Tuesday, May 26, 2009

South Dakota Vacation

If you have noticed that I have been missing in action for couple of days, that was because we went to a little family vacation to South Dakota. We took a spontaneous four days three nights trip to South Dakota. I literally only had two days to plan this trip, as I am a planner while my hubby is the spontaneous kind of person. Luckily with the help of the Internet, anything is feasible and I managed to find the lodging and places to visit in time. I will guide you through our visit to South Dakota with short illustration.

We first arrived at Mouth Rushmore National Memorial in the afternoon. Just nice to have a quick lunch at the cafeteria and walked around the area.

Bright sunny sky after our lunch, nice for photo shoot.

Evy enjoyed her chocolate chips mint ice-cream after lunch.

Edda loving her strawberry shortcake ice-cream.

Then, we took a stroll at the 1/2 mile loop Presidential Trail. The last 1/4 mile was stairs.

We stayed at Palmer Gulch Resort in Black Hills National Forest, 10 minutes from Mt. Rushmore. No cellphone signal here.

Enjoying the free continental breakfast.

Cosmos Mystery Area- unusual happening happen in this area where water flow uphill and ball rolls uphill. We couldn't stand straight in this room as well, some unexplained forces at work here. The tour guide was trying to show us his Matrix move here. Haha...

The ground is level and yet one seem to be taller standing on one side, how is that possible? Definitely blow our mind! $9.50 for adult and kids free.

Bear Country U.S.A. - A place fulled of black and brown bears, I think at least hundred. I never seen so many bears in my life before. The animals roam freely in this 200 acres natural Black Hills habitat.

This black bear just enjoying himself walking back and forth at the entrance and blocking our car from entering.

Timber wolves and bears run wild here. They have Elks, Big Horn Sheeps, Mountain Goats, Arctic wolves, mountain lions, reindeer, Dall Sheep, miniature donkey, buffalo, Grizzly bears, lots of small animals and baby bear cubs too.

Cool up close and personal experience with wild animals.

We even got a bear bite souvenir here, look at our bumper. Luckily my hubby didn't drive his favorite car.

One of the many tunnels at Custer State Park.

Sylvan Lake Area at Custer State Park.

Peter Norbeck Visitor Center at Custer State Park.

Wildlife spotting along Wildlife Loop in Custer State Park.

Wildlife Loop.

Bison herd at Wildlife Loop.

Casually walking by our car.

Rocky Mountain Goat spotted at Mt. Rushmore area.

Second longest cave in the world. Named for the jewel-like Nailhead and Dog-tooth Spar crystals which line over 143 mile of passages.

234 feet under the surface. Temperature in cave is 49'F. Evy didn't enjoy the cave, too dark and scary for her.

Walking up and down 723 stair steps along a 1/2 mile loop in 1.5 hour tour. I was sweating at the end of the tour because I had to carry Edda. What an exercise!

Storybook Island- home of fairy tale and storybook characters for kids.

Storybook Island train ride ($1/ride). My girls loved this place but we couldn't stay long because we had a long drive home.

And back to Colorado!

The trip was enjoyable. The taxes and prices were cheaper than Colorado and we got to see lots of wildlife. If you loved nature, wildlife, hunting, fishing, horse trail riding and camping, you will like South Dakota. But be warn, this place is pretty rural, certain places have no cellphone signal and Chinese restaurants are only found in Rapid City.


Funny Mom said...

Great Pictures! Look like you had a whole load of fun sightseeing. We hope to make a trip to the west coast & south dakota in 1 or 2 years.

Cindy Khor said...

such a nice trip you have there with your family... i would have been very excited if i get to see a bear up close and on the road... and the famous stone statues of the faces of president (is it?), ah, what a sight...

Mrs. JP said...

Thank you for the picture tour. It looks like a beautiful place with lots of opportunity for walking exercise. Mt. Rushmore has always fascinated me, it is amazing. I can see how the girls would prefer the little ride to the dark/cold cave :O)
It's good to go and also good to be home I bet.

Emile Zola@life said...

From your kids face, it look like they are really enjoyed with this short trip, you are a good mum and agreed with you to better bring kids to expose more natural kind of environment..

My Asian Kitchen said...

look really serene this place.We never been there,,I always wanna to visit Mount Rush and Yellow Stone...your gals really look happy and carefree especially with ice cream!! hahaha!

ICook4Fun said...

What a wonderful family vacation. Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures with us. I hope I get to go there sometime.

tigerfish said...

Wah,u only take pictures of your princesses hor.....where r u? ;p

I wish to visit one day too *dreamz*

jadepearl said...

Beautiful! Looks like so fun too!!!
Your kids are just beautiful!

Little Corner of Mine said...

Funny Mom, you will like the mountains and wildlife. :)

Thanks Cindy. I was excited to see the bears up close too, just a car door between us, pretty cool! Yes, those are the faces of previous 4 presidents.

Mrs.JP, yes it was nice to be home. I slept around 9:30pm every night while on the trip because it was tiring. Lots of walking exercise indeed, lots of trails that we didn't even go. Yes, I thought they never been to a cave so I wanted them to experience one, didn't know they won't like it.

Emile, they seem to enjoy the trip. Will bring them to day trips and camping along this summer.

Les, yeah at first we were planning to visit Yellowstone, but it was further away and seem less fun for kids compared to SD. So, we changed location. :P

Thanks Gert. Yeah, pretty far from your place, probably have to fly in and drive around the areas. I have more pictures in Facebook. ;)

Haha Tigerfish. I don't show my face here, that's why lah. ;)

Thanks JP! It was a fun trip, I enjoyed it. :)

sue said...

What a wonderful family vacation..I like nature and wildlife..very interesting..How long was the drive from your place?..LCOM, you have two very lovely girls..very cute and pretty..

sock peng said...

this is my first time saw vacation trip sharing on ur blog
great place!!


This looks like a great place for a short vacation! Too bad I am in KL lah!

Jin Hooi said...

great pics !! I just come back from our trip to Malaysia ..just want to drop by and say hello ;-)

Little Corner of Mine said...

Thanks Sue for your compliment about my daughters. :) It took us 7.5 hours drive each way.

Sock Peng, this was the 4th times actually, you can see the rest at Family Outing. :)

Yes Family First. :)

Welcome back Jin Hooi. I'm sure you had a fantastic trip in Malaysia.

Aimei said...

It's interesting to see the animals roaming freely around... the place is beautiful!