Rapid City Is Awesome…in the Summer! I’m Getting Excited to Hibernate.

City View from Dinosaur Park. July 2018. Rapid City, SD.

Snow is in the forecast.  I’m cold.  I’m cranky.  Where is Fall?

With cold days like this, it’s easy to forget how awesome Rapid City is, primarily because I have little motivation to leave my house.

When we first arrived this past summer, I was pleasantly surprised with Rapid City.  As much as I love Hawaii, it’s also crowded and expensive in paradise. Rapid City and the Black Hills have so much to offer – to see, eat, and do, especially if you love the great outdoors.

Hubby had to work, our household goods were in transit, the kids and I had little else to do but explore our new hometown.  We had so much fun playing tourist, although we have yet to visit Mount Rushmore or Crazy Horse!  (We were initially waiting for visitors, and then our visitors ironically didn’t care to go.)

Oh, the places we’ve been!  Here are a few notable destinations:

Badlands National Park

Rapid City Memorial Park

City of Spearfish 4th of July Parade

Custer State Park – Sylvan Lake, Wildlife Loop, Cathedral Spires, Sunday Gulch Trail

Dahl Art Center

Dinosaur Park

Downtown Square @ Rapid City

Harriet & Oak Café *my favorite coffee shop*

Journey Museum

M Hill

Mammoth Site

Prairie Edge Art Gallery & Trading Post

Sip-n-Stretch @ Hay Camp Brewing Company with Sol Yoga Collective

Spearfish Canyon – Devil’s Bathtub Trail

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

Wall Drug

Watiki

 

Now that we are settling in and school has started, our routine is much more mundane.  Less tourist, more daily living – school & work engagements, dog walks, never-ending grocery shopping/cooking cycle.  I am spending a small fortune outfitting us all for the cold weather.  After wearing shorts and slippahs for two years, we have zero cold weather gear.  I’ve been told by the seasoned locals that having the proper gear makes all the difference in handling the cold and wind of Sodak.  I just bought a long winter coat that looks like it could double as a sleeping bag.  Fashionable? Maybe.  I just hope when I do venture outdoors, it will keep me warm and toasty (and less cranky).

The hubby and kids are super excited for the winter.  As long as they don’t mind me watching from inside by the window, standing guard over the hot chocolate and baking comfort foods, I guess I’m excited, too.

The moving stats — Hawaii to South Dakota

40+ days and counting since we have been living out of a suitcase. (* No word yet on actual delivery date of household goods. *)

11 shipping crates of our domestic bliss, approx. 12,000 lbs of stuff.

500 lbs of Unaccompanied Baggage of household essentials. (* Murphy’s Law guarantees this to be the last arrival. *)

19 mind-boggling, stressful hours waiting for word that the family dog has successfully landed in the correct destination on the mainland.

6-hour flight with an inoperable onboard entertainment system to the mainland with 2 kids depending on an operable onboard entertainment system.

21 days from drop off to pickup of family car at the Vehicle Processing Center.

1500 miles, 5-state, 3-day road-trip with 2 cars, 2 kids, and 1 set of grandparents.

55 degree cold and rainy weather welcome by Mother Nature.

0 warm weather outfits.

Complete suspension of normal family budgeting and financial operations!

Too many good-byes to count.

1 grand military family adventure to the great state of South Dakota!

Just a few hiccups: Misplaced car registration, $1500 travel bill for the Dog, Tears & Curses, Sciatica.

Are we there yet?  YES!

Are we having fun yet?  YES!

And I still have unpacking to look forward to…

Wishing you a happy, safe, low stress PCS season!

60 Days Until I Leave Paradise for South Dakota

Maybe 60 days.  Of course, he doesn’t have orders yet.   Only the invisible Hand of Military Assignment knows about orders, and he’s indifferent.  Who knows or cares?

Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota

The Handsome Hubby has a Report No Later Than Date.  The rest of the family will get there when we get there.  The good news is that I have no hard deadlines with this move.  After our one-year separation, I expect that I will do this move alone.  Or more accurately, I will do this move with the help of my military spouse tribe.

I do give kudos to the Hubby though, as he is planning on stopping here in Hawaii for 9 days to help with the move.  I, however, anticipate that getting a pack out date within his 9-day window is best case scenario.  And we know how that goes, especially for my family.  If it makes sense, then no, it won’t be.  If it is convenient, then definitely not.  Orders 60 days out?  Pfft…amateur…please.  How many days until it’s ridiculous?  That’s our MO.  “Ridiculous” is when we will get our orders and then we will jump through hoops to get it done.

What’s a few more weeks in Hawaii?  I’m not in a hurry to leave.  I want Hawaii to be my forever home.  I have loved just about everything here, and my time, experiences, and friendships have been truly awesome!  I found my way back to my love of dance, and there has been plenty of opportunity to dance – ballroom, salsa, burlesque, Bollywood, hula, hip hop.

I am currently a graduate student at UH Manoa.  No surprise here that this move to South Dakota puts a stop to my graduate studies. Or at least a major slowdown while I recalibrate and try to figure out how to make it work.   I toyed with the idea of staying in Hawaii to finish the degree program, but quickly ixnayed the idea.  Our kids are anxious to reunite the family, so another year without dad is a no go.  I do not want to be separated from my kids, so a year alone in Hawaii is a no go.   Add the financial implications of maintaining two households, and the answer becomes clear.

But not without a bit of resentment because it’s going to be “I’m cold, I’m cranky, and I’m too old for this” kind of cold in South Dakota.

Insert the positive platitudes and pep talk from the well-meaning among us: “Oh that part of the state doesn’t get as much snow because it’s in the Banana Belt.”  Yes, banana belt.  Look it up.  Please know I am smiling ever-so-politely and nodding in agreement when this is said to my face, while the Mean Voice inside my head is shouting not-so-polite things.  “Oh, what an adventure this is!”

There you have it.  I’m living this military life in one-year increments. This next assignment is for two years, supposedly.  Just like Korea was a two-year assignment, supposedly.  “Oh, what an adventure this is!”

Onward and upward…with a coat…to the Mount Rushmore State!

Aloha!