Deanna and I took off to the Black Hills — specifically, to Custer and the Custer Mansion Bed and Breakfast — to celebrate 11 years of wedded bliss.  We took off Sunday afternoon after church and arrived at our destination early evening in time to meet our hosts, Bob and Patricia Meakim, and the other couple that was staying there for the evening.  They were from Northern Minnesota and had a visa/passport-mishap with a trip they had planned overseas and instead made last minute changes and travelled to the Black Hills.

Our stay was very nice.  We stayed in the Shenadoah Room which featured a private bath / jacuzzi, television, a queen-size bed, and a nice view of the courtyard and gardens below.  Bob and Patricia, and their dogs, Jack and Rocky, were very friendly and made us feel very welcome.  Great food, too.  The first morning we were served waffles topped with fresh-cut assorted fruit and buttermilk syrup, pork cutlet, and berry muffins.  The second morning featured eggs florentine over skillet potatoes, fresh baked bread, and broiled grapefruit.  Yum.  All of it was very well prepared and very tasty.

On Monday, we set out for Pine Ridge after breakfast, making some leisurely stops for pics along the way.  We went down there for some personal business and to fill out some paperwork.  The office we went to was slow-moving and we ended up having to stay over the lunch hour after they closed the door on us just after receiving the paperwork.  We filled it out, ate a quick lunch at Taco Johns, and headed back so that we would be first in line when they returned.  After that, it wasn’t long until we were done and on the road again.

We had some more pic stops on the way back to Custer, including a few fun minutes feeding this guy (click here for YouTube footage) “de-chocla-fied” almond M&M’s.  He seemed pretty appreciative!  We stopped at the B&B for an afternoon snack of buffalo salami, cheese, and crackers and a short, but restful nap.  Very nice… a Monday afternoon nap.  That almost NEVER happens.  LOL!

That evening, we took off for a different part of Custer State Park and headed towards Sylvan Lake to re-live some memories from our honeymoon.  Deanna had walked across the frozen lake eleven years ago in a very similar wintry setting as we were experiencing this weekend.  When we arrived, Deanna started walking on the lake to try it again, but water started gushing up after a few steps out… needless to say, she decided to turn around.  I got the moment on video… pay no attention to my obnoxious opening statement… (smile)

After leaving the lake, we drove over to Hill City for a great dinner — as always — at the Alpine Inn.  Good eating!  All in all, it was an amazing time for us to just enjoy each other’s company and fall in love all over again.  I only wish we could have had a couple days longer!

See pics from our trip on my Facebook.  Check ‘em out here.


Shawn Michael

Husband, father, musician, pastor, Internet junkie, and Foursquare District NextGen Rep for the Gateway District

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