6.15.2011

Mt. Rushmore or Bust

In May, we took our first real family vacation for the three of us. We've been to Washington, Utah, and to some other places, but this time, it was just the three of us and we were so excited! Living in the panhandle of Nebraska, we kind of feel like we are far away from everything, and we are...except for Mt. Rushmore! It was only a 3 1/2 hour drive, so we knew we needed to go! We planned up our trip for weeks, asked our friends about what we should do when we were there, booked a little cabin, and waited for the day to arrive. Around that time, spring decided that it needed a vacation too, and we kept checking the weather, hoping our vacation days would be filled with sun, not rain. It didn't change...but we were ready anyway, and left for our fun-filled trip.
We were a little surprised (and worried) when we drove through this on our way there...



Our plan for our first day was to go straight to Mt. Rushmore and see everything, walk around town, and then go back to the cabin around dinner time to roast hot dogs and smores. Well, things didn't go that way. The snow slowed us down and we made multiple stops along the drive to give Jessica a break and every time we did, we noticed her diapers weren't holding up like we want them to. She went through three outfits that first day, and we were a little worried we were going to run out of clean clothes! So, instead, we went straight to our cabin, and were thrilled to find that it was only raining and spent a lazy afternoon together. Andrew's birthday was the next day, but Jessica and I decided he should open one present then, so he did. 
Then, we realized the weather might be worse tomorrow, so we might as well go visit Mt. Rushmore, so we loaded up our rain gear and headed out. The people at the parking entrance said the cloud was just starting to part so we should be able to see the Presidents, and we could...through the haze of the clouds.

We wanted to make sure Jessica was warm and dry, so she stayed in her stroller and we wrapped a huge bag around her (her body, not her head...don't worry). She was thrilled!


We took a few pictures and headed back to cook our hot dogs inside the cabin instead. It was a great, wet day, and we were so glad we were staying in our warm cabin and not in a cold tent. The rain was pouring all night, but miraculously, the next morning, the sun came out for a little bit, so we thought we'd try it again. We drove through some more rain on the way there, but the clouds seemed to part just for us, and this was the view we got that morning. What a difference!



Even though the sun was out when we got there, we were still expecting the rain to begin, so we had all of our rain gear and cold gear on and bundled up Jessica in plenty of layers (leggings, pants, long sleeves, winter coat, hat, gloves, and a blanket wrapped around her). We were able to hike the trail, go to the Visitor's Center, and take lots of pictures. Throughout all of this, our extra layers slowly came off as we were roasting! Jessica rode in our backpack carrier and loved it. Andrew made a top for it so she would be shaded...and to keep out the rain just in case.


After we saw all we wanted to see, we had a picnic lunch and headed into town. We'll post more on that later. 

Oh, but in case you were wondering if Jessica likes family vacations, well, just look at that grin below. She loved it!!!