), but Becky (Vanna’s friend’s mother…keep up) took lots of pictures on her fancy camera, so once she’s edited them, I’ll ask to use some of them for the blog.

Hmm. And that’s the week so far. Today we’re going back to Meg’s (the friend I mentioned in the previous paragraph…I didn’t use her name then because she wasn’t there and I didn’t want to confuse you) to see her before she heads off to Germany for two weeks. Vanna hasn’t seen Meg since…a while (I asked Vanna how long, and that is the answer I got), so it’ll be good to catch up before they say goodbye again. Also, we want to use their bathroom facilities because our water is off again because, again, there are problems with the plumbing. Urgh. It is getting rather tiresome now.

Right, I best head off. Vanna is getting antsy and I can sense that I’m pushing my luck.

Bye for now,

Alex

 

See, my short break was worthwhile. I didn’t complain at all up there, did I?

Oh. Never mind.

 

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