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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Rapid City, South Dakota

After we left Colorado, we drove straight to Rapid City, SD.
There was some major drama at the hotel.
After calling multiple times through the night letting them know we wouldn't be there until about 2am it did in fact give our room away.  We were booked into the Presidential Suite so when they finally 'accommodated' us by squeezing us into the smallest hotel room I've ever seen and V slept on the floor we were less than rested the following morning.  

Either way, we had a great time in South Dakota!
Our first stop, Bear Country U.S.A.

The kids love driving through there.

Some take it very seriously.

And some just want to enjoy the ride!

It is amazing to watch bears walk right up to our cars!

Christian was beyond intrigued.

After a while Victoria put her seatbelt on and drew bears instead of watching them.

Teddy wanted to see the bears too!

Christian just loved it.
He could have spent all day there!

We went straight over to Reptile Gardens next.
We watched the alligator show for the first time.
We learned a ton about gators. 
The kids still say some of the facts they learned.

They got to touch a baby alligator too.
I've always been deathly afraid of alligators and has zero interest in touching one.

Apparently when they get really big someone else gets afraid too!

This bad boy was in a James Bond movie.

Apparently they aren't too comfortable around humungous 
boa constrictors either!

This is the kid who loves turtles more than anything.
She warmed up to this 70+ year old Galapagos quickly, 
however, I was surprised she was nervous at all.
The previous year there was one what was 120+ years old and it died about six months before we came back.  They had a whole playland dedicated to it.

In a burrow of the Prairie Dog den.

My very own alligator wrestler:-)

The LOVED sluicing for gemstones.
I'm so glad we stopped and let them do it this year.
They still have their 'gems' and talk about doing it again next year.

After Victoria meticulously did hers she dropped it at the last second and her finds started running down stream quickly.
Daddy saved the day and put his big hand in their and captured most of them.

She's not letting go again!

Proud of his arrowheads he discovered!

While we were out for the day the hotel get everything straightened away and decided to give us the Presidential Suite that night along with a fruit basket and other goodies.
We hadn't planned on spending the night again, but we couldn't resist.

We spent some time at the pool.

And then relaxed while watching a show about - what else - 

The next morning we headed over to Mount Rushmore.
This is the third or fourth time I've seen it.
Let me tell you, it doesn't change one bit.
Seen it once seen it a million times. 
Now that Victoria can remember seeing it too, she wasn't too impressed either.
Never mind we'd been vacationing for a solid week sleeping at all different places and the kids were beyond exhausted.  Like, sit down on the ground and cry exhausted.
I thought about doing it too, but I knew we'd get even more stares then!

Don't they look thrilled?
Christian is pinching her and she began screaming about 1 second after that picture was taken.

I laugh when I see this picture.  We were over on a secluded set of stairs giving Christian a time out when this old guy walks over and asks if we want him to take our picture.
Sure, why not?!

On our way back to Minnesota.

We sure crammed a lot of excitement into those 10 days.
We talk about road tripping to Colorado
all the time.  

Everyone is excited to show Baby all the fun stuff we like to do there!

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