Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Our formal vacation this year was a five day trip up to the Black Hills of South Dakota, and then a four day stay at Ft. Robinson in western NE for a family reunion. We were last in the Black hills eight years ago when Mom was pregnant with my youngest brother. So while technically all three of the younger boys were there, none of them remember it.

We camped in tents of course, visited Mt. Rushmore, the Presidential Wax Museum, and went hiking. We also went on the drive-through nature loop in Custer St. Park, which took forever, and stopped at Jewel Cave on our way to NE. It was enjoyable; however, there is such an age range in our family as well as totally different expectations for vacation according to each family member, that sometimes vacations don't turn out as happily as expected.

The boys want to hike every day. I don't want to hike at all. Mom grew up camping and wants to completely rough it. Jen wants to shower. The boys enjoy being dirty! I endure camping so we can visit museums in other states. Sigh. Other than that, I would say the Black Hills is a one-time trip: It's such a tourist trap that everything is crazy expensive. The Caves are really worth touring; Mt. Rushmore is great, but once you've seen it, you don't really need to see it again. The wax museum is enjoyable as well.

Ft. Robinson was much different: for our family reunion, Grandpa reserved one of the large former Officer's quarters. It was a three-story brick duplex dating from the early 20th century, and it was beautiful. Our family(which made up almost half the size of the group) got the entire third floor to ourselves. And it had a shower!

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