This is (hopefully) going to be a brief post to update you on our last two days. Since Monday (two days ago) we have ventured from Niagara Falls, Canada all the way to Walls, South Dakota. This is a lot of driving in two days, and you would expect that our days would have been anti-climatic, but it has been anything but that. We have managed to have incredible adventures despite driving for 10+ hours a day. Sunday night, after my previous post, we went on an amazing night cruise on the river to watch fireworks and get an up close and personal view of the waterfalls all lit up, what a night! It was a perfect evening!
On Monday, we woke up early and got to continental breakfast at 7 am sharp at Embassy Suites. We enjoyed the make-your-own omelet bar. We backed up our belongings and headed to Niagara-on-the-lake. A picturesque community alongside Lake Ontario. The town was very quaint and nestled among countless wineries. The drive to this area was beyond beautiful, the views were amazing. After a quick pit stop to sample maple fudge (yummm) we headed right back on the road towards Michigan. We crossed the boarder easily, and continued on our long journey to Wisconsin. Eventually, we needed to refill gas and decided to try to view the lake. We stopped in another adorable town called New Buffalo. I was shocked to discover that there was a beach, complete with sand, surf shops, and a lifeguard. That’s right, all at a lake! It was so cool, and I quickly snapped some photos of the beautiful lake and lighthouse, and we were soon back on the road. After Michigan, we continued through Indiana and Illinois (where there was a horrid truck accident, we passed the remains of a totalled truck, hoping everyone was ok). Our final destination was a Panera in a town called Janesville, Wisconsin, where we decided to Priceline a hotel.We stayed the night and woke up very early. Breakfast was to-go at Starbucks, and we made sandwiches to enjoy on the road.
While driving on the interstate, we passed a few signs for Wisconsin cheese, and decided we should stop and try some. We ended up in Dells, Wisconsin, which is the waterpark capital of the world. It is home to a giant indoor waterpark (Kalahari) and tons of outdoor ones too. I totally recognized it from a show on the travel channel! Anyways, we eventually found the cheese market and arrived just as the store was opening. We sampled soo many types of cheese. This includes chocolate, beer wine, truffle, aged cheddar, gouda, ect. We ended up purchasing a variety pack and got back to our long drive.
A few hours later, in Minnesota, we passed by a random town called Austin that had signs of a Spam museum. Coming from Hawaii, we just had to stop, as spam is such a huge part of the cuisine back home. In the museum, there were tons of different sections educating the public about how different cultures use spam and the history of it. It was actually really cool. We asked a king woman to take our picture in front of the Hawaii exhibit, and we came to chatting. We told her about our road trip from Maine to Hawaii, and a video crew heard the conversation and were intrigued by our story. Turns out, this crew was filming an NBC special on the Spam museum, and wanted to interview me about why we were visiting and what Spam really means in Hawaii. They asked several questions, and despite nervous laughter, tried my best not to sound like a fool (although I definitely did). That should be airing on NBC sometime this month, keep your eye out LOL.
After a few more hours, we decided to stop for lunch before our final push to the Badlands. We passed a city called Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and decided that this would have restrooms, gas, and a place to eat. Low and behold, we found a beautiful park overlooking a huge river/waterfall. It was the absolute perfect view for a rest stop. We had lunch, walked around, and continued to the final leg of our days drive.
At around 7 we finally arrived to Badlands National Park. I had no idea what to expect, but as soon as we arrived I was in total awe. I am not going to lie I wanted to cry and was literally speechless from its beauty. We got out of the car to an amazing overlook, it was just such a huge expanse of beautiful geology, worn by years and years of water erosion. It was such a stark contrast compared to the endless prairies of South Dakota. Honestly such a unique sight. We continued exploring the park, taking pictures and admiring the landscape around us. Sunset was at 8:20, so we drove to a famous overlook, called the Pinnacles, where we watched the sunset behind the park. Such a beautiful sight, it was such a good day!