Monday, September 21, 2009
We wanted to go back and actually visit Mt. Rushmore properly. So we decided that due to the heat (mid-80s) it would be best to visit in the morning before it got hot. And we really wanted to make sure that Lola got lots of playtime today.
We spent just over an hour at Mt. Rushmore. Ray and I had both visited before, but there was a new entry and extended exhibits. So we both enjoyed it. (And Lola got a new book, so she was happy, too.)
But more so than anything, Friday was to be Lola’s day. Which mean that, even like at Mt. Rushmore, she would get lots of running around time and doing things that a 1-year-old might enjoy.
So we drove into Rapid City and tried desperately to find a park. We failed in that we never found a playground park, but the civic center in town had some nice green space. So we spent time there as we let her run around. Of course, being that it is still Lola, she was much more into her books than her toys. Such a bookworm!
A nice (?) perk of the green space was that there was small display relating to the Berlin Wall and even had a piece of the wall. (Being the non-history buff that I am, I especially appreciate the explanatory placards.)
We left the park to get lunch. Lola had a fun time playing with the menu and did well sitting still for mealtime, so we figured we were doing better with allowing more outlets for her energy.
After lunch, things got interesting. We had intended to go to the petting farm on our way back to the hotel, but we first came upon Reptile Gardens. Ray and I debated back and forth on which one Lola would enjoy more. But he won when he pointed out that her favorite thing to do at home is stare at the geckos.
So we went to Reptile Gardens – and, boy, are we glad!
This place was so cool. It was amazing. Lola, when she is interested in something, points at it. I don’t think she lowered her arm much while we were there! She had such a great time. It all started with the giant tortoises, which she was both interested in and scared of. She sure hung on to Ray’s shirt really tight!
There also was a display of prairie dogs, which were quite interesting. Lola liked staring at them and got excited when they chirped.
But Lola fell in love with the place during the Snake Show. This is a show during which the leader guy shows you all sorts of different kinds of snakes. Lola was quite interested.
But there were only maybe a dozen of us in the audience, so the leader changed things up a little bit. He usually waits until the end of the show to let the audience touch the boa constrictor, but because the audience was so small, he let everyone come up mid-show.
Lola was amazed that she was allowed to actually touch something! She knows, hopefully, by now that the geckos at home are not to be touched. So when given the opportunity, she reached for that snake with gusto, pulling at the poor thing’s skin (which we learned is super elastic, so we didn’t feel too bad).
We couldn’t stay for the rest of the show, though, because Lola didn’t understand why she wasn’t allowed to touch the cobra or the other venomous snakes. So we left to tour the rest of the facility.
It was a fun day!
-- Bethany :)