Thursday, June 26, 2008

Day Two of our Weekend in South Dakota (Mount Rushmore!)

Our second and last day in South Dakota...we woke up to a beautiful morning - look at the view we had from our hotel window: Being on the 9th floor may not have been conducive to having great wireless Internet service (as the desk clerk so "helpfully" explained to us????) but it was sure great for checking out the view. I snapped this next picture because I loved the architectural details on those buildings.
But enough of the hotel...we got up pretty early, got ourselves ready and hit the road to Mount Rushmore. This is the bridge you go under as you approach the entrance to Rushmore. The arch is made of wood! It looks pretty awesome in person.
We had to take Jake's picture in front of this store. lol
This next picture was taken right inside the actual entrance into the park. I'm not sure why it is that Jacob feels to need to pose like a mob guy in all his pictures these days. He throws that head back every time he sees a camera pointed his way. Kids today.
Our first glimpse of the presidents. Those columns that flank either side of the path have the names of the states and the dates they became states carved into the sides. They also hold the names of all U.S. territories. Also of note, this is right about where Randey and I had our one and only notable knock-down dragout of the trip (yeah, no one is more surprised than us that we only had one!).
That's me on the left, then Jake, then Kaleb. See my hand on my hip? That should have been Randey's first indication that he'd said something stupid, which I assure you he had. I don't know if it's a symptom of that rotten peri-menopause or what, but every once in a while, someone will say something that goes right thru me. Like a knife. Thru hot butter. This was one of those times.
After about 5 minutes of snarking at each other, I finally "requested" that he step over to the side with me so that we might "discuss" the issue in private. The "discussion" was....tense and verbose, to put it mildly. Once we'd cleared the air (i.e., I ranted, raved and gestured with my hands and arms while Randey stood there with that "deer in the headlights" look he's so perfected for moments such as that), we managed to put our issues to rest and move on to enjoy the day. 'Course, I can't really speak for how well that Boy Scout troop was able to recover from having witnessed our communication efforts. Who knew there were bleachers full of the little guys just on the other side of that foliage?? I take comfort in the fact that I don't think there was any cursing loud enough to bruise their little ears. Hopefully. Anywho...this is yet another view of the presidents. It's breathtaking in person. If you haven't been there, GO! This mountain goat (I assume that's what this is. lol!) was just grazing along the pathway. He never even acknowledged the hordes of people standing there snapping pictures of him. Guess he's used to the admiration, eh?
Here's Jake, Randey and Kaleb posing for me along the path. By the way, check out Jake's shorts. Colorful, aren't they? I don't know who likes them more, me or Jake.
A closer shot of the monument. I know, I's like I'm showing the same picture over and over, but you have to understand, to see this awesome piece of craftsmanship and history in person is just way too cool to describe. I keep hoping the pictures will "tell the tale" for me.
Here's a view we had as we walked along the pathway. We turned around, away from the presidents (pretty hard to do, actually -they were just so riveting.) and saw this. Pretty country.
Another shot of Jake, Randey and Kaleb. Bless their hearts - they were probably sick and tired of having their pictures taken by then.
But too bad, 'cause here's another one.
And what's a day without me trying for an "arty flora" shot?
Another pic of Kaleb and Jake.
How about this view of the monument? You can see where the work ended to the right of Lincoln's head.
See? Randey and I had made up by the time we got to this point. lol
Lincoln's peeking thru the treetops.
And so is Teddy Roosevelt.
Kaleb took these next three. The kid does better with my camera than I do, huh?

