Saturday, May 30, 2009

Beware of the Bears.....

CAUTION!!!!! This is a very long post! I am sorry, but we had so much fun I wanted to share it all with you.

I have learned something about myself: I am horrible at this blogging thing. How is it that I don't have a few minutes to update this?? Anyway, I am sure much has happened since February, but at this point, I can't think of much. I have this new goal that we will visit each state in the U.S. before I am too old to travel. So each year we will try to visit a new place. (Next year will be the D.C. area to pick up Jar!!!!) Anyway, this year we picked South Dakota. We decided to drive....what a long trip that is! 10 and a half hours in a car with two boys was quite interesting. We need a stretch limo in order to give them some space from each other. Sometimes they can be such good buddies and then the next second, BAM they are fighting. I can't figure out how to stop it! Anyway back to the subject. We made sure to get a hotel with an indoor swimming pool, because that is always Breydon and Connor's favorite part about vacation.....swimming. Weirdos.

Because we left Friday morning at 3 am we got to South Dakota around 1:30, had lunch, checked into our hotel, and first words out of their mouths....."Can we go swimming?" So since we were tired, we decided to just hang out and swim. Those of you who know Connor can probably guess what he wanted for dinner. Right, Pizza. In the small town of Custer, where we stayed, there are 3 places to eat....Subway, Dairy Queen and Pizza Hut. I know, big selection. There are a few steak houses that we tried later in the trip...horrible. I would not suggest eating at Cattleman's in Custer. Ryan had been to one in Texas and said it was super nice and delicious. Not the case in South Dakota. Must have been a different Cattlemans.

Breydon laid his head on the table and went to sleep, but Ryan and Connor finished our pizza for us.

Saturday was our site-seeing day, so we went up to Mount Rushmore. I have seen many pictures of it, and have never really thought much of it. It is honestly one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. Breydon, being his usual smart self, was rattling of stats for us. One of the presidents, I can't remember which one, has something like a 21 foot nose and a 18 foot mouth. It is really extraordinary. Here are some pictures, but they really don't do the mountain justice.

After a few hours here at Mt. Rushmore, we headed over to Bear Country. It was super fun. It is crazy, there are bears just pacing in front of your car. A bear kind of jumped up and put its front paws on the hood of a car just ahead of us. I would have freaked out if that happened to us! Anyway, here are a few pictures of the animals here.

This must be where Santa's reindeer go during the summer months!

This guy was just loungin' by the road next to our car. Pretty cool.

I wish we could have gotten a better picture of this guy, but he was kind of in an awkward place where we couldn't get a good shot. He was sitting right on his butt with his back legs right out in front of him. It was funny, he looked like someone sitting on the floor watching TV or something.

He was pacing right in front of our car. And he was only one of maybe five or ten bears that were surrounding our car at that moment. They are all throughout the park. Am I normal? I just found this to be so exciting. The boys were loving it also.

There is a baby section in bear world also that was fun. Breydon took this picture of a baby bear. After Bear Country we headed over to Rushmore Cave. I was not that excited about it. I thought it would be lame, plus it is far underground and that scared me a little bit too. It turned out to be pretty neat. I have never seen so many stalactites. Actually, I have only ever seen them in books and pictures, and those don't do them any justice. They are really cool. I will put some pictures here, but like I said the pictures (especially mine) don't do them any justice. They are amazing, and I would recommend this cave to anyone.
While we were waiting for our tour to begin, we walked around the gift shop. It's hard to tell but Connor has a Jackelope hat on and Breydon a raccoon hat. I wanted a picture, and leave it to Breydon to "hunt" Connor! You can kind of see the opening to the cave behind and to the right of Connor. It goes very deep and is HUGE!
There were some tight squeezes and low ceilings but we made it through.
Can you see the pig snout right above Connor's head? They called this "room" the cartoon room. There were all kinds of characters in this room. Daffy Ducks feet, Minnie Mouse's bow, Donkey from was pretty fun.

Stalactites. Like I said, pictures do not give justice.

Ok...I am going to try to wrap this up. I took 814 (no exaggeration) pictures on this trip. It is very difficult for me to only put a few up here. We just had so much fun, and I think my family is so cute, I can't seem to help myself!

After Rushmore cave we were all pretty tired and it was time for dinner so we headed back to eat and, guess what else?............... Swim!

Sunday it was a bit rainy but we decided to venture out since it was our last day to enjoy South Dakota. We went to a place called Reptile Gardens. It was a fun place. The boys really enjoyed it. There were all kinds of nasty snakes, spiders, cockroaches, alligators, etc. that freaked me out. They enjoyed my "girliness" too....they made fun of me pretty much the entire time.

There was this cobra that absolutely hated Connor. Each time he walked by the cobra would flare out his skin by his face like they do and dart towards the glass. I can't figure out what it was about Connor, but it's a good thing he was in an enclosure, because Connor would have been dinner. I can't seem to get that picture to upload, so you don't get to see the angry cobra. Sorry, I'm sure your disappointed; especially since there are not enough pictures of this trip already!

Making friends with some kind of lizard.

They have a crocodile/alligator show where this man was in the crocodile enclosure, pulled out an alligator and wrestled it. It was so much fun.
Can you see their excitement?

"Fishing" for the perfect croc to wrestle with.

"I caught one! I caught one!"

I wish you could see that surrounding this guy is about 100 crocodiles and alligators. As he is wrestling this one, all the others are poking their heads out of the water and just creeping closer and closer. I don't know how this guy does this! I was freaking out and I was sitting in safety on the bleachers!

Time for dinner.

Anyway, they also had a bird show and a snake show. The snake show was pretty lame, but the boys really liked it. We really had a good time up there and I would recommend this trip. It was a lot of fun, and very relaxing. The weather at this time of year was perfect for the boys, a little chilly for me, but with a jacket it was great!

Sorry this is so long! I would have kept going on and on, but I have spent too much time already on this one post, and you have probably spent too much time reading it. I hope you at least enjoyed the pictures! Love ya


....Kristi.... said...

I am glad you guys had so much fun! Love the pics!

Pilar Schmidt said...

Looks like a fun vacation! So glad you updated your blog:)