Sunday, June 30, 2013

June 29 To Rapid City

I really need to get some black out curtains for the trailer. Dalton is an early riser once the sun is up & it puts me in a bad mood when I can’t sleep in longer. I’m so not a morning person. He woke up saying “tummy hurt tummy hurt” but I think it was his tummy growling because he didn’t eat his dinner the night before, except a piece of chocolate from the smores. Eventually after having him crawl all over me then waking up his baby sister, I made it up & started the day.

Dalton has learned how to force his burps then laughs & says “tummy hurt”. Too soon for this burping activity in my opinion. That’s supposed to be several years down the road. Annika gets so annoyed when he does it because she thinks he’s going to throw up on her. Speaking of throwing up, hubby dumped the tank this morning & it smelled really bad. I opened all the windows & the bathroom fan was on, but it still was horrible. Dalton’s eyes watered & he started to gag & looked like he was going to throw up. I ran him to the door for some air & he was ok. It was kinda funny, but freaked Annika out all day. She kept saying “I don’t want him to throw up on me”.

We drove over an hour to Ellsworth AFB where we hit up the BX & Commissary. Both were very small. Since we planned on being put down for a week we loaded up on groceries, got gas then headed to our camp ground in Custer. It was a little over an hour drive, but very scenic. So pretty until we started seeing lots of brown dead trees. Turns out there is a type of beetle infestation & it’s killing the trees. That’s not good. I got in about a 10 minute nap before we made it to our little town of Custer. I love these little towns that have that western main street look to them. Very picturesque.

We found our camp ground & apparently I didn’t read the fine print on the price of this site. $35 a night, but only 2 nights at the 50% off rate. We have gotten used to paying less than $20 a night so this seemed expensive, but of course nothing like a hotel. Not cool especially when there are no real amenities here. No pool, Jacuzzi, park, or laundry. Just the bare essentials: 2 baths with showers & wifi thankfully. I paid for cable, but hubby doesn’t have the right adapter. I told him to forget it & get our money back for the cable, but he’s looking for the adapter tomorrow. I can survive without tv, but he says it’s for the kids….right. I think he really wants it & is blaming the kids J  Oh & our sites are really close together. Hope our neighbors can’t hear our kids screaming at bath time or any other time for that matter. So instead of staying 8 nights like originally planned I changed it to 4 nights. That should give us enough time to sight see the stuff from this point & south of here. So lucky me it was back to the research board. Luckily I got my first pick on a site in Sturgis that has laundry facilities, wifi, a heated pool & 2 jacuzzis’ (one indoor & one outdoor). Yes!! And all for only $18 a night, now that’s a deal. I do gotta say the people that work here are really nice & the older guy gave the kids popsicles when we arrived, but not worth the $35 they are asking. Sorry folks, but we’re on a budget.

One good thing about this site is that we are only a block away from the main drag. So we spent the later part of the afternoon/early evening walking the street & checking out the stores. We stopped in & got dinner at a local pizza place & it was expensive. We didn’t look at the price before ordering & it was over $30 for an extra large pizza. Daaaang they are proud of their pizza. Guess we just assumed it would be a normal price. We are doing our part to keep this town in business that’s for sure. I did happen to notice that just about everyone in there was eating their pizza with a knife & fork. It’s pizza people! Pick it up with your hand & eat it. Sheesh!

We walked back to the camp ground & I gathered all our laundry. I had 5 loads to do, which was pricey at $2 a load to wash then $1 to dry. Man this little town is gonna suck us dry. As the laundry was going I went to vacuum out the suv since I was so tired of seeing dirt & food everywhere. I had to run the vacuum twice which cost me $1.50. What happened to .25 cents? Oh & the vacuum was so powerful it sucked up Emry’s sun hat right out of my hand. Guess I wasn’t holding it tight enough. I was surprised then bummed out. Gotta get her another one since the sun out here is fierce. Got back around 9:40 & the kids were still up & not ready for bed. Siiiigh….c’mon man. Guess I should have given him instructions on what to do while I’m gone. Apparently I’m assuming too much so time to explain it to him. Like I always say, good thing I like him so dang much. Anyway as a result of how late it was (keep in mind we went back an hour so it really was 10:40 that we’re used to, Dalton was so tired he was crying, which woke Emry up then she was crying. Annika was just plain whiny. I told hubby not to go relax outside yet & to get the kids ready for bed. I had to put clean sheets on both beds since the clean sheets on the table weren’t obvious enough, then I had to go thru the laundry on my bed to find the bottoms of Annika’s horse pajamas that she wanted to wear (kids still crying at this point). I put Dalton in bed & covered him up & he was asleep within a couple minutes. I went ahead & folded & put the laundry away that was now all over my bed then swooped up Emry who immediately stopped crying. I fed her & she was back asleep. Time for my shower or so I thought. I forgot to put the water heater switch on. Ugh…sit & wait time. Turns out the water never really got hot enough so I took a “super hero” shower as we like to call it (a very fast shower with the water on then off then on then off, etc). Now I’m cold & it’s supposed to be in the 40s tonight. Brrrr. Tomorrow will be fun & amazing I’m sure.

