One of the best things about living in Minnesota is our Fall season. This week, the girls and I happen to be off of school and we got to enjoy the beautiful fall days of October. Nate took Thursday and Friday off and we did some traveling. Megan is now a Junior and it’s time to start thinking about colleges. She’s never seen a college campus before, so we took a drive to North Dakota. Why North Dakota? Megan is interested in a Nursing major and NDSU and UND are two colleges that offer this major. There are many in Minnesota as well, but since we had some time, we wanted to get out of the state, as Megan has mentioned some interest in these two colleges. Her cousin Courtney, just graduated from UND last spring with a Physical Therapy degree, and this seemed fitting to Megan.
We arrived in Fargo, North Dakota on Thursday afternoon. Had a little lunch then headed over to North Dakota State University for our tour. We were very impressed with the attention we received right off the bat. Such a great atmosphere at this school and really personable. After the slideshow about the school, tuition, offerings, etc….we headed over to another room for a description about the nursing program. It was nice that they broke it down and told you exactly what is expected and what the student will be doing in their four years here at school. Made it more ‘real’ to Megan. Our last step for the day was to take a tour of the campus. Luckily we had a nice day because most of this is outdoors. I really loved this campus and the size of it. Not too big, but not too small and being that it was fall, it was just gorgeous with all the fall colors surrounding the paths that led to the brick buildings and classrooms.
As we were walking around, we asked Megan what she thought, and she kept saying how much she liked this. Even Kelly chimed in and said, “I think college is going to be fun.” She’s right! It was fun to see and hear their reactions and we were happy that they both like the idea of going to college. I know they’ve been influenced by Nate and I, but you just never know what your kids will end up doing or if you’ve had enough impact on them. On our tour, we visited the Student Union, bookstore, a classroom and even saw a dorm room. Megan’s favorite was the Wellness Center…also known as the workout center or gym.
Everything we saw, was very nice, except the dorm room was a little small. Apparently, they are upgrading their dorms and we happened to see one of the old ones and Megan wasn’t too impressed with it. We told her we’d look online at the new and improved ones. I told her that they showed us a guy’s room…totally different front what the girls do. Boys don’t care what their room looks like, girls decorate. haha!
We kept telling Megan to keep in mind, this is October. North Dakota gets very cold and very snowy. In order to make some days tolerable up here, they have added skywalks that connect some of the buildings together. I’m sure these are quite popular in mid-winter!
As we toured the campus, I had to take a picture of their mascot….Thundar. The teams are often called the “Thundering Herd” and the mascot is a Bison. Hmmm, his name sounds a bit Norwegian to me.
Day two we spent in Grand Forks, ND which is about an hour north. Yes, we went even further north. Brrr….it was cold up there, super windy, cloudy, drizzling and it felt like it was going to snow. Why are we here again? Oh yeah, Megan thinks this might be an option. I’m thinking my job is to talk her out of this. Not really…but I think she needs to visit here in January to find out what it’s really like. When we got back home, Nate got the map out and found that this is the furthest north we’ve ever been. We thought it was funny that we were closer to Canada than Minneapolis. Yikes! Okay, back to college…UND is a much larger school than NDSU. It is actually a University that has 8 colleges within it. It has a very nice campus with more of a city feel. Lots of buses running through it, underground tunnels (for those nasty winter months), and a much bigger student union with restaurants and coffee shops included. I kind of felt like I was in a downtown skyway when we were in the student union. Its a very nice school and campus, but I think it was a little too big for what Megan is looking for. It has more students and only half are accepted into the nursing program, where as the other school had a higher percentage of getting in. She liked the odds better over at NDSU.
On our tour, again we saw the dorms, walked through the tunnels, saw a few classrooms, and got a free lunch at the student union. Megan didn’t care for the tunnels and we felt like we were walking through someone’s basement. They aren’t the nicest looking, but that’s what you get for underground travel. They’re not going to put a lot of money into these, it’s just a way to get out of the cold. Similar to the subways, but then again, she’s never seen that either. Ha~
Overall, we had a successful trip and I think a great start to our college visits. Now she knows a little more of what she’s looking for and we can continue to look more this spring and summer before making a choice next year.
We continued our ‘peak of fall’ today. I took the girls (and Jacob) out to Mark & Peggy’s to get our pumpkins. Today was the perfect fall day. The sun was shining and it was 62 degrees out. A light sweater or sweatshirt was all that was needed, no coats today. A nice change from yesterday in Grand Forks, where it was 48 freezing degrees!
Now that the girls are older, picking out a pumpkin takes all of 5 minutes. We used to spend hours out at Mark & Peggy’s playing with the dogs, catching up with our families, and shopping for ideas inside their store area. Oh wait….that’s what we did today as well. I guess the tradition continues, no matter how old the girls get! I’m glad they still enjoy this as much as I do…now we’ve just added the boyfriend. The more the merrier!
As always, we found our perfect carving pumpkins and took home a few butternut squash for some winter meals.
After finding our pumpkins, we had to go over and spend some time at the lake at Mark & Peggy’s. What a beautiful, gorgeous day to relax lakeside. They have such a pretty backyard. I could spend hours just being lazy out here.
Everyone enjoys fall and never wants it to end. It’s our shortest season, but this fall has been good to us. It feels as though it’s been long, warmer than usual, and the colors are spectacular. Most leaves are still on the trees and the southern half of the state is just getting started to change, so next weekend might still be available for a fall color drive. I found Kelly outside this afternoon enjoying fall and one of her favorite pastimes…playing her guitar.
While we were out picking pumpkins, Nate was shopping for ingredients for dinner tonight. His contribution to fall, was a delicious, warm pizza this evening. He found a recipe for a “Grandma’s Pizza.” It was kind of like a deep-dish, but half the size. He made up his own ingredients of proscuitto, red onion, provolone & mozzarella cheese, kalamata olives and the secret ingredient in the sauce….anchovy paste (he said, “that’s what Grandma used in her recipe.”) Grandma was right…this was terrific and the perfect ending to our perfect fall day.
After dinner, Kelly was telling me to come up and see the sunset. Wow, it was spectacular tonight. I don’t have a camera that can capture a sunset but I tried my best because it was worth it. I hope you had a chance to see it as well. Happy Fall everyone~