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?
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. ;)
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!
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!