If home is where the heart is, then we would have many homes in many places. We discovered this week that home is actually where the RV is (despite what many touching placards say in many lovely homes around the country). Suzanne spent all of last week in Minnesota and is ready to apply for residency after calling it home for so many days. Kevin spent most of last week in North Carolina for work and when he was ready to fly “home”, he flew to Minnesota because that’s where the RV was parked. His heart may have been there too, with Suzanne and the dogs, but he mostly went there because the RV was parked there and home is where the RV is.
The last time we wrote we were heading east out of Towner, North Dakota. About 20 miles into the trip we made a quick stop at the geographical center of North America in Rugby, North Dakota. Anyone who has known Suzanne for more than a few years knows that she used to share her life with a wonderful geriatric yellow lab named Rugby and will look for any opportunity to share a gratuitous dog picture. Hence, the picture of Rugby to the left. So one of us was more excited about the fact that the town was named Rugby rather than the fact that the town was home to the geographical center of North America and the other one of us was busy trying to figure out exactly how they calculated the center of North America. Did they include Mexico? Did they include Central America? Should we devise a spreadsheet to determine the validity of this statement? It doesn’t matter, it’s named after Rugby, awww, so cute. Valid or not, it was a quick fun stop on Highway 2 as we headed east.
That evening we ended up just outside of Fargo, North Dakota at Buffalo River State Park. We went for a trail run, enjoyed a delicious homemade meal, killed the tick that climbed aboard Suzanne’s leg during the run (she was obviously running very fast if he had time to hitch a ride) and then went to bed early. The next morning we got up early and headed into downtown Fargo to run along the Red River Trail and grab some coffee. Since it was a Saturday we decided to put in a few hours of driving and try to make it to Minneapolis that afternoon.
On our way to Minneapolis we started seeing signs for “Keith’s Kettle Family Restaurant.” Kevin has always taken issue with restaurants that include the word “family” in the title but Suzanne didn’t know why. As the Keith’s Kettle signs became increasingly frequent, with Keith’s big smile and the word “family” displayed for all the world to see, Suzanne prodded Kevin for more background on his aversion to family restaurants. His response was: “I have run a statistical analysis and determined that bad food is highly correlated to the word family in the title of the restaurant.” There you have it folks. And we didn’t intentionally stop at Keith’s Kettle during our break, it just happened to be the best place in town to park the RV.
We made it to Minneapolis that afternoon and ended up staying at the St. Paul East RV Park in Woodbury, MN. Not much to say about that place except that we just weren’t feeling it. It was fine for one night but since Suzanne knew she would be hunkering down for an entire week while Kevin was traveling, we wanted to make sure we were somewhere we really liked. (Example of why we weren’t feeling it: while Kevin was parking the RV a guy in a golf cart followed him around reciting rules and saying “I own this RV park, I’m the owner.”)
The next morning we decided to check out the only other option we found in the area, Lebanon Hills Park Campground in Apple Valley, MN. We ventured out in the toad to scout it out before committing to moving the RV and we knew after the warm welcome we received from Judy in the office that this was going to be our home for the week. Fortunately Judy had a few spots available so we picked the one we liked best and returned a few hours later with the RV. We settled in, went for a hike, had dinner and then were up early the next morning for a trip to the airport. Kevin headed off to North Carolina and Suzanne made herself at home in Apple Valley.
Our last few stops had been one- and two-nighters so it felt good to be home for a week. Suzanne caught up on errands, made friends with the local Starbucks barista, met up with her friend Kate for coffee, did a lot of running, got to know the local area and, after a few days, became the senior resident in the campground. By the time Kevin returned on Friday Suzanne was feeling very comfortable at Lebanon Hills Campground and no doubt Kevin started picturing porches and carports as Suzanne relayed her week to him and talked about how much she had enjoyed settling down in one spot.
On Friday night we had a few of Suzanne’s friends from work over for dinner. Most of the people who work for Event 360 share a similar passion for travel and adventure (and randomness) so it was fun to share our RV lifestyle with people who could really appreciate it and may do something similar one day. This was our largest dinner party since the RV-warming party back in May and we would call it a success. Good food, good people, good inflatable palm tree and good pink flamingo lights. We’ve said it before and no doubt we’ll say it again: one of our favorite parts of this trip has been spending time with people we don’t see on a regular basis. It was so much fun to host a dinner party in the middle of Minnesota and have these four wonderful people over to our home.
We packed up the next morning and headed south to Madison Lake, Minnesota. Suzanne was sad to say goodbye to Judy and her friends at the Lebanon Hills Park Campground but knew it was time to hit the road. She knew that while she would always have a special place in her heart for Judy and Lebanon Hillls, there are sure to be other places to call home along the way.
We enjoyed a fantastic weekend in Madison Lake that we’re not allowed to talk about yet (we signed a non-disclosure agreement with our hosts) but we hope to post something soon.
P.S. Yes, we know Rugby looks a lot like Wylie and yes, we know Suzanne has a “type”. See you on down the road.