Farewell Tour- The North Dakota Edition

Chad, Oliva & Amber

Chad, Oliva & Amber

Williston, ND- home of the Norpels

Williston, ND- home of the Norpels

This last week I made the journey out to Williston, North Dakota. One of my oldest and dearest friends, Miss Amber Gail (we met in Middle School) lives there with her husband Chad and all their kiddos. Sadly due to the great geographical distance between us (and one shitty boss) we had not seen each other in over 2 years.

I arrived Wednesday afternoon, on time I might add!  (a gold star day for Delta! )  Amber picked me up and we headed back to the house. Now, in total, Amber and Chad have 5 kids, 4 boys and Olivia. The boys rang in age from a new teen down to preK. And no Amber was not a middle school mom- Chad was married before and had the boys from that marriage. (Yes Chad is just a lil older than us 😉 ) As an only child, I always am slightly overwhelmed by big families and lots of noise which is what I was greeted with. Not only were the boys coming in and out but they had friends too. Good thing I have seen may pictures of them or I would have thought they had 10 boys. After Amber and I grabbed a quick bite we decided to take the little boys and Olivia to the water park. In a strange turn of events Chad was home- he had hurt his back- and so he was able to come with us. (in the end he was home more this week then he would have liked but it meant I got to spend more time getting to know him, which was great!) So the lil guys played at the splash pad and in the park and Olivia showed off her skills in dirt playing (I guess she and Bella have that in common- see dirt, play in dirt, be dirty.) She enjoyed climbing around the play equipment and attempted to devour wood chips, something that both her parents weren’t really thrilled with :). That evening the boys headed off to their moms for a long weekend and the house got strangely quiet.

Olivia exploring the pelts of Animal that were traded at Fort Union

Olivia exploring the pelts of Animal that were traded at Fort Union

Thursday the girls, big and small, headed out to explore the surronding area. We went first to Fort Union Trading Post ( http://www.nps.gov/fous/index.htm ). It ” was the most important trading post on the upper Missouri RIver for 39 years (1828 to 1867) – longer than any other post of the frontier. Fort Union is renowned as a center of peaceful economic and social exchange between Plains Indian (including Assiniboine, Blackfeet, Crow, Cree, Ojibaway, Hidatsa and Mandan) and white culture.” I was impressed that the full Fort had been excavated and the main buildings were built in the exact locations they original sat and those that have yet to be rebuilt we outlined by wooden planks. Thanks to its rual location, it was easy to transport yourself back to a time when this was a uncharted area that the US whites were expanding into. Here I also got to cross between North Dakota & Montana! We also hit up Fort Buford- Slightly disappointing because there aren’t many buildings and there is no outline for those that haven’t been reconstructed. However, they had a great collection of belongings of the troops who lived there and lots on info on Fort life at the time. Olivia enjoyed playing with the buttons that played different trumpet calls used to alert soldiers.

North Dakota

North Dakota

Montana

Montana

WOW- looking down in Teddy Roosevelt National Park

WOW- looking down in Teddy Roosevelt National Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday we headed Southeast to Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It was about 1.5 hrs from Williston. A nice drive, minus all the huge trucks and road construction. However it was an amazing site as we turned a corner to head down to the park. The land scape just exploded with hills and valleys; nothing like the flatness that is Williston. It really was beautiful! Check out more pics on Facebook!

Mid overlook at T.R.N.P.

Mid overlook at T.R.N.P.

Saturday we enjoyed a lazy morning followed by a lil rummage sale shopping- sadly we didn’t see too many good deals. We then headed downtown to check out the deals at a quilt shop that was closing – however they had closed early, (even though they put an add in the paper about the sale with their hours) so Amber wasn’t able to check out their sales. The evening was pizza, beer and a movie.

In the end it was a great trip! I loved being able to spend some time with an old friend, someone who has seen the best and the worst; the crazy braces, terrible glasses and those clothing choices you wish you wouldnt have made as a kid, helped after 1st loves failed and shopping trips to the MOA. It was also nice to get to know Chad! Its nice to see that a few years into a marriage you can still act like young love birds! I hope it always stays that way for them!! I look forward to spending more time with them in the future. Oh and did I forget to mention loving lil Miss Olivia! God she was so cute and funny! Kinda makes me want one- good thing I also want to wait awhile- ya know for the husband, money, settled life thing to come into place! 🙂

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