Freeport, Minnesota is not a usual stop when traveling to Fargo. However, a Facebook friend touted the merits of the caramel rolls at Charlie’s Cafe in her post. It is just 19 miles north of St. John’s so we stopped for gas and a caramel roll. As I was taking a photo of Dan in front of Charlie’s, a man came along and put his arm around Dan and asked if we wanted a photo together. Fritz turned out to be a native of Freeport. We thoroughly enjoyed our small town experience.
From there it was on to Fairmont, ND just over the border from Minnesota and about an hour south of Fargo, ND. We were invited for lunch at Dan’s first cousin (one generation removed) on his mother’s side. Kay and Roger Nelson hosted us at her childhood home which they bought about eight years ago. She invited her sister Karen and Randal Hedke from Barnett, MN. Earl Schouweiler, their brother took time from his bank manager job to join us for lunch. I heard more stories about the Brown side of the family while enjoying BLT sandwiches with fresh tomatoes from the garden.
We finally reached our destination at the Hotel Donaldson or the HoDo as it is known in Fargo. This was our splurge for the trip. This boutique hotel underwent a three-year gut renovation to create seventeen unique rooms decorated with works of North Dakota artists. We stayed in Room 12 with art by Jay Pfeifer. Besides the comfy king size bed, we had a sitting area, bar area, and a huge closet and fancy bathroom. A surprise for me was the rooftop garden and bar called the Sky Prairie. The weather was perfect with no wind or bugs as we enjoyed a drink and bison burgers with our cousin, Betsy Boyle.