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Our road trip through South Dakota was way bigger and way grander than we ever imagined it could be. I was in Medora, North Dakota (another place you should visit) to attend a travel conference. So because the Dakotas are so close to each other, our vacation plan was to visit Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, explore the other areas of the state we were familiar with like Custer State Park and enjoy the beautiful panorama.
What we didn’t realize was just how spectacular this South Dakota scenery would be! The sheer size (242,756 acres) and vastness of the South Dakota Badlands absolutely blew our minds. Located in southwest South Dakota, this national park protects buttes and pinnacles along with the largest mixed grass prairie in the United States.
Our Visit to Sylvan Lake, The Needles Highway and Crazy Horse
I kept thinking, “Why didn’t anyone ever tell me about this place?” Nearly speechless, I stood silently in awe. I knew the landscape was created by nature, but it was just so unusual, with the staggeringly huge rocks, so smooth and perfect it looked like a ride at Disneyland. How could this be real?
In addition to being blown away by the natural elements of the shores of Sylvan Lake, we also arrived just after a small rain shower and the sky was mostly clear and the lake like a mirror, not a ripple. The mirror image of the enormous boulders above and below on the water was magical.
As travelers, it can be a struggle to decide when to just fit in to the landscape, enjoy the surroundings, soak up the local culture and take in what this new city has to offer. However, sometimes it is FUN to take that selfie on the famous bridge and be a tourist. Heck everybody else is! Right?
When I was in Prague last summer the crowds on the famous Charles Bridge were so large that you literally had to jump in the stream of fellow tourists and swim upstream. People were everywhere. They stop in the middle in order to take just the right photo, they bump into you, they are (mostly) clueless. When facing a situation like this, you have to take a deep breath and forge forward.
A girls trip to Seattle has been on my radar for quite some time. I am kind of embarrassed to admit how long it took for me to coordinate this trip for three dear, long-time girlfriends. Two of them have been to Seattle several times, but we had one newby in the group, Barbara.
Barbara has been all over this great big beautiful globe, but never has spent any time in one of my favorite cities! We managed to coordinate three different schedules around Karin’s trip to Alaska, made a date and stuck to it! It was a miracle of timing, but we did it!
On a recent short flight to Seattle my sweet, frequent-flier husband gave me his upgrade to sit in First Class.The airline had just renovated the seating in this area of the plane and the cabin was spacious and clean.
I looked forward to just sit and drink my tea and read my new book in peace…. But this is NOT what happened.
It is kind of surreal, but I am actually typing this introduction as I look across the aisle of my plane to Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman. Yes it’s true, she is on our flight home to Los Angeles. Check my Fairy Tale Ending at the bottom of the post for more details of our encounter. Our visit to The Pioneer Woman Boarding House in Pawhuska, OK was a gift to my husband’s mom, Claudia and it was an adventure of epic proportions. Please read on…
However, while I was traveling, my garden suffered from the high, summer temps and we lost several plants. That may not be so tragic to some of you, but we lovingly cared for this yard from conception to planting after our home renovation. This year, the vegetable garden is beginning to bear fruit and nothing has died. Yay! Read on my friends…
Once upon a time, 4 years ago, we lived in Downtown Seattle in the state of Washington while we renovated our fixer upper home in Southern California. We were up for a change and both of us could work from home, our daughter lives there and so we moved to the city. We lived in a high rise apartment and had a blast fulfilling an urban-life adventure.
Across the street from our building, Amazon (you may have heard of them) was building several enormous office buildings. Seattle was filled with cranes and one extremely unusual structure, The Amazon Spheres. There wasn’t a great deal of information available at the time so we just watched. We watched the changes of metal, glass and the unusual curve of the roof and walls. We had never seen anything like it.
Craig and I got a huge kick out of following the progress of The Spheres and how they rose from the dirt with monstrous, uniquely shaped pieces of glass which were lifted to form these glass domes. A giant terrarium? Was it just for Amazon? Surely Mr. Bezos and the good people at Amazon would share this extraordinary place with the rest of us?
The answer was no, it was for Amazon employees only, but one Saturday a month it was open for reservations and a tour for everyone. Since it opened, it is now available two Saturdays per month. You can find the reservations info on the website=> Here.
However, there is something we did not forecast, my husband was recruited to work at Amazon and is now an employee. Yipppeee for me! I get to go inside! Truthfully, it takes time in a new position to know the rules and Craig was not about to ask about entrance to The Spheres right away, so I waited for a few long months.
By the time of my most recent trip to Seattle, he had the lay of the land (or the info for The Spheres at least) Here’s the funny part, he can go there any day of the work week and bring as many as 6 guests. So easy for him! Who knew?
You may wonder why I decided to visit Medora, North Dakota. I am proud of my eclectic travel schedule and I believe that there is adventure to be found just about everywhere. Read on so you may understand a little more and also hear about an adorable place in the USA.
Adventures in North Dakota!
During my visit to Medora, North Dakota, the most adorable little town you have never heard of, I was frequently asked, “Why are you here?’ Fair question. I will tell you why.
I traveled to see Medora, North Dakota, a small town on the western edge of North Dakota that no one I know was familiar with. I liked that. It’s fun to be the first in your crowd to see something new and report back. We have all heard of Fargo, but Medora? Not so much. My first impression was that it was teeny tiny and felt like Knott’s Berry Farm, but real. I will explain.
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