We got home yesterday afternoon about 3 after stopping at Festival Foods for a rotisserie chicken and some yogurt, bananas, grapes, and milk to ease back into eating the way we know we should. We tried very hard (well, Durwood tried harder than I did; I'm more of an opportunist when it comes to skidding off the diet than he is) and according to the Wii Fit I only gained about 3# in the last two weeks. Not bad. I'm climbing back onto the straight and narrow today (okay, I'm flirting with it) so the weight won't stick to me. I plan to shuck it off like a prom dress after midnight. We left La Crosse around 11 yesterday morning and toodled through central Wisconsin trying to decide what was wrong with the picture out the windshield... it finally occurred to me, there weren't any mountains, just piddly little hills. Hills are piffle compared to the craggy, ancient piles we cruised (and for my part, cringed) over the last two weeks. The Highway 21 entrance onto Hwy. 41 was closed so we had to detour through Berlin which took us right by one of Durwood's favorite old eateries so we stopped there for lunch. He was glad to see that the same Greek guy still owns the place and that the food was still delicious and plentiful. How can you not love a place where a cup of soup comes with every sandwich? Soup is good food, so much better for you than chips or fries. I, of course, opted for fries since I decided to make the most of my "last day" of vacation. On Wednesday we drove from Rapid City, SD to Sioux Falls, SD where we stayed in a skeezy looking Super 8 on the wrong side of major road construction. We hoped to visit the USGS Earth Resources Observation & Science (EROS) Center but they weren't having tours until early September, so we drove back into Sioux Falls to visit the Butterfly House then we struck out across South Dakota ending up in La Crosse, Wisconsin around 5 PM. I'd found us a room at a small "ma & pa" motel when we stopped for lunch along the way and saw a restaurant that turned out to be exactly right for supper. Once again the wi-fi was sketchy so we were forced to talk to one another. What amazes me is that after all that time together we still hadn't run out of stuff to talk about or hadn't stopped enjoying being together. Amazing, am I right? You know I am. One thing I found out about Yellowstone that I'd never really thought about is there are summer jobs for retirement age folks in the gift shops, etc. in the park. Wouldn't that be a fun way to spend summers? And outside Rapid City, SD the Mammoth Site is a real, on-going archaeological dig that volunteers can work on in the summer. I'd like that too, wouldn't you? On our way home I got a call about some more sewing that needs to be done for Lucie so I went over and picked it up this morning. I figure I can camp downstairs today and tomorrow while I fling laundry around, get it done, and deliver it on Tuesday to start refilling my mad money coffers. (they're seriously depleted) I also went out into the garden and picked a few tomatoes so Durwood could resume eating his standard "tomato slices on Rosen's Rye toast with mayo" open-face sandwiches for breakfast. The tomatoes--standard, Roma, and cherry--that I picked before we left made up part of our picnic lunches for nearly the whole trip, only at the very end on our way across South Dakota did we come across some sour cherry tomatoes. (yuk) But they were great with rough slices of co-jack cheese (so glad we didn't use it to pay that ersatz WI Cheese Tax that Doug at Silvergate Cabins tried to extort from us), pretzel twists, and almonds. We skillfully made the 'maters and cheese last the same length of time; we even bought some fancy sandwich rolls in Cody, Wyoming for two of our lunches. So basically we either had cereal & bananas in the room or free breakfasts, most days we had picnic lunches featuring food from home, and then ate in local family-style for suppers for the two weeks, meaning that both of us were happy with how things went food-wise. I love picnics and eating in restaurants, Durwood loves tomatoes and frugality. It's the perfect marriage. We also decided on the way west that we'd try to not eat in chain restaurants as much as possible. That first lunch was in an Applebee's, and in Rapid City, SD we ate in Outback Steakhouse one night, Texas Roadhouse the next night, and Taco John's for one lunch because neither of us had ever eaten there. The rest of the time we sought out local food. I highly recommend it unless you're an unrelentingly picky eater, then don't... whatever floats your boat, but we enjoyed both the search and the results. Anyway, I'm back! So daily posts should resume posthaste.