Road Trip 2010: South Dakota, Part 1

South Dakota is just like you would think it is. Open meadows, empty roads, and fireflies to light the night sky. It’s coming back to a time stood still. A time where there is no traffic and there’s nothing better to do than play a game of Pitch at night and watch the stars light up the sky.

Andy’s grandparents own 1,120 acres of this land. A land populated by a couple hundred cows, a flock of wild turkeys, two horses and then two little grandparents who open their home up to anyone passing by. We were able to stay with them for just three days but in those three days we managed to ride horses in the fields, go fishing, float down the Niobrara River, stand at the base of Smith Falls, play card games, get eaten by Mosquitos, catch fireflies, and eat tons of food! Grandma’s home cooking is the best especially her pot roast, gravy, and chocolate chip cookies! And you get three full meals: breakfast, dinner, and supper. Dinner is the best. It’s the biggest meal of the day. It’s what you Californians call lunch but bigger and better.

I spend more time connected to my phone than most but it is a relief to set it aside for a couple days. No service insures it stays put away. Books cone out, walks are enjoyed, and God’s country is seen. I love it here and who knows, maybe if BJ and Andy’s pact comes true, I’ll be back to stay for good in ten years. But for now visiting is just fine with me.

Roadtrip 2010: Kansas

We made it to Kansas after a 20 hour drive through the flatlands of America. Everywhere you looked, it was flat. No hills. No towns. No anything. We were all quite happy to be out of the car and in our hotel. That first night was spent napping while Everyone else was at the rehearsal. I woke up at 8 to the sun shining thinking I had slept all night but it was only 8 pm! So Andy and I walked around the hotel and then ended up on the front curb looking for anything to do! We decided to go get ice cream from Dairy Cream but since Andy always listens to my best ideas we walked there! In that 3/4 of a mile we were devoured by the local bugs. I got 4 pretty bad bites but Andy got over 10 all over! Even his face! Needless to say, while the bugs kept us hostage at DQ, we had to call reinforcements to come pick us up!

The next day was the wedding! It was a sunny and very warm day in Kansas. We sent the as much time as possible in the air conditioned hotel and then went out to the barn. Yes, a barn. Our friends were having a good ole fashioned barn dance wedding! The wedding was beautiful and Cody and Kelsey couldn’t stop staring at each other. These two are so perfect for each other. Who else would exit their ceremony as husband and wife skipping down the aisle to folk music!

The ceremony was so beautiful. Christ’s love was evident everywhere. Not only between the bride and groom but between all family members and all the friends that sang or spoke. However if anything could top that, the toasts and the reception sure did! There were a few speeches made and then the mic was left open for anyone to speak. This is normally filled with awkward silence put friend after friend came up to spoke. Out of their whole 19 person wedding party, almost each person spoke plus more friends and family. And these speeches weren’t your normal speeches. They were the most eloquent yet funny speeches I’ve ever heard. It seems that everyone who has ever met Cody and Kelsey have been blessed with their friendship and their love. Their love for each other and for Jesus just overflows onto all those they encounter. It was a beautiful wedding and a fun barn dance! We danced all the way to the car ready to make the next 8 hour drive to South Dakota…

Road Trip 2010: Kansas, South Dakota, Colorado

This week has finally come. The first leg of our many trips of this year. On Thursday we are leaving for Dodge City, Kansas to see two of our very good friends, Cody and Kelsey, get married. But we aren’t going alone. Our other wonderful friends, BJ and Melissa Rice are driving with us to share the drive and explore the western states! The night of the wedding we are then trekking north to stay at Andy’s grandparent’s ranch in Winner, South Dakota. We will be riding horses, floating down the Niobrara River, hiding from wild turkeys, and relaxing. Then we’ll go a little west to Rapid City and see Mt. Rushmore and stay in a cabin. Yes, a cabin! I am so glad I got camping in tents off the table! I love nature, but that’s a little too close for me. I like walls. And last, but not least, we are heading back south to go to Castle Rock, Colorado to stay with Melissa’s college roomate and her husband, Danielle and Jason, who just recently moved there.

And we are doing all this in a span of 10 days.

Roadtrips are so fun! I love all the little stops along the way, the snacks to nibble on, the people we see, and God’s glorious creation all around. I am so excited!! I’ll hopefully be posting along the way so stay tuned!