This past weekend we went to our friendly neighbors to the north, Canada. Not just any place in Canada, but Regina. I'm just going to address the elephant in the room and get all jokes out of the way now. Yes, you read that right. REGINA. No, it is not pronounced like REGEENA. Sorry. It is pronounced very similarly to a certain part of the female anatomy. What they were thinking when they named the city I'm not entirely sure, but apparently they weren't too concerned about being made fun of for all eternity.
We have been hearing a lot about Regina and how it is a bigger city with some fun things to do, but we haven't ever found a good enough reason to go there. We really haven't had many weekends together, and that was part of the problem as well.
A month or so back we went to Minot for a half marathon. Well while we were there we went to the only mall in Western North Dakota, and stopped by the Barnes and Noble. While we were in there I picked up a Bob Dylan cd that was on sale. I have a number of his cd's and really enjoy his music. For those of you that know me, I take after my Dad in a lot of things, and if he taught me one thing, it was to appreciate the "oldies" and some good ol' folk music. I think the first concert I ever went to was the Kingston Trio with him. I still listen to John Stewart, Gordon Lightfoot, Lyle Lovett and Peter, Paul and Mary among others. I really despise that crap on the radio nowadays, and I guess it's safe to say, I'm a little old fashioned.
Well long story short, as we were listening to the cd on the ride home, Carissa asked if I had ever been to a Bob Dylan concert. I hadn't and to be honest, I had looked into it a few years ago, but the prices were $300 plus a ticket. I don't care how popular people are, but no concert is worth $300. That's ridiculous. Well when we got home later that night Carissa and I were sitting on the couch and she just randomly looked up his concert schedule. It just so happened he was going to be in Fargo in a couple of weeks, and then two weeks later, he was going to Regina. Regina is closer to us (about a 3 hour drive) as opposed to driving to the other end of North Dakota (about a 6 hour drive). The ticket prices were right, so we decided on Regina.
We took off from here Saturday morning as Carissa had to work late Friday night. We decided that we weren't in any hurry so we went up through a few small towns in Montana. I do some work up in these towns, and I kind of wanted to give Carissa a taste and understanding of some of the little places I go to. It was a fun little drive, nothing too exciting as it was unbelievably flat and barren.
I've posted a few pictures on my Facebook of some of the surrounding areas. It's very beautiful in it's own special way. We have both been pleasantly surprised at the beauty of it. Granted it's definitely not the Wasatch Front by any means, but it will do for now. I do think this is one of the places that might rival Utah with sunsets though. Very pretty and when the wheat fields are blowing it's just an awesome sight. But enough about that.
We got up to Regina and checked into our hotel. We stayed at a Holiday Inn. I know Carissa is going to be disappointed, but I'm not going to post a picture of the hotel room. It surprisingly enough looked EXACTLY like every other middle of the road hotel room you've ever stayed in. Bed, desk, desklamp, another lamp, tv, and a bathroom. There wasn't anything out of the ordinary, so just know you aren't missing much by not seeing the pic.
After we got checked in, we went and found some food, Mr. Sub, which is exactly like a Subway, except for the fact their migrant workers weren't from Mexico. They were from an Eastern block country somewhere. The food was about as comparable to a Subway though. After we ate, we went to the Science Center, which was kind of like a Children's Museum, so the little immature kid in me had a great time. I think I embarrassed Carissa more than anything, but we had a lot of fun. They had an IMAX theater there as well, so we caught a cool video about Tornadoes. It was pretty informative. Here are a few of the highlights......
Here we are racing our wooden blocks. Mine is the one winning, just in case anybody was wondering.
Our sweet 3D glasses for the Tornado flick.
Carissa wearing and flapping bird wings. She had to see how fast she could "fly" I think her flaps per minute was right around 45. They had some machine/scale that calculated how big of wings one would need to be able to fly. She needed to have an 18 foot wingspan in order to fly, mine was over 19 feet.