June 28 The Badlands #2

I was craving potatoes & spam for breakfast so I started cooking. Thanks to Dalton we were up early, although I tried to lie in bed as long as I could, but once Emry was awake that’s that. Today was rock climbing day. By the time we got out the door it was about 9:30am & it wasn’t too hot yet. The kids were excited, but once we got out there on the rocks it was “woah woah woah, mommy I can’t do it, give me your hand”. Trying to hold both their hands & keep my balance was not happening so I had to alternate. Dalton wasn’t sure what to do. He was holding my hand then walking almost backwards for whatever reason. On one formation I had to carry him down on my back part of the way then daddy had to come rescue both kids so I could get down, but now they can say they were there & climbed the rocks. We managed to climb a few areas & got lots of photos. At one point I had to walk thru this path with grass on either side & Annika was freaked out that there might be rattle snakes in there so I had her on my back & was carrying Dalton then walked across. Sheesh these kids. That’s not the only thing they’re afraid of. They’re afraid of all bugs. You should hear the high pitch wailing that Dalton makes when a fly is near him. We blame Annika for his fear of flies because she gets all skiddish as well. I told them that flies can’t hurt them, but it doesn’t matter. Remember the mosquito fiasco?

Anyway, after rock climbing we went to see a prairie home that had been lived in from 1909ish to the late 1940s. There were prairie dogs all around & the dugout house (way better then the Ingalls one), barn, underground shelter/cool room had all been restored. Dalton got a brown cowboy hat & now resembles Woody. So cute. He didn’t’ want to wear it at first, but now he does. After touring that we let Annika have a small goat figurine as a souvenir. She’s getting a little better. We went to eat some lunch at the gas station before going to see some underground Missle thing. They had buffalo hot dogs & I settled for a slice of pizza. We missed the ticket thing for the underground tour, but were able to go to the missle site & see it underground as we stood above it. Nothing too exciting, but hubby wanted to see it. Next.

From there we decided to take the scenic drive around the Badlands park. I gotta say it was pretty awesome. We saw 2 Big Horns walking on one of the formations & lots of Bison. In fact we got really close to them on one stretch of the road because they were blocking the road. Then they were right there near the suv as we passed them. Pretty neat, but kinda scared that they could charge at us at any moment if they felt like it. We weren’t stupid like some other people who got out of their vehicles with their children to take photos. Really people? I thought it was very irresponsible of them & just plain dumb. Had the bison charged at them & hurt or killed them they would have surely passed the blame onto the wild animal or the park for not having fences. Ding bats. We also saw lots of cows & some wild horses, which Annika loved. I think the best part was the off roading section of the trail we went on. The kids loved it & were laughing & saying “woooooaaaaahhh” as we were all tilted to one side. Annika said it was so awesome & wanted to do it again.

