Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Family Fun in Fargo

Hi Bill,

This morning I decided to write about our recent trip to visit Zeb in Fargo, ND.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Rayna, Pat and I drove to Fargo this afternoon to celebrate Zeb’s birthday with him. We have visited Fargo many times because both Rayna and Zeb went to college at Moorhead State University just across the river from Fargo in Moorhead Minnesota. Zeb graduated from Moorhead State with a double major in Economics and Paralegal and landed a paralegal job in Fargo a few years ago. He likes Fargo very much and Pat and I have come to also like it very much.

Anyway, we got up early (for us) and drove our three dogs (Lenny. Squiggy, and Zuzu) to Dells Veterinary for three days of kenneling. You would think that the dogs were unhappy to go to the kennel, but they were not. They seem to like it at the kennel probably because of all the other dogs that they get to play with. We always feel bad leaving them, but they really don’t seem to mind.

After returning from Dells Veterinary, we spent some time finishing packing for the trip and waited for Rayna to arrive at about noon. We got on the road by around 1pm for the three-and-a-half-hour drive. Pat took the first driver shift and it was a nice day to make the drive. However, as we drove north the weather changed and we hit some rain. I took over driving a little south of the halfway point and the weather continued to decline as I drove north. Soon I found myself driving through some heavy rain and eventually through some very thick fog, which was really no surprise because we have experienced bad weather on that particular stretch of road during previous trips to Fargo. I carefully followed the car in front of me at a reasonable distance until we emerged rather abruptly from the darkness into beautiful dry and sunny weather. Then Rayna took the wheel and we arrived in Fargo a little before 5pm.

Pat and I checked into the Fargo Holiday Inn Express where we have stayed many times during past Fargo visits. We rested for a short time in our hotel room until Zeb finished work and joined us. Then we talked for a while and decided that we would eat some burgers at Culvers. Rayna joined Zeb in his car while Pat and I drove separately. We had a nice conversation while eating.

Next, we decided to meet Zeb and Rayna at Barnes & Noble where Zeb used the B&N gift card that Pat and I gave him to buy a few new vinyl albums. I believe Rayna also bought some albums for Zeb while at the B&N. Rayna, Zeb and I are all hooked on buying and listening to music on vinyl, although we usually buy used vinyl instead of expensive new vinyl at B&N. We hung out in the B&N browsing and talking until it was about to close. That Fargo store has been our favorite Barnes & Noble store for many years. Of course, it is very similar to the B&N in Sioux Falls and others where we have shopped. However, the Fargo store seems to have a more cozy feeling, we believe because the ceiling is lower than most other B&N stores we have visited.

It had been a long day for Pat and I so we went to our hotel and sort of crashed. Rayna and Zeb went to Zeb’s new third-floor apartment in downtown Fargo and they stayed up till who knows when talking.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Hallman Family in Zeb's Apt.
Pat and I got up around 9am today and had a very nice breakfast in the hotel, where we just relaxed throughout most of the morning. Then we drove downtown to meet Rayna and Zeb at Zeb’s apartment. We were amazed by how neat/orderly and clean his apartment was. During our many visits to his previous apartments we had to endure less than orderly and less than cleanly apartment visits. However, now he seems to be really serious about making this apartment clean and inviting. In addition, he had actually accomplished some very nice decorating, with appealing furnishings and wall decorations, including concert posters, etc. It was hard to believe this guy is our son, but we are happy to claim him. I guess having a real salaried job as a professional paralegal can work miracles.

The Hallman Family in
Zeb' s Downtown Apartment
Both our daughter and son have always been very interested in music and they both were in their HS bands. Unfortunately, neither of them plays a musical instrument now. However, they are both music enthusiasts who collect vinyl records. I wonder where they got that monkey! Anyway, we devoted today to finding vinyl recordings that we must have to enhance our collections. Zeb took us to some vinyl shops in and near downtown Fargo.

Pat joined us for a short time for the first vinyl treasure hunt at Orange Records, where I have shopped during previous visits with Zeb. Pat eventually left us and went to the Nordic Needle where she spent considerable time and managed to find cross-stitch and sewing supplies to keep her busy for several months.

Orange Records has a large inventory of very interesting vinyl and knowledgeable employees to help find what you want. Shoppers are also amazed and soothed by a huge Pit Bull that belongs to one of the employees and hangs out in the shop during business hours. It is a truly amazing dog who could eat someone in a few seconds, but it is extremely friendly and loves to get attention from the customers. Pat, Rayna, Zeb and I all love that dog. Anyway, we spent a lot of time petting the dog, but I still managed to buy four used vinyl albums. Rayna and Zeb also acquired several albums.

Orange Records

Orange Records
Next, Zeb drove Rayna and me to Vinyl Giant, (another vinyl record store), which I had not visited previously. It seemed to be a smaller space than Orange Records, but it was jammed with vinyl, possibly more than we saw in Orange Records. We spent a lot of time looking through their inventory of used vinyl. I walked out of there with six used vinyl records and Rayna and Zeb both acquired probably more than I did. Interestingly, Vinyl Giant also has a resident dog. This one is a small cute fluffy thing named Butters. I guess dogs love vinyl too!

New Vinyl at Vinuyl Giant

Used Vinyl at Vinyl
After leaving Vinyl Giant with our groovy treasures, Zeb drove by the Nordic Needle where we dropped Rayna off to join Pat. Then Zeb and I went to a Starbuck’s where he is a regular. We got some coffee and a snack and found an empty table among the busy coffee crowd. Zeb knows everybody who works at that Starbuck’s and many of their regular customers and they were all very friendly to Zeb’s father. We sat there talking for a while and Rayna and Pat eventually joined us.

Then we went back to Zeb's apartment, got some really delicious takeout pizza at a local shop and relaxed while eating and talking.

Rayna in Zeb's Apt.

Rayna and Pat

Later that evening we all went to the movie, The Magnificent Seven, which we all enjoyed, even though we had seen the original version of that movie long ago. After the movie, we went back to Zeb’s apartment and just relaxed and talked for a while. Then Pat and I returned to our hotel room.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

We met Zeb and Rayna at noon today for our traditional “goodbye breakfast” at Perkins. Then we hit the road for an uneventful trip back to SD.

It was another very nice visit in Fargo with Zeb. We wish Zeb lived closer to us, but we don’t think that is going to happen. However, Fargo is a great town and a great place for him.

Bill - I hope all is well with you and your family. Unfortunately, it has been a long time since we have been able to get together with you and your family, but I think about you and your family often. I hope my strange letters provide an interesting sampling of my family’s lives over the years. I hope you and your family are well and happy. Take care.



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