Friday, June 8, 2012

Day 3 - South Dakota

Our first full day in Rapid City brought another busy and fun day.  We started the morning off with a trip to see Mt Rushmore.  We got there before 9am so it wasn't too crowded and was still pretty cool (although the sun was very bright).  We were able to take a walk on a trail around the park and get many good views of the monument.

Once we were finished at Mt Rushmore, we drove another 11 miles to see Crazy Horse.  This drive was through the Black Hills Forest and was very beautiful.  The place was crowded as there was some race, Volksmarch, going on.  We were all shocked by the $27 parking fee (more than Mt Rushmore) and then overwhelmed with the large crowds.  We drove up and parked, took one picture, and then left.  All was not a waste though, we found two more license plates for our license plate game. :)

After we were done at these two places, we went to lunch (Golden Corral) and then back to the hotel for a break and some down time.  After a while, we headed back out to hit up Bear Country USA and Reptile Gardens.  Ross fell asleep right as we drove into Bear Country USA and slept through the entire drive through "zoo" and the baby land portion.  I sat in the car with Ross while the rest of the crew went to the baby land area so he could get some decent sleep.  We kept this little guy going hard every day :)

There was a little National Geographic going on... I took a video of it too if anyone wants to see :)

Pictures from the Baby Land portion.  Everyone said this was the best part of Bear Country.  They said the babies were just playing like crazy:

When we left the hotel for Bear Country we kept Reptile Gardens as tentative but decided to go ahead and check it out as well.  We caught the alligator and crocodile show just as we got there.  After the show we walked around and saw the prairie dogs, the tortoises, and lots of snakes and birds.  

After our busy day we decided to go back to Texas Roadhouse (the peanut restaurant).  We had eaten at one in Sioux Falls and it was pretty good.  Not so much in Rapid City.  I called ahead so we were seated quickly but the wait for our food was LONG, the food was rotten (Steve got wings that tasted like vinegar and Reid's requested medium steak was overcooked).  Despite the rotten food, we had a good time.  We celebrated grandma's birthday (one week early) with TWO desserts although she kept telling the waiter it wasn't her birthday. :)

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