Well, first and foremost, the 5 of us arrived everywhere we went and returned safely and happily! Sleepy and exhausted from driving and having so much fun, but absolutely worth it!
First stop was Mount Rushmore in South Dakota! Much more impressive in person than on pictures for sure! Even the entrance walkway up to the mountainside was wonderful…flags and plaques representing the United States!
We drove through quite a few awesome tunnels on our way to the Black Hills National Forest. There, we all climbed up giant boulders…some of us (the others) climbed much higher than me! On our way to Bear Country, we stopped to slide down very high bumpy hills!
We took a driving tour throughout Bear Country and saw critters like big horn sheep, birds, big cats, wolves, big bears playing in the water and waddling across the roadways, gazelles, beavers, porcupines and lots and lots of various types of bears in all sizes roaming about having all kinds of fun. The cubs were the most adorable little things, rolling around and chasing each other!
The scenery was amazing as we drove on to Badlands National Park. We saw buffalo! Big, big animals, indeed! We also accumulated a couple zillion bugs on the grill AND the windshield. We had to stop to wash them off in order to continue driving. The rock formations, craters and canyons were spectacular! More climbing, of course, mostly by Cameron and Jay, but even Mom of the Year…Nicole!
Next big stop was the Mall of America in Minnesota. It was huge with three full levels and half of a fourth. Everyone enjoyed the shopping and snacking. For me, the highlight of the mall was the massive hanging display of one humongous ‘fabric’ butterfly with hundreds of varying sized ones floating in the air dangling from the ceiling of the uppermost level. Orange and black an awesome! What a sight!
Our final destination was Mount Olympus Water Park in Wisconsin Dells, WI. I love water slides! There were simple slides, curvy slides, covered and uncovered slides, a lazy river, a wave pool which was very powerful, knocking people down all over the place!!! And in several spots there were buckets of water or sprays that “gotcha” when you least expected it…such fun!
It was a trip to remember for sure. Rachel, Nicole, Cameron, Jay and I made great memories that week. Oh, I forgot, four of us got temporary tattoos right before we left the park…woo-hoo!!!