A couple hours away in the town of Medora, North Dakota, you will find an absolutely adorable little tourist town. One of the major attractions is the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, but there are many other attractions as well. You can find everything from museums to trail rides through the park, a water park for the kids (parents are free!) and golf for the adults. As a matter of fact, the town is so cute that its motto is “Explore It. Adore It. Medora.”
One of the biggest attractions of the town is the Medora Musical. This year they are celebrating their 50th year, so they have been around for a very long time. We had heard great things about it, so a few weeks ago, we decided we had to check it out. We are very glad we did! (Kids are free on Sunday and Wednesday!)
One of the coolest things about the show is that it is outside. There was no chance of rain noted when we bought our tickets, but they changed the forecast the day before the show, so we were hoping the rain would hold off. It did. 🙂
We had wonderful seats right up front on the right side of the stage. The kids thought it was neat that you could see the performers in the house windows when they were preparing for the next set.
There was great singing, great dancing, live music, even horses! It was one of those cute little shows where you find yourself smiling from the time it starts until well after it is over.
The night we went, the featured act was a juggling group from China. These boys were good. Really, really good! Their acrobatics were incredible. I guess each featured act of the summer performs for a few weeks, then another group comes in. I am sure all of the acts were great, but these boys were amazing!
After the show, the whole hillside was lit up with changing lights. I wish I were better at night photography, because it was such a beautiful sight. We talked about the show for a good bit of the drive home, which was a good thing, because we did not get home until almost 2am, and both Rob and I had to get up for work in the morning. It was more than worth it, though. Makes me smile just thinking about it… 🙂
Fort Union, once one of the largest trading posts on the Missouri River.
My parents came for a visit not long after we arrived in North Dakota. We spent a few wonderful days exploring the area and I found that it is really much different than I had originally imagined. There is much more texture to the landscape than I expected, and the river valley is quite beautiful. Yes, it is relatively flat, and no, there are not many trees, and yes, there are oil fields dotting the landscape, but there is so much more than that. I was pleasantly surprised at how beautiful the area is, and there is still so much more to see. I had forgotten just how big the sky is in this part of the country, but perhaps most of all, I am simply loving being back in an area with wide open spaces.
Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~Khalil Gibran
Since we are going to be living here for at least a year, we had to make necessary changes in our residency status. North Dakota does not participate in the K12 program, so we had to consider other education options for the kids. After much discussion, we decided public school would be a good option for them. There were a lot of reasons for this decision, but the most important one is that the kids were really excited about it. It has been over two years since they have been in public school and I think they were looking forward to being in a classroom setting again. My hope is that after all of our travels, and the combination of homeschooling and public schooling, they will be well-rounded kids.
It was still pitch black out this morning when we walked them up to the bus stop for their first day of school. They are the first kids on the bus in the morning and they will be the last kids off in the afternoon, so the ride is a long one, but they were excited about it. Getting up at 5:30am will take some getting used to, though…
Today was also Rob’s first day as a permanent employee of the National Park Service! He had been looking forward to this for so long and I know he was excited that his start date had finally come. The staff here is amazing and I think he is really going to enjoy working here.
And since Rob and the kids were all gone today, it was my first day home all alone. It has been over 11 years since I have been by myself during the day. I have kept myself plenty busy and do not think ‘boredom’ will ever be a word in my vocabulary. I will say this, though, it is crazy quiet here without the kids home…
Rob will be home in a few minutes and then it will be time to meet the kids at the bus stop. I cannot wait to hear how all of their first days went.
Oh, and one more very important thing before I go…
Happy Birthday, Esther!! We love you!!!