$wpsc_version = 169; travel | Rebecca & Dale

Rebecca & Dale

This is our blog.


Flashback to Yellowstone

Trying something a little different this time! I had a bunch of images of geysters and hot springs and didn’t want to caption them all (I’m lazy and it’s been so long I just forget which is which and whatnot! So I’m trying out this gallery feature. Feel free to click on any of the images to make them bigger!


Vacation Part III: Crazy Horse Indeed.

Once we got to South Dakota and got that whole Mt. Rushmore thing out of the way we had a few other things to see! In fact, we want to go back to this area because we missed so much! Our next big stop was the Crazy Horse Memorial. Crazy indeed!

I wish I could express to you how big this damn thing is! It’s just SO DAMN BIG. Allegedly, you could put all of Mt. Rushmore on Crazy Horse’s face. And they aren’t even close to finished. It’s pretty spectacular but you can’t really get that close to it unless you want to pay a second entrance fee to take a bus up to the base. Since we had a lot to see (and had already paid for parking and admission) we were iffy on it. I also felt that the whole thing was run but the wacky white dude’s family that was the original sculptor. And I was like: Um, where are the actual Native Americans in this scenario? They seemed to be there but not in charge.

To give you some idea of the size? That is a guy and some major equipment at the base of the front of the sculpture. It’s pretty nutty.

This is the life-size rendering of the sculpture representing what it will look like when complete. Pretty spectacular.

From Crazy Horse we headed back into town for lunch. Sadly, we didn’t have time to hang out at Bedrock City–the Flinstones-themed park–but we for sure drove up and checked it out. OMG I LOVE DINO SO MUCH. *ahem* I have scads of pictures of the gift shop that I’ll post on my stupid Roadside Curiosities blog someday! Anyway, I just thought it was pretty awesome.

Seriously, how cute is this? I know, right?

So we weren’t 100% sure how we wanted to spend the afternoon. Dale decided he wanted to go to Custer State Park because they have the largest roaming bison heard in the United States. And I must admit I figured the animals would all be out of view and the whole thing would be lame since we didn’t even pack a lunch or anything. I was totes wrong. We didn’t just spot a few bison–we had to get out of their way. It was amazing. They were molting so they they felt a little embarrassed at the state of their coats.

Custer State Park was quite lovely, despite the cloud coverage–and even that was pretty lovely.

We also got very lucky to get up close and personal with an antelope. He was quite friendly, grazing along the side of the roadway in the park. We saw lots of antelope but none was this cozy!

Even more exciting was the fact we  went so early in the season that all of the animals were busy having lots and lots of babies. And is there anything cuter than baby animals? Hell no! Here is a one of the most adorable baby animals in the world: A baby bison with mommy. This little guy was so cute. He would nuzzle his mommy and then he would do this adorable jumping/bucking thing in circles around her as she stood there, totally stoic. You know she was all beaming and proud on the inside though.

Dale took this awesome shot of a bison enjoying a little mid-day snack.

To give you some idea how close these giant animals were to us? I took a quick shot out the car window. This is what’s known as a “bison jam”–all the park visitors pull over to get a view of the animals. You always know to pull over when you see more than two cars pulled over–something (or someone) is there to see!

After an afternoon at Custer State Park we went to one of the top places to see: Rapid City Dino Park. I’ve wanted to go here for as long as I can remember and it was so worth it. This spectacular cement dino sits at the highest point in the city so you can see it from all around town. I love it so much OMG.

These guys were created in the 1930s as part of the Works Progress Administration, a program meant to put people to work. The city really embraced these guys and have kept them in incredible shape, painted and repaired regularly!

I mean, seriously. HOW GOOD IS THIS? I was so excited I fell and skinned my knee and was excited to have skinned my knee at this classic place.

God, I love South Dakota. I really do.


Vacation Part 2: Mount Rushmore

We spent two days in South Dakota! This winding road was designed by a general on riding on horseback–he purposely made it so curvy you can’t drive more than 15 to 20 miles per hour on it. And it features a few great views of Mt. Rushmore in the distance.

Here is one such example of Mt. Rushmore through the trees.

And this is the view of Mt. Rushmore from the entrance of the park. It’s quite lovely.

And here’s a close-up of the faces! That’s George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.

Once you leave the park, you can drive behind it and get a quick peak at George Washington from the ground.

We were lucky enough to spot a mountain goat sipping running water from a rock on the backside of Mt. Rushmore. Apparently, the molting mountain goats like to hang out back there.

He was quite close to the road–so close that slipped right into the middle of it. Startled by his own slip into the street he stopped and looked at all us tourists looking at him but then promptly went right back to drinking.

That’s our hotel! The Roosevelt Inn. The morning after visiting Rushmore we opted to take a flight in a helicopter (our first helicopter ride) and see Mt. Rushmore from the air!

I’m not the best with heights but I did well! And we got a great view of the entire park!

Bird’s eye view of Mt. Rushmore!

We also flew around the perimeter and saw the Black Hills.

Dale sat in front because he was less squeamish than me and had a great view for photos.

Self-portrait in a helicopter!

This is us in front of the helicopter. Our pilot was a 20-year-old girl. We trusted her with our lives!


Wisconsin Dells!

