Saturday, June 25, 2011

We Need a Second Line - Day 1 of 4

R-O-A-D T-R-I-P!!!

Last minute summer adventure with my
friend, Nicola, and her three little people,
Trevor (9) - Abbey (7) - John (just about 2).

South Dakota, here we come!

Hooray for friends who have lived
in South Dakota and know the good spots!
Thanks, Ru, for all the hints! AND the drawn-to-scale map.
Napkin planning is the BEST!

HOORAY for the Dollar Store and happy bags that are
filled with joy so that long car rides can be made exciting. BOOYA!

I think the lei did this to Abbey.
That, or the fact that it's the color pink.
Just saying.

Sewing in the car, Abbey style.
I had my afghan to crochet (I know, you're jealous)
and Abs had her circle to complete.

Don't tell him it's supposed to be a wrist-band.

Our first bison! I mean, it was metal and all, but hey!
(And creepy sky. We chased, outran, and thankfully
avoided all major summer weather.)

WHAT is that on the front of their vehicle!?
Oh, dear. The peeps in Lusk are kinda scary.

Lunch in Lusk. The lady who processed our payment told us all about how they 'needed to get a second line because they hung up on someone the other day when they needed to process a credit card.'

Really? We're not really in THAT small-town America, are we?! Oy.
It would have been kind of charming.
Had the antlers not been attached to that car...

ALPACA. Life is good.

Booya! A new state for the Brenda.
(Technically, Wyoming was a new one, too!)

This was my sight when I peeked in between the seat and the headrest.

How cute CAN one little person be at 22 months!?
Yup. That cute.

Hill City, SD has some amusing pigs on it's main street...
Why? Not quite sure, but the kids loved them!

What you don't see pictured (whew!) are our nightly pool adventures! Abbey and Trev are Swim-MERS! Sheesh, those two are smart, fast, and really good in the water. Totally independent in a pool, aware of others, and fearless - in a good way!

I forgot how pools bring out kids' imagination and competitive spirit - in no time, we were setting (and breaking) pool records like how many times we can do underwater jumping jacks or how long we can hold our breath, etc.

There was enough chlorine in that pool to burn out one's corneas, and I'm rather surprised my hair isn't bright green, but it was an AWESOME way to end each evening!

I also forgot how exciting hotel rooms can be for kids.
Hair dryers in the walls ROCK!

Slow Turtle Crossing - Day 2 of 4

Unreal. I'm REALLY loving South Dakota.

We thought we'd get in free, but apparently there is this tiny
difference between National PARK and National MONUMENT.

Avenue of States leading to Mount Rushmore.

August 1, 1876. 38th state.
Just in case you were wondering.

Love that girl.

Mr. Independent and his incredibly patient mother.

Hey, George!

Thomas, looking good!

What's that Teddy? Feeling squished?

Abe. ABE. Over here.

There's that darling kid that keeps following us.

I was really there! SWEET!

I love the perspective on this one! AND, I would love to be there again when it's night AND when they are giving a concert in this outdoor amphitheater. TOO cool.

We were there!

Wait, this makes MY head actually look BIGGER than theirs...
(Each face is 60 feet tall - their eyes alone are 11 feet wide.)


I think there's GOLD in them thar hills!

Or a spade. In the cold, COLD water.

Crazy progress.
Apparently, in progress FOREVER.

Yo. Keeping it real, Trevor and Abbey style.
What the memorial lacked in actual completion, it made up for in the museum that was on the grounds. TONS of information about Native Americans and awesome artifacts everywhere.

We weren't allowed any closer to Crazy Horse.
Probably because they were working SO HARD on finishing it.
Sometime this century.

We're pretty sure all they've done is chisel and polish the face for the last 20+ years.

So THAT is what it's going to look like.

Almost there. NOT.

Now, I'm not a big fan of people who talk on their cell phones in the bathroom, and I'm even LESS of a fan of people who take pictures in the bathroom, but I just had to document the fact that these stalls were WAY tiny! I felt huge! Thankful it was just Abs and I and no one else in sight!

Objects in Mirror are MEANER than they appear!
Creepy motorcycle gang that tailgated us forever,
and then roared past! Sheesh! MOVE ON!

You KNOW I love my water! On the way to Custer State Park.

Love it.

I had JUST said to Abbey, "You know, we might only see a bird in the Park..."

and THEN...

MOTHER OF PEARL! It's our friend, Mr. Buffalo!!!! Um, YEAH - right in front of our car! We parked the car, rolled up the windows, and watched him just stroll past! Awesome and amazing!

Here's the video Nicola recorded while he walked right past us!
Here's what you can't see (but can sort of hear):
1. Trevor in the back seat, looking in awe at the giant beast.
2. John in the second seat, pointing silently, yet excitedly.
3. Abbey next to John, freaking out, but holding it together.
4. Brenda, feet pulled up on passenger seat, completely thrilled.
5. Nicola, narrating and taping the whole event, calm as can be!

WHOA! We were looking at dinosaur fossils the day before,
and this was just like one of them...with lots and lots of hair!

More live animals!

They were super close to the car - I felt like we were invading their space!
It was kind of like Jurassic Park, just waiting for the next LIVE animal to appear!

How did THAT get THERE!?

Oh, my....look at those eyes.

You know the part where they kept warning us NOT to approach the animals!? These people obviously ignored the rangers, because they were all over these mules/donkeys/whatever they were. Crazy peeps.

Hello, Storm. Glad to see you've caught up with us.

"Where the deer and the antelope randomly cross the road..."

South Dakota is simply amazing.

WHOA! Mr. Buffalo's big brother, Biff.
Doing his best to hide in the bushes nearby.

Um...what? There's enough of a slow-turtle crossing
problem to necessitate a sign!?
We didn't run over any, just for the record.

Our fearless driver, Nicola.

Pa-MEE-da, Pa-MY-da, PAMIDA!
Just for you, Greenwalds!

That's BU-glin' Bull.
Because if you read it too fast, it could say BULGE-ing Bull.
And that's just wrong.

And.....we're BACK TO THE POOL!