Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Busy Summer So Far

We have been really busy so far this summer.  The last two weeks of June, we took a family vacation.  This was the first vacation that we have really been on as a family that did not involve going to stay with family.  We went to the Black Hills in South Dakota. We did so many things that it would be tough to list them all. On the way we went to the Omaha Zoo.  It was a really nice zoo.  They have an aquarium that the kids enjoyed.  It had a part that you could walk through the tunnel under the water.

They had a variety of animals running loose.

Noooo... I was not chasing that peacock....

We stopped at the Corn Palace on the drive through South Dakota.

Nathan was acting a bit "corny".

While we were driving we saw signs inviting us to feed the prairie dogs.  We ended up stopping there at least three time to feed the prairie dogs.  We all managed to get them to eat out or our hand eventually.

We stayed four nights in Spearfish South Dakota and went hiking in Spearfish Canyon.  We liked the hike to Devil's Bathtub.

We visited devils tower.

We went on other hikes, hung out at the campground, visited Deadwood, and went to the DC Booth historic fishery.

After Spearfish, we went to Custer State Park.  We stayed 6 nights there. 

While we were there we explored the park we went to Bear Country

Went to Reptile Gardens,  rode the 1880's train, saw The Cosmos

Visited Mount Rushmore

Went and saw a replica of a 500+ year old Norwegian Church in Rapid City

In the middle of the vacation we had a bit of excitement.  We were on our way to see the Mammoth Site and we were t-boned at an intersection.  Thankfully we were in the Expedition and were able to walk away from the accidents with very minor injuries.

 But, this is not what you want to have happen right in the middle of vacation.  We were stuck in Hot Springs SD for a while but eventually we got a rental and were able to finish out our vacation.
We did go back to the Mammoth Site the next day.  This is one of the few pictures with me in it.  It is a little blurry because Zadok took it, but it proved that I actually went with my family to SD.

After Custer we stayed a couple of nights in the Badlands.

While there we got to go down into one of the missile control centers from the cold war.

That was neat.  On the way back home we stopped at the 1880's town in Murdo SD
Zadok was pulled on stage to "perform" with the group.   He is the hairy guy at the cymbal.

This picture sums up Zadok pretty well.  He is trying to make the train go faster!!!

After we got home we had to deal with the insurance and unpacking everything.  I am also working top speed on the dissertation so that has been taking up most of my days.  I have not even touched my sewing machine in a month and doubt that I will till this paper is done.

Last weekend I had a neat experience.  Nathan's mother, brother, and nephews came for a visit.  It was also the Red Rock Balloon Fest.  We went for a picnic on Saturday to watch the balloons, but because of wind they did not fly.  They did a tethered glow flight that night.

The next morning, Judy and I went chasing the balloons at 6am and watched them set up for a competition flight.

We went to both drop spots and watched the balloons for a couple of hours.  It was pretty to watch 20+ balloons come over the lake.

Well off to work on the dissertation a bit more...and do a bit of car shopping.

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