Judy’s Graduation

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Another whirlwind weekend!

The Deer
After work we drove down to DJ’s house and packed our stuff into her car for the trip out to Rapid City. DJ, Abbie, Eric and I got on the road for Sioux Falls. We were stopping at Byron and Paula’s for the night. The drive was going well until just before exit 402…we hit a deer. DJ did an amazing job of not losing control. I knew it was bad when I saw pieces of the headlight and black pieces of the car flying past as I looked out the back window. We were less than 2 miles from our exit to Byron and Paula’s house. It happened right before the exit ramp so we drove off the ramp and took a look at the car. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t good either. There was no way we could drive this across the state. We called 911 and got a trooper out to look at it. He was cracking jokes about it and was giving us a hard time (in good fun). When he left he said “Don’t take out any more of my wildlife!” Byron and Paula met us and we drove the backroads back to their house. The rest of the evening was consumed with taking to the insurance company.

The Drive West
Thankfully, DJ was able to get the car to the collusion shop Saturday morning. She called a couple different places and finally one was actually open this holiday weekend! They drove the car there and they gave her a loaner to drive back to Mankato but we couldn’t take it Rapid City. Byron and Paula lent us their car which was so nice! We put all our luggage in DJs car and headed down the road to Rapid City a little later than planned but that was ok.  We stopped in Mitchell for lunch at DQ and stopped a few more times but eventually we got to Rapid City.

The Party
The first stop in Rapid was Judy’s Party. She had a nice turn out. A lot of family was there. I got to see Aunt Jill since she lost all the weight…she looks amazing! The theme of the party was balls. They had meatballs, melon balls, cheese balls, cake pops. It was nice.  After the party we went to Mass with Eric’s parents and eventually found our way to their house for dinner. It was a nice weekend but we stayed pretty late.

The Run
I was feeling pretty lousy. I hadn’t run in over a week and really needed to. It was pouring rain though and I mean pouring! Eric said let’s do a run around the Mall and back to the hotel. So we ran up the hill to the mall, around the mall and back to the hotel. It was 2 miles. We were soaked when we got back. My feet stayed pretty dry until we ran a lap around the hotel parking lot to get to 2 miles. It was one giant puddle.  That was it for my shoes and socks. Thank God we were done. We took a quick shower and headed to Libby’s to see Matt and Amy before they left for Colorado. Matt had to work on Monday.

The Lunch, Kohl’s, Graduation & Dinner
We had lunch at Pauly’s which was pretty good pizza. After lunch the girls (DJ, Abbie, me and Eric’s mom) went to Kohl’s and the boys (Eric and Eric’s dad) went home. Eric’s mom had never been to Kohl’s. I think she liked it. I bought a new pair of shoes and Abbie and DJ bought swimsuits for our hotel pool. We got back to the house and I picked up Eric and we went back to the hotel so he could shave and get ready for graduation.

Graduation wasn’t too bad. I saw the whole “agenda” and thought we will be here a while. There were 5 speeches, a Lakota Honor Song (that was cool!) and other random events. But they read through the names really fast and ignored middle names. They also went two different directions on the stage and did pictures after the left the stage so it was well managed!

We meet Judy on the floor (they also don’t have a recessional) and took some pictures. We went to Olive Garden for dinner…all of us. Of course we had an hour wait at Olive Garden but when you are trying to feed 22 people you would expect that. We got seated at 8:15 so it was a late dinner. We didn’t get out of there until almost 10pm. We headed back to the hotel for a swim and hot tub. It was so nice to sit in the hot tub! It was a long day.

The Drive East
DJ picked us up at the hotel and we went to say our good byes to Eric’s parents. We didn’t get out of there until 10 or so. Eric brought home a box of medals and ribbons…most of which are not his but he doesn’t care he wants them. He is a weird boy. We went to Libby’s house to say good bye to them as well…another hour or so. This family loves the long goodbyes. We finally got out of Rapid at around 11:30. The drive back to Sioux Falls was uneventful (thank GOD!) but long. We didn’t get there until after 5. We moved stuff out of Paula’s car into DJ’s rental, a Suzuki (they aren’t sold here anymore).  It was a very nice car. There was a little drama when Beth called and asked if we were going to pick her up from work. We were just getting to Worthington, over an hour away. Ethan wasn’t answering his phone and he had our car. The boy was sleeping and didn’t wake up to go pick up Beth. For a while there, we weren’t sure where our car was…I was a little annoyed thinking that we would have to wait to go home because our car was MIA. But it was at DJ’s house when we got there so we quickly threw our luggage into our car and did a short goodbye and was on our way home. We didn’t get home until after 10pm…a long day of driving.

The Pictures


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