We got back to camp & I walked over to the office to see what they had in their little grocery area. Nothing I needed, but gotta say it looked pretty old & not sure how long some of that stuff has been in there. Since it was so nice outside & such a perfect temperature in the shade we decided to do burgers for dinner. The kids begged me to put them on the ancient merry go round at the park so I caved & went over for a bit. While the kids played outside I tried to take a quick cat nap. I fed Emry in hopes of her falling asleep, but she just wanted to stand up & touch everything along the wall & window. I put her in her pack n play & closed my eyes for all of maybe 10 min. I could hear Dalton crying outside & I could tell it wasn’t an injury cry so I let daddy take care of him. I must have fallen asleep for a minute then heard Annika crying then the door opened. She fell off the bench of the picnic table & scratched up her leg. Mommy hugs & she was all better as soon as I asked her about her rodeo she was building outside. She said “c’mon I’ll show you”, boo boo all forgotten. She took sticks & rocks and made a corral for the horses then had their water & food dishes. She showed me how the horses were fighting & how a lonely little zebra was stranded without parents & came to the mama horse asking to be part of her family. Oh earlier we found what looked like a coyote or even a wolf paw print in the dried up mud & she wanted to make a sign that said “Warning do not take the rocks out of the coyote print”. She had decorated the print with different rocks. See who needs toys when you have sticks & rocks…lol.
We ate our slider burgers & Emry chowed down on blueberries & the potato & spam stuff I made for breakfast. Hubby made a fire outside & the kids roasted the last few sticky marsh mellows & made smores. It was a good day….well until I had to give the kids their showers. Dalton screams like he’s being stretched to death or something. He has that high pitch wail & I’m just waiting for someone to come knocking on our door to see what the problem is. I of course blame hubby for Dalton’s fear of showers. You see I’m nice & cup my hand above their foreheads so soap & water don’t go into their eyes, but hubby just puts the water over their heads & doesn’t care. Thus I have screamers now, well Annika doesn’t scream anymore unless water gets in her eyes. She’s in for a rude awakening when she gets her swim lessons soon.

June 27 The Badlands, SD

We left Mitchell & got ready for the long 3 hr 16 min drive to the Badlands. We have gotten spoiled with our short drives & this drive was going to take forever as Annika would say. I remember hearing a kid at one of our stops say “we have a long 10 hour drive home” & thought “eeeck! No way”. My goal during our drive was to secure a campground for a week in the Black Hills area. With the 4th of July coming up it was a challenge getting a site with a full weeks availabtility. I was ready to be done with this task since it was stressing me out. I finally got a spot, not my first choice, but they honored the discount the entire week & they were very friendly. I figured we wouldn’t be at the campground that much anyway so I secured our spot to get it over with. Now I can try to kick back & relax until next week when I have to find places in Wyoming.

We stopped at a rest stop & they had a really nice visitor center with Lewis & Clark info & you could see the Missouri River down the hill. I let the kids play around for a bit to stretch their legs & let out some energy. It was pretty hot out, but thankfully no mosquitoes. We got to the Badlands & had to drive thru the park to get to our campground. Luckily hubby got his National Park free pass before we left IL so instead of paying $15 to enter the park it was FREE! Sweet! The Badlands is a beautiful place. The rock formations were unique & we tried seeing if any of them looked like anything. One looked like a wolf howling at the moon and one looked like an upside down ice cream cone. I was trying to keep the kids occupied so we didn’t have to listen to the “are we there yet” routine. Annika was anxious to crawl on the rock formations, but we told her we would do it tomorrow. We had to ditch the trailer first. Of course that was the wrong answer for her, but hey what’s new right? This campsite wasn’t my first choice, but my first choice was closed due to a water break. This next one was the closest one to the park & it had seen better days, but the old couple was nice. They didn’t honor our Passport America discount & there was no hand soap or towels in the bathroom, but they were clean so I guess that was better than nothing. We were the only people at this campsite when we first arrived besides the full timers in the back, but by the late evening I counted 5 others who had shown up. It was pretty bare at our site with a few trees here & there & the kiddie park set was really old, but you could see the rock formations around us so that was nice.  It was hot hot hot & I promised the kids we would go swimming later when the sun was further down. We ate an early dinner & drove to the famous town of Wall. The street had that old western look to it which was neat. This town is famous for its drugstore. The husband & wife who owned the drug store started handing out ice cold water to strangers who came by & the rest is history. The store is now a block long with lots of souvenir shops, an ice cream parlor, a restaurant, and behind the main store is an area where you can take photos in a covered wagon, caboose, wooden stage coach, jackalope & a spitting water feature. I told Dalton to go put his foot on the hole where the water came out & he stuck his face over it just as the water came shooting out & it got him in the eye. Classic! On the other side of this area was another set of stores & at the end was a huge dinosaur body. The kids freaked out when it started & he roared loudly. They ran behind a newspaper stand (or whatever it was) & hid. That dinosaur was impressive. His eyes glowed red & smoke came out around him. When it was over I said “it’s ok it’s over let’s go” & they started to walk out in the opposite direction. I couldn’t help myself so I said “raaawwwrr he’s coming” & little Dalton’s legs took off under him. I laughed so hard. I’m mean I know, but hey I got it on video so I can laugh about it for years to come…hehe.

