“The big ‘W’”
Today we became Mr. and Mrs. Doll. There were a few bumps along the way but they are all great memories that we will be laughing about for years to come. For instance, during the rehearsal at the church, Hannah, a flower girl, became very upset because I dropped her flowers on the floor. She instantly started to pick them up and put them back in her pail. During the recessional she started to cry because people were walking on her flowers. On the actual day of the wedding I didn’t see them go down the aisle but Zach said Lucy, the other flower girl, was very excited to drop the flowers while Hannah wanted to pick them up. Daniel, the ring bearer who walked with Hannah, informed her that she couldn’t do that which upset her a great deal. Which I guess would explain the pouty face I saw as I walked down the aisle.
We were very fortunate that Zach’s uncle Bill lent us his car to take from the ceremony to the reception. Not going to lie, it was pretty sweet driving away in a ’58 Bisqane…once Zach got it started. We drove out the exit for the church and back into the entrance to be stolen. I was stolen by the groomsmen and Zach by the bridesmaids for a little bar hopping in Glen Ullin. On our way to the bar we stopped for a quick picture in a sunflower field before the rain started to fall. It was great fun and I started the night off with a little journey with my friend Jose. When we finally arrived at the reception hall everything looked great. It was so cool to see all of our family and friends there to celebrate our special day. We were so thankful for everyone that showed up to celebrate with us. While mingling I had lost one of the pearl earnings my grandma Tammy had given me. I was very upset and gave the one I had to mom my to hold on to. Latter in the night a lady found my earing! Unfortunately, I have no idea who this lady was other than my savior for finding it.
One of Zach’s online friends, Zem, made a delicious red velvet cake. After cutting it I was sure Zach needed a big taste and was sure to spread it all over his face…in return I got some frosting up my nose. Guess you win some and you loose some! One of the many traditions in the Doll family is actioning off the garter. As the action started out it was a little awkward as people slowly…but surely added money to the pot. Things got heated up after a short while and my Matron of Honor, Jessica, one of my bridesmaids, Kateri and the ring-bearer, Daniel were jumping all over the place throwing money in the air. Luckily for me, Daniel won the garter and was very nice about removing it…and didn’t really understand what was going on. Right after it was time for the bouquet toss. One of my friends from the East Coast, Neha, who was also a personal attendant was the lucky girl. Let’s hope the wedding is closer than she thinks, or it will be a long time until I will see my friends again!
After many dances (special thanks to Brady for DJ’ing) and drinks we headed out to our car…covered in frosting and toilet paper.
As some of you may know, I had NO idea where we were staying on our wedding night or where we were going for our honeymoon. We spent our wedding night in a cabin in the middle of a sunflower field…PERFECT. When we got there Zach carried me over the threshold and told me to close my eyes. When I opened them there was a beautiful antique trunk that Zach had gotten me for a wedding present. I have always wanted one of these and was pretty dang excited about it! Inside was an envelop of “W” words that I later solved to figure out what we were doing on our honeymoon. He also gave me two board games, “Agricola” and “Zoolerato”…from A-Z, get it?
“Where will we wander?”
That was the phrase I got out of the words I was given last night. We were going on a road trip honeymoon. Before leaving on our honeymoon we met up with our family and a few friends for gifts. It was great fun to open all those wedding gifts and we did get a lot of really cool gifts that we are not quite sure were we are going to put it all, but we will figure it out.
We then loaded up the convertible and rolled out of town. My dad was kind enough to wash “Jed” (my car) and pack it up with stuff to go back to Fargo. Not sure how, but it will apparently be there when we get home.
After stopping in Bismarck for a late lunch we headed up to Rolla, ND. You, like me, have probably never heard of this town. En route to Rolla we stopped in Rugby, ND, the geographical center of North America. We had our first trial run with my camera and remote and we struggled and finally decided to just use the timer. Seconds after getting back on the highway I figured it out, talk about timing.
The hotel we stayed at was the Bilmar Hotel and was great. The owners were very sweet and accommodating. We got into Rolla around 9pm and there was NOTHING open! We settled for dinner at a DQ before heading back to the hotel and the hot tub. I don’t think I have even appreciated a good soak as much as I did that night. We played a game of “Zoolareto” and went to bed and ended a very long week.
