Today was our 3rd Annual Niece's Day Out Marathon. Each summer on some random day I totally lose my mind. Evidently, I begin to miss my job so I kidnap my two nieces and we play tourist and visit the local attractions.
We start out early, or at least semi-early and go someplace and have breakfast. Today the Fairview Cafe won out. We all had the french toast special with a side of either bacon or sausage and orange juice. From there we hit the road to Bayard to go to Chimney Rock. That seems to be the one constant on these days out. I don't understand the attraction of loading a pioneer wagon, but they seem to enjoy it immensely and who am I to argue?
Several weeks ago, Mardell and I discovered that there is a road that goes behind the formation. There is a cemetary back there and a small parking area. We went there first and took some great shots of Chimney Rock because 3,451 pictures of it are not enough. No, we must take more to add to our shoebox. That is, if we ever bother to print them out. But it was a beautiful day for a picture --- if I do say so myself.
Krista lamented the fact that we didn't have any hangers with us so that we could witch the cemetary. It would have been interesting to do because many of the graves are so worn they are hard to read unless you get really close. Maybe next year. After we finished poking around the cemetary, we went to the visitor's center and browsed the displays. Krista and Dani both sketched their rendition of Chimney Rock in the hopes of getting their post cards displayed on the bulletin board and we watched the fifteen minute video. Afterwards, Dani went around and pointed out the images that we had seen in the movie. And here I thought the snoring was her! Of course, the visit would not have been complete unless we loaded and unloaded the wagon at least 3.6 times and made a visit to the gift shop. We parted with our old-fashioned candy sticks and postcards. Dani got her yearly necklace and was a generous sister and bought one for her sister as well. I'm just very grateful that the tin whistle cost more than what she had to spend!
From there we drove over to Bridgeport to see Courthouse and Jail Rock. We discovered a trail leading to the two and chose to climb up to Jail Rock. It was hot and dusty, but well worth the climb. We could have gone to the top, but Dani wasn't prepared for climbing and I wasn't prepared to talk anyone down after they froze from their fear of heights.
I'm not sure about the phenomena, but somehow as the two get older they seem to get louder. The first year we did this they whispered to each other as they sat demurely in the back seat. It was cute and endearing. Last year if I strained I could make out that they were having a conversation and every now and then they would include me in it. Today Krista performed major surgery on Dani's foot as we traveled along the Oregon Trail and Dani didn't disappoint us with the sound effects.
We took Highway 92 into Gering and of course, we couldn't go past the quilt shop without stopping. That was a nice break before we took in a movie at the mall. We had a private showing of Get Smart. If I had been thinking, I would have convinced Dani that I set it up that way. I wasn't expecting to enjoy the movie at all, but I was pleasantly surprised. We laughed throughout. Dani can hardly wait to buy the DVD and stated that it beat Alvin and the Chipmunks. I'd have to agree!
After that we went to the grocery store to buy the fixings to grill burgers. Can you believe that the silly store was out of watermelon?! That would never do --- so we hit another one. We grilled burgers, corn on the cob, and made up balsamic tomatoes and onions. We also had kettle cooked chips and watermelon with s'mores for dessert.
The kids came out and saw my pygmy goats and played with the dogs for a while. Then they played on the computer while Mardell and I fixed supper. We ate and then Krista and I played the Farming Game. All I can say is that Krista CHEATS!!! Big time. Doesn't even deny it when she is nailed. Just giggles and plays dumb. And she kicked my ass. Even when I figured out what she was doing and started watching her like a hawk. It's just not right.
Katie and Keith showed up just as we were about to break out the duct tape. Maybe I shouldn't have given Dani Mountain Dew three times throughout the day. I am exhausted, but I had a blast and can hardly wait until next time and Roo Ranch.