our trip to the black hills: day one.

okay, after an unexplained hiatus, i'm back!  we took a vacation last week to visit todd's parents in the black hills, and it was really nice to unplug for a bit.  plus, i really hate letting the internet know when we're far from home for extended periods of time; it just feels like i'm asking to be robbed or something.  but i'm especially paranoid about internet stuff like that, so maybe that's just me.

anyway, now that we're back, i can fill you in on all the fun we had - and we had a LOT of fun.  even the seventeen-hour trip there was pretty stellar, with a few great stops and lots of great music and books and movies on the way.

we hit the road at 6:30 in the morning, and i'd had the kids' breakfasts packed in the van beforehand.  all they had to do was get up, get dressed, grab their pillows and blankies, and hop in.

our first stop was at a rest area in minnesota that had a playground so the kids could stretch their legs and brains for a bit.

we stopped for a picnic lunch and a walk at falls park in sioux falls.


atticus clearly needed to use his six-year-old-boy legs more than he had been able to do in the car, so he took advantage of all the rocks that were laying around.

after our lunch stop, the littlest kids conked out for a bit.  laurelai preferred to hold my hand in order to fall asleep; finneas just pulled a classic finneas move and sucked his fingers and rubbed his face with his blankie.  i really do thank god for babies that will sleep in the car, even if just for short stretches.  lord knows atticus and penelope never would have done this (and on the trip to south dakota when penelope was sixteen months old, not only did she not sleep, she spent six hours each way screaming bloody murder.)  which is partially why the next two pictures are so beautiful to me.

thanks to the perspective in this photo, my arm looks downright freakish.

our next stop was at chamberlain, where there was a decent lewis and clark exhibit at a rest stop, and an overlook across a lake where the crew of the lewis and clark expedition made camp a few times.  it was beautiful.

next, we drove through the badlands loop.  

and this is apparently the face i make when we're basically on the edge of a huge cliff and my preschoolers seem to have a death wish and keeping them corralled is a nightmare.

laurelai took a turn behind the wheel when todd just wanted to relax and sight-see.

the vidivan proved itself reliable yet again, so we took a glamour shot in front of a huge rock as a 'thank you.'

but the best, most fun part of the day was when finneas pooped his pants, not once, but twice while we were driving through the badlands (where, newsflash, there are no toilets for miles and miles.  he just kept saying, 'I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!' and 'I WANT TO GO HOOOOOME' and 'OH MY GOODNESS!')  he finally got to take what is probably the most scenic poop a van voorst has ever taken.  even at the time, i could not. stop. laughing.  it was one of the most comical real-life moments of my life so far.  (and thank goodness i decided on a whim to bring the potty chair along, just in case!  i think it did his little heart good to know his mama wasn't mad that he pooped his pants, and that he had a civilized potty to sit on.)  the clean-up was a bit, well, disgusting and inconvenient (we may or may not have had to drive for a couple hours with a turd in a plastic bag in our van), but whatever.  we survived.

and that was our last stop before arriving at todd's parents' house late, late that evening.  it was a great day of travel, and it was only day one of our vacation!  stay tuned for more photos throughout the week.


todd said...

what a fun vacation! it is fun looking back even to this first day and remembering the good times we had i love my family!!!!

Ashley Goos said...

This. is. AWESOME! I love your family : )

Amanda Cushman said...

Hahaha this was great! I have to admit I was disappointed when I kept checking back and not seeing any posts but I completely understand and am with you about the not inviting robbers into your home while you are out of state. Great pictures and it looks like you guys had an awesome time. Looking forward to seeing more of them. :)