Monday, December 08, 2014

November in Mid West USA / Part 1

On our first Saturday morning in Elkton, near Brookings SD, we woke up to snow falling.
Despite the cold it looked very pretty to me. Snow is something we never experience at home.
Of course the locals were blase' about it all and considered it a bit of a nuisance.

One of my most favourite jobs (not) was scraping the snow and/or ice off the car each morning before we could go anywhere. The co driver was somehow reluctant to take turns. Her excuse was that she was driving everywhere (more experience on icy and snowy roads), and I had to contribute somehow. So that's how it was. She sitting in the pre warmed up car with the heated seats while I suffered from potential frost bite outside.

Mark, our host, had a number of alternatives for snow clearing to make getting to and from the house easier. Surprisingly it was a local resident who got stuck in a snow drift and had to be helped out by the foreigner. No names, no pack drill.

Our days consisted of catching up with family, eating out and shopping. We certainly found some bargains at the department stores. We managed to visit most of our favourite restaurants and found one or two new ones. To say we may have overeaten is an understatement.
The Gramcracker jam making day was postponed due to weather but reinstated a week later. The 'boys' retreated to Buffalo Wild Wings for a few beers and spicy chicken wings while watching a local derby football match between SDSU and USD. The local team won!
That night was siblings night and the sisters had a late night after a nice dinner at a local steakhouse.
I think towards midnight you could hear them all over Brookings!
We had decided not to do any touristy things mainly due to the weather and our short time frame. But we did go down to Falls Park in Sioux Falls. The falls were almost frozen solid.

Quite a different scene that I am used to when visiting at other times of the year.

K3 had bought a new house a few miles north at Lake Hendricks and we went up there for a look see.
Was quite an exciting drive on icy roads with blowing snow. The waterfront location looks ideal but that day it was blowing a gale across the frozen lake and was probably the coldest I felt the entire trip. The tongue in cheek invitation to go skating or ice fishing was rejected.Will return during a more conducive season for a little fishing off the to be purchased pontoon boat.

After Thanksgiving lunch (see separate post) I was taken to Walmart to experience a pre Black Friday sale.
A seething mass of humanity jammed together with their carts competing for all sorts of bargains.
People traffic jams in the aisles and in the long snaking check out queues. 
But I must say almost everyone was super polite and trying to make the best of the chaos. Can't say that that would be the case at home at such an event.

To be continued....

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