After our visit to the Reptile Garden, we spent the rest of the day at the hotel in the pool and in the room. We were all fairly tired and since we knew the next day was going to be long as well, we figured we might as well be well rested. We left as early as we could the next morning and it was long until we started to see the many signs leading to Wall Drug. Honestly, I didn’t really know what to expect, but I think I was expecting a little more. Haha! It was really just a bunch of touristy shops all in one big location with a bunch of cheesy touristy things to look at. We did get some donuts and 5 cent coffee for sure, though. It wasn’t a bad way to stretch our legs either and the kids decided to kill some time in an arcade.
There are so many signs advertising Wall Drug… SO MANY.
Not gonna lie, getting hit with a major snowstorm when we arrived in South Dakota was not something I had planned for. I could have sworn I had checked various forecasts and they were all good. Whoops. Go figure that it was during my turn to drive that the roads got nasty. On the plus side, I did see a coyote when it calmed down a bit and a few other critters. The weather did mean that we would need to find some indoor activities, though, because we didn’t bring any cold weather gear with us.
Thankfully, not too far from us was The Reptile Garden. You really can’t go wrong with reptiles, right? Plus it’s guaranteed that you won’t need a jacket inside and that always wins for me. I admit I was a little put off by the initial cost, but it ended up being worth it. They had an enormous collection of critters, some of which I have never seen in person before. There was also a really neat greenhouse that had some birds, snakes and lizards completely out of cages, which was unique from what we’ve been to before.
There were a few “shows” throughout the day, so we decided to check out the snake show. The kids got a little bored until the trainer (are they called trainers??) started pulling out actual snakes – many of which were venomous and therefore extra cool. Enzo even got to ask a question after raising his hand (which was possibly even more exciting) and he asked what Rattlesnakes eat. We got up close and personal with one too when the gal put the rattler on the ground with this 2-3 foot high clear barrier surrounding it. The kids, especially Enzo, were stoked.
The trip from California to Durango, Colorado was done overnight, so we didn’t make many stops along the way, however count on small children to need to use the restroom at the worst time possible when there are no bathrooms around. Haha. We also started to run into cooler drizzly weather which made exiting the car even more enjoyable.
I really failed at taking pictures during this portion of our trip and I don’t know why! Maybe because it felt so much like just being at home? I know at home I have to make more of an effort to pick up my camera at times. Plus, a lot of our time was just spent hanging out and chatting and unfortunately we were only there a few days, so that has a lot to do with it as well. Lots of good food and just nice to be home where really not much has changed, and as always a part of me thinks of moving back one day. Just maybe.
My dad has several of these large creepy crawlies around the yard and on his Jeep that he has made.
Enzo disovered Sprite on this trip, and now we’ve had to come to an agreement that he only gets it occasionally as a special treat. 😉 Also… while I try to avoid the kindles at restaurants, at this point in our trip the kids got cranky pretty fast and this battle is one I chose not to fight.
Our time in California was winding down, and Enzo happened to be turning 5 in a week, so my mom had asked if there was a special cake that he would like so she could make him one. As it so happens, he wanted a butterfly cake in an array of colors. I’m not sure where the butterfly idea came from… maybe because we’ve talked a bit about plants and hoping that the monarchs will make a return to our yard. Either way, my mom truly delivered.
For his 5th birthday, Enzo had really only one request. He wanted his own Alexa for his bedroom. Done. The excitement on his face was priceless, as was the moment when he turned to his sister and whispered to her, “Phoebe, we have our very own Alexa for our bedroom!”
My mom and step-dad had the excellent idea of buying him his own first camera too, which he was very excited about and has been using on a regular basis. The hardest part has been convincing him not to delete all of his pictures!! I need to sneak his camera and download the ones he has saved to my computer.
On our final day, we went to Birch Aquarium and it didn’t disappoint! Not too big, not too small and it had a really good variety as well!
The jellies never disappoint, and they had so many here. They really are so fascinating to watch and it was fun to watch Enzo take pictures of everything with his camera as well.