Knowing little about South Dakota, I knew that Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse were around that area but that was all. My boys blessed me with agreeing to not use technology on this trip besides taking photos. There was some grumbling on our 11-hour drive because you can only play eye spy and the license plate game so many times. We soon started to count the Wall Drug signs and we knew that we were getting close!
I booked a local bed and breakfast that I found online called the Bavarian Inn and that was a hit because of their homemade goodies, great patio, and pool, and it was pet-friendly. My boys played in the pool the first day, along with my 6-year-old having a chocolate smile all over his face and an upset stomach from eating too many “small” snacks that I couldn’t say no to since we were on vacation. I got to read my book and journal about the trip, pet Jack for a couple of hours and breath in the clean air. The rooms were nice and clean and the beds were so comfortable after I had to tell the boys to not jump on them over a dozen times.
The next couple of days were full of adventures when you have 3 boys and the technology was long forgotten about as well as the stress from soccer and baseball. We took our picture in front of Mount Rushmore, drove Needles Highway, tried rock climbing for the first time and went kayaking. Jack and I were the only ones that fell in Sylvan Lake because Jack saw a fish jump. Thank goodness for doggie life-jackets. The boys loved the bison at Custer State Park. They named every one they saw, but their favorite one was “Brownie”. All three were bummed when I told them we couldn’t get one when we got home. When we got back to the Inn, the boys slept better than they did at home.
The town of Custer was an amazing town where I felt safe having the boys run around. We ate at Black Hills Burger and Bun where I had the best burger of my life and a piece of Strawberry Rhubarb Pie from the Purple Pie Place. The locals were amazing, always saying hello and smiling as we walked past. There were cute shops where I got my first piece of Black Hills Gold jewelry and the boys all picked out a sticker for the Subaru. We can now never get a new car because of that sticker. I tried Calamity Jane wine for the first time and came home with 6 bottles for my friends to all try.
The ride home was great. The boys all laughed and talked about their favorite part of the trip the whole drive home. They talked about how they will miss Brownie and my 6-year-old talked about how he will miss all the treats at the Bavarian Inn.
We hope to go back to Custer before all the boys graduate because there were so many things that we did not get to see in the Black Hills. The boys still have our photos hanging in their room. On our next trip, we can’t wait to see Brownie again in a Jeep Safari, visit Jewel Cave, and go in a hot air balloon with Black Hills Balloons.
Custer isn’t just for family memories, it is a great place to breath in the fresh air and re-energize your batteries. See you soon Custer!