Monday, July 19, 2010

Happy Camper

Howdy, peoples! I'm back from yet another traveling adventure. This blog has been more of a travel blog than writing blog lately! Though I did happen to write 2000 words in my MG and read four middle grade books while on the road in the RV!

Where in the heck did I go this time? I went from a city slicker in New York to a country bumpkin exploring campgrounds and monuments in South Dakota and Wyoming. We started in Wisconsin at my inlaws' vacation home where we spent the fourth of July weekend with lots of family. Then my inlaws, hubby, three children headed west in an RV. I've never camped before, but I was a trooper in the campgrounds - public showers/restrooms and all! Of course some of you may argue that a motor home is not camping, a tent is! But an RV is as far as I'll go camping! No tent for this gal!

Here are some of the fun sights we explored as a family.

The Badlands and Wall Drug, SD How could we not go to Wall Drug after all of those signs?! Here are the bbbbadlands...

Mount Rushmore, SD My youngest was so excited to finally see it in person!

Custer State Park, SD We saw a buffalo and deer while driving through. We also drove along Needles Highway in a long, winding trek through the Black Hills. Beautiful scenery!

Crazy Horse Memorial, SD My daughter, hubby and inlaws rode in a van up to the arm of Crazy Horse and saw it up close! Here is my daughter next to the face.
The Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, SD We saw actual mammoth skeletons and workers excavating more right in front of us.
Bear Country, USA, SD We drove through a wildlife park in the Black Hills encountering bears, elk, wolves and more! We were OMGing the whole ride through! Bears walked right up to our car! The baby bears were adorable, too. It was much safer than Anita's recent bear experience!
Deadwood, SD My mother-in-law went next door to a casino while waiting for our lunch to arrive and came back in five minutes with $1000 winnings!

Devil's Tower, WY was my favorite stop of the trip. We camped where Close Encounters of the Third Kind was filmed. We hiked around the tower, and watched the movie in our RV one night!

A former campground in Minnesota that my husband's grandparents used to own and run. It's no longer there, but cool to see the lake where they vacationed!

Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America, MN which had awesome rides for all ages! My oldest and I went on this and more!


Best quotes of the trip from my 7 yr old daughter: "Mom! I just saw a hillbilly!" and "Mom, could you just act normal for once in your life?"

I was away from my house for two whole weeks, which is a very long time for this homebody! We made lots of fun memories, but as always, it's good to be home.

How are you spending your summer?


Laura Pauling said...

Sounds like a fun trip! And some argue that tent camping at campgrounds isn't real camping either. Only roughing it in the wild.

We've been enjoying the lakes and warm weather. Busy, but fun! Glad you're back!

Rena said...

Wow! Sounds awesome, Kelly! I still haven't made it over to Mt. Rushmore, but at least I'm a whole lot closer now, so it's a possibility. Sounds like you had a great time and thanks for sharing your pictures!

Tina Laurel Lee said...

Glad you are back. Ironic that I didn't see you when you were in my vicinity but I bet I will see you now!
Glad about your 2000 words!

Candyland said...

What a great looking vacay! I'm spen ding my summer wishing for the fall:/

Jonathon Arntson said...

Great photos! You have lucky kids.

Susan Fields said...

Sounds like a fun trip with lots of great sights! And I love your 7-year-old daughter quotes - too cute! I hate using the public restrooms when we camp, all the stalls always seem to have huge Daddy Long Legs hanging out in them. Welcome back!

Kimberly Franklin said...

Sounds and looks live you've had a busy summer! I love the pictures. My best friend took a road trip to the badlands and Mt. Rushmore and she has the most beautiful pictures ever. There are so beautiful places up that way.

This summer I'm simply trying to stay cool. That's my only mission. :)

Suzanne Casamento said...

I was wondering where the heck you were! Looks like you had an awesdome trip.

I love the quote, "Mom, could you just act normal for once in your life?" Classic.

Anita said...

Thanks for taking time to post the photos (and for mentioning me--hah!). I've never been to Rushmore. It's a long drive, but kinda too short to fly. We keep saying maybe next year. Welcome back!

Kelly said...

