Monday 3rd December
Doyle fared better still in bed last night. I managed to get him to sleep in his cot until 5:30am, with only one feed at 3am. In our room this morning, I got Doyle to copy me saying ‘Mama” a couple times. Jeremy’s jealous because he hasn’t learnt any d sounds yet to say dada. When we got up for breakfast, we sat him down to play with his toys, and he started eating something. When Jeremy discovered it was plastic he had chewed off his Spongebob toy with his teeth, we discovered exactly why toys like that are unsuitable for children under 3, and decided he won’t be getting it back.
We didn’t know when to expect Brenda, so we headed out to Hastings to use their wifi Internet connection, then stopped in at my bank to deposit some money – I’d been running low at $17.60 and hadn’t used it for a couple years. Then we headed back to try and find out where Dion lived, but no one was home that could tell us, so we wrote down his number and called him from the pay phone. He was between classes and not at home when I called anyway, so we organised to meet when he finished his class.
When Dion came around, we tried calling both of my mum’s sisters, Brenda and Bernice, but neither answered so we had to leave messages. Then we went around to Dion’s place to check it out and meet his puppy, Camus. He got pretty friendly with Doyle, and Doyle thought he was hilarious. Then we headed back to Aunt Kayce’s, where Jerry happened to be, so we got to see him again.
At around 6pm, Brenda finally showed up – and luckily made it to us, since she hadn’t been able to get hold of anyone by phone and just happened to be standing on Jerry’s doorstep for a little while, where he found her. So she came to Kayce’s and got to meet Jeremy and Doyle, then Dion came around to see her too, but he was busy with his final assignments so he couldn’t stay long. We took her out to dinner at a place called Tommy Jack’s, at Dion’s recommendation, where they serve Louisiana food. Jeremy and I shared a dish of catfish and chips and a dish of chicken and sausage gumbo (which is kind of like a soup). Doyle was mainly well behaved, though a lot of cornbread did end up on the floor.
By the time we’d got back, we’d missed the first half of the next episode of Tin Man, but still decided to sit down and watch the rest. When it neared 9pm, we realised it wouldn’t be ending tonight anyway. Who knows if we’ll get to watch the whole thing? If only they brought stuff like this out to Australia.
After it finished, my cousins and Kayce’s sons Josh and Kyle came around so we got to see them before we left Laramie. I tried putting Doyle to bed, and he started out okay, but by 12:45am, he ended up in our bed again for the rest of the night.
Tuesday 4th December
We packed up some of our things (and found Doyle’s towel!) and left Laramie this morning. Just before we left, I stopped in on Dion and he let me know the plan to see Bernice would be on Thursday, so we’ll head back to Laramie then. We followed Brenda in her car up to her ranch just outside Lance Creek, Wyoming. We had lunch at her place, then headed off again around 2pm.
We had originally thought about spending the night at Andy (Brenda’s husband) and Brenda’s, but then ended up taking Brenda’s advice to grab a motel room closer to where the things are that Jeremy wanted to see. So we drove up into South Dakota and arrived in Hot Springs because Jeremy wanted to see some actual hot springs. When he discovered that it wasn’t really possible here, we ended up driving a bit further, finding some buffalo on the way to Custer, SD where we found a Days Inn to spend the night. It had everything we wanted – cable to finish watching Tin Man (we even got to catch the hour we missed last night), free continental breakfast, and free wifi. I was mainly desperate to watch the rest of Tin Man, and am now glad I have no more TV commitments while we’re here!
For dinner, we had the Manhattan Clam Chowder we bought in a can when we were in New York, and also popped into a Dairy Queen in Custer to get a basket of popcorn prawns to finish the meal. I think I can safely say that I prefer the New England Clam Chowder.
That’s all there is to report today. The majority of the day was spent driving from the south of Wyoming to the north east and into the south west of South Dakota.