Jotting down some things from our summer vacation 2009.
We started out on Friday, June 5 from home, picked up Carrie & Isaac in Anderson, and went to Buda, Illinois for the first night. We went to a little league baseball game and saw John, Ginny, Dave, Amber and their kids; went to Mark & Christine's; then spent the night at my parents house. They weren't home; they were already at my sisters.
Saturday morning we left for my sisters in Annandale, MN. We went there for my nephew Kevin's high school graduation party. It rained almost the entire way there - raining hardest on I-35 heading into Minneapolis. And, when we came into Minneapolis our exit from I-35 to I-494 was closed. It said to "follow detour", but we never did see any detours for our road. So Jane got out the atlas. We went right downtown, and finally connected to I-94, then 394, and then finally found 494 which took us to rt. 55 to get us to Annandale.
It was funny, because somewhere on 55 they have big dots painted on the road, and you're supposed to leave 2 dots between cars so you don't follow too closely. I had never seen that before.
When we got to Annandale, which took us 8 hours, we checked into our hotel, then called my parents. They were at a local eatery with my dads brother and his wife and some friends from back home. So we went to the restaurant for supper too. There was only one waitress, so we waited FOREVER. But she was nice, and we had nothing better to do. We finally got our chicken, and we headed to my sisters house. We spent the rest of the night putting up decorations for the party the next day.
On Sunday we went to my sisters little UM church. It was a great service. The pastor (Marilee something) gave an excellent missional type sermon. It was the first time I had heard her preach, though I think the third time I had been there. There piano player was also quite good. She ended up serving the food at my nephews open house. And when I met the pastor later, the first thing she said is, "Oh, you're the blogger." You just never know who reads your blog. :)
After church we went to Subway for lunch, and went to the open house around 2 pm. We spent most of the rest of the day and night at my sisters house at the open house. I ate a lot of carrots, radishes, and celery.
Monday morning we got up and left at 8 am. It took us just over an hour to get back to Minneapolis. We took the kids to the airport and they flew back to Indianapolis via Chicago O'Hare. After dropping them off Jane and I got back on 35 and headed south until I-90, then we headed west to South Dakota. It rained probably until we got to Sioux City.
The roads were long and straight through most of South Dakota. We stopped at some hole in the wall for lunch and gas, and once at a nice rest area near Chamberlin (or something). Then we stopped at Wall Drug in Wall (and also got gas). I had been here before, and kinda liked this place. We bought a few souveniers, and headed on. We had planned to stop near Rapid City, but we already had a room booked in Deadwood, and we weren't too tired yet, so we went on to Deadwood, SD. Wow, it got kinda hilly all of a sudden. And once we got off the interstate the road was really windy and hilly. We finally found our way into Deadwood, and it's like it's in a hole in the hills. I'm a bit clostrophobic, so the hills took awhile for me to get used to. It is pretty darn cool around here though. Beautiful scenery. Deadwood is a neat little town. I didn't realize it was a gambling place. Our hotel, as well as just about every other place on mainstreet, has a casino. I know absolutely nothing about gambling, and don't really care to find out. My personality is too addictive, and that would probably not be a good thing to start.
We checked into our room at the Holiday Inn Express, right on mainstreet, and found us something to eat. We couldn't figure out how things worked, as we couldn't find the restaurants, only casinos. Apparently the restaurants are either upstairs or in the back of the casinos. Whatever. We should have stayed in Sturgis or Spearfish. But you live and learn. Anyway, we walked around a bit, and turned in early (around 10 pm). Thirteen hours on the road was way more than I was anticipating. My back didn't hurt near as back as I was expecting it to, but I was beat.
We slept in a little on Tuesday, and decided to head on down to Mt. Rushmore. It was a rather rainy, foggy morning, but we had nothing else to do. On the way we stopped at Bear Country USA. You drive through and see elk, bear, wolves, and all kinds of other animals. It was okay. Then we headed to Rushmore. It was really foggy, but the rain had let up. We finally arrived, paid our $10 to park, walked in and couldn't figure out where the heads were. It turns out they were behind the fog. We finally did get to see them a little bit. So we headed back home. On the way home it started raining like crazy, but by the time we got back to Deadwood it had cleared off.
Tonight we drove over to a fellow blogger's house. We had a really nice evening meeting Grace and her husband and boys. I was a little nervous since we have only "met" online, but it turned out being a good time (at least we thought it was). We stayed way too late, and I poked along in the black hills trying to find our way back to our room.
Before we got back to our room Jane and I tried playing a slot machine. I don't know if we did it right, but we put a dollar in a quarter machine, hit some buttons, and then it quit making noise. So I guess we lost. Just as well.
Now it's time for bed, and tomorrow we will head to Loveland, Colorado and stay with Jane's brother for a few days.
peace out; and in.