We just got home from spending a wonderfully relaxing week in North Dakota. As you may or may not know, Jason's dad is a bee keeper, he owns Miller Honey Farms. It has been in Jason's family for 5 generations. Jason's dad is planning for his future retirement, and so we have a decision to make as to whether or not Jason wants to continue in the family business. Jason loves Apple and we love our life here, but there is definitely some appeal to owning your own business and raising children in a more rural setting. The bee business is operated in Newcastle, CA from Oct-Nov through May. During the summer the bees are loaded on semi-trucks and taken to Gackle, North Dakota. This means that while growing up Jason spent his summers in North Dakota, which he loved. And if Jason decides to work in the bees, we too would spend our summers in North Dakota. Hence the decision to spend a week checking things out. The week was great, but no conclusions have been drawn yet. It is so hard making life decisions.
Ollie having his breakfast, he is looking so grown up these days.
The park in Gackle was a big hit with Ollie. It had baby swings and this really fun slide. It was pretty steep so at first he needed help but by the end he was climbing up pretty much by himself.
Almost to the top.
Woo hoo I made it!!
It was a pretty steep slide, so he loved it. Someone had to catch him at the bottom otherwise he would go flying off at the end.
On Tuesday, Jason had the brilliant idea to head into Jamestown (the "big" town about 40 miles away). It had been threatening to storm so I asked him if he really wanted to go, he told me we would be driving away from the storm. Haha. We actually drove straight into the heart of the storm. Thunder, lightning and rain like I have never seen (all while we were driving). It was really cool/terrifying.
You may be wondering why I would post such a disgusting picture of myself on the blog, but I wanted to show how I looked after running from the car (which was just outside the store doors) into the store, I was completely soaked.
While we were killing time in Walmart, there was a tornado warning and we were all sent to one area of the store. Luckily it was near the toy section so we were able to keep Ollie entertained. I kept telling Jason "I am not dying in a Walmart". It only lasted 15 minutes or so before we were free to continue our shopping.
Have you ever wondered where the worlds largest buffalo is? Well wonder no more, it is in Jamestown, North Dakota. And we went and visited it.
I love this pic, Ollie staring the buffalo in the face.
We didn't have time to go through the museum (bummer) but we did make a stop to the gift shop to get Ollie a stuffed buffalo. He wanted the one he is riding, but he only got the little one in his arms.
That night we ate at one of Gackle's three places to eat in town. The cafe, I can't remember the official name I think it is Dee's Cafe and Pizzeria. I asked Ollie if I could take a picture of him and he put his finger in front of the camera and said "finger". I guess he wanted a picture of his finger.
One night we went out to visit the Mayers. They were Jason's neighbor during the summers when he lived in ND. They now live a few miles out of town and farm wheat and soybeans. They had every piece of farming equipment you could imagine, Ollie was in heaven.
These tractors were HUGE.
A new grain bin.
Many thanks to the Mayers, it was so fun walk around their farm and let Ollie sit in all their tractors and trucks.
Back at the park in Gackle.
We took Ollie to get his first haircut at an actual shop, I usually do it. He did great. He was very serious.
Again with the finger picture.
We took him to get an ice cream cone after his haircut.
Mmmmm. He looks a lot like Jason here.
The evening before we left we went around a took pictures of some of the different sites of Gackle.
Here is the Coop. They have gas, equipment, some food etc. It is the closest thing to a grocery store left in Gackle.
Ollie with his grandpa's truck. About half the trucks in Gackle say "Miller Honey Farms" and every time he would say "Papa truck".
The road coming into Gackle, it is so pretty and peaceful.
Ollie on a bale of hay.
The Salon where Ollie and Grandpa had their hair cut.
Jason's dad bought the old grocery store on main street and turned it into Miller Honey's - False Hope Gym, such an appropriate name. It is open 24/7 with no membership fee, just walk in and work out, where else can you do that?
I love libraries so of course we visited Gackles. It was tough to find a time to go, as you can see the hours are very limited, but I guess you can just call the town librarian and she will come over any time.
The library is about as large as the master bedroom in an average home.
The tastee-freez is probably my favorite place in Gackle. We went there every night for ice cream. They also make this Knoephla soup that is so delicious. If that name sounds familiar it is from John Mellencamp's, "Jack and Diane" song: "Suckin' on a chili dog outside the Tastee-Freez"
Another highlight for Ollie was the "red demon". This little scooter was perfect to ride around town. Ollie got to stand on it and be driven around. I'm pretty sure he learned some bad habits in Gackle, cause we could NEVER do that here.
On our way out of town we took some pictures.
The whole fam (us with Jason's parents) in front of Miller Honey Farms.
The older sign in front.
I thought this was kind of cool because you can see all the bees. It is a hive scale that they use to weigh the amount of honey being produced in the hive.
Ollie did great on all our flights. I'm not going to lie, I was a little worried. On most of our flights there were extra seats so he didn't have to sit on our laps, which was so nice. Here he is after his nap watching "The Incredibles" on Jason's laptop.
Ollie holding one of our humongous zucchini's. Our neighbor took care of our garden beautifully and we had lots to harvest when we got back. He kept saying "heavy" while he was holding it.
The goods. By the way, don't let your vegetables get so big, we had to scoop out the mushy middle of the zucchini and only use the outside.