Laura - I could never rough it in the wild! Enjoy your time at the lake!
Rena- I think your boys would love Mt. Rushmore. Definitely a place to see at least once in a lifetime!
Tina - It's good to be back!!
Candace - Summer is going too fast for me!
Jon - Thanks! They have visited so many more cool places than I ever did as a kid!
Susan - I did see spiders in the bathrooms and killed a cockroach one day in the shower! Eeee!
Kimberly - It was so scenic. And stay cool, girl!
Suzanne - Ha! Yes, they tell me I'm weird just about every day. :)
Anita- I bet it's a lot shorter of a drive to Mt Rushmore for you than for us! :) My husband and I also stopped there once before on our way to Denver 14 yrs ago!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

It looks like you almost followed the map for my trip west last summer. I'm sure you had a great time! We really enjoyed SD. Did you stop at the Corn Palace on your way out?

TerryLynnJohnson said...

wow! Agree with Jonathon, your kids are so lucky! What an adventure your whole summer seems so far!
I've been doing a little kayaking. Little revising with my agent. Little copy editing with publisher.

Kim Kasch said...

Looks like fun times.

We haven't had our summer--yet but it's coming.

DEZMOND said...

Oh, you've seen baby bears!!! :)

Kelly said...

Sharon - We didn't stop there. My hubby and I took a similar trip 14 yrs ago, stayed in the same town as the Corn Palace and still didn't stop! Is it worth stopping at?
Terry - It has been an adventure, we have one more week trip planned and another weekend away for the summer. It's made the summer fly by!
Kim - Enjoy when it does! It goes by too quick!
Dez- They were so darn cute! They frolicked together and wrestled. We "awwwed" the whole time we watched them play.

Christina Lee said...

WOWEE!!!! Sounds amazing--esp. the mammoth thingy!

Lydia Kang said...

I need to take this trip with my family soon! We live in Nebraska so it's not too too far away. Glad you had a great time!

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Welcome back! What an amazing trip. I need to bookmark this just so I can follow your footsteps. We've always wanted to take a similar trip. Thanks for sharing your photos!

Angela Ackerman said...

What a fab vacation--thanks for all the great pics!

As a Canadian, one thing on my bucket list is to really explore the states more. I've only been to a handful of places down there and I know there are many treasured sights waiting. :)

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Lola Sharp said...

Welcome home...looks like you guys had a great time!

(a hillbilly!) he he

I'm impressed that you got some writing done on your trip.


Shelli (srjohannes) said...


I gave you a blog award today :)

Hema P. said...

Welcome back, Kelly! Looks like you did some serious sightseeing! Wow! Thanks for sharing them with us -- I'd love to visit the Mammoth site and Mt. Rushmore myself.

You have an award in my post titled "The Writing Bug" :).

cleemckenzie said...

Awesome trip! You hit some of my favorite spots and made me remember I always said I'd go back. I'd better get cracking.

beth said...

What a great trip! I loved Mt Rushmore when I saw it, although they'd just started on Crazy Horse. Wish I could have seen that in real life!

Dawn Simon said...

Fun trip, though I "retired" from camping a few years ago. Dang, if we'd had a motor home, it may have changed things. But maybe not. I'm wimpy.

How cool about the bears and all the neat places you saw with your family. And the $1,000!

I guessed we have lots in common before, but when I read your daughter's comment about acting normal? Yeah, I think we have lots in common, Kelly! :)

Denise said...

Sounds like an awesome trip. Glad you had fun. Emily's comments made me LOL.

Nora MacFarlane said...

That looks like a wonderful trip!

Jackee said...

How very awesome! Someday I want to take my kids across the country to see how big the US is.

And I think my seven year old would have shouted out those things too! :o)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Kelly--The corn palace is worth stopping at. The artwork made out of row crops is pretty amazing! Inside they have photos of the building every year. They remake the designs each year...They sell all kinds of fun stuff inside too.

Kelly H-Y said...

What an AWESOME trip!!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Wow. It looks like you guys had a ton of fun! Thanks for sharing the pictures. My summer has been a whirlwind of busyness. :-)

Kimberly said...

What a cool vacation. We are planning to do an RV trip next summer, now I can't wait!!