Road Trip 2012-Rapid City, South Dakota (May 22, 2012)

Ultimate Road Stop - Wall Drug
(Click here for today's pictures)
(Click here to see if you can name the President posing with a Dennie kid!)
We all slept well last night and I am always amazed that Robby and I are the least bit rested on a trip.  I had 4 of the 5 kids sleeping with me at some point during the night last night.  First Graham climbed in bed with me, then Keaton for awhile when she woke up in the middle of the night (we had commented right before we went to bed how well she had done sleeping-ha, messed that up).  After I put Keaton back in her bed, Campbell was next to join me and early this morning Anderson climbed into bed with me.  At some point Graham got out of my bed and went back to his spot.  People would enjoy a video of our nighttime bed switcheroo routines.  
We were sitting outside eating our breakfast today on the patio and a man from church walked out.  He had just graduated from seminary and his family was on a road trip as well.  It is a small, small world.  So our breakfast conversation consisted of Reagan asking us how many houses we had lived in.  Robby mentioned that he bought our Gamble house and then we got married.  When he said "married" this reminded Graham of what he said next.  He told us "Daddy's head was a square when he got married."  Of course this had us very intrigued and we asked what shape Daddy's head was now.  "A circle" Graham happily replied.  And I guess that is true-married life has been very good to Robby (and me!)
We left at 9:06 this morning and yesterdays mileage total was 264.  Our first stop this morning was Wall Drug in Wall, South Dakota.  It was about an hour away so we zipped there in no time.  Graham was riding in the back and as we drove off he shouted "it shut, Daddy."  He had remembered to check the trunk to make sure it was shut.  Yesterday, Anderson and Reagan didn't check that trunk (not that it is there responsibility) and we drove off from one of our stops with the tailgate open.  Ha!  We went over a bump and the kids started shouting....we were so fortunate that we didn't lost anything.  Of course, we had to stop to close the trunk and to check and make sure nothing was gone, then I climbed to the back to double check we had everything and Robby had to pull over and check one last time.  Thankfully nothing was gone but I am sure we looked silly driving down the road with our tailgate open-at least all of the kids were in the van!
I also asked the kids if there legs were sore today from yesterday.  Robby and my legs are both so sore from walking down the steps of the cave.  I am sure that it isn't because we are out of shape but because we were each holding someone.  I tried to explain to the kids exactly where there legs would be sore, what it would feel like but no, they just kept looking at me with blank stares like I was crazy.  One day they will be old and sore!
We made it to Wall Drug and the kids were pretty impressed with everything.  In the back they had different things to climb on and even shooting water that we wouldn't let them play on.  In one room was a huge dinosaur that growled, moved and even made smoke.  My Graham is getting so brave and watched it all but not so much for Campbell.  She pressed her head up against my backside and hid the entire time.  
Everyone even had their picture made on this large jackolope.  When Robby and I were here 7 years ago, I too took my picture on that thing.  At that time, we walked up to the jackolope and I had to have a push and a shove from Robby to get up there.  I can remember it being quite challenging to finally get my light little self up to the top of that jackolope for a picture.  Finally, I was able to crawl to the top and mounted the saddle to take that picture and I looked down and saw a set of stairs on the other side of that jackolope.  I could have just used the stairs and not made a fool of myself trying to climb up the side of that thing.  What can I say, we were young and stupid.  But today, I made sure that all of the kids used the steps to the top of the jackolope.  
Everyone enjoyed an ice cream cone at the drug store before we left.  I had a slice of apple pie with ice cream and Robby had a mint shake.  We are working on keeping our heads round!  After all it is vacation!
Within just a few minutes we were inside of the badlands.  It is just a strange looking place-it starts to look like the Grand Canyon and then the next thing you know there are those rock formations not making a canyon but forming mountains.  Just odd.  Campbell and Keaton were sleeping and Robby was a bit dozy so the three big kids and I walked around a fossil trails.  It was up on a board walk and there were fossils every so often to look at.  
