Tuesday, June 25, 2013

All Aboard!!!!!!

Monday was supposed to be stormy, so we got a very early start.  We drove up to Keystone to catch the 1880 Train and do the round trip to Hill City.
The train depot in Keystone.
Samuel was very excited and very anxious for the train to arrive.  We heard the whistle and this is a picture of Sam trying to get a first glimpse!
 We had a diesel engine on the way to Hill City.  When we get there, they will switch it to steam.  It takes the steam engine 4 hours to fire up, and no one wants to get up that early in the morning!
 The inside of the railroad car.
 Some of the view was of rock......I was actually trying to snap a picture of some wild flowers! 
 I gave up on wild flowers, and as a consequence, you have a shot of my feet!
 Harney Peak
 After an hour of winding through the Black Hills, we arrived at Hill City.
 Samuel enjoying a cookie.
 Our engine.
 After our ride, we took a walk down the boulevard in Keystone.
Sam liked this horse.
 It was lunch time and we all decided on pizza.....
and chocolate milk for Sam!
 Very cheesy pizza!
 After a great pizza, we bought Divinity for Grandma at the fudge shop and then piled back in the car.  Sam wanted to do the Alpine Slide again, but the rest of us out voted him and we headed off to Hill City instead.
Cute stores for Jessica and I to peruse.
Jim and Sam walked.
We all enjoyed the Jon Crane Gallery.  Samuel loved all the paintings featuring farm houses and snow.  We had great conversations about them.

This is Sam's favorite.
He loves the snow, the house and all the buildings.
 Loved this train print, so, we bought it to put in the office.
We have trains going by there ALL the time.
Samuel has to run out at watch every single one......

I liked this one.
Love the seasons.
After digging in some sand at the rock shop, we headed off home to chill out.
Jessica has been asking to go to The Black Hills Maze.  So, even though dark clouds were looming, and there was a crash of thunder as we pulled into the parking lot, we ventured through the maze anyway!!  Well, when I say we, I mean Jim, Jessica and Samuel.  Jessica made it out in 28 minutes and the rest of the mob made it out in 38.  No "Wall of Shame" for the Purdys.
The Maze.
On the way back to Mom and Dad's we picked up Taco John's.  We haven't had Taco John's for a very long time....probably not since we left Rapid City 17 years ago!  We really liked it, but, times change things.
It wasn't very good.  The potato thingies were good, but that was about it.
The rain never did come.  Dad baked coconut cake and we had it with butter pecan ice-cream.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Slip, Slidin' Away

Saturday morning started of rainy and dreary.
But, by the time we headed out the door, it was a beautiful day.
First thing we headed off to the Alpine slide at Keystone.
After signing a release that freed them of all liability, we boarded the chairlift.
 It went up much higher than I remembered.  But, I had Sam with me, so I felt INVINCIBLE!!!!
 View from the lift.
 A shot of the slide and the way down.
Except for Jessica......she rode back down on the chair lift.
 A shot of Mount Rushmore from the top of the mountain.
Zoom lenses are a wonderful thing!
 This is non-zoomed.
 The crew.
 Some more shots of Mount Rushmore.
 Jessica tried to get a shot of us zooming down the mountain.
 At the top of this shot, you can faintly see Samuel zipping down.
Jessica said he was going fast.
 There goes Jim in hot pursuit of Samuel.
 Pulling up at the rear, Sally-Ann.  I loved going fast, but took the signs that said, "slow down, sharp corner" seriously.  Also, some corners had nets that were not there the last time we rode.......that was quite a few years ago.  I suspect someone went sailing off the side......
 Love going to Mount Rushmore.  It is always very busy, but today it didn't seem quite so bad.
Samuel declared that it was now officially,
"Lunch Time."
We decided to head back down to Keystone to grab something to eat.  The plan was to eat, look around and then ride the 1880 Train.
We picked a place and went to eat. 
Sam had a bit of a tough time, he didn't have a full blown melt down, but he was very tearful and loud.  He did settle down and eat his lunch.  This in itself is a huge step.  It wasn't that long ago we would have had to bag everything up and leave.  I know we were probably shot some looks, but, that does not even phase us anymore.  The important thing was that Sam pulled it together.  He was able to tell us that he needed to go home.  When Sam tells us that, we know that he needs to go and chill and that is exactly what we did!
 We ended up not going anywhere else for the rest of the day.  The day turned nasty again with dark clouds, thunder, lightening and heavy rain.
Sam and I ended the evening with a energetic game of Wii bowling!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Free Ice Water........You're Almost There........Wall Drug

On Friday we woke up to a rainy, dreary day.  As a result, we had to change our plans a bit for the day.  We decided to head out to Badlands National ParkSamuel wanted to see the desert, and this was the closest thing to that around here! 
Just as a side note.  You can tell who is taking the photo by how close, or in this case, how far, they are away from the edge.
A sign that makes a mother's heart leap for joy!!
Samuel taking a moment to explore.
Samuel has no fear of heights, and liked to go very close to the edges.
This was a safe spot!!!
Come on Jess!
Left, left, left, right, left.......
All the way to the Badlands, we saw signs like this....
and this
This is what started the whole Wall Drug thing......
We were starving, so when we saw this sign
 we decided that Wall Drug had to be our next stop.
We were very glad that we didn't see this sign!
When we saw this sign, we thought of Courtney!

Yee Haw!!
Giddy up.....
There were a lot of changes in the "backyard" of Wall Drug.
We were very happy to see that the Jackalope was still there.  It wouldn't be the same if we couldn't take a picture with the Jackalope!!!
Riding the range......
Sam and I got to pan for gold.
It was very exciting.
Scooping out his treasure.
At the end of our visit, Sam wanted to splash in the sprinkler park.
Nobody else let their children get wet.
Sometimes, you just have to splash.
It is one of the joyful things in life.
For the price of a towel, one little boy had a fantastic time.
We spent the better part of the day at the Badlands and Wall Drug.
When we finally arrived back at Jim's parents we barbecued this up for dinner......yum, yum.........
If you are looking for some great recipes, The Girl Who Ate Everything is a good blog to check out.