Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Rapid City trip 2021- part 2.

So special to get a picture with Papa and Gigi (their great grandparent names). I'm thankful for each great grandparent picture we get to take. The girls have 5/8 great grandparents left living, and seeing them is a treasure!

Taylor, my cousin's daughter, also got to join in on a lot of the fun with us while we were there!

One morning we went to Old MacDonald's Farm and it was such a cute place. It's basically like a large petting zoo. They had goats, pigs, chicks, lambs, donkeys, turkeys, chickens, llamas, ostriches, and probably more that I am forgetting. The girls were a little scared feeding the animals, but they were brave and did it a few times! I think Lucy and Ellory liked the feeding a bit more than Norah. Below is the girls with my sister Kayla and mom.

They enjoyed a pony ride!

And a train ride!

The girls with Taylor, Aunt Kayla, and my cousin Victoria.

Feeding the baby goats.

Ellory is the biggest animal lover. It's so fun to watch. She asked so many questions. She would make a great vet someday.

Baby chicks.

We got to celebrate my dad's birthday while we were there. Fun to be with him on the actual day!

Girls photo with second cousin Taylor (but they just called each other cousins), and cousin Avery.

The girls were excited to see Papa and Gigi's house. My grandpa was a big hunter and the girls were amazed at his animal heads on the wall. He has quite a few in their sunroom, and the girls have never seen anything like that before. He also has a fish tank they loved too!

We went to Dinosaur Park one morning, which was fun to show the girls because I also remember going there when I was little. The girls thought the dinosaurs were cool and enjoyed it, but also were a tad disappointed there wasn't any actual playground equipment, so we went to a different park after this too.

Picture with my cousin Victoria, my dad, my sister Karlie and niece Avery, and my sister Kayla.

Climbing the dinosaurs.

There was a pretty view at the top! The girls were amazed at all the hills and views there!

We went swimming twice while we were there too, which is always a hit.

Grandpa and Ellory.

My Uncle Jeff and Lucy.

Another morning we went to Bear Country USA, which is a drive through wildlife park. You drive through most of it, and there is also a part to walk through at the end. It was a fun outing! Love group pictures- here is the Van Etten gang (my mom's maiden name)- missing some of course, but glad to get who was able to be there.

We were able to see more animals than I thought we would, which was fun! The bears were a favorite.

What a fun trip! So glad we were able to go and see family/do some fun new activities.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Rapid City trip 2021- part 1.

The girls and I took a trip to Rapid City, SD to visit family and we had tons of fun! Kley had to stay back to work and we missed him, but are grateful we could go. My maternal grandparents live there as well as an aunt and her family. My cousin has one daughter, Taylor, who is 8 and it was so fun to watch her and the girls together. Taylor and Norah hadn't seen each other since Norah was one (so basically it was like them meeting for the first time), and none of my aunt's family had met Lucy and Ellory yet. So sad that it's been that long, but glad we could make it happen. There was a Christmas gathering a couple years ago that we missed because we were all sick, so it had been far too long since we had seen them. We had seen my grandparents sooner than that thankfully, but it had still been a very long time due to COVID. Everyone but my brother and his family was able to come from my family, and one cousin and aunt/uncle were able to come from Chicago also. Yay!

We rented a place where we could all stay together, which was great to have a common area where we could all hang out and all see each other more staying in the same place. It was beautiful! The girls kept commenting on the pretty views and all the hills!

Lucy and Ellory enjoyed throwing rocks into the water. We had great weather and I love these pictures because they are such a perfect representation of childhood.

We went on multiple paddleboat rides. It was free when you stayed there and was right outside our place- a super fun amenity! This is my Uncle Jeff, Aunt Darla, Taylor, and Norah.

Uncle Zack and Aunt Kayla with Lucy and Ellory.

We went to Storybook Island one day, which was so fun to show the girls because I remember going there when I was younger when we could come to visit my grandparents. It's a park based off of classic stories, so it has fun houses, statues, and play areas each corresponding to a story. So fun!

Grandpa (my dad) giving the girls some fun rides at the park there.

Carousel rides.

A train ride too.

So neat to take the girls to a place I have such special childhood memories at. Here's Taylor, my dad, and Norah in the face holes.

The three little pigs.

Uncle Jeff trying to sneak in a girls picture.

A really fun day!

Al's Oasis didn't really mean anything to the girls, but it was a place we always stopped at during our trips to Rapid City, so it was fun to take a picture by the sign. This was the longest car trip the girls had ever done, and I did it solo, and it went really well. Proud of all of us!