We just got back from our Summer 2008 Vacation. We went to the black hills of South Dakota with my family (Mom, Dad, John's Family & Quentin's Family) and friends (Kristin Brown & Lloyd Finlinson & his wife and a couple they know). It was a lot of fun...so here is how it went down.
Friday- We left and traveled to Dave's house. We visited with them and Jason was able to catch up with Jacob, but sad to say we didn't have time for marble works. Flying planes though was just as fun.
Saturday-This was a travel day and thanks to Elvis, we didn't have any melt downs. Josh is such a trooper. I still do not understand the link between Elvis and Josh, but I do not question it since Elvis keeps Josh happy and quiet. We stayed the night in a hotel and Josh got his first taste of swimming. He didn't really like it even when dad took him around for a swim. Now we have issues with bath time. I put him in, he stands up and tries to get out. We have ruined the enjoyable bath time by scaring him with the swimming pool. At least now I know with the proper motivation, he can pull himself up into the standing position without a problem. On Saturday we also checked out Cabelas (Jason forgot his biking shoes & I later found out I needed a coat...it was cold) and ate at this yummy steak place.
Sunday-Yet another travel day. We arrived at our cabin in the late afternoon after meeting up with Quentin & his family. The rest of this day was eating & talking...a true vacation.
Monday-Our first adventure was Mt Rushmore. This was my first trip there that it was more to me than faces on the side of the mountain. I was able to enjoy learning some of the history behind it. My mom was also nice enough to keep Josh occupied so I could enjoy it a little more. On the way home, we got the call that my Grandpa Guernsey had passed away. That was hard, but I had already prepared myself for it and done most of my crying. Jason & I couldn't go to the funeral (it was the following Saturday) due to financial reasons & his job. Plus sometimes its easier for me not to go to the funeral...emotionally draining for me. This way I can just think to myself that it will just be a while longer before we go visit him...in heaven.
Tuesday-So the schedule changed to biking today & tomorrow so the guys went biking & the gals stayed and talked, slept, sewed, and tended to the kids. Later, after the guys got back, the gals went shopping while the dad's watched the kids. Wait a minute are we on vacation? This sounds like a regular day.
Wednesday-Yet another biking day. Jason decided to join the guys later on the Michelson Trail. He went to a gold mine and toured it and then hopped on the trail with the rest of the biker guys. The gals on the other hand squished into one minivan. Jessica & Liz in front, followed by Jessica's kids (Jaquelyn & Calvin) , followed by me squashed between the two car seats of Josh & Andrew. We drove around Custer State park in search for buffalo. We were able to see buffalo and more wildlife. We even got to see as Calvin calls them gummy guys (army guys). They were doing a training session in the park. Wednesday was a long day for me after our wildlife hunt we were meeting the guys at this buffet that we found out later is only open for dinners on the weekends so. We have been driving around all day without naps. Both Andrew and Josh cried/screamed the whole way home. I cried when i got home. That was mom torture therapy.
Thursday- Thursday morning we parted ways with Quentin's family & my parents as they traveled to California for my grandpa's funeral. Jason & I were left with the duty of driving the van back to Kansas. I told Jason he was driving because I don't like having bikes on the back and we were heavy and it freaks me out going over bumps because sometimes it would scrape because we were riding so low. The fun of today was going to wind cave. Cave's are so fascinating to me. I would love to come one day and take the hard tour where you are actually caving & not walking on a paved path. Josh loved the cave so much that half way through he was asleep. Andrew was in a back pack on John's shoulders. I got a kick out of hearing him say duck every time John told him to duck. After that, we were going to see crazy horse, but we opted out because it kept raining. Instead we ate out and came back and watched a movie.
Friday- It's all about the bears. We went to bear country today. It's like a drive through zoo. It's expensive..$15 per head, but fun. We saw elks, reindeer, wolves, buffalo, bears, and other animals. It reminded me of Jurassic park without the dinosaurs. I think I liked being in a minivan because you are up higher and so you are farther away. I think I would get freaked out if I was in a car and a bear came up beside it. At the end you get out of your car and look at the different pens they have with the baby animals. The baby bears were so adorable as they played with each other and climbed up the tree. When we got home we packed up the cars and ate left overs and finished our Bourne movie marathon. Those are good movies.
Saturday-We got checked out and drove to Dave's House and yes we listened to Elvis for at least half the drive and we got Braum's ice cream on the way...yum. We stayed the night and Sunday morning we drove the rest of the way back home. It felt good to be sleeping in my own bed.
Pictures to follow....