They obviously had a bunch of hockey info and different things you could try. This was a fun simulator to shoot at and have a goalie try and block my shots. I found it was more fun to ditch the hockey stick and just throw the pucks like a baseball. The old lady waiting in line so her 3 year old grandson could give it a try, wasn't as impressed with my skills as I was. Oh well, you can't win them all.
Here I am running 10 meters. You had to do it from a stand still and I was impressed with my 1.41 second time. (That was my best time. Naturally, I had to try it a bunch of times)
After we left the Science Center we still had a lot of time to kill before the concert, so we went to this little park/pond and walked around for a few minutes. The cool looking building in the background is a Parliament building of some sort. It was a beautiful day and just really nice out. Carissa was kind of bummed that we didn't get to enjoy the nice weather more than we did, but I guess we will have to next time.
After we walked around we went and found us a nice place to eat. We had heard they had great sushi up there, and we both really like sushi, so we thought we would give it a try. I don't know as if I would call it great, but considering we were smack dab in the middle of Canada and no ocean in sight, I guess it was the best they could do. All in all, it was just fun to get out of Williston and actually go out to eat at a restaurant that isn't set on blocks, or in an enclosed car trailer (like they have in Williston).
After dinner we just went and drove around and kind of saw the surrounding area. To be honest, it was really nice to be in a city that actually had trees and felt more like a city you would like your kids ot grow up in. We have both made mention that we feel more culture shock going into different cities, than we did when I came home from my mission in Mexico, than when Carissa came home from Niger with the Peace Corps. It's weird to explain, but it just feels so nice to go into a town that isn't ran by a bunch of heathens and their jacked up trucks.
The man, The Myth, The Legend
After we drove around we went to the concert. My boss and I were joking that since we were going up to Bob Dylan and to Canada that he was going to drug test me on Monday. He was certain I would fail just from the second hand marijuana smoke alone. The funny thing is, the second we got out of the car, you could totally smell it, and there were definitely a lot of people openly smoking it in the parking lot. We both had a laugh at that. The venue was a really small arena and I honestly don't think you could have had a bad seat in the place. We had GREAT seats on the floor. The people watching as one can imagine was unbelievable (please refer to past posts about my ability to make fun of most anyone I see). We were definitely the youngest ones at the concert, and I'm also pretty certain we were the only two that have never dabbled in drugs. There were some definite winners and losers, and hippies and anything in between. It would actually probably be a pretty effective anti-drug teaching tool. Just take kids to a concert, and tell them "Don't do drugs or you'll end up like them" The concert was more than amazing. A guy by the name of Mark Knopfler opened. He used to be the lead singer of the band Dire Straights. He's now a solo artist, and we both really liked him. He played for well over an hour and a half and was great. Dylan came out and completely killed it. For those that don't know him, you should. He wrote the song "Blowin' in the Wind" "Like a Rolling Stone" "Hurricane" (about wrongfully accused prize fighter Ruben Hurricane Carter) among many other great songs. I must say that he actually still had it at 71 years old. He sounded pretty good, and he can wail on the harmonica. It was so cool to see a living legend do his thing. He is and was an unbelievably influential songwriter. SO COOL to see. After I see Jimmy Buffet and Willie Nelson, I think I will be able to die a content man. But Dylan was definitely on the bucket list.
This pic is of me screwing around as we were stopped back at the US Customs while our vehicle was getting searched and we were in between the water boarding and needles under the finger nails. Man it seemed like they really give you a harder time getting into your own country than they did as we tried getting into Canada. They ask 30 questions and they all seem to be repetitive. I guess they have to make it hard for people doing it legally, because we all know they make it too easy for those who come to our country illegally. Gotta have balance somewhere right?
The weekend was a definite success and we are both so glad we were able to go. As fun as it was, it was good to come home and see our pups. They are doing well and they both make us laugh. Hope everyone is doing okay, we look forward to coming home soon.