Thursday, June 30, 2022

Back in the Pool

We wasted no time getting back in the pool after vacation and have been in every day this week.
Esme was contremplating something here and it was just too cute.
Parker got a new hair cut this week as well, a cool summer 'do.  He still loves hopping in the pool every day, but is usually done in 15-20 minutes.  I think it's partly Esme bothering him and partly wanting to make sure he has time to go for a bike ride with Jimmy.
Pool count update, 27 days in the pool!

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Herrmann Haul 2022: Part 4

We packed the van up Friday morning to head to great-grandma's in Nebraska.  I don't remember why, but I look a little annoyed in this picture.
We had a good amount of time to burn, so we took the scenic route by starting with the Needles Highway drive in Custer State Park.  It's got incredible views and some crazy narrow tunnels you get to drive through.
We drove a little bit of the wildlife loop as well in hopes of seeing some, but all we got were a few donkeys and some bison in the bison center.
We drove towards Hermosa and Red Shirt next to get a glimpse of the Badlands.  Red Shirt Table overlook gave us some gorgeous views.
That was the last of our morning sightseeing.  Chadron, Ne was our next destination for lunch.  We ended up on a gravel road for about 20 miles.  This is also where we crossed the SD-NE state line.  It was a stop sign and cattle guard in the middle of nowhere.  Jimmy and I had Runza for lunch.  It's been almost 4 years since we've had a chance to enjoy this unique treat.
We knocked out day 5 of ice cream by sharing a dish of twist.
It was nearly a straight shot from here to O'Neill.  We hit a tiny spot of rain on this part of the drive, but that was it for our whole trip other than the storm the first night.
We stopped at grandma's house for a quick supper before heading to the hotel and getting a quick swim in.
We swan once more time in the morning and both kids were showing off the skills and confidence they have been picking up.  The video below shows Esme swimming across the full width of the pool without touching.  Parker was exploring the deep end as well.  He hasn't started swimming independently yet, but loves going under water.  He was pushing off the bottom to catch a breath, then going back down.
We took a picture with our shirts once my cousin, Jennifer, and her kids arrived.
It's been over 2 years since we've seen any extended family in Nebraska, so it was a fun day.
We hit the road about 2:30 for home.  As much as I would have loved to stay, we really wanted a full day at home after nearly a week away.
We made our final ice cream stop a big one by stopping in the Ice Cream Capital of the World, Le Mars, IA!
Esme went back to her favorite, chocolate!
I will admit, I was ready for some peace and quiet by the time we were home, but I am already thinking about where our next road trip will be!

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Herrmann Haul 2022: Part 3

Another morning in Hill City brought out the cinnamon rolls.  This is the most genuine smile you'll probably ever get from Parker.  He loves cinnamon rolls.  We started our day with a ride on the 1880 train.
he lin
Steam engines first arrived in the Black Hills in 1879 during the mining boom and were a vital part of industry for many decades.  The line of track it runs on now it solely for the Black Hills Central Railroad going between Hill City and Keystone.
Parker was a little nervous again as we boarded the train.  He had a few little tears in him eyes, but was handling it well and Esme was comforting him.
It was about an hour ride each way with a 15 minute break in between.
Parker recovered well and enjoyed watching out the window.
It was really fun scenery and we ended up driving the road that crossed over the tracks on our way back from Rapid City later that night.
We hit up the pool after lunch before taking a walk in downtown Hill City.
The giant Smokey the Bear carving was hard to miss as we drove in to town.  The Dahl brothers from Dahl's Chainsaw Art have a few locations in the Black Hills.  They actually grew up in Dawson, MN, where we stopped on our first day driving out.
We spotted this ice cream shop on our first day in town and were excited to check it out.  Cream makes all of their flavors in house and I was so happy that Esme chose birthday cake instead of her signature chocolate.  Mocha chip for me and triple berry for Jimmy.
Parker shared a couple licks, but ice cream isn't his thing.
We explored the rest of main street with some souvenir and window shopping.  We found the cutest little Esme-sized Pac-Man game in the Harley store.
After supper we decided to take a drive to Rapid City.  We stopped at Candyland which touts itself as the largest candy store in the state.  They also have an adorable candy themed mini golf course that would be fun.  We grabbed some treats for the road before heading out.
We didn't have much of a plan in Rapid city other than stopping at the Dinosaur Park.  Jimmy spotted the Herrmann Insurance sign and we had to stop for a picture.  Long lost relatives maybe?
Dinosaur Park has been open since 1936.  It stands on the highest point in the city and offers 360 degree views.
I feel like my parents have a similar picture of me with the triceratops.  If I find it, I will have to share it.
Whew, what a great day!  Esme was ready to hit the hay with her new horse friend, Happy.  One more night in Hilly City, then off to Nebraska tomorrow.