Monday, August 27, 2007


Despite the long drive and the rainy days, Rapid City and the Black Hills of South Dakota was a great vacation. Being the patriotic freak that I am, Mt. Rushmore was by far my favorite place. I loved walking all the trails and listened with fascination to all the "extra stuff" on the audio tour - unlike my traveling companions who skipped ahead to see if they were going to get to climb in someone's nose or something fun like that.There was a Naturalization Ceremony on the day of our visit. Sixty people, many of them servicemen and women, were sworn in as American citizens that day, under the watchful gazes of George, Thomas, Theodore and Abe. I cried. It's not an unexpected response at moments like those. The Crazy Horse Memorial - well c'mon, let's get movin'. It's been sixty years in the making and this is how much is left to go. Yes, it's significantly bigger than Mt. Rushmore but, ....'nuff said.This guy walked along side our car for a while, sort of like an escort, while at Bear Country, USA. (Remember - traveling with a 10-year old means only so much historical stuff and the rest is touristy stuff!!), Then, I guess he just got tired. Truth be told, Bear Country was my second favorite place. A zoo that you drive through. The animals get really close to your car, stop in the middle of the road, walk along side your car, follow your car, etc. Your totally safe (if you follow the rules!) and you still get to see them up close and personal and running free (sort of).Then there was this wiener guy, not Jon, the one in the bun. Jon's afraid the wiener might go blind doing this. It's rare when you get an autograph of a president. Rarer still when you get one from a dead president. Rapid City is staking a claim as the City of Presidents by placing bronze statues of presidents on the street corners throughout the city. You can run into John Quincy Adams on one Corner and Jimmy Carter on another. "To Jon: Dude you saved my butt with that awesome opening to the Declaration of Independence. "We the people in order to for a more perfect union ... blah, blah, blah." I mean, that rocked!" Thanks again, Thom."

Sometimes, the best faces are the ones that don't know you're watching. I'm so glad to have had this time with my family. It's the end of the summer and there are big changes brewing here. Not just the usual end-of-summer changes but big ones and they have me, out of sorts and full of anxiety and woe.