On past trips, we’ve always driven home from Bismarck in one day. But on past trips, we didn’t get up and walk for an hour in the morning. It might have been possible to get home, but with stops for meals and gas and Customs and everything, not until evening. It just seemed more vacation-like to stop for one more night at Grand Forks and have two easy days.
So we began with another river-walk in Bismarck, and we did a better job of finding the trail this morning. Same trail, but starting where we left off last time and climbing up one of the hills. This is the view from the top, and we parked down at the bottom.
Stopped for lunch at Roby’s in Valley City. Classic Diner. They do awesome patty melts, but I compromised on the saturated fats and had a burger like Caroline instead. Except no red hair. Wrote the place up as ‘average’ for Trip Advisor, and that takes me to twenty-one reviews and my Senior Contributor badge. Since I’ve also sent in reviews from about fifteen different cities, they upgraded my Passport badge, too. All the fun of Boy Scout patches, but you don’t have to sew them on!
So things were going pretty well until we reached Grand Forks, but then we got a couple of disappointments. First off, the room we had booked was weird. Huge bathtub, tiny shower. This is a Deluxe Suite, apparently. Asked to change and were horrified to learn that somehow (completely unawares) we had booked this room through Expedia, so we cannot save any money by downgrading, or even cancel and rebook. Nor do we get our (triple) Hilton HHonors rewards. We were able to get into a Junior Suite, which we actually like better than the Deluxe.
Then we found out that the Toasted Frog is closed Sundays. And so is our backup restaurant, Carvers. Settled down in the room to sort out our receipts for Customs and figure out where and what to eat.