Friday, September 25, 2009

4 Stone-Faced Men and Claustrophobia.

Our next stop was South Dakota, where I traumatized a waitress and made her cry. But we won't talk about that. Except to say that there is no good way to say that that the salad is rotten, the lemonade was unpalatable, an eight dollar steak and cheese sandwich should be served warm and on bread bigger than a small hot dog bun (and without gnats flying around it), and a five dollar kids meal should include more than 1/2 a grilled cheese sandwich and a tablespoon of applesauce served in a dressing cup. I told the young lady that she was very sweet and did not do anything wrong but the food was unacceptable. I guess there is no good way to say that to a young teenage girl without her taking it personally and hiding in the back to cry.


We went to the Washington Memorial on our way to Alaska 5 years ago but the kids did not really remember so we went again. The last time we went, parking was easy, there were no crowds and I escaped with my sanity. None of those things happened this time. They put in a multi-level parking garage and charge $10.00 per car BUT does not accept debit or credit cards.......That would have been nice to know. Also, the lanes were confusing and I ended up in the tour bus lane on the top level at a pedestrian crossing with one million people crossing and not letting me through. I think this was the first time I was grumpy before I even got out of the car.

After we got away from the crowd we enjoyed exploring and talking about the monument, the presidents, and the process used to make the sculptures.

Mom, please take the picture already, the sun is burning a hole our eyeballs.

We also visited the Beautiful Rushmore Cave brought about several episodes of claustrophobia. The last time I was in a cave it was the Carlsbad Caverns which are pretty large and airy. The Beautiful Rushmore Cave was not large and airy but it was really neat, you know, when I was not imagining getting stuck.

This hole replicates the opening of one of the entrances. No, we did not take this tour. If we did, I am certain that I would not be alive. I would have died of a panic attack.

This is one of the entrances that we did go through. You had to turn sideways and duck your head. Yikes!
Once inside we had a wonderful time. There were so many neat formations and minerals that had the most beautiful colors.

Kind of looks like fried eggs.

Another hole to squeeze through.

Stalactites are formations that hang down from the ceiling.
Stalagmites are formations that build up from the ground. When both are connected, they form a column.

This was the original opening. When they first discovered the cave, they had to put a tree down the hole and climb down the tree. Later, they used a ladder then eventually blew a hole in the side of the mountain to gain easier access.

Our guide's name was Fred. He is the coolest tour guide I have ever had. He told jokes and was very entertaining. He made my kids laugh. Anyone that makes them laugh is pretty cool in my book.
Look at those big brown eyes. He just makes me melt.
We had such a good time.

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