“A really long detour”
I found out today’s destination was International Falls. When we stopped in Langdon, we were able to mooch internet from some random person enough to find a place to stay tonight. I found the “Hilltop Hotel” and we got the last cabin available for the night. While traveling we decided to take a detour up to see the Pembina Gorge. I had always heard it was amazing and was excited to see it. The area was very pretty and worth the short detour. When we had made our reservation for the night the owner of the hotel informed us that there was a detour coming from the west into International Falls, we weren’t to concerned about it and continued along our way.
While driving through Roseau I saw “Quilt S’More” and got Zach to stop at this very cute little quilt store. They had just finished up a three week quilt shop hop and had leftover maps so I got the crazy idea to stop at all of them along the way and get some fabric to make a honeymoon quilt. This resulted in a big eye roll and “Ooookkkaaayyy” from Zach. We went on our merry way until Warroad where we were unable to find the quilt store 🙁 and found ourselves out of town before we were ever really there. As we continued down the road to Baudete we hoped that the rumor we heard about the detour was an old one and we would be able to take our convertible down the rainy river as planned. Cruising down main street, I spotted a going out of business Ben Franklin. We made a stop and found some fabric for the quilt, a game and some road trip candy…all at 50% off. While checking out we asked the lady about the detour. She said it was still there and it was a pretty long detour. Whelp, we had gone to far to turn back know, and off we headed. Zach and I both agree that this was the longest detour we have EVER seen! After some quick math we discovered it was a 127 mile detour.
Once again we arrived to our destination late, unloaded into our super cute cabin and headed out to find a place to eat. I will say this, International Falls has some of the craziest road numbering systems I have ever seen. We were on 2nd ave and didn’t turn at all and ended up on 3rd ave…WEIRD! We had dinner at Giovani’s and ate some delicious pizza and grissini. While waiting for our food we played some Skee Ball…where I pretty much OWNED!
When we got back to our cabin we checked out the pictures our friends had uploaded to facebook and played another game of Zoolerato while sipping on champagneÂ that Zach had got for honeymoon. It was pretty dang good, which I guess is a good thing being as it cost a pretty penny (so I am told).
“The day of ‘Hey, let’s stop here”
We awoke to the crisp air of Minnesota in our lovely little cabin. Zach went down to the continental breakfast and brought me breakfast in bed for the second morning in a row. I must say, I could get used to that. It was some delicious homemade breakfast sandwiches and some juice. If anyone is looking for a nice place to stay in International Falls, I highly recommend the “Hilltop Motel.” After getting ready for the day we loaded up and headed out. But first we had to take our picture in front of our cabin, number 14 by the way. The owners were making their rounds and cleaning the cabins and asked us if we would like them to take the picture, so they did. After some complications and some explanations we had not one, not two but three pictures in front of our cabin.
We headed down the road to the nearest quilt store where we got more fabric for our quilt and got out of dodge (aka the place with weird streets).
For those of you who have never been to Northern Minnesota there is a whole lot of nothing, but it was beautiful nothing. It was so awesome cruising with our top down (and my jacket on) around the crazy turns and beautiful lake country. I can totally see why people fall in love with this area. Zach and I had some good talks and I took A LOT of pictures. It feels so good to be taking pictures again I am not sure why I ever stopped doing it. One of our conversations happen to be about Lienenkugals beer…which we both remembered simultaneously is brewed in Wisconsin, our destination for the night. Our tour guide (aka Zach) said he would check our itinerary to see if it can be modified to visit the brewery; fingers crossed this will be on our places visited before the honeymoon is over.
Outside of the small town of Ely we came across “The North American Bear Center.” We decided about Â½ mile past it that it would be something cool to see so we flipped a “Uey” and stopped off and toured the center. There were lots of cool photos and photo ops…but silly me left my telephoto in the car so they aren’t as close as they could have been. At any rate, did you know that in the wild bears do not snarl like they are portrayed in so many movies? The bears that do that are actually trained by Hollywood trainers to snarl.
Once we reached Lake Superior we cruised along the coast and became your stereotypical tourists. We missed the quilt shop with the really cool name, “Behind the seams,” guess we will have to save that one for next time. Our next stop was a quilt store in Silver City which was conveniently located right next to a ice cream shop and had very nice “Husband waiting benches” outside for all the impatient husbands (not mine of course). After some ice cream and a few more fat quarters in the trunk, we headed down the road to Split Rock Light House. This was the first time either one of us had ever been to a lighthouse and had quit the interesting tour guide.
