What We did on our first Summer Vacation...

5 years ago

This is my family in front of the Corn Palace in South Dakota...
NOTE: There is no palm trees or beaches anywhere near there...it is a building covered with CORN!!! (at least the popcorn was good)

This past year my family went on our first "blended" family vacation...my husband and I had been meaning to do this since we got married a few years ago...but something always came up like...no money...or kids who didn't want to go "WITH US"...followed closely by the most important reason of all...Where should we go?  I think vacations should involve a BEACH...and my husband thought a vacation should involve HISTORY; "hey kids, let's go see Mount Rushmore and learn something..."

Look, I love mountains shaped like presidents as much as the next guy...but I'm not sure I want to spend precious days off, staring at four dead presidents on a big rock...unless that rock is next to a beach...a big, beautiful beach...with sand and waves, and maybe a concession stand that sells hotdogs and Corona's...

I might also point out that I lived next to South Dakota for a while in the 80's...maybe not for a long time but LOOOOONG Enough...

And I thought that would be the end of it...until my husband got it in his head to visit South Dakota...for the last three years that's the only place he's wanted to go...I kept hoping he'd give up on it BUT much like Chevy Chase in the original Vacation movie...("the moose says South Dakota's closed but I say it's open") and AWAAAAY we went...my kids and his kids and a dog who gets car sick...

How'd it go...?

Well, here's what we did and I'm gonna pass this gem to you because I like you...rent a car with a DVD player...And keep a lot of old towels handy for the dog...other then that;

The SECRET TO A REALLY GREAT FAMILY VACATION IS;  a DVD player...forget those old family vacations where everyone was forced to look out the window at scenery...(God's green earth "are you crazy?"..it's South Dakota--everything's brown(!)...and God forbid, talk to each other...family vacation conversation is over-rated anyway...I mean, growing up, our family vacation conversations were always the same: "Mom, Paul is pinching me again...hey, it's my turn to sit next to the window...I'm sick of this radio station, CHANGE IT NOW!... PLUS, the ever popular; "ARE WE THERE YET?"...followed of course by my mom's..."ONE MORE WORD AND I'M STOPPING THE CAR AND BEATING YOU ALL!!"

No, there were no beatings on this family vacation! In fact, I can tell you where we were just by the movie that was playing at the time...for instance...the trip through the Badlands was perfectly accented by a Chuck Norris film called "A Force of ONE..."He (hhheehheeehhheee)hears the silence...he (hhheehhheehheee)sees the darkeness, and only he (hhheehheehhhee can stop the kkkilllling!"...summing up the absolute remoteness that is the Badlands...

The trip through the Corn Palace and Wall Drug was best summed up by the "Best of Friends" season four dvd--totally commercial!...And then there was Mount Rushmore...(drum roll please)..."Napolean Dynamite"; What do you get when you combine a tiger and a lion...a liger, or course...so the kids did get a little education with their history...this is not to say that we played dvd's the ENTIRE time...No, there was that little unfortunate escapade through the "wildlife loop" that winds through Custer Park where we weren't sure if the bison were going to stampede through our Ford Expedition or not, that the movie "Jurassic Park" didn't seem so appropriate, that was probably the quietest part of our entire trip...

Sooooo, the next family trip you decide to take, get a DVD player and thank me later, in fact, I have a few dvd's I'd be glad to loan you..."Jaws" anyone?...probably not if your making a road trip to Florida.


Cindy Huber


This is an article written by a member of the SheKnows Community. The SheKnows editorial team has not edited, vetted or endorsed the content of this post. Want to join our amazing community and share your own story? Sign up here.

More from living

by Julie Sprankles | 3 days ago
by Michelle Carlbert | 3 days ago
by Fairygodboss | 8 days ago
by Catherine Conelly | 8 days ago
by Sarah Brooks | 9 days ago
by Julie Sprankles | 9 days ago
by Justina Huddleston | 9 days ago
by Fairygodboss | 15 days ago