After looking in all the stores there wasn’t anything that I really had to have. I decided on getting just a South Dakota shirt for the kids vs getting one for the Badlands, Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, etc. Too many shirts so I’ll just narrow it down to the state. I wasn’t going to get it here that’s for sure. They’re prices were a bit too high for me so we went to get some ice cream instead. Poor Dalton was so tired & had the droopy eyes, but he wanted his ice cream. I had a root beer float & he was so out of it that he went to take a drink out of my cup & put the end of the spoon in his mouth thinking it was the straw.
Annika of course wanted a souvenir….sheesh, but we left with nothing because she wasn’t sure what she wanted & I encouraged her to wait until our next stop where she could get all kinds of neat cowgirl stuff. Meltdown started, but was able to redirect her with some donuts daddy bought. I know not the best way to handle that, but I was not about to listen to a screaming jumping up & down looking like a foolish kid the whole way back to the suv. I didn’t want to be THAT parent yet again.

We got back to camp just the sun was starting to set & it was beautiful. Since I promised the kids to go swimming we hurried up & got our swim gear on. I figured a quick 30 min swim would tire them out. I had to feed Emry first so Annika got Dalton undressed & then dressed him in his swim gear all by herself. She sure is motivated when she wants something pretty bad. I figured the water would be perfect since the sun was so hot all day, but it was coooold & the wind didn’t help us any. I kept dipping the kids in so they could get used to it then I womaned up & got in up to my waist so Dalton could jump in. Faaa-reezing! Needless to say we didn’t stay long since it was almost 9pm. I got them all bathed & ready for bed then let them have a snack. Annika was feeding Dalton like he was a puppy then she was patting him on the head. Hey whatever makes them get along. Got them in bed then went outside to look at the stars. Even being on vacation all summer with no place to be in a hurry & nothing pressing to do, I’m still feeling busy all the time, but that’s mainly because we’re with the kids all day doing stuff then we come back to the trailer & have to do the dinner bath routine. I’m pooped by the time it’s all done & just want to sleep so I haven’t had a chance to sit outside & enjoy the great outdoors as much as I’d like. Of course the rain & mosquitoes also deterred me from sitting outside in the evening. But this evening was so pretty with clear skies & millions of stars out. I saw 2 satellites as well. Hubby had a fire going so I warmed my bum next to it & got goose bumps all over. Ahhh so nice, but I was sleepy so after about 10 minutes it was bath time for me. Tomorrow is rock climbing day so I need to save my energy. I’m no young pup anymore…haha

Friday, June 28, 2013

June 26 Corn Palace

And here I thought we would have a thunderstorm free evening. Last night we had quite the lightening storm going on. It was as if someone was flicking the lights on & off real fast. I tried to fall asleep fast so I wouldn’t worry about the storm. I heard some thunder rolling & checked the weather & thankfully we only got the bottom end of the storm. The bad stuff was north of us. Whew! Seeing that made it easier for me to sleep.

I tried to sleep in, but during the night some time Dalton came into our bed. After a while I was feeling squished & discovered Annika sleeping on top of the covers in my birds nest (aka in between my legs).Instead of carrying them back to their bed & went to sleep in their bed. Ahhh room to spread out, but it didn’t last long because my little man came back to sleep with me, but by this time it was early morning & that was that. Sigh