During the Memorial Day weekend Dale and I decided to take a little day trip to Wisconsin. We ended up at one very unusual place: The Wisconsin Dells! Sprung up around the spectacular natural beauty of the Wisconsin Dells is the most unnaturally beautiful place I’ve ever been! The Dells is filled with the following:

Wacky theme hotels (often attached to very large waterparks)…
(that’s right, it’s the Colosseum)

large fiberglass people, animals, and things…
(that’s right, it’s Paul Bunyan)

wacky cars (and wacky swimming pools, though not in this post)…
(that’s right, it’s a moose strapped to the hood of a PT Cruiser)

places to buy cheese…
(that’s right, it’s a big mouse eating a big piece of cheese on top of a store)

flashy retro/vintage neon signs…
(and the fabulous motels they sit in front of)

bizarre tourist attractions…
(I don’t know what Wizard Quest is, sorry)

even more bizarre tourist attractions…
(yes, it’s that weird)

and restaurants….
(Wally’s House of Embers, est. 1959).

It might be my favorite day trip of all time.

Needless to say the Roadside Curiosities blog will be updated with lots of new posts with more pictures of the Dells in the coming weeks.


Mississippi River Flooding in St. Louis

While stopping to check out the St. Louis Gateway Arch, we saw this statue that was mostly submerge under the muddy waters of the Mississip! At first we thought it was some weird water statue but it turns out that flooding submerged what is a very big statue! You can view the riverfront without water by clicking here. Normally, there are two men and a dog on a base! So the flooding was pretty serious.
The extent of the flooding was further proved by the sign asking us to park in the river.
And another sign advising us to NOT park in the river.
Ramps that go into the river!
Followed by stairs that walk right into the river!
A submerged fire hydrant.
Nasty debris engulfing another flooded area.

More debris!
Oddly rigged riverboat, due to flooding issues.


Another Roadside Attraction

On our quick roadtrip to Memphis we spotted a pretty sweet antiques market.
I made Dale pull over to get some pics. Check out the rest here.


St. Louis Gateway Arch

We went to Memphis last weekend to see my mom and to lend some support to my stepdad, Gary. Along the way, we opted to take I-55, which cuts right through St. Louis. Unable to resist the chance to stop and see the Gateway Arch up close, we pulled off the highway and Dale took a few shots of the landmark arch.

A view from the waterfront, looking up to the park that serves as the base of the arch.

The sun shining behind the arch, looking up the stairs.

A view from the side of the arch.

I thought it was pretty cool that there is an underground area where you can learn all about the arch and watch a movie, get a snack, and, of course, pee.

Woo. Freaky angle.

From our parking spot near the river, the arch is pretty spectacular.


The Statue of Liberation

Dale was so excited about this wacky roadside attraction that he wanted me to cross post it from my Roadside Curiosities blog to our personal blog:

I was in Memphis last weekend and saw one of the best roadside attractions I’ve stumbled upon in years! This takes the cake, people! This is the Statue of Liberation through Christ aka The Lord’s Lady Liberty. For a complete FAQ click here.

I can’t tell you how excited I was when we spotted her, standing on the corner of Kirby Parkway. She beckoned to us and we had no choice but to submit.

So enchanted were we, we had to circle her to get a better look. To what did our wondering eyes appear?

Better than reindeer. This liberated lady features a tiny chapel/altar under base/skirt. There is a spot to kneel and pray (for forgiveness?), a “tomb” made of sprayed plastic foam that features the slogan “HE IS RISEN” above an alcove that I’m guessing is supposed to be where Jesus chilled out before he woke from the dead. I like the white sheet that provides a shroud of Turin flavor. Crappy soothing relgious music is pumped in below the altar.

The statue is rife with amusingly heavy-handed symbolism, including my personal favorite: The Lord’s Lady Liberty is shedding a tear. “THE TEAR represents Lady Liberation’s despair over America’s rapid decline from its Judeo-Christian values. She weeps for our nation’s self-destruction as the protective hand of God is removed. Yet, she realizes that there is still hope for America if we return to God through Jesus Christ.”

There were scads of flags about the property and we were quite confused by what looked a lot like a rebel flag. I’m still not sure what it was. We caught this photo of the US flag and (I think?) the state flag? Anyway, this baby is WELL worth the trip. She’s a beauty!


Wedding in Jacksonville!

My friend Heather got married to a very nice gentlemen named Michael last Saturday! We’re very happy for her! And can’t wait to invite them to visit us in Chicago!
Happily, we also got to meet up with my friend Fumie and her awesome husband, Ben. Fumie is pregnant and we’re very excited for them to greet their first baby!
The wedding was on Saturday afternoon and on Saturday evening we headed to the ocean to see the water, enjoy a walk along the pier and have a delicious sushi dinner with Fumie and Ben!

Dale was very excited to see surfing! Surfing on the ocean! He has always wanted to try surfing and enjoyed seeing the folks brave the March waters.

Beautiful sunset image of the shore from the pier.

The pier was filled with prehistoric creatures!

Also known as pelicans!


Dale's Trip–California!

This is Dale in Sedona, Arizona, contemplating another picture. Chase snapped this one of Dale.
And this is the resulting shot of the photo above’s quiet contemplation! The Oak Creek Canyon in Sedona, Arizona.

Seals on the beach near La Jolla, California. They have a special section all to themselves!

Paraglider flying high at the San Diego glider port.

Crazy insane adorable seal, leaving little seal prints in his wake! Awwwww!

Dale in La Jolla, California, shooting the seals. With his camera!

Wittle Seals, lounging on the beach.

Dale and Chase’s host in San Diego was Michigan native and old friend Rod. He moved to California to enjoy the sun and surf. Seems to be going well!