Family Vacation


Perfect Start To a Wonderful Vacation

It doesn’t seem possible that two weeks ago we were preparing for our Black Hills vacation. This was going to be the first time in years that my husband and I would be vacationing with our sons….and the first time ever vacationing with our daughter-in-laws and grandchildren.

It seems like the planning, since last Christmas, went on forever. Then there was this flurry of last minute planning and then wallah…..we were on the road and heading west.



As we came from three different locations; we arranged to meet at Chamberlain, South Dakota for a chance to group up and walk around a bit. Two of our sons and their families met us there.  If you have never been to the rest stop at Chamberlain; you really need to put it on your list of places to stop.

There is an amazing, huge, beautiful sculpture called Dignity. It is a sculpture of a native American woman and it is wonderful.

There is also a great visitor center with hands-on activity for the kids and kids at heart.


Grandpa and a couple grandkids

We then made our way to Wall, SD where we went through the Badlands National Park. This has always been a favorite for our family as anyone is allowed to scramble up the rocky hills…..another great place for the young and young at heart!

You do have to be a bit careful around the edges as the rock is very crumbly and some drop offs are a long long way down.

Wall Drug Backyard Splash Pad

The grandson enjoying the Wall Drug Backyard splash pad.

The day was very hot and it was a relief to cool off at Wall Drug and get our free glass of ice water. Even though it was hot, my husband had to have his nickel cup of coffee!

The grandkids all enjoyed the splash pad and ended up dripping wet. The youngest was not so sure about it once the water had shot right past his nose and landed on his head.

The next morning we met up with the middle son and his wife over a morning snack of the famous Wall Drug maple frosted donuts and that nickel cup of coffee. My husband loves to check for the day-old donuts as they are much cheaper that way! I really should have gotten a photo of those donuts….they are amazing.

We then headed on to the Hills; with a short stop at Ellsworth Air Force Base to check out the airplanes and the museum. It was a good place to let the kids run and it was easy to keep track of them all.


Mt. Rushmore

We journeyed on to Mt. Rushmore….or as my granddaughter called them….”the Fat Heads”. They are doing a lot of reconstruction right now at the heads and we had to hike the long way round in order to get close to them. I did not make it the entire way but the rest of our bunch did.

Little Red Inn

The Little Red Inn, Custer, SD

By the time we made it to our home for the next couple days it was a relief to just relax. We stayed at a place near Custer, SD called the Little Red Inn. It really felt like home, as the decor of the place had chickens!  How perfect was that? If you need a place to stay near Custer this is a wonderful place with lots of room to run. (I did not take this photo as I forgot to take one!  This is from their website….and no….I get zero kickbacks on this.)

We also celebrated the wedding anniversaries of two of our family. They were both married in July…thirteen years apart.

IMG_6214I went with my daughter-in-law to the Dairy Queen in Custer; to find an ice cream cake for the occasion.

We could not find an anniversary one but decided this one pretty much related to being married.  After all…..marriage can be a wild ride at times!

We spent part of our evenings playing the corn hole game. We played this as couples and held a tournament. My granddaughter named our teams without our input. We found out we had teams named: The Fairies, The Unicorns, The Mermaids and The Princesses. Fortunately the guys were pretty secure in their manliness.

I managed to talk our bunch into a group photo the night before they headed for home. It was not easy with little kids but we did manage to get one. It might not be perfect…but I decided…neither are we.


Family…..a true blessing

Our time spent with our children and grandchildren was indeed a blessing. I am not sure they realize how much those days meant to us….perhaps you have to be older to appreciate gathering and all being together, in the same place, at the same time.

It was a blessed time of making memories. It was a great time of game-playing, laughing, sight-seeing and just being together. Hopefully we can enjoy more times of the Fairies challenging the Mermaids at corn hole……

“Family is like music,
some high notes,
some low notes,
but always a beautiful song”



30 thoughts on “Family Vacation

  1. says:

    How exciting to spend this time with family and extended family. Usually it’s hard to get everyone together at the same time. I guess you have to plan ahead.

    Liked by 2 people

    • thechickengrandma says:

      We did a couple nights at the Little Red Inn as their Christmas present. They chose from 3 places and then we picked the date. It actually was set before Christmas already! And yes…it was hard to even get a few days! My husband and I stayed a few days longer.


    • peggyjoan42 says:

      Oh Faye what a lovely trip of a lifetime with your family. I have never been to see the “The Fat Heads” as your granddaughter called them. Ha Hope to do that someday. The cake looked great, bet it was delicious. Liked your family photo.

      Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      Lar and I were the Fairies and we won the tournament……however, my middle son challenged us to a rematch and we lost so I think we are not quite ready to turn pro.
      The Black Hills and the Badlands are my husbands all time favorite vacation place.

      Liked by 1 person

      • says:

        sweet-we did an in house vacation last year at Jennys”!! I loved it. For a little while, things were as they used to be, for I miss when we were all together. We are a happy lot and get along well. Plan your vacation! love Michele

        Liked by 1 person

  2. lindasschaub says:

    I always envy people with family ties and who have reunions, like Kate Crimmons or all the family get togethers that Anne Mehrling has. As a person living alone and with no family, you cannot imagine just how blessed you are.


    • thechickengrandma says:

      I am not familiar with Kate Crimmons but I know Anne Merhling! Her family ties are amazing. I envy her those ties also. I have family but they are all so busy and it is rare I can get them all in the same place at the same time. When we do, it is indeed a blessing.
      I will pray you can find a family to “adopt” you :). My folks and siblings and I tend to invite others to our family events and they become family….to the point they are at our birthday celebrations and holiday celebrations.

      Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I know Anne was excited to be meeting you this past Summer during her and John’s whirlwind trip. I have told Anne many times that I envy her relationship with family members, especially her grandsons. I don’t often have good things to say about millennials, or even kids recently graduated from high school. They are generally (not always) self-absorbed, rude, and trying to carry a conversation with them … well, it is non-existent in my opinion. Both Nathaniel and David are exceptional – they are a breath of fresh air.

        Liked by 1 person

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