A few months ago, a friend of mine from the Jamestown branch messaged me on Facebook to see if we wanted to go with them and a few other families to Aberdeen, SD for a weekend. We bought our camper last summer, and they bought an RV last summer, so they knew we liked to camp. We loved Aberdeen last summer, and were planning on going back again this summer, so we told them to count us in.
Preparing for a weekend of camping when you are 8 months pregnant is really exhausting. I took a pic while I was unloading groceries and separating out our camping stuff.
We left Thursday after Jason was off work around 5pm. One of the things we love about Aberdeen is that it is only two hours South of us. We were going to eat along the way, but since our kids were both asleep we decided to order a pizza in Aberdeen and just pick it up when we got there. That worked out perfectly, our kids woke up right as we were arriving. The kids and I ate while Jason set up the camper. We visited with our friends since their RV site was right next to us. The other families had gone to Storybook Land that evening for a kid event there. We always take the kids bikes when we camp, but I told Jason to throw our bikes in at the last minute because I remembered a lot of biking trails around the campground. I'm really glad we did because biking was our main mode of transportation while we were there. Everything is pretty close, but it would have been long walks for the kids. That evening, since we knew our kids would be up late (napping from 5-7pm will do that to a kid) we headed over and fed the ducks and geese. I swear I have pictures of us doing all the same things we did last year. It was fun for me to read back on the blog and compare.
After the ducks, we rode our bikes to Storybook Land. We ran into the other families who were camping with us and visited with them for awhile. It was SO HOT! Probably around 95 degrees that evening. Jason and I went on a walk after the kids were in bed around 10:30 and we were still sweating. Definitely the hottest day since we have been in ND/SD. We headed back to our camper and bathed the kids and put them to bed.
The next morning we got up and rode our bikes around and played on one of the many playgrounds at the campground. After that we headed to Storybook Land where they acted out a cute story about ice cream, the kids did an ice cream craft, and they handed out little ice cream cups (in honor of Ice Cream day on Sunday). It was cute. I thought my boys looked so cute listening intently to the story.
We then went back to the camper to get ready for an afternoon at the Aberdeen Aquatics Center. For lunch we headed to the Palm Garden Cafe where we ate last summer. I can still remember my ham and asparagus panini with roasted red peppers. You know it was good when you can remember it a year later. I was tempted to get the same thing, but I didn't. Our food was delicious again and we love following up lunch with some chocolate from the little shop they have as well. I love the salted sea caramels while Jason favors the dark chocolate pecan turtles.
Max fed Jason some sweet potato fries.
This is us there last summer.
And this summer. Both times we were on our way to go swimming.
I remember spending a lot of time coaxing our children to play in the water last year. This year it was not a problem. Ollie loved going down the kid slides and letting the big buckets dump water on him. We also spent a lot of time in the big swimming pool where they boys practiced their swimming between Jason and I. Jason went down the big yellow slide which takes you from top to bottom in 7 seconds. I look forward to trying that next summer.
I got the boys to pose for this picture when we got there. It was during one of the hourly 15 minute breaks they force everyone to take.
We left after about 3 hours, but before our friends (they all have older kids). We came home and cooked BBQ chicken, corn on the cob and baked beans. I know I always take a picture like this when we are camping, but I love our little set up (notice the homey awning).
That night since our kids didn't nap we bathed them and put them to bed. The rest of the families were getting together for dutch oven desserts. Since I don't have a dutch oven I made a peach raspberry crisp and brought it over. I felt kind of bad not letting the kids stay up, but it is just better for everyone if they get their sleep. Jason took a panoramic picture of everyone around the campfire that night. Jamie's face got a little distorted.
Saturday morning we got up had breakfast and then went on a bike ride. We stopped and played at a park and then rode our bikes around the little zoo they have there. It has yaks, llamas, bison, reindeer, deer, and prairie dogs.
Silly boys having breakfast.
Playing in the sand. I love that my boys have each other to play with. They really are the best of friends.
After the zoo, we rode to Storybook Land (the "zoo" is on the outside perimeter of SBL).
When you walk into SBL, you go under a big rainbow and then you can see the castle. Inside the castle is where they have all the fun activities for kids. It was a beautiful 75 degrees that day.
Max loved the lion drinking fountain.
I got a picture of Ollie sitting with Humpty so I could compare it to the one I took last year. I think I will do one each year. Max wouldn't let us put him up there, he was afraid he would fall.
The boys were really cute in the cut outs.
Ollie running up to the three little pigs houses. You can see the house built of straw, sticks and bricks. Jason found a SBL app for his phone. It has videos of all the different stories/nursery rhymes. He would watch a couple with the kids each night leading up to our trip. It made it nice because the kids knew what they were looking at this year. It was cute too because every once in a while we would hear Max chanting "Fee Fie Fo Fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman".
One of the main attractions at SBL is the "Land of Oz". It is a whole area dedicated to the Wizard of Oz.
The boys and I with the characters. Jason thought it appropriate for me to stand with the wicked witch :)
There are three rides at SBL. The train that goes around the park, the carousel and a little balloon ride. The boys had fun on the carousel and the train, but we couldn't convince them to ride the balloon ride. Ollie rode it last year but wouldn't think of it this year.
A family pic in front of Jack's beanstalk.
We rode the train the day before when we were there, and we rode it again on our way out of the park. My boys love riding little trains.
That afternoon we went back to the camper, had lunch and took a big family nap. It was awesome. The campground also has miniature golf, go cars, bumper boats, a bungee/trampoline thing and a lake with a beach. We told Ollie that we would do the go carts and he didn't forget. He asked us all the time. That afternoon we went over and Jason took each of the boys for a ride. Something else I look forward to doing next summer.
Max waiting patiently for his turn.
We got in line for the bumper boats, but decided we didn't want to get wet and we didn't think the boys would love it that much.
We stopped at another park on our way back to camp, and then Ollie and I relaxed while Jason and Max went and got some firewood. Ollie was cracking me up because he moved his little chair so that he could watch some other campers playing a bean bag toss game. He was watching them so intently.
Our all American meal, pulled pork, coleslaw, corn on the cob and fruit salad (not pictured).
My dad taught Ollie how to play war while they were here. I love that Ollie likes to play games and I try to always be a willing participant when he asks to play.
Three of the six families who were camping left Saturday afternoon. We made our reservations through Sunday and a few of the families decided to do the same. That evening, since the boys had napped, we let them stay up and we built a fire and roasted marshmallows with the other two families. I think my boys each ate like six marshmallows...yuck! They had a great time playing duck duck goose and hide and seek with the other kids.
Jason got this cute picture of Max with marshmallow all over his face. Such a happy boy.
Jason got as much of the camper ready as he could Saturday night. We got up on Sunday and finished packing up. Our goal was to leave by 8am to make it to our 10am church two hours away. We left at 8:40, close enough :) We were a little late to church, but I made it in time to help in nursery. I took this picture of Max during nursery. After our lesson we will usually read a couple of books. The other two girls in class that day had lost interest and were playing, but Max sat on his little carpet, with his arms folded and listened to the story. It was a precious little moment.
It was a great weekend. We packed a ton in. It was fun for us to get to know some of the families in our branch better. We can't wait for next summer to visit again.