Monday, June 04, 2007

Memorial Day weekend Wrap up

We took our family vacation before school was even out! We have the kids for Memorial Weekend so we went to Sioux Falls to see Kurt's parents (cheap hotel)! We had hoped to go to Omaha, but Kelly's family went to Branson for the weekend.

I had sandwiches and packed Ziploc lunches to eat on the way. We were on the road by 8 am Saturday morning which is quite an accomplishment for us. Since we are on the poverty stricken end of things, our goal was to do cheap fun stuff.

We drove west and stopped in Pocahontas to get our picture taken with her. We're all about the roadside oddities. Our next stop was in Mallard next to the giant duck. Then we loaded back up and headed for West Bend and the Grotto of the Redemption.

The Grotto was awesome! So many different and colorful stones from all over. They have a stalagmite from Carlsbad Caverns and lots and lots of petrified wood. We took the free guided tour then had lunch on the grounds.

Next we got back in the car and headed for the cemeteries. We stopped and put flowers on both sets of Kurt's grandparents and his older brother's graves. The stone for his brother is new as is the one for his parents...even though they are still with us, they've gotten that purchased and placed. It's very attractive lol. Kurt wanted to drive past his parents farm. We haven't been by since Grandma's house was knocked down. We stopped in Lone Rock and climbed on the giant rock, too.

Christy was interested in Okoboji so we drove down there to check it out. We got out and walked around a bit. We also finally managed to locate the Abbey Gardiner cabin of Spirit Lake massacre fame. I've wanted to see that since I learned about it in 5th grade Iowa history. It was kind of a let down.

We finally got to Sioux Falls around 630 pm. Grandma had oatmeal cinnamon raisin cookies backing and supper in the oven (very unusual). Their new apartment is very nice. It's a huge 3 bedroom. Kurt and I actually got to sleep in a bed! We were sooooo excited. Air mattresses get less and less attractive as does sharing a room with the kids.

Sunday morning we went to the Great Plains Zoo. It was surprisingly nice. I don't think I've ever been to a zoo when it hasn't been August and a million degrees. We got there right at 9. The animals were out and having breakfast. the Siberian Tigers were especially impressive. One caught a black bird right in front of us. The he leaped up on the chain link (3 feet from us) and attacked another one. It was WILD!!!! I thought maybe the kids would be too old for the zoo, but they really enjoyed it.

Lyle and Audra Kae took us to a car sale at the fairgrounds for free brats, burgers and chips. It was something else. It was easy to go than to protest. After lunch we drove a half hour east and north to Garretson, SD where we went on the Jesse James Pontoon ride on the Split Rock river. Jesse and what was left of his gang hid out in nearby Devil's Gulch after their botched robbery in Northfield, MN. We got to explore Devil's Gulch and cross the bluffs where he made a 20ft jump with his horse. (There's a bridge there now). The pontoon ride was peaceful and relaxing.

We spent the evening watch BLOOD DIAMOND and playing cards. We left for home Monday morning around 10. I packed more sandwiches and we took another route home. We visited Orange City to see the windmills (they have nothing on Pella), drove through a giant wind farm near Storm Lake, stopped to see the world's largest popcorn ball in Sac City, and finished up with a visit to the fort in Fort Dodge. It was a really nice trip!

No comments: