Today was day four of our drive. We have made it to Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
The first day we went from Mukilteo to Coeur D Alene Idaho, we did it in eight hours. I didn't leave my parents house until ten. I have a sneaking suspicion that my dad was doing everything he could to delay our departure. I actually made it to Issaquah to stop and get gas before I realized I had left my wallet at my parents house. Sooo, my dad had to bring it to me. The rest of the day went with out incident. When we got to Idaho I noticed that everyone was in Cammies and missing teeth. Kind of creeped me out. The camp wasn't too nice either. Not as nice as they portrayed in their website. Half of the toys were under water and there was an incredible amount of mud. But it was really quiet and lovely in the mountains.
Day two brought us to Billings Montana. Seriously the most beautiful part of the country I have ever seen. I want to live there. I want to drive back there now. That day we were in the car for almost 13 hours. Long drive through the Rockies. But it was just gorgeous so I didn't mind.
Day three we ended up in Rapid City, South Dakota. Total tourist trap. But I love it. That means lots of stuff for the kids and me to choose from. We got the trailer unloaded and unhitched and then headed up to Mt Rushmore. They both fell asleep as I was driving up the mountain. Bear woke up right away but Bug needed a few more minutes of sleep and dozed in the stroller. Bear was amazed with the faces and could name three of the four right off the bat. We hiked around a bit and then got some ice cream. We then walked into the gift shop and met a man who had worked on the faces. He was like 140 years old. It was pretty cool talking to him. Then the kids met a local author who signed some books that he had written and illustrated for them. We then headed back down the mountain to one of the coolest things I have ever done. It was a drive through wild animal park. There were elk, wolves, reindeer, long horned sheep, mountain goats, black bears, and buffalo. All walking around free in their own habitats. We had a bear walk about a foot from the Jeep. I was a little nervous, the kids thought it was great. Then at the end, you get out of your car and go see all of the babies that were born there. That was incredible. There were about 30 bear cubs all playing and nuzzling and licking others ears. At the end, there was a man in a bear costume. He was sitting on a bench very still. Bug saw him and took off running. She got about four feet away and he moved to greet her and she realized he wasn't just a stuffed bear. She freaked out. Screamed bloody murder and flew back to me. I think it startled the bear a little bit. She wouldn't even walk near him to get to the car, but once she was at a safe distance, she very politely turned around and called out, "bye bear" through her continued sobbing. Since you can't pet any of the animals there, we went to a petting farm that had every animal under the sun. Bug went wild, that child loves animals. We did pony rides and sat with cows being bottle bed. Then we were walking around a herd of sheep, big sheep came running past us, I grabbed the kids in close because these guys were huge. They were full grown and at least up to my hip. I thought it was a little odd that they would let such large animals out and about. Bear and Bug got to pet one of them, then it took off. They ran around for a few minutes scaring children and turkeys. Then some dude comes running over and herds them all into a pen. Turns out another family had let them out. The son had been climbing on the fence, fell into the trough and while getting him out, they let the sheep out. It made for a few minutes of excitement. We then hung out with the goats. Bug had a blast. Bear did too until we tried to feed them and the mommies all started head butting each other. Noah was reminded of a Little House episode with a goat that headbutted people bending over. He informed me he was not going to be caught bending over in there. We got back to the trailer with enough time for a walk, dinner and bedtime routine.
I slept in this morning until four thirty. Every other morning I have been up at three with us underway at three thirty. Yes, I just said underway. Some things never leave you. :)
We were in the car for eight hours today. And had a time change in there too somewhere. We saw the badlands and that was about it. We saw a lot of grass. And some more grass. South Dakota is pretty, just kind of flat. The place we stopped at was fun. It is a Jellystone park so they have a man in a Yogi Bear costume walking around. Once again Bug flipped out. I don't know what happened from Santa last year to the Easter Bunny this year.
Tomorrow we should end up in Illinois. So far everything has been going great. No major problems, knock on wood. Kids have been doing great. Gas mileage sucks though. But this is so much easier than shoving everything in the Jeep and then toting it into a hotel every night to pack it back up in the morning. This is the way to road trip. And all of the people that we have met so far have been awesome. The kids are just talking to everyone and being little social butterflies.
And I know what I want for my birthday. At this park they have a pillow jumping thing that is the size of six gymnast style trampolines. I watched the kids this afternoon run around on it while I took pictures. I then decided to give it a whirl. I think we were up there for another hour. I could not stop laughing. I was jumping so high that I was launching the kids into the air. I have not had that much fun in a long time. We had so much fun that we went back tonight after dinner and smores to jump some more before bed. I would tear down my house in order to install one of these things. I might just have to break down and get a trampoline.
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