We never go on vacation. My husbands many jobs keep him too busy and my staying home with the kids means money for extras is limited. I must have been pretty grouchy during the hard push to get cows out and corn planted for my poor considerate husband to declare that we were going, no matter what. If we wait for all the work to be done on the farm we would never leave the place. If we waited for the work load to lighten at the job in town the results would be the same. If we wait until the kids are old enough or well behaved, well you get the idea.
So when the day came we finally managed to get out the door not too long after the time we were aiming for. Stopped in town for a couple groceries and some cash. We even made it to Hot Springs before lunch. In time to walk along the river, look at the water fall and the springs. And feed 8.
So the Goblin Child and her father walked while I fed. They got back as he got done and we went again. Unfortunately strapping 8 into the stroller, which he is totally cool with what with him being so secure and all, inspired horrible jealousy and a pretty good temper-tantrum.
After lunch we headed north. As planned both children fell asleep and we got to enjoy the beautiful drive in peace. They woke up just as we pulled into Legion Lake with all the fun things to do. And it was time to feed 8. So The Goblin Child and her father got out to explore the options while I fed.
They came back all excited to report paddle boats. She desperately wanted to ride in the white one, so we got tickets. Luckily for her they were all white. Nobody was policing the time, we could have stayed out on the cool water as long as we wanted exploring the shear cliffs and families of baby geese. She did not want to. She wanted to splash and jump around and, mostly, to get out.
So we did. We also repeated the stroller issues.We also Walked along the lake, climbed on the playground and the rocks and waded in the water.
Once in Custer we found our hotel which had a pool. Unfortunately it was not warm, the weather or the water. We swam anyway. She plunged happily down the slide and bounced in the water where she could, just, reach the bottom until the shivers racking her little body overwhelmed her and we retreated to the room and a hot shower.
The next morning we found a large furry guest playing in our tub. We also headed further north up the iron mountain road which we enjoyed immensely. The children not so much. 8 cried then fell asleep, The Goblin Child kept wanting to know when we were going to see the dinos she had seen in the brochure at breakfast. She was not interested in the rocks and trees we were so strangely fascinated by. She was happy to find and point out deer as we passed. Finally much to her relief she fell asleep too and when she woke we were at the dinos.
And it was time to feed 8. So The Goblin Child and her father got out to explore the Dinosaurs. I wasn’t all displeased to sit in the car while they climbed clear up there in that heat. I did want to play on them with The Goblin Child having been there and played on them with my parents as a small child around her age. Not bad enough apparently and I declined the offer to go once 8 was done.
We had lunch at Hu Hots! The family next to us said they had left their children in the car watching Frozen with the nanny. It would have been much more peaceful. Despite her obnoxiousness The Goblin Child was pretty into it and loved watching the food get cooked.
The we went to Storybook Island. What more is there to say.
It’s always sounded pretty cheesy to me. Its not. It was probably her favorite. She walked as though in a daze from one thing to the next unable to believe that such a place existed. I don’t know that I can properly describe the state of sheer happiness she was in. 8 rode contentedly in the stroller enjoying his bottle.
Then the impossible happened and it got even better. A friend and the youngest of her children, a few years older then The Goblin Child and incredibly sweet, showed up and she had someone to explore the wonders with. It is an amazing and small world.
After reaching a state of exhaustion we drug her away from her little slice of heaven. To A&W. After refreshments it was time to return home. Thinking the children would be tired and might sleep we decided to go through the needles. It was beautiful to us boring and awful to the children who were not tired and would not sleep much preferring to cry. After stopping several times to feed/console 8 we finally made it home. Trips must have been easier before this whole car seat thing. We were exhausted but had enjoyed our trip immensely.