Friday, May 27, 2011

Oh, Fargo... California Girl Hits Midwest

Before I spend the rest of this (long) entry talking about my experience in Fargo, I thought I'd show you some race pics!  I will update my Fargo Marathon and 5K pages with these -- and more! -- pics when I get the chance.  I've been lagging, even though school is officially DONE, as my filed my dissertation earlier this week.  Work has suddenly and quickly filled any remaining voids.  Can't I catch a break?

Here is "distrustful" me...  Yep, I rock capris and CEP sleeves simultaneously. :$  And that green shirt was a birthday gift!


My finish line shot.  Actually, this also appeared on a jumbo-tron!  I LOVE this race!


Our 5k hand-holding endeavor.  That guy up front seems disgusted by us... oh well. ;)


Thankfully, we traveled the (under construction) LAX, Salt Lake City, Fargo/Hector, and Minneapolis/St Paul airports with my Water Bobble.  We filled from water fountains and saved $$$ on bottled water!


On to Fargo... we got there late Thursday night, so I waited until morning to snap these photos.  Everything is Fargo is SO open, and luxurious.  At least to California standards, where a house like this would cost $2+ mil.  No sardine-can-like cramming.


These two cats (R and T, respectively) kept us company throughout our stay.  Was not cheating on my cat!


She (the orange one) shed a ton!  He (the black one)... not as much.  She liked me, and he liked "The Ukrainian."

 
 

"The Ukrainian"'s aunt is a painter (not her primary job), so check out this studio (and large in CA/average in Fargo house in the back).  Her paintings were all around the house (can you spot 'em?)!


The view from the backyard patio.  A golf course was nearby, no gate -- nothin!



 















Inside, we played something I've never really played before.  This was in a whole under downstairs area they had... SO much space there!!  If I had a house like this, I'd definitely not leave home as often!  Of course, this just means that you are meant to stay at home in Fargo...  They get poor weather sometimes, but they have indoor tracks and huge arena-type places you can work out when the weather is bad.  However, note that Fargo also is VERY runnable... paved trails everywhere!!



 
















Indoor wine cellar...


The park...


This was post-marathon... don't I look like half of my body is kinda chopped off?



P.S. My first time at a Chili's was in Minnesota during a layover.  Was not impressed, and everything was SO salty.  But I needed some grease due to my flight-related nausea...


Fargo is definitely a quiet town without all the theatrics of my last out-of-state race.  I hate to say this, but life is so much simpler in North Dakota.  I picked up local magazines there that did not feature people who looked like models... just ordinary people.  Yes, I stuck out like a sore thumb in terms of me being "of color" over there, but people were friendly to me and did not make any assumptions about me.  Only a few markets, an airport that you can park outside and walk in a minute, and hardly any crime or unemployment (according to our cab driver).

Being there really just reminded me of how oppressive living in Los Angeles can be.  Sure, there's a lot going on here, but I feel like it's not conducive to building true relationships.  Plus, being in open-spaced Fargo was soooo relaxing, a spirit that carried onto the marathon as well.  Sure, dining out isn't really too much of an option there (side note: their Carl's Jr is called Hardee's!), but with kitchens like those, I'd cook in more often!  They still have "healthy foods" in their stores for about the same price as here.  Besides homes and parking prices, most of the other ones were similar to California's.

I joked numerous times that "The Ukrainian" should get a utility job out there, and I would find some kind of HR work at the Microsoft office they have out there, or even North Dakota State University.  I'd enjoy the change of pace... I often am disgruntled at being a LA resident with so much crowding and issues, but I did grow up there.  Maybe if I can go for a year....?

On the flight home to LA, I was sitting near a lady wearing Juicy Couture velour in an obnoxious blue color, carrying a tiny tote bag that carried her dog for the 4-hour flight.  Welcome home.

Stay tuned for a giveaway next week!  Happy Memorial Day weekend!

6 comments:

  1. I love your perspective on the midwest. I have lived here my whole life and never really thought about how much different it is from the west coast.

    Looks like you had a good time!

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  2. You've never played ping pong before? So much fun!

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  3. You smell like cheating.

    - Meow-mie

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  4. The finish in the Fargodome absolutely rocks. And I liked your comment about things being simpler in Fargo...that is what I like about the Midwest. Great report. Sounds like you had a fun experience!

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  5. Before you go completely off the deep end, visit Fargo in February. There's a reason real estate is so expensive here in Socal.

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