Shortly after the lighthouse we made our way to “Gooseberry Falls.” One of my many “hey we should stop here” moments on the honeymoon so far. The stop was worth it. We got some great pictures and I got to play around with my camera and my remote.
After the falls we headed out from what was supposed to be our last stop…well we got sidetracked and stopped for some food and then went through some crazy construction. My grandpa Paul always said it was good luck to hold your breath and honk the horn as you drive through tunnels. So we did just that. While going through our second or third tunnel our horn stuck on. Zach was not touching anything and our horn was blaring. We were able to get it to stop honking by putting pressure on a certain point. We decided when we got it to stop honking that grandpa Paul would just have to give us good luck without the horn honk.
As I type this we are currently on a road somewhere in Wisconsin (I should really figure that out seems as I am the navigator and all) headed to Hayward, Wisconsin. If we had learned anything on this trip this far we have learned that we take way longer on road trips when we are together because of all our “Hey let’s stop here moments.”
**Edit: We made to Hayward about 9:15p. We saw a total of 9 deer along the way and got a little lost finding our hotel but found the “Flat Creek Inn.” We got the honeymoon suite for the night and relaxed before calling it a night in our SUPER comfy king mattress. **
“The big reveal”
This morning we woke up to a wet parking lot. There was no breakfast in bed this morning as the hotel provides breakfast in the restaurant. The breakfast was very good and a nice kick start for today, We went back to the room and got ready for the day and packed up. Zach failed to wash any laundry before he left Almont and had run out of laundry so we headed down the road to the laundromat to wash. Zach claims this was all part of the plan. While we were packing up, Zach decided to change our route and clue me in on where we are going on the rest of the honeymoon. You will just have to wait to see though! At the Laundromat we worked on our route, found a hotel in Green Bay for the night and tried out a new game, “Heist” we found at the going out of business Ben Franklin.
Part of the reason we changed our route is so we could go to the Lienenkugal’s bewery for a tour and free samples. We made it to the lodge with moments to spare and headed out on a tour. The tour was AWESOME! We learned all about how beer is made and what ingredients are in each kind of beer. We also ended up winning little ice scrapers for getting trivia questions right.
After our tour, we headed on down the road. I had found a quilt store in town…or so I had thought. Not only does Wisconsin have random reflectors in the road ditch that look a lot like deer, they also letter their highways instead of numbering them. This makes it really hard to find anything, specially Quilt stores on “highway K.”
We got into Green Bay around 5:30pm this evening. We checked into the Mariner Motel and unloaded into a nice room overlooking the bay. We decided that tonight would be our “fancy” night out and found a classy joint and I got all “dolled” up. We went to Chefusion in downtown Green Bay. We ended up hitting the tail end of the local farmer’s market and it was fun to walk around and look at all the local flair in Green Bay. When we got to the restaurant it was exactly what we were looking for. It was a quiet restaurant with mood lighting and very few people. It just so happen that it was Wine Wednesday which means, FREE WINE! Yep, you read that right, an entire bottle of free wine. So while I sipped on Blue Kabinet Riesling, Zach enjoyed a left hand milk stout and we enjoyed each other’s company.
Our waitress was quite the interesting lady. She was very chatty but not to the point that you are annoyed. We had an AMAZING crab cake for an appetizer, which Zach said was his favorite of the night, and some delectable house bread and dipping sauces. Zach really enjoyed the topinad while it was a toss up between the humus and the red wine vinaigrette for me. To clear our pallets we were served a watermelon sorbet. I am pretty sure this is the first place either of us have been anywhere a pallet clearing course has been served. Next came our main courses. Zach ordered a Beef Bourgeniougne and I had the house special salmon and purple potatoes. Yep, PURPLE potatoes! They were really good and the salmon was cooked perfect. Zach’s bourgengougen came with goat cheese mashed potatoes…AMAZING! Overall the food was great.