(I love, love, love this one!!!)
Here's a shirt from the Mount Rushmore gift shop that totally appealed to the feminist in me. ha!
And here's my dearly beloved, doing his utmost to embarrass the boys. He followed them around wearing this goofy hat, just trying to get them to acknowledge him.
Randey just had to have a picture of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Soda, which was actually root beer. (Reagan's his favorite president.)
Here's Randey, posing as the next face to be added to the mountain.
Oops! Plans have changed. Looks like Jake's likeness will be carved out next to George's.
Hold the presses! Now it's Kaleb who'll be hanging out with greatness. Who knew? (And no, there is no picture of me doing this. I wouldn't have highlighted my double chin like that for all the tea in China, thankyouverymuch).
Kaleb took the picture of these trees for me. I love these trees. I would have a yard full of them, if it was up to me. And I'd rent a snow machine every Christmas just so I could look at them laden down with the beautiful white stuff. Ahhhhh........
See this sign below?:
That's placed right at the edge of town, just as you head up to the mountain. And while I certainly believe that everyone should, indeed, prepare to "meet thy God", I felt that this could be taken as almost a dire warning...I mean, geez, you're headed up the side of a mountain! Is there some sort of obstacle course you have to pass on the way and does failure to pass said obstacle course result in an immediate meeting with the Almighty?? As it turns out, the sign is just general advice regarding life and not an indication of any sort of specific danger up ahead. Whew. This next picture is of the town of Keystone, which is the tiny little town between Rapid City and the entrance to Mount Rushmore.
Keystone is a pure tourist town. Gift shops galore, overpriced food and merchandise, hokey souvenirs...I loved it! We walked up and down the street, into the stores. It was such fun.
Here's what Kaleb and Jacob found in one of the stores. A Granny. lol!
And God Bless him, here's what Randey found to replace the bear head gear he'd found at the park. The look on Kaleb's face is just plain funny (click to enlarge). He's grown so accustomed to his dad doing stuff like this...
Randey actually bought that hat, but thankfully, doesn't wear the front of the brim turned up like that. lol I thought he was hilarious, even if he boys didn't. He looks like he's ready to start mining for gold, huh? (Like I told you yesterday...that man was convinced he was going to make his fortune panning for the yellow stuff.)
Out of everything we did on our vacation, all the places we went, all the sights we saw, I have to say that Rapid City was probably our favorite. There was so much to do there - I had no idea. I figured we'd do the "gold mine" thing one day, go check out Mount Rushmore the next and be on our way. But there was sooooo much more to the place. There was Mount Rushmore, of course, there were tons of antique stores, there was the Christmas store, miniature golf, a wildlife park, restaurants, other monuments and tours...the list goes on and on. I wish we could have stayed longer, I truly do. We are very seriously considering going back again one of these days.
Next (and finally, I'm sure some of you are thinking) is the last leg of our vacation, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Yeah. That's right. The Mall of America! A shopper's dream. Strangely enough, I think Kaleb and Jacob enjoyed it even more than I did, though. Probably had something to do with the amusement park located in the center of the mall. More on that later....


  1. More great pictures. The carving is amazing. I'd love to see it in person. Down here, we have a huge carving on Stone Mountain that was done by the same person - or at least he had something to do with it.

    I love the picture of you with your hand on your hip - your face says it all!

    And who knew that Lincoln had a flat-top??

  2. Oh my! Your poor, poor children. Please tell them that they have my utmost sympathies! :D

    Great shots and I do think that your son took three of the best ones.

    This was a really fun post...loved it!

  3. What a great trip. I loved seeing the photos. Absolutely gorgeous. Makes me want to go too.


  4. Wow! I have always wanted to see Mt. Rushmore. Your photos of it are great but I bet it is even more amazing to see it in person. It makes you wonder how it was made. Hey, what's a vaction without someone getting on the other's nerves. LOL Happens at least once everytime we go away, seems like it comes with the territory. What a cool vacation, I'm lovin these photos!!

  5. The pictures of Randey in both hats are so funny, and so well, Randey!! I want to go there. Maybe next time you go we could tag along. Yeah so I guess I am inviting myself, I hate when people do that. My apologies!! It just looks so cool. Awesome pics!!

  6. I've been there!
    It's been years, but it looks a lot like I remember.
    Love the vacation pics.

    When are you coming to OK???

  7. OOOOOOOH! I want to go back to Mt. Rushmore one of these days!

    Can you believe that Mr. Mister and I drove through there on our way back to Ohio. We stopped to see the carvings, but didn't take ONE picture! We had two very sick (from traveling so much) kids with us, and NO CAMERA! (I wasn't a scrapbooker at the time) I could just KICK myself now! UGH!

    I enjoyed reliving all of it through your pictures!


Thank you for your comment. I love to hear what you have to say!