New Journal Entry
We start this vacation from our home in Gruver, Ia. We have three small children Charles (8) Brooklyn (2) and Alyssa (6months). We tried to make this trip economical and packed 2 coolers, one with drinks and the other with food for picnics. As it took us some time to organize the van and get 3 small kids situated we left much later than expected and took off for our vacation at 12:00 pm. I must laugh at myself as I had thrown a pizza in the oven and fed it to the kids on paper plates in the car so we could get going.
We stopped at the travel center right outside of Rapid City and by this time it was getting quite late. We just wanted to get to our hotel and get some food. When we were at the travel center we discovered that almost every hotel was gone for the night and the ones still available were going anywhere for $500.00 to $1,000.00 and up. Why? Because this was July 3rd the BIGGEST night for rapid city as tourist come from all over to take in the fireworks over Mt. Rushmore. Boy were we glad that we had reserved our hotel!
We arrived in Rapid City at 7:00 and easily found our hotel, the Dakota Pines Inn. My husband and I had stayed at this same hotel for our Honeymoon and recieved a whirlpool suit for around $70.00. At this time it was known as the Thunderbird Lodge. The staff and hotel were so nice and independently owned we decided to stay again with our kids. When we went to check in we were horrified to learn that the hotel had lost our reservation and had no room available for the night. We were very upset and after much complaining he called down to the Super 8 and booked us the last available room and even bartered with the hotel to lower our price to $80.00. The Dakota Pines then reserved us for the rest of the week and lowered our stay by 10.00 a night and even upgraded our room to a bigger room with more amenities.
Off to find the Super 8 which turned out to be the worst hotel that we have ever stayed at. We ended up paying $80.00 a night for a single queen room for a family with 2 children and a baby. The hotel found us a roll away bed which was VERY old and charged us another $10.00 for the bed. The room smelled of smoke and was very outdated!
We went to the mall and ate at Fuddruckers as this is a favorite restaurant chain for our family. Great food! :) We spent the rest of the night watching the fireworks over Mt. Rushmore on the TV. What we could see of it anyways because the fog was so heavy that night all you could see was blasts of light. Must have been disappointing for the people who sat at the memorial all day just to see this.
Wish we would have found a resturant for breakfast the next morning as the continental breakfast was not very good. VERY DISAPPOINTED STAY AWAY FROM THIS HOTEL!