The next couple of days are to involve a lot of the great outdoors and even more driving. Both of which are a bit different than the city experiences that we left behind in the midwest and on the east coast. South Dakota sits at the north end of the great plains and the scenery reflects it's location. In addition to the grassy plains are a plethora of corn fields. With the popularity of ethanol, I understand that corn crops are becoming more and more popular for farmers in this region.
We started our Independence Day in one of my favorite cities, Minneapolis, MN. This was my third time in Minneapolis, but the first time I was able to enjoy it when the temperature outside was reasonable. I don't think Minneapolis is the most beautiful city, nor does it have the most activities, but the people are friendly and I get such a great feeling every time I am there. The first two times I visited the city, I was there to see the Packers play the Minnesota Vikings.
As I mentioned in yesterday's post, Monday was to be spent partially at Six Flags Great America in Chicago. Yesterday we drove about 40 miles north of Chicago and stayed in Waukegan, IL, near the Six Flags park.
The “EL” train system in Chicago, while very elaborate (although not NY elaborate) is very SLOW! My guess is that since most of it is above ground, for noise reasons the trains simply don't reach high speeds. It took us almost an hour to make the twenty mile trip into the city on the “EL”. A similar trip in Montreal took about twenty minutes on the metro, while a 30 mile trip in Washington DC took about twenty-five minutes. I have to give the “EL” a big BOO for not being very fast. On the other hand, the traffic is so bad, that making the same trip in a car probably would take two hours.
“R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me!” Oh, did I give it away? Yes, Thursday afternoon would bring us into Motown, where we would sing our little hearts out. To be honest, we weren't really sure why we were going to visit Detroit, but thought it a worthwhile stop on our drive to Chicago. We knew of both Detroit's rich musical history and of it's long demise as a major U.S. City, so we weren't sure what we would find there. First of all, before we could get to Detroit, we had to get the heck out of Ohio!
Here I was, standing alone in line, just minutes from completing an achievement I had thought about quite a lot. In fact, I was going to finish two hours early, so we would have time to do other “fun” things. All of a sudden, the clouds rolled in and my “Perfect Day” was in jeopardy. You see, no where else on Earth can someone ride 17 roller coasters in one park, on one day. Cedar Point is the only park in the world with 17 coasters and I was determined to ride them all.
There I was, at a spot I had longed dreamed about. As the roar of the powerful falls rang so loud in my ears, I looked down at my little boy and asked, “Do you like Niagara Falls?” Much to my surprise, he said very nonchalantly, “No”. After a little investigating, I found out the he liked them, but he was much more impressed with the vast array of unfortunate man made tourist traps surrounding the falls. In particular, he was obsessed with an observation tower, wanting to take pictures of it the whole time.
The three of us woke up Friday with a lack of enthusiasm. You see, it was that most dreaded time of the week. You guessed it, LAUNDRY DAY! It is not that we don't like to have clean clothes, (Shawn Reece being a typical little boy would probably bathe in dirt if he could) but it always seems that laundry day falls when we have so much to see. I will stop complaining about this since, to tell the truth, we woke up this morning with quite a bit of enthusiasm.