Monday, June 16, 2014

Family Vacation in South Dakota

The Badlands

Earlier this month we went on a family vacation, and we had a wonderful time! Before going on vacation I wondered if we were crazy for attempting a trip given that my health has been so unstable lately. But I knew that I had traveled from Kentucky to Georgia for Christmas in 2010, when I was much sicker than I am now. It was going to be hard, but with some careful planning we could make a family vacation work. We planned a trip that would include easy activities, cool temperatures, and a lot of rest in the hotel room for me.

The hardest day of vacation was the first day when we needed to drive for 6 ½ hours. To make the trip easier I went to the hospital the evening before for a liter of saline. The increase in blood volume makes it easier for me to sit upright, and it also helps with my energy levels and mental clarity. Overall it just gives me a “boost” that lasts about 48 hours. The IV infusion the evening before our trip helped me to sit/recline in the van for our long day of driving.

We spent a week in South Dakota and enjoyed seeing the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park and the Badlands. I kept a slow pace and spent the majority of my time resting in the hotel. I always spent the mornings in the hotel room, and during that time Will and the children would go to the hotel pool, a museum, or a zoo while I slept. On three afternoons I went out with them for some sightseeing. There were also three days that I stayed in the hotel all day to rest while Will and the children went sightseeing. They came back with pictures for me and stories of their adventures.

Here are some highlights from our vacation!

I took pictures of the scenery through my window as we drove through South Dakota at 70mph.

We went to Mount Rushmore. It was only 71 degrees! 
I was able to sit outside for about 10 minutes with my ice pack vest on.

My favorite part of the trip was the scenic drive through Custer State Park. 
All I had to do was sit with my feet propped up and enjoy the view!  

William enjoying the view of the Black Hills. In the distance you can see Mount Rushmore.

A view of the Black Hills from an overlook off of Iron Mountain Road.
I just noticed that William is as tall as me now when I am in my wheelchair!

On the Needles Highway

This was a fun tunnel to drive through on the Needles Highway!

Will, William, and Adelaide got to explore two caves for the first time!

They thought of me when they saw purple flowers, and they took a picture to bring back to me.

Adelaide in the Badlands

Big Horn Sheep in the Badlands

The Badlands

Vacation was very good for all of us. We enjoyed the special time together and made some wonderful memories. The rest of our summer will be spent here at home reading, writing, gardening, working, playing, and resting. 

What are your summer plans? 

P.S. Did you know that you can subscribe to Cranberry Tea Time via email? I blog as energy permits, which I know makes it hard for my readers to know when to check the blog for new content. If you don’t want to miss a post, subscribe here!


  1. So nice that you got to go on vacation. Sure looks like a good time.

  2. Thanks for sharing the pictures. I never comment, but I always read your blog. You are an inspiration! I have EDS, dysautonomia and am being tested for Mito. I like hearing about your days (good and bad) and your faith gives me inspiration and hope!


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