Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Why Mount Rushmore IS better than Machu Picchu. For now.

This time last year, I was making plans for a family trip to Peru.  Even went so far as creating an itinerary with a tour group specializing in family trips to Machu Picchu.  

I was visiting my dad at the time, who is supportive but wiser-than-I-am.  He was even interested in joining us in Peru (I get some solid "adventure" genes from him), but he said to me: "You know... there is a lot of the United States your children haven't seen yet."  He made some disturbingly logical points about maybe waiting a couple of years, so the trip could be more enjoyable and we could do more things.  Blah blah blah. Things a soul-level adventurer doesn't want to hear.  All delivered with that gentle-wisdom that he specializes in, where you know he'll be supportive either way.

And truth be told, there were several things on the Peru itinerary that seemed completely fabulous for an OLDER Simone.  Peruvian traditional dance lessons, for example. White water rafting, for another.  Apparently, it's not wise to bring 2-year-olds white water rafting.

Dad mentioned Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore as one thought, and I agreed that I'd loved them as a child.  

I mulled over it for awhile and then decided that he was right: I *do* want to show my children the world, and that includes the United States.

So I called and cancelled with the Peru trip planners and I started reading through brochures of the new road trip. I went online to make reservations for Old Faithful Inn (a YEAR in advance) as that had been a goal of mine to see.  Turns out, I could get *one* night there.  One!  So that became the tent-pole for the rest of the trip's plans.  Within a week, I  knew where we were staying on which day, during our three-week span between Mitchell, SD and Salt Lake City.

I now shake my head in vaguely-disgusted wonder at Peru-Sarahbeth.  I was completely, utterly, shockingly wrong. 

We did not need Peru to fill our adventure tank.  My kids adored the Corn Palace, we had a blast at Wall Drug, and we were all awe-inspired by Mount Rushmore.  Travel notes to come in a separate post.

Yes, I remembered liking these things before.  There was no ill-will about those places.  But I'd been there, done that.  I thought it would be more fun to take my children to a place I'd never been, so we could all soak in the novelty.

Well.  I was completely, utterly, shockingly wrong.  

South Dakota:  My deepest apologies.  You rock.  

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