The drive to Mitchell was a short one & today’s agenda was to check out the Corn Palace. We were under the impression this was a rather new tourist attraction, but to our surprise it was built in the 1880s. We saw the quick video & they told the story on how the palace came to be. Even with both Dalton & Emry getting ansy & fussy the video was interesting. The designs they put on the outside & inside are simply amazing. The kids got on the tractor inside & the combine & hubby ground some corn on an old fashioned circle grinder then we had some ice cream. As we sat & ate they had a corn cob in a husk mascot walk around & Annika got a picture with it. Dalton on the other hand put his foot brakes on & was not budging. It was funny to watch him freeze from fear. Silly boy. Annika got a red cowgirl hat as her souvenir (she did good on this day) so she could match Jessie from Toy Story. She’s going thru a Toy Story, Jessie the cowgirl, phase along with her horse phase. We took some photos across the street then headed out of the heat. It was 91 degrees & you could feel the heat from the street & sidewalk. Yuck too hot. We headed to an rv store for some part to fix who knows what then to Cabellas & Wal Mart. We went thru a car wash & poor Dalton gets freaked out by them. He puts his face to the side of his car seat & looks the other way & shivers his little body. I have to hold his leg or foot the whole time to reassure him it’s all ok. When it was over he said “again again”. Is he serious? He gets spooked about it then wants to do it again. Weirdo.

I promised the kids we’d go swimming, but it was getting late & I still needed to make dinner.  Now here’s where I start to get pissy. It’s 7pm & I started 4 loads of laundry then started cooking dinner while trying to get the kids changed for swimming & feed the baby. Grrr….why must I do it all? I told hubby to finish the laundry so I could take the kids swimming, but he had to watch the baby so I could have both hands free. He later had to bring the baby to me so he could get the laundry. So I let her take a dip in the pool, which was not the best pool or cleanest one we’ve seen so far. So after swimming we’re done swimming I see that he put his laundry away, but not ours…..grrrrgrrrrgrrrr…..even separating it would have been nice. So I’m in my bathing suit giving Annika & Dalton baths, getting their dinner for them, feeding the baby & myself then bathing the baby & getting her settled since she’s tired & cranky, all the while I’m still in my cold bathing suit. I’m folding all our laundry on the bed & putting it away then I’m pumping the air bed up while baby sits on it & screams. At some point I stuck my head out the door to see hubby sitting all nice & relaxed in his chair reading his book & drinking his freggin wine. Really? I pointed at his little area & said “this is not fair, I’m doing all this stuff in here & it’ll be midnight before I get to bed again” I told him to get his tablet & research some camp sites that need to be booked now since the holiday is coming up. I’ve been trying to find a site for this coming weekend for us to set down for a week & it’s hard trying to find one that’s near everything & has trees & stuff for the kids to do. He said it was too late & nothing could be done now anyway (reservation wise since it was late). Ugh! I wanted to lock the door & let him sleep outside. The baby finally went to sleep & I was finally able to shower. Annika wanted a story so I read her a chapter out of the 1st Laura Ingalls Wilder book I got then sang her 2 songs. Dalton was already snoozing. Just then Emry started to wake up. I quickly fed her & she was back asleep. Hubby comes in from showering & gets in bed. Now here I am at 12:47am typing this & researching camp sites. A mom’s work is never done. Good thing I like my hubby so dang much or else I would’ve kicked his butt to the curb long ago. Ok rant over. Tomorrow will hopefully be a better day.

June 25 Laura Ingalls Wilder homestead

Today was the big day for the Laura Ingalls Wilder homestead. I remember watching Little House on the Prairie as a young kid & to be honest I never knew it was based on an actual person. I never read the books so I just thought it was some tv show. It makes it more interesting to know that it was all true & not made up (well except for the Hollywood spin off part). I was excited to get out there & see what the fuss was about. My 5 year old daughter had no idea about the whole thing & I tried explaining it to her ahead of time. I definitely want to sit with her & watch the tv shows so she can get an idea of what life was like back then. Kids today have it so easy…haha. I know one thing, I don’t think I could make it living out there in those conditions working my butt off 24/7. I’m barely surviving now with all the modern conveniences. Then again maybe that’s the problem. Maybe we have too many conveniences & perks. Perhaps simplifying life to the bare essentials is what it takes? Eh who knows??

Before the tour in town the kids did hands on stuff at the discovery house across the street. It looked like an old school house & I can’t remember now if it was one that had been used in the past or not. Hubby & Annika sat at a table & used Lincoln logs to build a home, both kids sat at the old desks for a photo & they wrote on old chalk board slates. Annika sewed with yarn & used the old style stencil to write her name the way Mary (the blind sister) used to use. From there we started the main tour at the old surveyor’s house where the Ingalls family lived for a while after being at their homestead. It was small & the stairs were really steep, but it was plain & simple. From there we drove down the house that Pa built in town (at least I think he built it…shoot now I can’t remember). You see this is why I have to write this stuff down as I go versus going back & trying to remember. Sheesh. We saw 3 buildings on the first part of the tour & one of them was an old school. Annika was able to grind wheat in an old coffee grinder & again they sat in the seats. I tried listening as carefully as I could when the 15 year old tour guide was speaking, but it was hard to understand her.

