Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Surprise Vacation

This is our all time favorite vacation. Dad and I planned this trip but did not tell anyone – not the kids, not any family members – where we were going. We gave the kids maps and had them track our stops and make guesses about our destination. We drove for 2 ½ days – Maggie had it narrowed down to two places and one of them was right, but we didn’t confirm anything!


We drove straight up from Texas through Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska during Tornado season. I do not recommend this! As we traveled we heard weather reports of tornados hitting the areas the night before or storms approaching the next day. We personally did not see a drop of rain.

We first saw the Badlands. The best part about this National Park is that you can walk all over the place and touch the formations. We explored several hours on the way and on the way back. FRitW loved the “pinchy mountains”.









Next we found our cabin in Custer State Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota. We saw buffalo, mountain goats, Pronghorns, deer, and wild donkeys. But guess what the boys watched out the window all week? Tractors! Because we chose to travel on the first open week of the season, every place we visited was making repairs.






we rode a steam train



saw many angles of Mount Rushmore








"blew up" a few mountains - in the museum at Mount Rushmore, when you push the plunger a video of the carving of the mountain with explosive plays - The little guys loved this!


pinched a president's nose


drove the entire Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway with it’s piggytail bridges and tunnels hewn out of rock


played on the playground


sniffed pine trees - they smell like vanilla - seriously!



got our Junior Ranger Badges


and hung out around the cabin


It was cool and relaxing and quiet and the best part? The kids actually liked not knowing where we were going!



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