- The fuel pump in my car hasn't shown any more sign of failing, so I think it may have been misdiagnosed. It drove beautifully to South Dakota and back and is still hanging on.
- The air conditioner is working fine again. I cleaned all around the unit and it still wasn't working, so we broke down and had the repair guy come out. He said that there was a part (I don't remember which now) that wasn't very secure, so it was intermittently coming loose. He wrote it up as an installation recall, so we didn't even have to pay for the service call!
Now on to the good stuff, with pictures!
My kids turned 11 on July 30. We had a party at the rec center on the Sunday before so they could invite friends. There was lots of swimming and they got fun gifts. Then on their birthday, we had a smaller get together with my parents, CaSis and her girls, D & J and their kids. We had cake and ice cream and they got money to use towards our trip.
The birthday kids with their yummy cake my sister got at Costco. Her membership came in VERY handy while she was here!
The cousins. They all enjoyed hanging out together so much. But I can't believe how fast they are all growing up... :(
My mom and the kids waiting for the cake to be cut.
My babies. I can't believe that they are 11.
The next morning we headed to South Dakota. The drive went very smoothly and we pulled into Rapid City 6 hours later. The plan was to go to our motel and check in and then head to Mount Rushmore for the Lighting Ceremony. As we were approaching the turnoff to Rushmore, we decided to just go there then. We were thrilled to find out that although the parking pass was $10, it was good for the rest of the calendar year. AND there is no admission to the memorial. We walked the whole trail with all the viewing spots and took a lot of pictures.
The trail that we walked along went right through all these trees. It was very peaceful and relaxing.
We went back the next night, since our parking passes were still good, to see the illumination ceremony. The speech before was kind of long, but the lighting of the rock was pretty cool.
We were kind of surprised at the size of it. It was smaller than we expected. I think that you grow up hearing that there are these faces carved into the side of a mountain, and you think that it's massive. In actuality, it is faces sculpted in a huge rock. While still awe-inspiring and impressive, it almost takes something away from it to have such a huge expectation. But we were very happy that we went and were able to do so as a family. Going with my dad and my sister and her family was icing on the cake.
Next up... The recap, and pictures, of our day in Deadwood. And what's been happening since then.