Anyway on to the really fun part; the homestead. There were lots of hands on things for the kids to do. They started out climbing to the top of this very tall lookout tower where they could see the entire property (160 acres).  Then there was a small building with lots of memorabilia from the books Laura wrote. Then there was an old merry go round (the wooden type that looks like an octagon). The kids got on & daddy spun them around….a little too fast for Dalton who had that scared look on his face then started to scream. Then it was on to the very long teeter totter (or see saw as I’m used to calling it) & this is where the injury takes place. You know we have to have at least one a day. There were no handles on this thing so the kids had to hold on to the side. I knew Dalton would fall off & hubby let go & Annika went down on her end a bit too hard & the thing bounced, which made Dalton’s butt jump up off the seat & he started to fall off. Thankfully hubby caught him before he hit the ground, but not before he bumped his mouth/lip on the wooden seat. Ouch! No blood thankfully, but he ran to mommy for the magic hug & kiss. My poor baby. He recovered quickly & it was on to the dugout. Yuck. You see back then when the folks got their land they had to first build their shelter & it was usually a dugout. They would dig underground, usually under a mound, & create their home. It was probably 8 ft by 8 ft & had a stove, one window, a table & a bed (although I didn’t see a bed in this dug out). It was sod everywhere & the ground was dirt. When it rained, water could drip inside up to 3 days past the end of the rain. Not fun in my book. I do remember them saying that the family lived in that dug out for one year! Ugh can you imagine? Yes it was cooler in there & safe for tornado weather, but that would be the only time I’d go in there. They also had a shanty that Pa built & to me it looked more like an oversized out house. I’m pretty sure I remember them saying it was 8ft by 6 ft, although hubby thinks it was bigger. It was all wood & tiny with the bare necessities. Laura had 2 other sisters plus her parents all living in this tiny shack. Talk about being close together. Guess you were forced to be outside with nature, although in the winter time that would get really claustrophobic. No thanks.

From there the kids went on to pump the actual well & water came out  & down the slide into the bucket. We explained to Annika that once she filled the bucket she would have to carry that to the house to use for washing (at least twice each time for dishes) then she’d have to do the same & carry it to the barn to give to the animals. It was a hike up hill & the bucket was heavy. Dalton was too short to pump the well, but he was determined & he finally got it going. He was so proud & pointed with his hand up (like Vannah White) & said “see mommy, wa-eerr). I think he’d adjust easily to prairie living. From there they had the house that Pa eventually built & it was bigger, but still small in comparison to today, but then again it had the bare necessities we need for survival. On the side of the house was a wash tub where people could wash laundry the old way. Annika took the soap & scrubbed the towel on the wash board then rinsed it on the other side then ran it through the wringer to get the water out then she carried it over to hang it on the line. I was surprised she did it all & didn’t give up saying it was too hard or boring. I told her “just think of all the diapers you would have to wash like this”. She didn’t think that was fun at all. Dalton also wanted to try, but we just let him hold the plunger looking thing & rinse the towel to satisfy his urge. From there they had a fake calf & rope where you could try out your hand at roping. I was in the house looking around, but the kids were out there giving it their all. Our last part of the fun stuff was the covered wagon ride….oooohhhh. The kids were looking forward to that because they love horses & ponies. Inside the barn was a pony & after the wagon ride they were able to ride the pony. We got in the back of the wagon & sat up front where we could see these 2 giant black horses. They were the size of Clydesdales, but without the furry legs/hooves. Each kid was able to take turns steering (holding the reins). We headed towards the old school house for a tour….or so I thought. They sat inside that classroom for at least 20 minutes dressed up in their prairie clothing, which was cute, but ugh I was ready to go. The “teacher” did a lesson in math, geography, history & English (poem). I took Emry out back to feed her & hubby took Dalton outside who wouldn’t sit still. When school was over the kids were able to take turns ringing the bell. There was a long rope hanging down & I thought for sure it would lift Annika up off the ground, but it didn’t. It was cute, but they really need to slim down that portion of the tour. There were 2 outhouses on the homestead & you could still use them, but I don’t know why you’d want to. Hubby said they were disgusting & he’s one of those “whatever I’ll use it if I have to pee” but he said “no way” so it must have been pretty gross.  We headed back to the horse barn & it was Annika’s turn to hold the reins. She loved it, but she loved the pony ride even more. They let us do whatever we wanted on the pony ride. They said “here ya go” & hubby asked “where do we go?” and she replied “oh wherever you want”. We were surprised they weren’t strict. So Annika went first & daddy held the rope to make the pony go, but she stopped dead in her tracks like a donkey. Nope she wasn’t going. After I took a couple photos I grabbed the rope & somehow made her go. I let Dalton hold the rope too, but if you didn’t hold the pony’s head up she’s stop to eat grass. We let her have a few bites then got her walking again. We went around the big windmill then headed back so Dalton could have a turn. He was a little skiddish, but I held his hand as he rode & Annika took the rope & led the pony. They enjoyed it & from then on it was “how come we can’t have a pony? I want a pony”. Ugh really? I explained to her that horses & ponies were a lot of work, but she said she could do it. Uhhh huh. I had to remind her daily to feed her one beta fish. I think we’ll just let her work at a horse farm when she gets older.

