June 24, 2008

13 days, 2300 miles, many memories, and tons of fun later we are HOME!

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.


Mount Rushmore- This place was awesome. I knew that they were amazing, but seeing them in person was incredible.IMG_1727

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.

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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.IMG_1807

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.IMG_1840 IMG_1895 IMG_1942

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.

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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.


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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.

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Concert in the park. may-june 2008 446 may-june 2008 454 may-june 2008 444

Hanging out

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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.


Jenny said...

I guess we are both up late blogging again! I just saw your comment on mine :) WOW! What a fun trip! It sounds like an adventure to be gone that long (and drive) with 2 kids, but it sounds like it was a big success! Glad you guys had so much fun and made it back safe and sound :) (And adorable pics, too!)

carrie said...

I love it!! You guys look like you had SO much fun!! BTW, we have the SAME exact Joovy orange stroller!! :o) My kids would be in heaven doing all that. I would LOVE to go to Mt Rushmore!! I have never been!!

Key Fam said...

So that's where you've been! Looks like you had tons of fun on your adventure! You should've called my parents...they've been in Rapid City, SD (near Mt. Rushmore) for 2 weeks now! LOL! Cute, cute pics! Looks like everyone had a BLAST!!

Anonymous said...

You guys were awesome guests!! We loved having you stay and I can't believe Hallie walked as soon as she left us! It went too fast and we can't wait to have you back!
The elves and fairies are lonely for their buddy, Eli.
Love you guys,
Sharon & Renee

rain said...

Ahhh...Trips to Mandan, ND. I remember, and they were great. Sharon always has your agenda all laid out for you, and ensures a good time. I miss those days.

Key Fam said...

I just remembered I was going to say something about the sand digger toys....that's cool they had those. Ashlyn played with some in a park in Scottsdale, AZ when we were there for Easter this year. That was the coolest toy at the park, I think...for her! LOL! Gotta love the new things they come out with! :)

Dave & Melissa said...

You are such a fun mommy!

Heidi J. said...

Im glad that you guys had a great trip it sounds like alot of fun! I love vacation!

Holly said...


Andrea said...

Wow Lessley!! It looks like you guys had a blast!! I bet it feels good to be home though!