South Dakota Trip Diary – 6/19/2015

Written by Justin posted on Aug 1, 2015 in Family, Photos, Summer, Vacation

A little bit over a month ago we loaded up the family truckster and embarked on our first legit road trip. We were making our way to Black Hills, South Dakota. A region of the United States none of us had visited before. We kept the itinerary loose. Mt.Rushmore. Custer State Park. Deadwood. These were the “can’t miss” spots. The trip took us to these places and so many more!

Slightly overdue but no longer in oblivion. Here start the details of what I hope is our first of many journeys as a family of 6.

I plan on posting one of these per day for the next 7 days. Each day devoted to a different day on the trip. Stay tuned!

We set off bright and early.

Google Maps had us at just over 8 hours to reach our first stop, Sioux Falls, SD. It’s pretty much a straight shot all the way using Interstate 90 West.

Car Distractions

Dawn did an exceptional job of planning out little treats and goodies for the long ride. Games, puzzles, snacks, candy, the occasional movie on the portable player. The car ended up looking like a hoarders dream, but the kids were exceptional. Rest stops were minimal and the “when are we gonna be there”‘s were non-existent.


Haynes & Grimms

Did I mention this whole trip was hatched out with some of our favorite people on the planet?! The Haynes Family. Gideon and I have been going on trips together for the last 30 years or so. In fact, Gid deserves the credit on picking the Black Hills destination (but really, he had me at “road trip”).

The Haynes in their minivan and us in ours. The first meeting spot was Sioux Falls. We figured it a good spot between home and the Black Hills. Where we could rest up, get in a hotel swim, and explore a new city.

I had not set any expectations. If I had, Sioux Falls would have surpassed them. Disclaimer: We only had enough time to hang around downtown. Which was rich with culture, history, local flair, and lovely people. I left wishing we had more time to spend.

Throughout the trip, we made it a point to avoid the common/easy food joints. This might have meant longer waits with 4 adults and 7 kids, but it was worth every minute. In SF, we ended up at Phillips Avenue Diner. What a great first pick. We got seated immediately and the vintage atmosphere and home-cooked tasting food was unforgettable. Some of the best Jambalaya I’ve ever had (and I’ve had a lot).

We put an exclamation point on the first day of our trip by walking around downtown SF. Then one last visit to the hotel pool before capping the night.

4 Comments to “South Dakota Trip Diary – 6/19/2015”

  1. Lucille

    You’re back! It’s about time! I’ve missed your posts! I keep looking on here to see if you have posted anything. Love all these posts! I love hearing all about the family vacation trip. Justin, you write so creatively. Keep these coming!

  2. Ken

    I am here also. Check out this website every day. Glad to see you back here. I agree with Lucille. You are a gifted writer. Thanks for doing this.


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