Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Sorry for the late update. The internet has been sketchy here and Dakota's tablet is not working out so well. I have a lot to talk about so bear with me. If you want pictures of the events described here check my Facebook. I'm the only Soren Underdahl on there.

The train... It was a very long trip. The food was subpar and expensive. I had a cup of noodles, a pepsi, and the chicken dinner during the 44 hours. I spent a grand total of 20 bucks for all of that disgusting food. I was lucky that I had overpacked on snacks and drinks. I had plenty of stuff to fill in the lacking parts of my diet. Granola bars, poptarts, and arizonas helped me live through the train. You may notice that I said the train trip was 44 hours long. Normally the train would have arrived at 7:05 on Saturday. Since my cousins wedding was at 4, this should have left us plenty of time to go to my Grandmother's (who we are staying with in Minneapolis by the way) and take a shower and rest up. Because of storms that closed the middle America train route a lot of freight was routed to the line that we were on. On multiple occasions our train stopped in order to allow another train to pass us. Freight takes priority I guess. This meant that we came into the Minneapolis/St. Paul station at 1:30 PM instead of 7 AM. 6 hours late...

Luckily we made it to the wedding just in time. Surprisingly the ceremony only took about 15 minutes. It was very short and rather untraditional. The minister was a woman who gave a lot of advice while conducting the ceremony. She talked to the newly joined couple and the audience and told them their responsibilities. My cousin and her groom looked very happy. We stayed for a very delicious dinner (I might add that even the Mcdonalds right next to the train station tasted like Ambrosia after the train food) but left before the cake was cut. All three of us (Dakota, my Grandma, and I) were very tired and needed some rest.

The next day was very eventful. After sleeping for a good 10 or 11 hours my Grandmother took us to the Back to the Fifties Car Show. It is the biggest car show of its kind. Grandma had a stand where she sold hobby stuff (she coowns a hobby business) so we got in for free. Dakota and I cruised the thousands of '64 and older cars that filled the Minnesota Fairgrounds. They were all quite amazing. I introduced Dakota to my favorite greek food. We had a lunch of Gyro's from Dino's. If you have never had a gyro you must try one. Delicious.

After the car show we went back to my Grandmother's house. She lives in Andover Minnesota which is a suburb of Minneapolis. We then went to the Coon River Dam on the Mississippi. It was a very interesting experience because we were able to observe a massive amount of matter moving quickly past the rubber dam. I am still not sure why it is called a "rubber" dam. It seemed like concrete to me. For dinner that night we had some of my Grandma's Lasagna. That was some good stuff.

Yesterday we visited my Great Grandparents. I had not seen them in a while and it was nice to visit with my oldest living relatives. Great Grandpa De's Grandpa was Soren Underdahl who moved here from Norway. He is my namesake. We had some chilly and yummy brownies made by my Great Grandma Betty. Unfortunately we did not procure any of her famous rice krispie treats because she was out of marshmallows. Alas, we still went away loaded with cookies and brownies.

After visiting for a few hours we headed over to the best known landmark in Minnesota, The Mall of America. I was impressed by it's size even though I had visited before. If you can imagine a 4 story Building with hundreds of stores, an amusement park, and an aquarium... It is quite impresive. The shops were mostly full of clothes and Dakota had to stop at every shoe store. I didn't end up buying anything but Dakota and my Grandma did.

The final thing we did yesterday was to visit Minnehaha falls. It was overflowing with water and the spray could be felt from quite a distance away. My Grandma had quite a few stories of her childhood in Minneapolis in this area. It was rather beautiful. Afterwards we ate dinner at the Texas Roadhouse. Yumm roadkill

Today has so far been very eventful. It is the 21st of June. This morning we went and visited a Sculpture garden that was extremely interesting. It wasn't the most famous sculpture garden here in Minnesota. The art looked like everyday objects hit by a tornadoe. They took abstract art to the extreme. The best part was that most of the art was interactive. We were encouraged to look and touch. On our way home the radio announce a tornado warning. Maybe it's lucky we are leaving tomorrow. Though I wish I could stay with my Grandma longer. The clouds were right above her house but luckily there was no touchdown.

Check on Facebook for more trip updates. Our next stop is Chicago. Wish us luck.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I finished packing today. My backpack feels like its full of bricks. I just hope I haven't forgotten anything. Oh well. I also booked Hostels for Chicago and Boston. The Boston hostel was extremely expensive. 40$ per night per person! It's still better than the 150$ hotel rooms though.

Tomorrow instead of taking the train from Albany Jenny is going to drive us up to Portland and drop us off. It's so nice of her. I am going to miss her terribly. :(. Especially the home cooked meals I just had! Chicken Fettuccine for the win!

I'm nervous. I will be gone for an entire month! It is crazy. Ugh. I hope this all goes well and we don't get shot or mugged or killed by a tornado. I think that last one is the most likely haha. Anyway. Expect a post every few days or so. Check Facebook for pictures.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Well the countdown says I have 4 more days until we leave. Dakota and I are going to spending the next 4 weeks traveling around the country by train. We will visit most major American cities on the east coast. It will be fun for sure.

Today we bought our train tickets. For a months worth of train travel 1604$ really isn't that bad. The only problems we had making reservations were: that we have to take a 9:45AM train to Portland to catch the 4:00PM train to Minneapolis (Any suggestions of what to do in Portland for five hours?), The train from D.C. to New Orleans will cost an extra 100$, our tickets to Montreal can't be reserved until Dakota gets his passport (ordered 6 weeks ago), and we might not even get to Minneapolis because of flooding.... That last one has me worried. Why couldn't the weather wait to be crazy until after our trip.

Anyway. Got to get packing. Looking for reminders on what to pack. There is so much stuff and I don't want to forget anything. Also check my brand new Facebook for updates and pictures!