Hey there! My Fly on the Wall friends just posted yesterday, but I wasn’t organized to sign-up in advance to participate. After reading the group’s posts, I thought I would join in with my own post. Better late than never, right?
For more Fly on the Wall, hop on over to this writing challenge founder’s blog: Baking in a Tornado.
South Dakota Vacation
We ventured to South Dakota during summer, and had an awesome time! It was a great family destination for our 5 and 7 year old kids. Before we went, my 5 year old son asked, “Do they speak English in South Dakota?”
On our drive from Sioux Falls to Desmet, our kids decided to make a honking sound whenever they saw an animal. This continued throughout the entire week. Sigh. Fortunately, there are open fields for long stretches where you don’t see much at all, like this:
View of the prairie from the Ingalls Homestead in Desmet, SD.
The drive up to Desmet from Sioux Falls though beautiful, went through a quite rural part of the state. The population density is quite low in much of South Dakota, so I told Daddy O., “If we ever want to live off the grid, we can move out here!”
When driving past the many farms and lush green fields, my son observed, “I bet that farmer has 5 green thumbs.”
We could almost picture what it must have been like for the first settlers in the 1800’s who arrived here. The Ingalls Visitor Center consists of the Ingalls homestead, a sod house, shanty, church, barn and one-room classroom. We even rode on a covered wagon and learned about what life was like for the Ingalls family. We were struck by the extreme quiet of the land: no sounds of planes or cars zooming by on nearby roads, simply the sounds of the wind rushing through the prairie grasses. Beautiful.
We were excited to see bison, but just saw a lot of cattle, especially on the eastern part of the state. My daughter explained, “The cows are all black, and the bison are chocolate colored.” Can you tell we like desserts?
See, they are chocolate colored! Bison at Custer State Park
We drove the wildlife loop road at Custer State Park, and having been in the car for at least an hour, our kids asked, “Can we watch a show (on our portable DVD player)?”
“No!” I said, “Nature is your show. Look out your window!” So many amazing views:
Top left: a baby burro paid us a visit on the Wildlife Loop, top right: view of the Cathedral Spires, Bottom left: Stockade Lake, bottom right: bison along the road out of Custer State Park
The Black Hills
When we arrived in Rapid City, I said, “Look, kids, the Black Hills. Aren’t they pretty?”
My son’s response, “They look gray.”
View of the Black (gray) Hills from Mt. Rushmore
In Rapid City, we enjoyed an awesome meal and beverages at Firehouse Brewery. We sat in a covered outdoor area (fortunately) and watched a major rain and hail storm come down. The food and beer were delicious – a welcome change from the fast food we had on the trip out to Rapid City. The company was nice too with everyone getting along, and I remarked to Daddy O., “This feels like a date night, except we have our kids along.” He replied, “It’s like our marriage is one long date-night.” Awh….
Hitting the Road
I have memories of my own family vacations as a kid, and we would wake up EARLY, maybe around 5am to get a jump on a day of long driving. I have not been able to replicate this timing for my family much to my dismay.
One morning after sleeping in, my daughter said, “Waking up early for me was unsuccessful.”
This happened on most days, and I just had to go with it. Oh well…
Best for Last
I was talking about the errands I ran during the week, talking about the things I picked up at a grocery store in a quick stop.
My son chimed in and said, “Wow, Mom, you work hard.”
“Yes, dear, why yes I do! Thank you!” He got a big hug for saying that!
Hope you all are hearing sweet things like that in your home too!
Have a great day all! Thanks for stopping by.
Now check out more Fly on the Wall posts, starting with Baking in a Tornado.