Vacation Dreamin'

It's that time of year again when we start planning our family vacation. Honestly, it started a few months ago, but now we're really planning in earnest. It's good to get a head start so plans can be tweaked and changed - something that happens when there's a good amount of time between planning and execution. Indeed, we have already tweaked and changed our vacation around since we first started.

Two years ago we took a short, four-day vacation to Colorado. It was the first family vacation that all four of us had ever taken together, and we enjoyed it immensely. Last year, in an effort to save some money while still having a great time, we headed to the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas (my mom lived there at the time) where we spent a full week hiking the mountains, going to National Parks, and generally having fun. This year, we've decided to expand upon the saving money part as our main goal in life right now is to pay off debts (student loans and car payments). We've also decided to use the time to visit with family we don't see much of. That's not to say we're not going to do something that includes only the four of us doing our favorite thing: getting out in nature.

Black Hills National Forest - photo courtesy of TripAdvisor

We get one extra day this year, so our vacation starts on a Friday in June and ends the following Sunday. I've determined we are coming home on Saturday, and that's that! Last year, we got home the evening before we had to go back to work and I was exhausted. Anyway, we're heading to the Black Hills of South Dakota that Friday morning, and heading back here to Omaha on Sunday. Short, yes, but I will divulge all those details in the vacation posts in June. The next day we'll head to my dad's house to spend three nights and take some fun days trips, also in nature as my dad is a hiker (that's where I get my love of the sport). After that, we're off to my mother-in-law's for two nights to visit with her. I'll also try and sneak in a visit with a dear friend of mine before heading home.

South Dakota, if you've never been there, is gorgeous. It's like Arkansas in the sense that you're in "small mountain" country - as opposed to Colorado - but it's just as lovely and majestic. In fact, the Black Hills have higher peaks than the Ozark Mountains. Since we're in Rapid City, it would be silly to miss out on Mount Rushmore. The kids and I have been there, but my husband has not. It's been several years since the kids and I have gone, however, that Nature Girl doesn't even really remember it. Of course, there's no way we're going to be out there and not do some hiking.

Mount Rushmore - photo courtesy of Wikipedia

I can't wait to go on vacation! I'm so looking forward to getting out of town with the kids and having some adventures. What are your vacation plans this year?


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