Then we went to the visitor's center and had lunch outside at a picnic table.  It was hot, hot, hot today and the kids down their water bottles in no time flat (probably the reason they have each gone to the potty a dozen times this afternoon and evening!).  We went through the visitor's center-and let me just say that some places are really kid friendly and some are not.  This was really was with lots of things to touch.  
Before we went to the car, we had to take a back picture in the Badlands so we lined everyone up and took a few.  I have one book full of our back pictures from our first ten years of marriage and now we are working on volume two of that series.  I think we had a back picture from last time we were at the Badlands but we never would have imagined that when we returned we would return with 5 kids.  Wow!  
After juice boxes we were back on the road.  On the way back to Rapid City, we passed over a lake and Campbell started shouting "Arkansas, Arkansas."  She now thinks that every body of water that she sees is the Arkansas river.  While driving through Oklahoma we passed the river a few times and that has really stuck with that child.  
Back in Rapid City, we took a few pictures.  Ha!  Understatement!  In Rapid City they have statues of all of the presidents (except the current president).  These statues are on each corner for a few blocks and I thought it would be a wonderful idea to take the kids pictures with the presidents and make a book of all of them.  That way during school when we say the presidents we would also have something to remind us of our trip.  (I know I probably should have just stuck with the flashcards).  Anyway, those blocks were not short little blocks, they were long, long blocks.  We figured we walked at least 24 of those long, long blocks in this little activity.  Campbell and Keaton were in strollers and the kids did really well.  We did often remind them that the faster we walked the sooner we could get back to the hotel and start swimming. It didn't take us too long and everyone cooperated well.  I was shocked to get in the car and count that we had taken a picture of most (if not all) of the presidents.
We drove through Sonic on the way back to the hotel and there happy hour most run til 5 because Robby was pleasantly surprised to hear his total.  Then we were swimming in the hotel pool.  The kids swam and swam.  Graham, bless that child, has no fear and jumped into the pool once without his floatees.  I think he could barely touch the bottom but he made it to the edge without too much sputtering.  (No we were swimming but I was right there ready to grab him but I do specifically remember saying "don't jump in, you don't have on your floatees.")  They swam for quite awhile but eventually Campbell was tired of swimming and ready to go back to the room.
Campbell had already been to the room once with me during swimming.  That child poos in the pool every time we go swimming.  Seriously, every time!  I know that that little revelation has decreased our invitations to come swimming anywhere but it is the truth.  After changing her she did swim for another minute and then wanted to get her bath,
I thought this would be a good time for Keaton to practice taking a bath so I put her in the tub with a tiny bit of water at first.  She did really well and had a good time playing with Campbell...until I saw her grabbing at something.  Apparently, Keaton is very similar to her sister and enjoys pooing in the tub!  
After everyone was clean and had on their pajamas, Robby ran across the street to pick up Arbys for supper.  While he was gone, Reagan worked on her travel journal.  She is drawing a picture from each day and writing a few things.  The plan is to print a picture from the day and put it in an album with what all she has written and colored.  
The kids were famished and devoured their sandwiches and fries when Robby returned.  They watched a movie and then everyone laid down.  Robby laid with Campbell and I guess she thought that if he believed she was asleep then he would leave her along-so she started fake snoring.  Seriously, the child is 2 and is a mess.  
Getting everyone asleep was pretty easy all except for Keaton.  The last two days her schedule has been way off but last night and tonight she will not let us lay her down.  She wails if we walk out of her sight.  Tonight she laid beside me and went right to sleep but every time I would get up to do something for someone else, she would screech.  Hopefully, her schedule will eventually get back on track....before this trip is over.
Tomorrow we are heading to Devil's Tower and Casper, Wyoming.  Fun, fun times!

1 comment:

The Local Tourist said...

Sounds like you had a great time in the City of Presidents! We would love to see some of your photos on our Visit Rapid City Facebook Page, if you would like to share! Thanks for stopping by :)
https://www.facebook.com/RapidCitySouthDakota