Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Vacation review--Mt Rushmore and the Black Hills

I think everyone loved our time in the Black Hills and at Mt Rushmore.  It was so beautiful!  We were very impressed with Mt Rushmore, but if you asked my kids what their favorite part was of the whole trip--the evening lighting ceremony was a big favorite.  It was very inspiring.  So if you plan a trip to Rushmore, go during the day, see it, drive around the area and then be sure and come back in the evening for the lighting ceremony.  It is not to be missed!  
We took the 'scenic' route to Rushmore which was gorgeous and had these amazing tunnels through these huge rocks.  They were one car at a time tunnels and very rough on the inside.  They were cool.

On the scenic drive they had overlooks where you could see Mt Rushmore.  Cool.

This was one of the neatest overlooks.  Don't miss it.  

Amazing views.  Mt Rushmore is on the right in the back mountains--the lighter place in the rock face.

Lots of fun places to see and explore.

Another cool tunnel and bridge on the way to Rushmore.

The walkway of flags entering Rushmore.

It was a cool place to visit.  Be sure and see the movie of how they made it.

They have a President's walk that lets you get closer.

All that rock you see below is what they chipped and blasted away to make the sculpture.  You can still see chisel marks on some.

After we left Mt Rushmore we went to Custer State Park and did their Wildlife loop road.  We saw lots of animals, but by far the favorite was the herd of buffalo we saw.  The kids screamed when we saw them in the car :)

There were mama's and their babies.  Pretty amazing.  Those things are big!  Warning--do not feed buffalo :)

Then we went on another scenic drive called the 'Needles' road because of these needles rock here.  It was awesome.

And on that road they have this crazy long narrow tunnel that almost gave me a panic attack to drive through ( I was driving at the time)  The picture does not do it justice!

Then the evening lighting ceremony.  Don't miss it.

And then this is the Crazy Horse sculpture near by.  We didn't go in.  You could see it from the road.  

I checked out this book from the library before we left.  It has the scenic routes all around Mt Rushmore, the Black Hills and the Badlands plus around Yellowstone and such.  It was a great resource to have before the trip.  

Tomorrow--Family Reunion!!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Vacation Review--Rapid City, South Dakota

Rapid City, South Dakota is a fun place.  It is the "City of the Presidents" because downtown on every corner in a certain area there is a statue of every President of the United States from George Washington to George W. Bush.  My girls had a lot of fun posing with each one--there were 40.  Mr J didn't last that long, but the girls enjoyed it.  Don't worry, I didn't put all 40 pictures on here, but just a few.  Enjoy!
If you have ever been anywhere in South Dakota, then I think you have seen a sign for Wall Drug.  After driving along I-90 across the whole state we had seen about 100 of them, so we had to go see what this was all about.  It is a big, big store with just about everything.  Kind of fun and a nice stop along the way.

Ben was our master packer of the van,which he had to unpack and repack way too many times.  Bless his heart!  He is a pro at it!

So onto the City of the Presidents.  This is the statue of Lincoln with his son 

Miss E and James Madison

Truman and the girls.

Can't remember. . .but Miss E liked playing with the birds with him.

Can't remember either, but his hat was cool.

Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence.  The girls thought that was pretty neat.

Me and George Washington--my favorite.

I think this was Nixon :)

And then George W. Bush.  Love the thumbs up, and he was carrying his dog. 

It was a fun walk.  The statues were designed to be 'interactive' so perfect photo shoots.  There were several others getting all the photos like us.  

Tomorrow Mt Rushmore and the Black Hills National Forest.  Have a great day!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Vacation review--Badlands national park

It has been a crazy 2 1/2 weeks.  Vacations are awesome.  I love them, but coming home--re-entry--is hard.  We are just now getting all the laundry done and getting situated back into our summer routine.  We enjoyed a great time on our vacation--saw several National Parks--which we love!  If you need a great vacation--go to a National Park!!  We had an amazing family reunion in the middle and had some great times together with just our immediate family before and after.  We drove 3,740 miles!!!!  So grateful for our new van which was wonderful to travel in!  Thank heavens for DVD players and headphones!  Ben and I sure enjoyed it when the kids watched movies and we could talk in the quiet van!  So this week I will be posting every day different places we went.  Today--Badlands National Park in South Dakota.  Enjoy!
Badlands National Park is one of the smaller parks, but it is not to be missed.  South Dakota is a beautiful state, and we got to see a lot of it as we drove from one side to the other.  The landscape changes so much from one side to the other.  It is truly beautiful!

Gorgeous!

Lots of fun!

The girls thought this sign was cool??!!  Me, not so much.


Lots of fun places to hike around.

Be queen of the mountain

Find a hobbit hole :)

Really be queen of the mountain

Beautiful green mixed in with the rocks.


Beautiful yellow flowers

Awe-inspiring views

I thought we were in Iceland or something here--gorgeous!




What an amazing and beautiful place this earth of ours is!  So thankful to our Heavenly Father who made it for us!  We are so blessed!

See you tomorrow for Rapid City, South Dakota!


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

vacation

Have been on vacation the last two weeks and re-entry is crazy.  Here is just a glimpse of what we did.  Will show more next week.  Have a good one!