the black hills: day 1(A)

I told you last week that we'd been up to something, and now's the time for the big reveal: we spent eleven days on vacation!

I'd mentioned that we spent a couple days at my mom's, but what I didn't tell you is that we left from there to head up to South Dakota to visit Todd's parents.  Early last Monday morning, we loaded these cute kids and their cute backpacks up in the van and got ready to make the long drive.

This was the first year that every single seat in the minivan was occupied, and we were definitely feeling the squeeze.  Looking forward to the day when we can make this drive in a twelve-passenger van.  We won't know what to do with all the leg room, although at that point I will have to reconsider the name of this blog.  'the twelve-passenger-van voorsts' doesn't have the same ring to it, and 'the maxivan voorsts' makes no sense. 'thevanformerlyknownasmini voorsts?'  nope.  I guess we'll just have to keep crammajamming in this van because sizing up poses too much of a blogging dilemma.  End tangent.

I get a little anal about planning our stops.  You have to be organized if you're hoping to imprison five young kids in seatbelts for hours and hours and hours of waking time and live to tell the tale.  You have to plan stops well and maximize your time at each one.  Otherwise you're just inviting a coup.

It ended up taking about 16 hours.

Our first stop was at a rest area about three hours into the trip.  That first stop is easy to keep low-key.  The kids just needed a chance to pee, stretch their legs and eat a Larabar or two.  We try to make it through the first stretch without movies and we bribe them into moderately controlled behavior with a promise of a movie after the first stop.

The next stop was a bigger one in Sioux City.  We ate a picnic lunch and spent a good amount of time at a really cool park.  I'm not kidding, it was the best playground I've ever seen, and I've seen a good number of playgrounds in my day.  This park was the King of Parks.  I'd move to Sioux City for this park alone.  (False, but near-true.)

Then it was back in the car, where the little kids thankfully fell asleep for a while.  A word to the wise: there will be No Sleep Till Brooklyn unless you declare No Movies At Naptime.  Then everyone gets bored enough to sleep.

Our next stop was at Chamberlain, where there's a really big Lewis and Clark exhibit/museumy thing at the rest stop (weird, but it works).  There's a beautiful overlook, a weird and huge concrete teepee, and also some poisonous snakes.  One interesting pit stop does it make.

Our last stop was at the Badlands, at which the kids were absolutely convinced they were about to die.  I'll have to tell you about that later, though, because this post is getting outrageously long. #cliffhanger

And that was the first part of our trip!  

1 comment :

todd said...

When there's no sleep til Brooklyn you definitely get some beastie boys (and girls)