Just as we were finishing up our meal the chef stopped by. He was the chef and owner and a very nice gentleman. We chatted for a bit and he went on his merry way to make some more deliciousness. Next came the dessert course. Before even looking at the menu we asked our waitress what her favorite dessert was and she said it was triple malt scotch…but since we wanted to eat something she suggested the sampler and that is what we had. Since we were on our honeymoon the chef gave us two kinds of crÃ¨me brule, vanilla and kalua. The sampler also had banana’s foster and the best brownie I have ever had. Over all it was a fine evening.
We had originally planned to go out to a movie but decided not to and headed back to the hotel instead. We uncorked the remaining wine and heard fireworks so we made our way outside to the motel’s private wharf. The fireworks were just under a mile away (according to Zach) and were great entertainment as we sipped our wine. When the fireworks were over we headed back inside exhausted from the long day and excited for our trip tomorrow.
“The traffic was worth it”
This morning we both awoke rested and ready for the day, although neither one of us really remembers falling asleep. Zach went to go get our breakfast and opened the door to find it hanging on the handle. While breakfast left something to be desired, it was free. We packed up and rolled down the street to “Life’s a stitch.” We were finally able to find some orange fat quarters for the quilt and got some fabric for my mom to make us a table runner. It was pretty fun picking out fabric with Zach.
Heading out of town we took a “wrong” turn and ended up on a different road that we intended but enjoyed a scenic tour through rural Wisconsin before getting on the interstate headed toward Chicago. While driving Zach spotted a sign along the road for Jelly Belly tours. After some googling on my phone we discovered we were only about 5 miles away. We made a little detour and toured the plant. While both of us agree that the Lienie’s tour was way cooler, we got free Jelly Bean’s out of the deal! After purchasing some “Belly Flops” to add to our road trip snackage, we headed down the road to Chicago. That little tour did put us into Chicago around rush hour. This was not cool. While we were at a stand still we decided to put the top down to get some air circulating and to increase our coolness level. Unfortunately, the top on the passenger side didn’t go all the way down. We put it back up and decided it would be best to leave it up for the rest of the trip :(.
It seemed like forever but we finally made it to “Cat and Mouse” games in Chicago. This was pretty much the reason we drove through Chicago. We were able to find some more games to add to our collection. I will say this, if the power ever goes out we will have HOURS of game play fun to keep us entertained.
After the game store, we headed to eat some AMAZING pizza at Giodorno’s pizza. This was one of the stops on the pizza tour I went on last time I was in Chicago with FCCLA. It is a stuffed crust pizza and is nothing short of awesome. It is a deep dish pizza started with a layer of of Ricotta cheese, a thin crust, the toppings (including more cheese) and then the sauce. If you are ever in the Chicago area, be sure to make a stop at Giodorno’s. While looking for the restaurant we came across a parking spot that was just a block or so away so we thought we would be on top of it and park and just walk. A gentleman was nice enough to give us his parking slip that still had 30 min on it but we didn’t think that would be enough so we paid for 2 hours of parking just to be safe. Once we got to Giodorno’s, there was a huge parking lot…with several open parking spots; guess parking wasn’t as hard to find as we though it was. We decided that the wait was ample time to play a game, so Zach went back to the car and pulled it into a free parking spot right in front of the restaurant. Since there was no-one around to take our parking spot Zach considered it a donation to the CTA and we enjoyed our pizza. After eating we headed out of town, hopping to miss the rush, again…we were wrong. It seems people in Chicago are always driving and are very bad drivers. Zach got frustrated several times about the lack of blinker usage.
We finally got out of the city and were on our way to Indiana. We both missed the sign to head towards Indiana so took a different path than planned but it got us to Chesterton just fine. Indiana was a state I had never been to and it is policy (according to my mom and me) that in order to have been to a state you have to have icecream and touch the ground. We stopped off at the DQ in town to get our icecream. We asked if the drivethrough person knew how to get to where we were staying and she didn’t know for sure but grabbed a co-worker who gave us some very confusing directions that included several “loopdy loo’s.” After driving for about 20 minutes and two calls to the inn we finally found the place. As Zach said (many times throughout our stay) this place is “pretty swanky.”
We went to soak in the whirpool but it was closed so we opted for the pool which I found to be cold and Zach found “enjoyable.” We went to the sauna for a bit before heading back to our room. We played one of the new expansions we got for the Catan Card Game at Cat and Mouse before watching some TV. We turned on the food network and were both reminded of how much we miss having that station. If cable wasn’t so expensive in Fargo we would have it. But paying more for cable than internet, seemsÂ ludicrous.
