Tuesday, July 15, 2014

South Dakota Road Trip

This past Friday Erika, Dave, and me left for South Dakota for the weekend. I finally got done babysitting at about 12:30 am and we left at 1:00 in the morning. We headed straight for Badlands National Park about a 7.5 hour drive from here. Dave drove first and when we were in Wyoming we hit some really intense fog. We were in the middle of nowhere so it was super dark and the fog was so thick you literally couldn't see 10 feet in front of the car. It was crazy. We finally got out of that and then I drove, then a couple hours later Erika took over and I passed out so hard and when I woke up we were entering the Badlands.

The first overlook we reached. It was a little chilly and cloudy but that did not last long

We stopped at the visitors center to change and freshen up and then went to hike up this mountain that gave an awesome view of the park.

us sittin on top of the mountain

the highest point in this pic below is where we are sitting in the above pic

Then we did a couple of other easy hikes that gave pretty but really different views from the first hike we did. It's like a mini Grand Canyon. And really dry. There was no water to be seen anywhere down in the canyons.
Erika and me chillin on the edge with Lil Leo and Lil Donnie. 
You can't really tell in the pic but there was a drop off where our feet were hanging down

Beware of rattlesnakes signs were everywhere but we never saw any (thankfully!)

After enjoying the views and taking lots of pics we decided to head out to Rapid City where we were going to stay in a hotel for the night.

Right after the park exit we started seeing billboards for Wall Drug. About ice cream and donuts and all this crazy stuff and Erika said when she was driving and Dave and me were sleeping there were a ton of signs about it so we decided we had to see what all the fuss was about.

So in the middle of this little old town where you feel like you've stepped back in time theres Wall Drug Drugstore. But not just a drugstore, an arcade, ice cream shop, donut shop, gift shop, with a cafe and everything. Oh, and can't forget the giant jackalope outside.

Erika sitting on it

They had both of our names! Spelled right and everything. That almost NEVER happens.
We still didn't buy them though :)

We also had homemade confetti cake ice cream and it was seriously the best ice cream ever. 

Then we headed about an hour away to Rapid City. We found our hotel and then went to eat at Fuddruckers which Dave was super excited about. They used to have one in Colorado close to us and it closed but he's told me how good it is so when we saw they had one we of course had to eat there. I am so glad we did it was sooo delicious.

A pic of my delicious meal. Those grilled onions on my burger were amazing. And they had hot nacho cheese sauce which was amazing on the fries. MMM. I want it again like right now.

After dinner(which we ate at like 4:30) we were sitting at the table talking about different license plates and then got on the subject of state capitols and started naming states and trying to remember the capitols for them. We were pretty horrible at it and we were delirious cuz we were so tired so we were laughing our faces off and of course Erika and me laughed so hard we started crying. It happens a lot :)  

We got back to the hotel and went to sleep at like 7 and it felt so good to sleep in a bed. Woke up before 6 Sunday morning and slowly got ready and headed to Mount Rushmore. We stopped by Hardee's for breakfast which is weird that in Colorado it's Carl's Jr. and in South Dakota it's Hardee's but whatever. They seriously have like the best fast food breakfast around. It was perfect.

We got to Mount Rushmore and the weather was perfect.

After walking around a bit there we left for another hour long drive to Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota to tour the cave. The drive there was so pretty through some back roads and also through a state park where we saw a huge buffalo just walking right along the road. We got to Wind Cave and took a tour. It was really cool cuz you got on this elevator that took you down into the earth and then they opened a door and there was this cave. The tour was pretty neat and some of the passageways were pretty narrow and low so you had to duck to walk through. If I go back I wanna do the 4 hour tour where you're actually crawling and stuff. I went caving like that with some friends in a random cave in Alabama and it was so much fun. What is crazy about this cave is how complicated it is. Passageways all over the place and it's the 6th longest cave in the world with around 140 miles of passages. BUT it's estimated that only 5% of the cave has actually been discovered and there's much more that hasn't been explored yet. Our tour guide said just 2 weeks earlier there was a new area discovered. It'll be interesting to see how much more has been added to the map if we go back there.

After the tour we loaded up and headed home. We stopped at a Target in Nebraska and they had ninja turtle phone cases so of course Erika and me HAD to get one :)

Then we hit Wyoming and Colorado and stopped for some Wendy's for dinner. Dave and me were curious about how much trouble our kitties got into over the weekend since we left them out. We kitty proofed and moved all the breakable frames and taped shut cabinets & drawers and basically child proofed cuz sometimes our kitties get into stuff and they are put in the bathroom at night and when we leave the house for this reason. Since we were only going to be gone for less than 2 full days we decided it wouldn't be worth the hassle of taking them to Dave's mom's house for her to watch. We got home and everything was still in place. We were so surprised and happy that they were such good kitties. I love traveling but I sure do miss them when I'm gone.

State count so far this summer
     1. Colorado
     2. Utah
     3. Arizona
     4. Nevada
     5. Wyoming
     6. South Dakota
     7. Nebraska
and still more to come :)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Lots of Free Food. Build A Bear. Slurpee!

Today is Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-Fil-A and if you are dressed like a cow then you can get a free meal. A whole meal! FOR FREE! So yea we had to get in on that action. Erika made costumes for her and the girls that she nannies for now and I made mine.

You like my sign? :) I came up with it all by myself

Erika picked me up at 9 and we went to the Chick-Fil-A by my house for breakfast. I think there was just one other family dressed up and then another came in later. But everyone thought we were so cute. 

Cuz we were!

After our free breakfast we headed to Flatirons Mall to go to Build A Bear because the Ninja Turtles came out today and you can build your own! The girls had never been to Build A Bear and they were so cute making their bears. There were a few people in front of us and all of them had a ninja turtle in their arms. Turtle Power! :)

Me and Lil Donnie

Erika and Lil Leo

It's funny that every kid we saw that was building a turtle also had on a ninja turtle shirt 

After we built our "bears" the girls played at the indoor play place at the mall for a while and then we headed to a different Chick-Fil-A for a free lunch.

There were way more people dressed up at this Chick-Fil-A and there was a real Chick-Fil-A cow there.

Then we got in the car and headed to 7-11 for free slurpee day!

Such a fun day :) I love acting like a kid 

Earlier this week Dave and me got to have dinner with the kids I used to nanny for in Alabama. They were heading out of Denver after being in Crested Butte for a wedding over the weekend. It is so crazy seeing how big they've gotten. When I was their nanny Nick had like no hair and was just a little baby and now he's almost 5 and has a head full of hair. 

On Sunday I watched Kash and Meadow who I nannied for when I first moved to Colorado. Kash just turned 5 and Meadow is almost 9. SO CRAZY! I can't believe I've lived in Colorado almost 4 years.

I just randomly decided to curl Meadow's hair and then when her mom got home she said the birthday party she was going to later that day was a Hollywood Glam theme so that worked out perfect. She looked so cute.

Tonight after I babysit Erika, Dave and me are driving to South Dakota for some adventuring this weekend. I'm excited :)