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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I 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.
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”