Deadwood & Mt. Rushmore

In reviewing my previous posts, I realized I hadn't finished documenting our big family vacation this year.  I still had two more posts to go when I got sidetracked by school and all things shiny.  

First in line is Deadwood, South Dakota.  We didn't spend a lot of time here, just a couple of hours at most.  We were on a mission that day to get to Mt. Rushmore and, finally, the Badlands.  Deadwood was just one of those destinations that I really wanted to see just to say we had seen it.

It's just as touristy as I thought it would be.  They even have a street performance, which we glimpsed from our car windows as we pulled out of town. 

If we had had more time, I would have conned Ken into staying for the shows later that evening because that's just the kind of nerd I am.  Okay, and perhaps my overlong exposure to historical romance novels has somewhat romanticized the Wild West.  Add to that the HBO series and how could I resist?   

Unfortunately, we picked a rather tame time to visit the town.  We did some sightseeing and shopping, but little else. 

Admittedly, my enthusiasm was not matched by the men in the family.  Of course, the boys might have enjoyed it more if our timing had been better and they had been able to watch the reenactments.  Also,  had Ken and I been childless, we might have enjoyed a few hours of gambling, but we couldn't very well leave the boys sitting on the sidewalk while we dropped coins into the slot machines or threw the dice a few dozen times. 

So, we packed up and found a hotel for the night that would take us a little bit closer to Mt. Rushmore and the Badlands.   

Rushmore was a drive-by.  We didn't enter the park.  Luckily, this view was visible from the highway and my zoom lens was in good working order. 

Perhaps not the best angle, but it works.  Rushmore. Done. 

Next on the hit list...the Badlands of South Dakota. 

Two Weeks

It's almost here.  Freedom.  Freedom to read and write whatever I want without having to worry about a deadline chiseled into a syllabus.  I am so looking forward to taking full advantage of that freedom because it's been fourteen years in the making.  Fourteen years.  That's how long I've been taking classes, working my way through my bachelor's and master's.  I can't say that enough.  Fourteen years.  Holy Cow.  No wonder I'm ready for a nice, long break!

I've got a few things lined up as a reward to myself for managing to stick with it for so long.  First among them, finish the book I'm currently reading for fun.

The Dark Monk (The Hangman's Daughter, #2)

This is the second book in the series.  These are historical murder mysteries with three amateur sleuths investigating.  In this installment the hangman's daughter, the local medicus (physician), and the hangman himself are up against the Templars.  I'm just a little over 50% through the book right now.  With a 15-20 page final project to research and write, though, I probably won't get much farther.

The second book on my reading list isn't a traditional read for me.  I'm a lover of novels and a friend of the short story.  Graphic novels and comic books are new for me.  They'd probably still be a relative unknown if not for my need to know how the AMC adaptation of this storyline varies from its original source of inspiration.

The Walking Dead, Compendium 1

I imagine I will read this in a day or less even though it's a compilation of 48 comic books.  Pictures and bubble long can that really take to read?

Reading isn't the only thing I'm planning on doing with those homework-free hours ahead me.  I also intend to finish Final Fantasy 13-2.   It's ridiculous how long I've had this game and that I'm still playing it, but I am. Finishing may require kicking the children off Call of Duty Black Ops 2 and sending their little fannies outside to play for a few hours.  They will be delighted.

A few other things come to mind.  You know, like writing book #2.  Yeah, that's going to happen to.  I'll officially be out of excuses.  No more "I've got to focus on my school work" defenses.