We were finally done with everything & headed to the….oh no don’t say it….the gift shop. Yep melt down strikes again. There really was nothing in there that would have been good to have & I wasn’t about to buy another horse figurine since she has about 30 horses already. I’m hoping my daughter doesn’t turn into a hoarder as she gets older. I bought the first book to read & we headed out with her crying & throwing a fit. So embarrassing & all I wanted to do was hog tie her & toss her into the back of the suv, but I’m sure someone would have called social services on me. Her gift shop meltdowns sure get old. So you’re probably saying “then why go in them?” well it’s hard to avoid them when they put them right there at the entrance & exit of the darn places we’re going to. Believe me we try to avoid them like the plague.

We drove back to town so I could take a photo of the old post office. Anytime I see an old post office I take a photo & send it to my dad. He likes to see them since he spent almost 40 years working as a post man. He said maybe one day he’ll do a book of a bunch of old unique post offices so I’m helping out in case he decides to do it one day. While we were in town we decided to order pizza since we didn’t eat lunch & it was nearly 3pm. We got to camp & Dalton was zonked with his mouth wide opened. After we ate I wanted to nap, but Emry woke up from her nap & was ready to play. Dalton was still snoozing so I read a chapter of the Laura Ingalls Wilder book to Annika while we waited on little man to wake up. She then went outside to sit with her daddy. Dalton finally woke from his nap & ate his pee-puh (pizza). I decided to go ahead & give him an early bath to get it over with. He wasn’t going outside so I figured one down now & the other 2 later. Oh while the baby was sleeping one of the other older rv neighbors invited Kurt to go over & eat some fresh Walleye fish they had caught. Annika went too & had fun because they had 3 little dogs she could play with. I couldn’t go & leave the baby who was now asleep again for the evening so he brought me a piece & it was good & I’m not a fish lover. It didn’t taste fishy at all. In fact Dalton ate almost 3 pieces & Annika ate some too saying it was “delicious, I love that fish”. Score! Oh & apparently the host was sitting out there as well & Kurt got to chit chat with him. He later came in with his whole big eye raised eyebrow look & told me the guy was a little “wacko”. The guy mentioned something about engineering something the size of a pin head to put into people’s bodies to make them do what he wanted. Yeah ok time to go.

Side note: Dalton has a thing for dumping out his drinks. He dumps the last bit of his water & juice in the garbage or on the floor. He likes to squeeze the juice boxes when they are almost empty. It irritates us because he usually makes a mess. I told hubby he needs to only have his sippy cup from now on, but we usually forget when we’re out & about. At the homestead he dumped his water into the pony’s water bucket. Oi that kid.

Another side note: Both kids love to watch Toy Story & sing the songs. They’ve probably watched part 1 & 2 20 times since we hit the road. “Woody Buzz Woody Buzz” is what Dalton says when he wants to watch the movie. They both can recite multiple lines from the movie. I’m thinking those 2 movies might have to get “lost” for about a week or longer.