From Minneapolis and Beyond...

Dear Emma, Sebbie, and Lizzie,

We made it to South Dakota! It was a looooong drive.

Monday we spent a good part of our day packing, but we did make time for a couple of fun things. After lunch we went out for ice cream (again), have you noticed we do that a lot? Ice cream isn’t my favorite dessert but everyone else in my family loves it.

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The place we went, Milkjam Creamery, had crazy ice cream flavors too! But you know what was SUPER-DUPER crazy? They had an ice cream sandwich made with a donut! Clearly, I need to go to more ice cream shops because I didn’t know this existed!

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Look how my neck is bulging out trying to eat it — it was hard work!

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I got Turkish Coffee Toffee ice cream because I love cardamom. Skye got the Thai Iced Tea flavor because she loves bubble tea.

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After ice cream we headed to the most amazing playground I’ve ever seen. It was gigantic! I had to make a video so you could appreciate its size:

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This is Dylan and Skye’s cousin, pushing them on the swing.

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I was also surprised that going to this playground is free. I thought we’d have to pay for parking, or an entrance fee, at such a nice place, but we didn’t. Inside the building with the snacks and bathrooms was this sign (It might be hard to read so I’ve typed the text below it):

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We must always remember we serve a diverse population. The opportunity to utilize Hennepin Parks as a place to refresh the body and rejuvenate the spirit should be available to people of all ages, cultures, and physical abilities. Hennepin Parks’ vision for the future must include a continued commitment toward understanding the needs of all people, in order to foster greater use of our resources.

That’s a big and important idea! What do you think about it?

The kids could have stayed at the park for the rest of the day, but we had to get home and pack. Remember how full our car was before we picked up Dylan? We had to make space for him. Don’t tell anyone, but we’ve had this problem before; we’re not very good at packing light.

We had to leave behind Dylan’s big suitcase and mail some stuff home. But we did it! This is how it looked when we drove away Tuesday morning:

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Our first stop was the post office.

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Aren’t we silly?

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We call ourselves the traveling circus. I think traveling’s easier when we don’t take stuff too seriously :-)

Tuesday was a long-haul drive across a lot of farmland, you can see it here on the map:

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Do you see the little warning sign? We crossed into another time zone. Do you remember when we went from the Eastern Time Zone into the Central Time Zone? Well this time we went from the Central Time Zone to the Mountain Time Zone. We got to turn our clocks backwards by another hour — thank goodness! This is very helpful on long driving days.

This is what our drive looked like…

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pretty much…

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the whole entire day. Until we started to see the hills that lead up to the Black Hills, which is where we are now.

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We arrived just in time to set up camp before dark. Here’s our campsite; it’s next to a stream. How did Skye end up in the picture twice?!

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South Dakota is amazing, I can’t wait to tell you about all the animals here.

It might be a few days before I can write again though; there isn’t any cell service inside of the park. I will take a lot of photos and write you as soon as I can.

Bear Hugs and Unicorn Kisses,

Chris