I should have known, when that first blast of arctic air hit me as I wrestled with the car seat in the nearly-vacant passenger pick-up line in the Bismarck airport on Thursday, my foolish thoughts would come back to bite me in my nearly-frozen bum.
I mean, it's wasn't like I packed loose pants and a tank top to sleep in, when our room was approximately 55 degrees at night and the hotel offered nothing more than two thin sheets and a tiny blanket. Or that every time Scotty went outside and the wind hit him, he howled like a tiny, cold, angry Bear and glared at me accusingly. We city-slickers had no place traveling to the middle of North Dakota in late October, and I clearly had idea what I was doing when I packed. Interestingly, in a place where Uggs are warranted, I was the only person wearing them. And that was the only part of my body that wasn't cold.
The frozen tundra that is the 39th state was also the site of Brian's oldest friend Mark's wedding. Brian was Best Man and Scotty put the "bear" in "ring bearer." I will say, any couple that asks a three-year old to stand up in their wedding is pretty adventurous, since thirty minutes before the service, I still wasn't sure if Scotty was going to wear his coat and tie without pitching a fit. The little guy was a trooper, though, and thanks to the helpful advice of the six-year old flower girl, he walked down the aisle like a dutiful solider. He only stopped once to exclaim over the holy water fountain. Thankfully, Avery pulled him away and towards the altar.
And wouldn't you know, the kid that I have been trying to get to sleep for the last three years of his life, completely and totally fell apart on me. Within three minutes, he was toast.
When Brian texted and said dinner was starting, I attempted to rouse our little one and suddenly had a deep appreciation for anyone who had to handle a drunk Kim during my college years. As I attempted to dress Scotty in his tux again, he kept wilting on me. I would stand him on the bed, and he would pitch over. He was kind of coherent but not really. I was shouting all kinds of helpful things like, "Work with me, kid!" and "Okay, now your other foot...nope, not that one...the other one!" and "Almost there! Stay with me!" as he flopped like a rag doll back and forth. As we walked to the reception area, which was just down the hall from our room, he clung to my neck like a fearful koala that was still mostly asleep.
But once we hit the party, he came alive.
The only way I can describe the evolution of Scotty (and his tuxedo) was while he was all dressed up, he looked like a banker. Remove the coat and tie and he looked like a bartender. Take the vest off, you have a pirate. And then the shirt came undone and suddenly he was a drunken pirate. Off with the cufflinks, unbutton a few more buttons, and suddenly he's George Clooney at the after party.
What this is, is anyone's guess.
While Hurricane Scotty raged on the dance floor (and under tables), I was attempting to deal with the gastrointestinal distress brought about by the regional cuisine. Since Friday consisted of breakfast at Cracker Barrel, lunch at the Big Boy, and dinner from a local pizza place, my lactose-intolerance body was practically shaking. Every time I requested almond or soy milk, I was met with a slow blink. Ditto for those fries with gravy from the Big Boy; I can't believe my stomach wasn't okay with these culinary delights. I'm scared to even think about my cholestrol levels. It will likely take a detox diet of nothing coconut water and kale for weeks for me to regroup.
I don't know if we'll ever go back, particularly during the winter time (i.e. September to June), but it was certainly an adventure. I'm sad that it only takes a 30 degree dip in temps to cause me to completely break down into a puddle of Kim, but I guess I've acclimated to desert lizard status.
And just in case you are curious: while Scotty and I were bundled in coats, vests, scarves, and boots, the general population was running around in...short-sleeved shirts. Apparently, this was "fall" to them.
Big congrats to Jena and Mark on their special day!! I hope you are enjoying your honeymoon and all the lovely warm weather in Hawaii. Best wishes for a great life together! --KSB