Ok, ok, I promise, this is the last personal,  non food related post I will make for a long time. But it’s only fair I get to share what I did on summer vacation. Besides Bainbridge.

We ventured from Seattle to Rapid City (by plane) and then to Greenlake, WIS, where my dad grew up (by car) and then back to Rapid (car) and Seattle (plane). There is nothing, NO THING, more miserable than traveling with children.  The only saving grace this time was that I adopted my husbands philosophy: “It’s going to suck, the children are going to be awful, and if you just expect that, you aren’t angry and surprised when they don’t behave” and you know what? It worked. I had very low expectations and that way I could be pleasantly surprised when things went right.

Places in South Dakota I recommend checking out: Bear Country, Storybook Island, Mt. Rushmore. As far as I can tell, South Dakota is the place Coloradans like myself have started going to see nature, minus bothersome Californians. If you want other suggestions on South Dakota travel, let me know.

Places in Wisconsin I recommend: Titltetown Brewing Co., Greenlake or any place with beer and sausage.

Ps. You wanna know why Wisconsin is awesome? From the time we crossed the state line, I saw 7 Old Style signs. That’s right 7. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one outside of an antique shop or in some hip resale store. But there they were, unironically hanging outside of actual bars, selling Old Style inside. And that, my dear reader, is pretty spectacular.

Ahhh, travel by land and air. So pleasant. When you leave the kids at home. Ps. Who knew there was a giant wind farm pretty much all the way across southern Minnesota? Except my brother in law. He knew.

South Dakota. The land of giant dinosaurs, giant faces, giant buffalos . . . you get the idea.

Words can’t really describe how neat it was to be back in the town my dad and aunt grew up in, in the house they grew up in. Also, the sunsets in Wisconsin rival those in Hawaii. For serious.

The best part of the vacation, for me, was getting to do totally normal stuff while kids hung out with family. One of the downsides to Air Force life is the isolation. The girls got totally spoiled hanging out with their aunts and uncles, cousins and grandparents, Kirk got to spend his birthday with his family, I got to harass my in laws in person instead of via Facebook . . . so idyllic.

Beaches. Giant Presidents. Dinosaurs. Who needs a tropical paradise when you have all of that?