So people, where was my anonymous gift yesterday? I was expecting a nice card with a thick wad of cash in it, but nothing arrived. I’m very disappointed in you all. Very disappointed.
It was an okay birthday in the end. Vanna’s still struggling with the wisdom teeth removal (I’m glad I didn’t need to do it…very, very painful) and spent most of the day in a drug coma, so that really kiboshed (is that the word?) our plans. We’d already decided to postpone our meal out until next week because, well, I wouldn’t enjoy it much if Vanna was stuck on soft foods while I’m feasting on whatever. So we just hung around at Becky’s instead, which was fine by me. Especially today, we’re going back for lobster! I’m looking forward to that. Never had it before but hopefully I will like it. Vanna made muffins this morning too, so I’m counting it as Birthday part 2. Two days of not having to do anything? I’m not going to complain.
And that’s not all! As well as some money from family, a shaver from Vanna (I think she’s trying to tell me something…), a fishing license from Becky (I’m going to better the Northern Vanna caught, just you wait), I also got a $25 Amazon gift card from Mandy…which lasted approximately ten minutes. Soon as I got home I was on my laptop. I’ve been waiting for months to get another Light This City (I might write an open letter to Laura Nichols [LTC’s singer], because I find it incredibly depressing that LTC broke up for her and another band mate to make a lame punk group that fail to utilize her lyrics or her voice) album so I got that, and an EP by a power/melodic death metal band called Unleash The Archers (here’s a link if you want to check them out). I’m excited to listen to them, though I accept it might be a while…Vanna isn’t a fan of either. Too busy listening to Lorde these days…pfft.
Mind you, I might not have to wait long as we’ve got another weekend trip, starting tomorrow! This time we’re heading south to the cities, to watch the state dance competition. We head off early Friday morning (like 5.am early…how romantic) and we plan to stay overnight in a hotel. I’m not sure what time I’ll be back on Saturday (or if it’ll be Saturday at all), but I’ll try to at least blog on Sunday. Otherwise I’ll let you know how it goes on Monday. Hopefully with pictures, but no guarantees (movement isn’t the easiest thing to capture). Perhaps you guys can use that time to put my birthday present together, eh? I’ll accept it late…I’m not fussy.
Right, I better go. Muffins are calling me.
Speak to you later,
So Vanna and I had a good time in Bemidji. We saw her friends, had a look around, took some pictures…nothing special but we’re glad we went. Here’s a brief run-through of our three days in the “First City On The Mississippi” (even the cops have it on their cars so it must be true).
Got up early and started the journey north. Took us a couple of hours, so I entertained myself by taking pictures. You can see them here if you haven’t already. If you really love roads it is worth checking out. Just saying.
Once we got to Bemidji we met up with our friend Sharissa, and she took us out to lunch at an Irish pub. It seemed fairly authentic to me. I had a “Messy Molly” which is a vegetarian sloppy joe sandwich. Was rather nice.
Later on we headed back to Sharissa’s place and chilled out with some wine. I watched State Of Emergency, a very impressive zombie apocalypse film which I must admit I enjoyed more than The Walking Dead and, for a better comparison, World War Z. No well-known actors (at least not to me), but it was very, very good.
*I’ve watched a lot of sci-fi films on Netflix lately, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by most. I’ll try to review them all soon*
Spent the day with Vanna’s friend Liss and her room-mates. My accent got some attention, but other than that it was a relaxing time (I am very self-conscious about my accent here, especially when we’re buying things or in the presence of strangers).
Thanks to a missed text, our plans to watch Sharissa at a dance show fell through. Instead we hung around her house until she came back (oh, and I watched my football team win 3-0 which was nice…Chelsea are top of the league now), and then headed out. We spent a few hours in downtown Bemidji checking out the shops, before finishing up by Lake Bemidji and the big statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe.
Naturally, I took pictures. Enjoy!
And that was about all we had time for. It was getting cold and dark (my hands were numb and the pictures were blurry), and as Vanna and I had an early start on Sunday, we went back to Sharissa’s. Once we’d packed up and had a quick nap, we then said our goodbyes and left.
As I said at the beginning of this blog post, nothing amazing happened while we in Bemidji (no fireworks or big parties for example), but that’s not what we made the trip for; we came to see our friends and that is exactly what we did. And I saw Bemidji for the first time too. So it was successful weekend as far as I’m concerned.
Back to the present, and nothing much is happening. Vanna is still suffering from her wisdom teeth removal despite the concoction of drugs she is on, so she’s sleeping the pain off, while I’m waiting for the football to start at 2pm (8pm back home). Very exciting…
Speak to you later,
P.S Ah yeah, it’s my 22nd birthday tomorrow. So if you all want to pitch in and get me something…it would be appreciated. Doesn’t have to be anything special…I’m happy with anything. Preferably cash, but uh, I’ll let you decide.
A few notes:
Vanna’s dental surgery (wisdom teeth removal) went fine. She’s feeling it now though and it’s very painful, so I didn’t want to spend too long on this. The story of our time in Bemidji will follow later.
These pictures are from a new photobucket account. That makes it 2 blogs and 2 photobuckets. Bah, uploading pictures is getting harder to do. So slow!
