We are home from our two week vacation. We had so much fun and appreciate everyone who helped us have so much fun. It was long and we did a lot so I will just give a brief picture overview so as not to bore you. (It is two posts long, so make sure you read both).
We stopped in three states: South Dakota- to see Mt. Rushmore, North Dakota to see Ryan's aunt Sharon, and Montana to see my brother Brian, his wife Brittany and thier son Cole.
We started our trip at 3:45 in the morning. We thought leaving in the middle of the night the kids would sleep for a good few hours of the trip. Well, not so much! they were both wide awake when we hopped in the car. Luckily though by about 5:00 they both fell asleep and slept for a couple hours.
First stop: Custer, SD.
We swam in the pool at the hotel. This was Hallie's first time in the pool and I thought she would love it. She really seemed indifferent. (Maybe because it was so cold).
We also went on a really pretty drive and saw lots of wildlife: deer, Elk, Buffalo, wild turkeys, and antelope.
We went to this little park in S.D. called Storybook Island. It had all these cheesy characters from famous stories. It was actually pretty cool. and it was free! They also had this sandbox with little sand diggers. The sand diggers were Eli's favorite part.
Bear Country. These little cubs were so cute and playful. I could have watched them all day long. It was so fun to drive through the park and see bears roaming right next to our car. Some of them were so big.
We finally made it to North Dakota. Sharon and her roomate Renee were such great hosts! We wanted to go swimming, but it was so cold. So Sharon took us to this cool hotel that has a mini indoor water park thing. We had so much fun. It had a little kiddie pool area with shooting water and waterfalls. It also had a bigger pool that had a big water slide that went outside the hotel and then came back to the indoor pool. Eli loved it, and didn't want to leave.
The zoo- We had some interesting experiences at the zoo. Watching a bear scratch and sniff itself. (quite entertaining). To the cougar that would not take its eyes off Eli and followed him wherever he would go around its cage. (Kind a creepy).
Eli also got to feed the goats, pigs, and miniature ponies. He was a little hesitant at first, but quickly warmed up. After he realized that they wouldn't eat his hand, he didn't want to leave.
The Carnival. Even though Eli looks bored and annoyed he really was having fun. He is becoming such a stinker when it comes to picture taking.
The BIG slide. This slide was SO much fun! Eli waned to go on it over and over, and so of course we did. I bet we went down that slide at least thirty times. We took Hallie on it and she was the only one that wasn't too fond. She whimpered the whole way down. It was funny, so of course we took her down it again. The second time she cried. We then decided we better not torture her anymore.
Thanks SO MUCH Sharon and Renee!! We appreciate all your hospitality, and for putting up with our wild and loud kids. We had so much fun, and can't wait to come back again and do all the stuff we missed.