Unlike South Dakota, which contained Really Far Away, Non-Photogenic Buffalo. Thusly:
In addition to the Far Way Buffalo, South Dakota is home to this very rare Poser Mountain Goat, who was happy to oblige when we pulled over to take his picture. He even scrambled frantically up the rocks away from us so that we could get his better side. Another thing about South Dakota that is simply awesome is that there are presidential heads carved into the landscape. The thing about Mount Rushmore is that when it's forty degrees (in May) there isn't anything to do except pose for pictures in front of it and buy gift shop trinkets. It's quite an elaborate money-making scheme that our National Park Service has hatched.
Another thing to do at Mount Rushmore (in May) is play in the pile of snow without any regard to whether your parents feel like changing you into dry clothes.At long last we reached the Minnesota state line, where we had our first brush with the frozen, long arm of the Minnesota law. We pulled over to pose in front of this:
...but a policeman pulled up and kindly told us to "get in our cars and leave before [he started] writing tickets." Welcome to Minnesota.
Halfway through Minnesota the guy who was driving our van started falling asleep and so DJ took over for him. I drove the Tahoe. DJ pulled alongside me and rolled the window down (in the rain) to torture his passenger. It didn't work, but we got a kick out of it. And, although it would have been appropriate, this is not where we had our second brush with the law.
Our second encounter with the surly Minnesota police force occurred when I was trying to find my way home from Target in the rain. I was looking at street signs, Tess was screaming in the back seat, and I allegedly drove around a school bus.
"Do you know what you did?" the cop asked in the tone of someone who has just stubbed his toe while simultaneously smelling rotten flatulence. Also, he had a slick military buzz hairdo. "You didn't notice the parked school bus, the stop sign, the kids, and the flashing lights?"
For the record, there was no school bus. The cop pulled me over because he thought I was attractive and when I got sassy with him he had to think on his feet. The infraction earned me a $128 ticket, but at least I got to meet another friendly Minnesoooota local.
Finally, here are some pictures I took at the playground I stumbled upon while looking for vampires in the forest behind our house. The forest was sadly devoid of vampires, but at least the kids had fun.