“Great food, terrible service”
We woke up fairly late this morning and double checked how late the breakfast was opened and the book in the room said 10, so we lazily made our way down to the breakfast to find a very grumpy lady cleaning up. I explained that I was sorry we were so close to the time and that the book in the room said breakfast was open until 10 which made her huff out of the room and come back moments later to say, “It is 9!” I apologized again and grabbed a bagel, some cream cheese and about 4 spoonfuls of cereal with 4 drops of milk. Zach got some sausage, an egg and a muffin and grabbed us some juice before we were booted out the door. We ate our breakfast and planned our route for the next two days. Today’s destination is Osseo, WI. This will be the 3rd night we will have spent in Wisconsin on our honeymoon. While planning our route we decided to go up to Michigan since it was only 20 miles away and again I had never been there.
Our destination was a place Zach had found that was supposed to have a pinball machine. When we got there we found out it was a famous restaurant and has some of the best burgers ever. The pinball machine wasn’t “The Dark Knight” like Zach had though but was “Shrek” and still rather enjoyable. We played, I owned, Zach owned, gave a free game to an interested child and then we ate. It was great food and we rounded off lunch with some ice cream being able to cross it off our list of states visited.
We made a quick stop at what I thought was a quilt shop but turned out to be an upholstery fabric store and ran to the gas station to get some ice. We got some scratch tickets, as to not leave Michigan as the only state we didn’t get them in and sat at the table to scratch them because we were in the last town before Indiana. Zach won $3 and we flushed $2 of it away on more scratch tickets. We got back on the road and rolled out, assured that we would again “miss the rush” in Chicago. Again, we were wrong. 1 hour 45 minutes later and several dollars in tolls we were finally out of the city and stopped to top off and stretch out legs at a travel oasis. Zach again won on a scratch ticket, this time it was a free ticket.
Once out of the city we made pretty good time. We were moments too late to eating at a Mexican restaurant recommended by a friend in Madison so we headed on down the road to Portage.
When we got to Portage we were unable to find the restaurant we were looking for so we stopped for directions. Turns out we were in a different town than we thought. Luckily we had stayed on the right interstate and just found a different Mexican place in Wisconsin Dells. While driving around we found some very interesting looking hotels and decided that we will have to come back sometime for a mini vacation.
We decided today was our day for poor service. Our waitress was no where to be found and was slow at best. The food was good but getting the bill was another 10 minutes wait. Once we got it, she never came back so we went to the front where we knew there would be people, paid our tab and got out of dodge.
At Tomah, WI we found ourselves in need of a break so we stopped and filled up. When we got inside we found a pinball machine. “Highroller’s Casino” was an awesome pinball machine and Zach pretty much owned! He easily 5 timed my score and had fun doing it. We grabbed some ice cream and continued down to Osseo.
When we pulled into Osseo the Inn was easy to find. I will say this was easily the dumpiest place we have stayed all honeymoon. We decided that it was a bed and we had payed for it so we stayed the night and vowed to not return.
“Friends, food, and gambling”
I woke up to Zach coming in with breakfast, which was a nice way to welcome the day. After breakfast we played one of the new games we got two days ago. “Lost City” was a great two player game and we both enjoyed playing. We packed up and checked out and got out of Osseo in search of Internet.
We found Wi-Fi in Eau Claire at a Super 8. We found a place to stay tonight in Morton, MN and also found a quilt store. After the quilt store we drove around looking for game stores. We found, “Not Your Mother’s Basement” but it was closed. We tried to find one of the other stores in town but never did by the time we reached the interstate.
We headed to Minnesota. We hit the cities around noon and after Chicago driving through the cities was a snap. We met up with some friends from college for lunch. We went to Granite City and it was great to talk to them and catch up. We went back to Jeff’s house and played a game of Dominion. It was fun to have some friends to play games with again. So many of our friends have moved away since school.
We headed toward “Jackpot Casino” where we are staying for the night. We found one open quilt store along the way and got some more fabric for the quilt. While driving through rural MN, Zach found “Prairie Home Companion” on NPR, something he was pretty excited to hear.