Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Independence Day {in Mt. Rushmore}

This past weekend, my family and I went on a quick road trip adventure to Mount Rushmore for Independence Day. The beauty of a road trip is being able to drive ahead on an endless road and think as much or as little as one would want. The choice is yours. No pressure and no time restrictions, unlike those of the everyday demands of life. On this trip, we drove quite a ways {10 hours, with a 10-year old and a 10-month old. I opted to give my mind a break whenever I could} through Wyoming. We saw sheep roaming green hills like in Scotland, and skinny trees {some charcoaled from the heat of the sun} and boulders that reminded us of those closer to home in Yellowstone. We had a lot of time to relax, talk, laugh {and we truly laughed until our stomachs hurt}, play with baby, and even memorize Jack Johnson's "At or With Me" with Holly {she was super excited that she could sing with us big kids}. We had a superb drive.

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Mt. Rushmore was just what I had hoped it would be. I had never been before so all of the notions I had were from what I had seen in photos and movies like Cary Grant's To Catch a Thief. Sadly we weren't able to climb around on the Presidents' heads like in the movie because of safety and for preservation sake, but we did get to admire them safely from afar. While taking our sweet time to take pictures and gaze yonder, we felt raindrops on us and suddenly hail the size of gum drops came pouring down in broad daylight! That was just about the fastest storm I've experienced, well maybe not as fast as flash floods in Cambodia, but you get the point.

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 These two have the cutest relationship I've ever seen. She loves him and he loves her. They amuse each other and give plenty of kisses every single day. I just adore it. I hope that never changes...
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We sought refuge at the museum and got to learn more on top of what we already knew. You see, we wanted this to be a significant trip for Holly so we had her do research on the significance of each president {Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln} ahead of time {gotta keep that brain going through summertime} and report back to us. This proved to be fruitful because not only did she learn a lot about the presidents and the park but she was proud of knowing as much as she did when she was going through the museum. It's important that she be excited to learn and confident in having knowledge for the rest of her life. I hope that will serve her well in attaining her maximum potential. I loved everything I learned at the museum. I was impressed by the process {they were constructed by dynamites!} and time it took to be complete {14 years!} all of the presidents. And it was pretty cool that there was a ceremony for the completion of each one {I love parties}. There were things like a little 15 min. video, moldings, photos, stuff the workers used, news articles, etc. to give us a glimpse of life then. Pretty cool stuff.

After the rain let up, we went over to get ice cream. Apparently, Jefferson was the first person in America to write the first ever vanilla ice cream recipe, so we definitely had to have some of that. Holly and I shared a strawberry cheesecake ice cream cone, but half way through, she dropped the ice cream. She still hasn't lived that down. We teased her about dropping my ice cream and ripping me off of some ice cream goodness {I don't really mind, but we just love to give her a hard time. There's nothing like some sibling love to help keep her young and light-hearted}.

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We stayed for the 9 PM program and got to hear a park ranger give a patriotic speech of the importance of freedom and equality. Something that really struck me was that these presidents despite their differences in nature, parties, actions, etc. each contributed to making this country what it is and have perpetuated this freedom we all enjoy.
**There were no fireworks display {and hasn't been since 2009}, due to dryness in the area and risk of fires.

This was a refreshing break for me. Some time to regroup my spirit to take on whatever comes next. I was ever so grateful for everyone's cooperation and help on this trip, especially in terms of handling baby. And my dear husband, bless his heart, had to drive the whole time with no one to alleviate him because I don't drive yet {one day...}. I'm so grateful for him {another great reminder from the road trip of how amazing he is}. I'm thankful for America, the great men who made it what it is today, and for God who is ever so great.

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