After a great pulled pork sandwich at the Backyard Grill in Brookings we met up with Aleycia and the kids and headed for the Dakota Nature Park.
This is a recently developed area converting a landfill and gravel mining operation into a 55ha nature park with walking and bike trails and a string of ponds.
It is open to public use for activities such as fishing, bird-watching, hiking, biking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ice skating, canoeing, kayaking and picnics.
Miles fished one of the ponds and pulled out 15 small perch in an hour.
It was suggested we take him to Lake Hendricks next time as he obviously knows where the fish are.
From there we went to the SDSU campus for ice cream. The university has a 'cow to cone' ice cream production unit as part of one of the Dairy and Food Science courses. More than 60 flavors of rich, homemade ice cream and sherbet are served at the Dairy Bar.
You can actually watch the production process as you eat if there is a class in action.
The institution also has an Art Museum. I have been there before and enjoyed the permanent Harvey Dunn exhibition.
This time round there was a stunning Horses themed exhibition as well as additional Dunn works depicting his World War I imagery.
We spent a bit of time in Sioux Falls at Falls Park, walking the Sculpture Walk (see separate post), the Old Courthouse Museum for interesting World War 1 and George Catlin: Life Among American Indian Tribes exhibits and participated in a Paint and Wine Night with family.
We also managed to revisit the Phillips Ave Diner and found a nice new Mexican (and Guatemalan) restaurant, Jacky's and the coffee at Coffea Roasterie was still as good as ever.
Another culinary revisit also paid dividends. The steak at the Knotty Pine in Elkton was one of the best.
On Memorial Day a group of us set off on a tour of five cemeteries to visit and clean up family graves. I didn't know exactly what to expect. The attitude to death in this part of the woods is a little different to what I am used to.
But it turned out to be a fun day. I learnt a lot of family history. One particular graveyard in a rural area (near a beautiful Norwegian style church) was 'occupied' predominantly by the family name.
At our last stop at Granma Helen's, whom I had known (and Granpa Wes's) grave, we got out our lawn chairs and eskies (coolers) and had a hour's picnic with them.
We got some strange looks from other visitors but I saw a few groups doing the same.
This is a nice family tradition.