Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Going back to work after you’ve taken a week’s long vacation sucks donkey balls!! We got home Saturday night about 10pm and I haven’t had a decent nights sleep yet. Evidently I like hotel beds more than my own now. Anywho here is a recap of our vacation highlights.

We spent Wednesday night at a Best Western in Custer, NE. We all got a good nights sleep and woke up bright and early (too early supposedly for my 13 year old step son Sir Grouchy) grabbed the hotels free breakfast and headed over to the Flintstones Theme Park. This I think was my favorite part of the trip. The last time I went on vacation to South Dakota a little over a decade ago the Flintstones had been shut down. So I was totally excited that it was open and looked great. We paid our entrance fee to a very friendly guy and decided to hop on the little train that took you on a quick tour of the theme park first. I think the guy running the little train was older than Moses but he gave out good candy and slowed down while going past all of the kiddy things. After that we hoofed it around Bedrock City to see the Flintstone and Rubble houses and the rest of the town. This would have gone a lot faster if Little Guy wouldn’t have been making me take his picture at every fricken place there was! A few pictures are good, but he wanted way too many. After we were done touring Bedrock we went over to the playground and let Little Guy and Sir Grouchy goof off for a bit. Lily played on a few of the slides and a little play train. After we’d given the kids time to wind down we made our way to the gift shop where I succumbed to one of my biggest weaknesses…Rocks.

I love rocks. The polished gem stone really cool kind. In my 8th grade science class my teacher actually admitted that I knew more about rocks and there formations etc. and let me teach that part of the class. So I was in heaven when I saw the bin in the middle of the gift shop where you pay a couple of dollars for all of the rocks you can shove into a tiny pouch. They didn’t have the best selection but I picked through everything and found some of my faves. I bought pouches for the kids too and bought my step dad a golf ball with Fred Flintstone on it. Which I have still forgotten to give to him.

After the Flintstones we hopped in the car and tootled down the road about 30 miles to Mt. Rushmore. The Crazy Horse mountain monument was on our way and we could see it from the highway. We opted not to go there since neither the Hubby nor I were very impressed with it when we saw it as kids. They’ve been blasting the thing since 1948 and the only thing they have done is a whole blasted where the arm will be and the face is done. The face was done 10 years ago. As we were driving past it Sir Grouchy turned into Tweedle Dee and asked who/what Crazy Horse was etc… Now I am a history buff and have a great memory for history, but even if I didn’t I still would have known this answer. This led me to ask him “What have you been learning in school?!”. So I explained it all to him and after I did so he proclaimed that he thought that it was stupid and Native American history is stupid. I thought about dropping him off at the nearest reservation and let him repeat that, but I decided to be a kindler gentler person and kept my mouth shut. Actually I think it was actually my fear of driving off a mountain that shut me up. I love the mountains; I think they’re beautiful etc. But I hate driving on the highways in the mountains. I have this huge fear that our brakes will fail, that we’ll drive off a cliff etc. Maybe it would be different if I were the one driving and not just a passenger. I chose not to find out. In my nervousness I ate my hot dog, the Hubby’s French fries, and Little Guys chicken sandwich. Fortunately for the Hubby that was enough food to keep me quiet until we got to Mt. Rushmore. I think I let out a few squeals and grabbed the oh shit handles, but all in all I didn’t completely freak out on him.

We didn’t spend a whole lot of time at Mt. Rushmore though. It was a rainy day and it was starting to come down pretty good when we got up to the viewing stations. So we went through the visitors center and saw some of the information on the history behind Mr. Rushmore, the artist etc. This is where Tweedle Dee completed his final transformation into Tweedle Dumb. As we were wandering around this is the conversation that ensued:

Tweedle Dumb: “Ok. Who all is on Mt. Rushmore? There’s Washington, Lincoln and….Roosevelt…who’s the other guy?”

Me(with a look of horror on my face): Thomas Jefferson

Tweedle Dumb: “Why’s he up there?”

Me: “He was a President and he penned the Declaration of Independence.”

Tweedle Dumb: “What does that mean?”

Me(in a very exasperated tone): “He wrote it! What are they teaching you in school?! Little Guy even knew most of that and he just finished Kindergarten!!”

How my step son has made it to the 7th grade I will never understand. I mean it’s one thing to just not be good with history, but with stuff like this it’s just not right. I mean hasn’t he ever watched National Treasure. You’d think some of that might have sunk in.

So that was how our trip to Mt. Rushmore ended and we headed on our way to The Cosmos. If you’re not familiar with the little rickety cabins that seem to defy nature Google them. I’m too lazy to put up a link (or I don’t know how take your pick). This was the only thing that hadn’t changed a lot in the past decade. The only thing that really had changed was that I understood it and it was much cooler to me as a kid. We took the tour which was an interesting feat for someone of my clumsy stature. The tour was pretty uneventful. Our children all behaved unlike other peoples children whom I wanted throw down and out of the cabin. I was happy to be back on level ground after it was all over.

We then finished getting to Rapid City. We got a hotel room and went to Reptile Gardens. This was quite a bit of fun because it was basically a zoo. Granted a zoo of snakes and alligators but it was still fun. I learned that Tweedle Dumb completely hates snakes and he freaked out a few times because he mistook statues for real ones. It was quite amusing. Yet again we took lots of pictures and went through the gift shop. Where I feel in love with the largest amethyst geodes you have ever seen!! But I didn’t have $8000.00 to pay for them and it didn’t look feasibly possible to shop lift them. :P So the Hubby pushed me out of the gift shop and we spend Friday shopping and hanging out at our hotel.

I actually bought a swimsuit and went swimming. Granted I thought the swimsuit was a little too revealing in the cleavage department but we were the only ones down there and Lily loved being able to swim with her Mommy. Actually, I think that was my favorite part of the trip. Swimming with my little water Lily. 

Well I will end this post now since I’ve bored you all to tears and I really should be working. TTFN!!

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