This past weekend, a group of my friends and I headed to Duluth to attend the All Pints North Summer Brew Fest.
The funny thing about my group of friends is we call ourselves the “Fargo Family,” but only one of us still lives in Fargo. We have all dispersed to different areas of Minnesota and North Dakota, but we find time to crash at one of our family member’s place a few times a year. This trip was my third time to Duluth. But who doesn’t love Duluth?
The gang consists of high school friends (one I’ve actually known since I was 5 years old; when we realized that we’ll have known each other for 20 years, we were sad that we were old enough to have a friend for 20 years) who all moved to the Fargo, N.D.-area for college, and a few others who have joined along the way — significant others, co-workers and college classmates. I feel when I say “others” it sounds as though they aren’t important, but actually they are the glue that keeps us together.
Of course we love reminiscing about our high school glory days, but it’s the friends we have made during our early adult years who have really helped us grow and become the people we are today.
As any group of friends goes, it is always changing. Sometimes in ways I don’t like. For example, aging. We are adults now. These are the people I’m used to being carefree with. But now we have full-time jobs and other commitments. This makes it difficult for all of us to find time that works for everyone. Although we try, we are always missing one or two of our family members.
But I digress. Our trip to Duluth was fantastic. We always get a bit carried away our first night together. On Friday evening, the adult beverages couldn’t seem to stop pouring, and we forgot that we still needed to function the next day.
When we woke up at 8:30 a.m. Saturday (apparently we all forgot how to sleep in when we became “responsible adults”), we were proud of the amount of alcohol that wasn’t left over, and we found that we could still hold our alcohol as though we were partying after spring semester finals. Sadly, our bodies didn’t recover as fast as they did that spring.
So we all headed to the brew fest a little nauseous but ready to prove to each other that we hadn’t aged at all and nothing had changed.
There were more than 90 breweries participating in the festival. For $40, each visitor bought a ticket and received a small glass. With this glass, we were able to sample as many beers as we could manage between the hours of 3 and 7 p.m. In case you aren’t good at math, that’s a lot of beer.
Although the festival was wonderful, it was the quality time with my friends I treasured. Sitting on the banks of Lake Superior and tossing rocks into the water was the highlight of the trip. These people know everything about me — all my good traits and all my annoying and obnoxious ones — and somehow they still love me and accept me. I guess that is what family is for.
I have 60 days until I see my Fargo Family again. This time we are meeting in Worthington, from where we will head to Palisades State Park in Garretson, S.D., for our annual camping trip. I will use this time to allow my kidneys to recover.
I guess some things will never change.