to the badlands!

when your boyfriend (#redmountainbeardman, a.k.a. RMBM) surprises you by telling you he's taking you camping to badlands national park in south dakota, you pack light & hit the road. i'd never been camping, nor had i visited the badlands, plus south dakota was a new state for me too... so you could say i was pretty excited.

despite my offers to drive, my wonderful RMBM drove the whole way there & the whole way back, mainly because it was storming quite a bit during each journey. we left friday after we each got offa work & arrived that night. there's something about driving with the one you love on a road trip with no real agenda that is so wonderful to me.

we set up camp with some new friends that night. i slept like a rock, which isn't surprising since i can pretty much sleep anywhere. the next day we pack our stuff into our vehicle & the 2 of us went off to explore the badlands.

it was an overcast day, which i thought offset the pale red bezinite crumbly rock of the park perfectly. we climbed, raced each other, climbed some more, laid atop an overhang overlooking a pretty view, did a bit of yoga, drove around to some lookout points, saw some mountain goats, climbed some more.. all before going to find some breakfast. it was so fun! just a couple kids running rampant around the park. =)

the only place close to the park for food was connected to a gift shop & also happened to have just had their chef walk out on them. our wait was a pretty long, & i didn't even get what i ordered. RMBM shared his breakfast with me (which did NOT satisfy my breakfast hunger), saying we should leave to go to mount rushmore national memorial. my hunger & love of breakfast food did not agree with his timeline, & i gave a little selfish pushback. needless to say, i ended up hangrily agreeing to leave.

turns out, he was right. it was lightly drizzling when we got to mount rushmore, & low clouds were perfectly sitting right above the rushmore guys' heads. as we climbed around the rocks leading up closer to the presidents, the drizzle continued, causing the clouds to drop lower... 20 minutes later, we couldn't even see mount rushmore!

when we were back in the vehicle, i humbly admitted to my boo thang that he was right, & apologized for my grumpy 'tude when he was rushing me out of the restaurant without my having consumed a proper breakfast. of course he was gracious & forgiving. we talked through it, & again i was reminded of the wonderful good-for-me ways God humbles me a lot through my relationship with RMBM. it's situations like these that i realize: i can put up a minor fight, or i can be submissive ~ it's my choice. in the end, it's usually the latter that works out to my good; & besides, showing respect for the leader of the relationship is way more important to me than being right. especially when i'm not always right, despite what my selfishness & pride may try convincing me.

side note to all my ladies: despite the stereotype society has made popular, it is NOT your job to wear the pants in the relationship... it's his. you do NOT always know best, & your happiness is NOT more important than your man's. there are 2 people in the relationship. i get so sick of all these "happy wife, happy life" mantras i hear at weddings, & the notion movies & media give as if it's ok for the woman to act like she's the boss. ew. nope. but maybe that's a blog post for another time. ;)

we drove around some more after that, to crazy horse (though we didn't enter... it didn't look that interesting to us =/ nor did it seem worth the amount the person at the ticket booth said we'd have to pay to see it), then to wind cave national park. we didn't find any wind caves, but we did find a beautiful bridge, which is still a win for me!

 the weather reminded me of my time in the pnw... it was absolutely beautiful. the little i got to explore of south dakota, i loved. it has a humble effortless charm to it, & i think the rainy foggy chill weather helped create a really quiet relaxed vibe on our road trip as we drove with the sunroof open & the brisk air sweeping through the vehicle. we had talked about maybe visiting rapid city & staying another day, but we both agreed to head back to colorado & enjoy the rest of the weekend resting. for us, usually not everything is planned out & we usually play things by ear. & when the plans change, we try to go with the flow. i'm still improving on this, as i don't mind having some things being planned out & some things not. RMBM has helped me be a little more laid-back about that kind of stuff. it's wonderful to grow alongside someone who accepts you for who you are. i love my adventures with this man, & i'm looking forward to many more.