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    Hello from the Black Hills

    Thursday, August 13, 2009

    Familie Schmitt survived the 650 mile drive from Rochester to Rapid City and are happily planning their first day of vacation. We made stops at the Mitchell Corn Palace, Wall Drug and the Badlands along our route. The drive through South Dakota is a fascinating one with billboards for Wall Drug and western towns dotting the horizon. It reminds me of my childhood drives to Florida with See Rock City and Lookout Mountain ads along the way. Benjamin is handling the long hours in the car amazingly. He is impressed with everything. "They have free breakfast in the hotel?!?" "THERE IS A POOL -- OUTSIDE?!" "WALL DRUG IS SO FUN!" What a treat for us.

    Lately, Benjamin has an annoying habit of beginning every sentence with "Hey!" - for example, "Hey! There's a big truck!", "Hey! I wanted to finish those fries!" or "Hey! My crayon just fell on the floor." So we've been asking him constantly to stop saying "hey". Somewhere along the last leg of our drive (from the Badlands to Rapid City), for the 100th time, he yelled out "HEY!" -- or so we thought. Mike turned around and began yelling at him to "STOP SAYING HEY!" Benjamin began to cry and somehow spitted out "I wasn't saying HEY! I was talking about the stuff for horses: HAY!" Mike and I immediately found ourselves in a fit of laughter and eventually even Benjamin, who had been crying, was laughing, too. There were rolls of hay all over the farms, waiting to dry out or be picked up or whatever it is farmers do with those things and he was just pointing one out. But hey - maybe he'll think twice about saying that again! Haha.

    We are off to Storybook Island today. The temperature is supposed to reach 100 degrees or close to that. Sunblock and hats have been packed.