Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Spontaneous Spring Break, Part 2

Read Part 1 here.

We woke up early (no need for an alarm; we have 4 of them!), and Ben took all the kids to the shitty Homewood suites breakfast (which, predictably, they loved) while I showered in a bathroom that had been ravaged by my family.

Then we piled in the car excited to get to Wall Drug and the Badlands.  Both absolutely exceeded our expectations.

Harry is much cooler than the rest of the family.
 On the way, we hit up the hilarious Corn Palace in Mitchell.  Not totally worth the stop, but very lovely and earnest employees.  To be fair, it was under construction, and I was completely charmed by the way the main room was staged for a show choir dinner theater fundraiser.  We could also talk to Jack about his pioneer unit in school because the Palace was an attraction created to encourage settlers to stay in South Dakota.

 At the Corn Palace gift shop, we got a ton of shit, including these picket knives.  What the hell, right?
On to Wall Drug.  I have seen bumper stickers for years and there are about 250 miles of billboards, so we were pretty jazzed.  At least I was-- Ben was skeptical.

It was delightful.  Liked my lunch wine so much we bought a couple of bottles.

 (Side note:  Could I be dressed anymore like a mom?)

 This sweatshirt was so ironic because this was a trip about GOING there, not really BEING there.  And yet, we were THERE there with each other more than any other vacation.  Very live-in-the-moment.

 Donuts.  And a made-in-China Power Ranger knock off that likely is coated with pure lead.  BUT HE WOULDN'T STOP SCREAMING FOR IT.
Only 8 miles from Wall Drug (where Dorothy and I sure did get matching moccasins and where she ate her first of about 12 grilled-cheese-and-fries meals and Jack began his steady diet of chicken strips) lies Badlands National Park, and it is AMAZING.  You should stop what you are doing and find out when you can go to there because you just have to see it.

Our first visit was a day so windy my eyebrows got messed up, and I was kind of afraid a child or my phone would tumble off a ledge, so we did not explore the whole thing, but I hope we can in a couple of years.  The areas we saw were breathtaking, though.

Harry made what I (of course because I am his mother) think is a genius comment when he said that the rocks look like the lines would keep going forever even if the rocks weren't there.

It was only about an hour to our hotel, and I was so happy to see a bar and a pretty enough lobby and 2 bathrooms that I perked up enough to cram everyone back in the car to go downtown and try a local brewery for dinner.  Ben and I loved it, but the kids were not fans.  But who cares!  They got firemen hats!

Dorothy was too dignified for a hat, but she did steal Cooper's as soon as we got back to the hotel.


  1. First, I want to come back in my next life as your kid.

    Second, all the holes in your jeans negate the "dressed like a Mom" vibe. If anyone guessed it from your clothes, they'd atleast surmise that you are a cool Mom (and never think you were old enough to have 4!)

    Third, I am loving your hair!

    Finally, there are some great pictures from this trip! I absolutely love the family shot on the windy day in the Badlands. Everyone looks good and Cooper is so happy to be pointing a gun. The shot of just Ben and you is also very sweet.

  2. Totally agree that your "mom look" is of the "showered, prepped, relaxed, stylish young mom" variety. And I love that Cooper is shooting the camera in so many pictures. Adorable!