2007 Travels Erik's Travels

Greater Grand Forks… is that like a spork?

Yeah mon, life has been good lately. In the beginning of April I visited Amanda for a while. We went on a road trip around New York visiting several waterfalls and seeing lots of cows eating grass. I bet most people don’t think of farmland and cows when they think of New York, but they do have lots of them. We got lots of wedding planning done too. Then I flew back to Oregon and was there for a couple weeks, working at my house and also helping my dad paint one of the apartments he has.

Then I flew to Minneapolis to reunite with my two best friends from my University of North Dakota days, Pete & Jack. On Friday, April 20th, we drove to Grand Forks, turning what is supposedly a four hour drive into a six hour one. We finally made it around 3:30pm, just in time to meet up with Jake and Jeff and kick our feet up for a while. It was such nice weather in GF that weekend too! We hit up University Park and played a round of bocce ball (think of Australian Lawn Bowling but with less rules). Then we had the obligatory drive around Grand Forks while deciding what to do next. No one could decide so I drove us to Lincoln Park and we hung out there and threw the Frisbee around and had a couple of PBR’s while we waiting for our friends to gather and call us. Finally they did saying they were at a bar downtown, so we went down there and met up for some cool refreshments. A couple hours later and a bit drunker out, we stopped by the pub next door then make the trek back to 407 Cambridge Street, the home of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity. As we were walking up to the door all the youngings were inside and cheered us as we came inside. Greeting us warmly until Jack brought out his bottle of Snake Wine. This was a bottle that had two snakes inside of it (one eating the other one, why not?) and then filled with vodka and let sit for a month to get the snake juices flowing freely throughout. This scared the kids and the first round was drunk by Jack, Pete, Jeff Deutsch (the chapter president now and last of the kids Pete and I recruited back in the day) and myself. I wandered through the house to view all the improvements that had been made since my three years living there. A lot had been done, the basement is finally now near completion and has a real kitchen! There are new floor tiles and carpet throughout the house and new windows had been installed to make all the former party rooms turn into sleeping rooms so more guys can live in the house. Fantastic Stuff. After my tour I saw that the fear of the snake wine had diminished and the bottle was being freely passed around. After it was all empty the snakes looked strange, like they might pop out at any moment and start slithering across the floor… Someone refilled the bottle with some alcohol and there it was sitting on the table when someone knocked it and it went flying off and broke all over the floor. Jack got a little upset and riled up over that. Finally we all made it back to Matt’s house to pass out and I found myself on the couch on the porch, pretty nice actually.

Saturday got off to a slow start. After laying around for a few hours Pete and I went for a drive around town then later collected the crew to head to the Pi Kappa Phi Roseball (dance/party). It was kind of a surreal experience sitting back and seeing this whole room of fraternity men dressed up and going through the acts that I had once taken so seriously. It was a pretty relaxed night and I snuck off to wander the golf course and make a call to Amanda. The ride home on the bus was a classic, with wild singing starting before we even made it out of the driveway of the golf course clubhouse. The party back at the fraternity house was pretty good, I was feeling irie and had a fun time watching all the action unfold. Someone had frozen the snakes into popsicle form and was running around making everyone take a lick, Pete was trying to get the youngings to drink more and Matt was trying to get people to go out and eat at the 2-29 all night diner. A taxi cab showed up and a few of us hijacked it back to Matt’s house, leaving Matt and a few other believers waiting for another taxi to take them to eat that never really came. It was five am after all.

After another relaxing night on the porch I awoke and gathered with our friends at the 2-29 for a farewell to Grand Forks truckers special (eggs, sausage, cheese, veggies and more cheese over a bed of hashbrowns). Then we were on the road back to the cities. Jack was in the back seat and every once in a while we heard a little, click, hissss coming from the back seat as a new PBR was opened. By the time we got close to Edina Jack was so tuned up that he could only tell us to get off on 50th street. So we took one exit that was for 50th street, but it was not the right one and we looped around for a while before finally making it to his house. Then a quick cruise across town to Pete’s home for some rest. Monday morning I gave Pete a ride to work and made it to the airport for my cruise back to Portland. Of all my post living in Grand Forks returns, this was by far my favorite. I am very happy to see my beloved fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi doing well and in good hands.

But now it’s May. I have been painting some more and trying to clean and organize my house for Amanda’s moving to Portland. My house is kind of small and already full of things, so we are going to have to be very organized to not trip over our stuff all the time. Shelving is key! I just arrived in Buffalo again yesterday for a little visit. It has been a month since I left Amanda last time and I was missing her so. Amanda graduates with a Masters Degree in Anthropology this weekend and we are going to do a little more wedding planning. Only two months to go now until the wedding, I can’t wait!

Peace, Love and Happiness!!