Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What's Up With Fargo?

I'm going to whine just a little here. Rob's schedule sucks this month!  It sucks!!!!

By now, I really AM used to the routine. He's home for a few days, then we pack up his 'lunch' bag, iron his pilot shirt, give a long hug and usher him out the door for 3-5 days.  Don't love it, but we've figured it out.  And then, comes a month like this one.  Trips back to back, where he gets home in the morning from one trip and leaves the very next day....both days are actually working days, but he at least gets to be home to sleep and refill his food. Then he gets a real day off. Yes. One.  And he's back at it.

Last week, he was home for our flooding emergency a half-day early and had one day off before heading out for a three day trip. I had a couple of days off prior to the July 4th holiday, but Rob was not going to be around. Some back-story here:  my favorite teenage son, R, has been nagging me to go on an adventure.  He likes the idea of heading to the airport and checking flight loads to determine where we should go, and then going there: no plan, just a carry-on bag and a sense of curiousity.  I've promised that he and I would do that some weekend this summer. He asked on Wednesday evening if we could maybe take our adventure trip during my days off.  Knowing that travel over the holiday is not usually a good idea when you are flying standby, I cautioned him that it might not work out.

But I checked with Rob to see what his schedule looked like.  I was happily surprised to find that his first day of work looked like this:  Chicago to Fargo.  That's it.  He said he'd be thrilled to have us join him. This seemed like a good compromise: making Rob's awful trip schedule a little more manageable and giving a nod to R's need for adventure.

Here's my two guys posing for the infamous cockpit shot:

The flights were smooth, not wide-open, but we got on easily each time.  We arrived in Fargo mid-morning on Thursday, July 3, all feeling a little tired and a lot hungry, having eaten breakfast at 3:30am.  After dropping our bags in the downtown hotel, we set out to find food.

Fargo is one of Rob's favorite overnights.  And I know why. He's sent me several postcards from a great little bar across from the hotel, JL Beers.

JL Beers is knows for it's burgers and it's loaded fries.  They also have a fine selection of beer.  It's a shoe-in for favorite pilot hang out.

Right next door is a little place called Vinyl Taco.  I'd heard Rob talk about it many times.  Not authentic, but a fun vibe and good food. That's where we were headed for an early lunch.  It was not yet 11 o'clock.

But, we were met at the door by a friendly waiter who informed us that no-one under the age of 21 is allowed in the establishment.  "Are you serious, Man?"  Yep. Nor could we eat outside on the patio with "anyone under the age of 21".  As it was explained, there is a city ordinance for liquor licensing.  Any restaurant that sells any alcoholic beverage is not, by law, allowed to have under-age patrons.

I was flabbergasted.  That's a good, old word.  It describes exactly how I felt.  We walked back outside and looked around.  How is a family supposed to dine in Fargo?  Take out?  JL Beers next door, had a sign:  No one under 21 allowed entry.  Now, that one, I can understand a little better.  It IS actually a bar.  But, Vinyl Taco?  It's a taco shop.  A very hip Taco Shop granted, but a friggin' taco shop.

We walked down the block a bit, passed a German bar: Wurst Bier Hall,  with an array of sausages on the menu.  Their sign welcomed underage patrons before 4pm.  But, gee, we weren't hungry for sausages.

I pulled up local ordinances on my phone, and indeed, underage patrons are not allowed to enter an establishment that sells alcohol of any kind.  EXCEPT when accompanied by a parent!

Here's a link to the Safe Communities Server Training website.

I applaud North Dakota's efforts to keep underage drinking from occurring, but how about letting a hungry family have a taco at 11 o'clock in the morning?  My guess is that Vinyl Taco has some extra restrictions on their license due to not enforcing the underage drinking laws.

So, after making some phone calls to be sure it was worth the walk over, we went to Rhombus Guys Pizza, sat on their rooftop patio, and had their famous T Rex pizza.  Rob and I had a beer.  R was once again exposed to the evils of alcohol.  Here he is sitting right next to a glass of local brew.
That's lemonade he's drinking!

The pizza was fabulous, or we were exceedingly hungry.  Maybe both.  The crust was that perfect combination of crisp and chewy that I love!

After lunch, we headed over to Nichole's Fine Pastry for dessert.  Not that we needed dessert, but since we'd already splurged on pizza, why not?

Later in the evening, after Rob and I met his crew for a beer at JL Beers, leaving R to watch a movie in the hotel room (we brought him a burger and fries)  the three of us took a walk around downtown Fargo.  We noticed something funny about the fire hydrants.

And we noticed that it stays light a very long time.  This picture is just after 9pm on July 3rd.

We had a 5 am flight the next morning, so bed came early.  It was fun spending the day with my two guys.  I'd happily spend it with them anywhere.

So, you could go there. Or you could watch the movie! I'm sure Fargo is like most mid-sized mid-w
estern towns: it has it's good and bad.  It has it's quirks.  It was perhaps not the best adventure destination.  The good news is, we get to go back in a couple of weeks for a national wrestling tournament for A.  If you know of any good, family friendly restaurants, please share!

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