Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Good-Byes, Debuts...

Day 37 - 38: August 2 and 3, 2009 - Sturgis, SD
Hill Climbs, Slot Machines and Mini-Golf

As a large group, we enjoyed breakfast together and then Kim, Rob, Macradee, Grandma and Papa all prepared to leave Sturgis and return to their homes. Before noon the majority of the crew had departed and we were left to relax and sit around doing basically nothing.

However, around lunch time Dad Allen was receiving a phone call asking that he pick up his guitar and make his way down to the Nite Owl to perform some songs and help draw in a crowd from the busy streets of downtown Sturgis. Harland got himself gathered up quick and Mike, Melissa and Brenda planned to go see him sing as soon as they accomplished a few tasks around the house and gave Harland sufficient time to set up and begin playing.

Having completed whatever small tasks they had each deemed important the trio made their way downtown to listen to Harland wow the crowd with his smooth voice and awesome strumming skills.

Back at the house, it was time to get settled in for the evening and make our way to bed...just so we would have enough energy to take on the next day!

The morning of the third, we had made plans to walk down the road a way where we would be able to watch a hill climb. That is, we would watch young children and teenagers gun their dirt bikes up an extremely steep hill. This would generally begin with slight revving of the engine then the sight of a bike carrying a small body up the hill and at some point tipping over and dropping the passenger. Fortunately, all the way up the hill there stood at the ready, a number of gentlemen ready to catch falling riders and help them get their bikes off the hill. As a group, we were rather impressed with efficiency of these riders making their way up the hill and stood for about an hour watching as bike after bike attempted to go farther than the last.

With our fill of hill climbing, we made our way back home and got ourselves ready to go down to Deadwood to serve as Mystery Shoppers. We were being given a free meal just to go sit in the casino and evaluate the service of the employees. Between the four of us, we had one special Mystery Shopper ticket which we would hand to the employee that best served our needs and the needs of their business. Melissa was elected "prime" Mystery Shopper and given the ticket so that, as she received extraordinary service she could hand over the prize to the deserving employee and the four of us could go and enjoy our dinner!
Arriving at the casino we all sat down to enjoy a few games and begin our evaluation of customer service. Within minutes, Harland and Brenda were offered complimentary drinks while Mike and Melissa sat, wishing they had something to wet their whistle. Eventually, Mike was offered a drink while Melissa continued to yearn for some thirst-quenching water or soda or ANYTHING! Within the couple of hours the four of us meandered through the casino, Melissa was never once offered a drink or even carded! However, at one point, a machine printed out a poorly inked ticket, so a helpful and friendly maintence man was quick to fix the problem and make sure all else was at it should be. Thank you fine sir, you have earned yourself the Mystery Shopper reward - hope you get something nice for yourself, as for us, we're off to eat our late lunch.
Stuffed to the brim with all you can eat salad, meat and dessert we made our way to a few other casinos (where Melissa still seemed to have a hard time being served...) before making our way to the mini-golf green. We played a good game without ever adding up the score - but Melissa is fairly certain it was nota win for her, although she did manage a hole-in-one!
With a full day of fun and excitement under our belts, we made our way through the canyon and make to the parents house where we enjoyed unrestrained use of the internet and the promise of a comfy bed!

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