Above, there are a lot of pictures of almost identical road scenes. You may be wondering why. The truth is…I really like the roads here, all right? I can’t stop taking pictures of it. I even deleted 20 pictures of other sections before I uploaded. I just can’t help myself.
Hope you enjoyed the photos.
On Thursday, Vanna and I will be leaving the Brainerd Lakes area for a weekend trip to Bemidji (the first city on the Mississippi according to their website). The main purpose of our visit is to see a couple of Vanna’s friends who are studying at Bemidji University, but I’m hoping this trip will also give me an opportunity to explore the area. Though Vanna has been there before, I’ve never ventured beyond Duluth so I’m excited to see what Bemidji is like.
It would probably be nicer if it wasn’t winter (the further north you get, the colder it is…man, just when I was getting used to weather that was warmer than -20c!) but I’m looking forward to it nonetheless. I’ll be bringing my camera and plenty of batteries for sure. My laptop too, though that will be more for the Chelsea game on the Saturday morning than for blogging purposes…sorry but no doubt there will be plenty uploaded on my return!).
Anyway, that’s what we will be up to later this week. Nothing else going on really, other than work. Well, I say work as if it is both of us, but of course it is just Vanna putting in a shift. Just, as I usually tag along with her, I like to pretend it is my work too…even though I just sit on the chair and watch T.V (I occasionally play games on my laptop to, you know, vary it up). But hey, someone’s got to nothing while everyone else grafts, right?
Here are some pictures from Saturday’s Ice Fishing Extravaganza. I couldn’t take many because of the cold (more on that later) but I tried my best (Vanna helped on the way out). I’ll tell you the full story about what happened yesterday on Monday; I’m a bit of a hurry this morning/early afternoon and have to go…well now.
Enjoy the pictures (there are more here, if you want to see more of the event…alas, they didn’t include any of us).
Oh, and I probably should add that we didn’t win a truck, or even an ATV. We didn’t get on the leaderboard (top 150 catches) at all, so no prizes for us. Why didn’t we? Well…mostly because we didn’t manage to catch a fish.
Ahem. I’ll, uh, explain later.
Before the Event:
Time For Home:
It’s getting colder, folks. It has been -20C lately (I’m finding Fahrenheit so annoying; it’s all they use here and there is no logical way to convert it…come on America, switch to a normal scale please), which is probably the coldest temperature I’ve endured in my life. Well, it is the coldest that I can remember. We don’t really do negative in the UK. It was big news last week because some parts of the country had frost. And here? It has snowed two feet and nobody has blinked. Can’t say that would have ever happened at home.
For the most part, the snow/cold hasn’t bothered me. I wrap up warm…no big deal. What has bothered me is the staying indoors business. We don’t have the gas to go anywhere and there is nowhere we can walk to (and I don’t think a jaunt outside is really encouraged when it is like this), so we’ve spent a lot of time in the house. This shouldn’t be an issue – I can spend a full week at home without opening the door – but it is driving me mad. After a few hours I get angsty (or is it antsy? I don’t know…I’m too wound up to think!) and pace from room to room. Is this the beginning of Cabin Fever? Most definitely. I haven’t looked it up, but I reckon I’m only a day or two away from attacking Vanna like Jack Torrance from The Shining. I don’t have an axe, but we don’t have any doors either, so it could easily happen.
Fortunately, Vanna has a solution that doesn’t involve murder. Tomorrow we’re going to compete in the Ice Fishing Extravangza; the World’s Biggest (here’s an article about it from the Daily Mail! Famous!) Ice Fishing Event that takes place every January every year in Brainerd, Minnesota. Over 20,000 people turn up to Gull Lake, make themselves a hole and then sit by it for three hours hoping to catch a fish big enough to win them one of the 150 prizes on offer. Vanna and I aren’t entering individually, but we’ll be keeping Becky, who is partaking, company. Maybe we’ll be lucky for her. Who knows?
There are many positives to going to the Extravangza (not sure that is the official name as I didn’t read that article, but I’m going to assume it is): it’ll cure my growing cabin fever, it’ll be a good experience, good blogging material AND we might even win something! There are a few downsides, however. Firstly, I have to get up at 7am. Secondly, and more importantly, it is going to be hellishly cold on Gull Lake. Like, seriously cold. I don’t know what it will be in the proper temperature scale, but even I can recognize -25F (with dangerous wind chill) is bad. Especially when we have no cover (that’s against the rules!) and we’re going to be out there for at least 7 hours (3 hours to fish, 4 hours to prep). Urgh. I’m going to wrap up warm but if I don’t make it back…it was nice knowing you guys.
*wipes away a solitary tear*
Anyway, I’ll let you know how it goes (providing I get back and I still have my fingers) on Sunday’s blog. Wish us luck (I want an ATV…or maybe the 1st prize truck)!
P.S Apologies again for not blogging yesterday. I was hoping to take some pictures but that didn’t happen. I’ll try to take some today instead and upload them tomorrow before I leave (what is with all these early starts? Ridiculous). Otherwise I’ll be back on Sunday with Ice Fishing news.