After a surprisingly low key Friday night, Husband and I dragged ourselves out of bed Saturday morning to get on the road to a small nearby town called Hill City. We had heard great things about its picturesque qualities, local wineries, and splendid scenery and couldn’t wait for our mini road trip.
I have to say, driving away from Rapid felt a little strange. I think somewhere in my mind I thought once we got here, and especially after we got settled, that we would never get to leave until we moved again. I mean I realized that we had planned to travel all around the midwest and see everything we could see, but it didn’t seem like reality. I almost felt like we were escaping, which sounds terrible given that I do actually really like it here! Odd how your mind makes of your situation whatever it wants.
Anyway, so we were on the road to Hill City, so thankful and comforted by the rolling mountains covered in trees (there are a lot fewer trees here than back home and we’ve missed them!). The landscape was just breathtaking with big rocks jutting out in unexpected places, dropping down to meet crystal clear streams. We immediately started discussing our plans for camping in the near future.
Arriving in Hill City we navigated straight to the Alpine Inn, a locally owned authentic German restaurant, and reported best restaurant in town. In Charlotte we lived just down the road from an amazing German restaurant and since it’s been close to a year since we’ve eaten there, I couldn’t wait to get my taste buds on some spaetzel!
We had the breaded pork chops, German potato salad, sauerkraut, red cabbage, bread, and spaetzel to start. Walking through the dining room to our table I saw a couple with two desserts sitting in front of them. Oversized rectangles of what looked like a pile of cream, pastry, and chocolate drizzles. There was no stopping me until I had that dessert delivered to my table. I even took our waitress through a ten minute review of the entire dessert menu until I figured out which one it was. And it SO didn’t disappoint! I was in bavarian cream heaven!
Bellies stuffed to the brim we took a few minutes to walk around town and digest. Unfortunately it was overcast and chilly so the stroll wasn’t exactly pleasant, but the town was cute. I can imagine in the summer months it is packed.
Our plans for Hill City blossomed out of a visit to the Black Hills Visitor Center and then some later research that revealed a Cinco de Mayo party taking place at the Naked Winery.
Two wine tastings (with two extra pours)…
|Hate this pic turned out blurry 🙁|
two beer tastings later, and a beer to split before leaving…
|Look at the size of those beer tasting glasses!|
|Her name is Jugs 🙂|
left us a little more than tipsy.
We had planned just to come up for the day then head home, but at our current state of inebriation Husband determined it was best for us to stay in town and booked us a room at the Super 8 (<– we’re fancy like that).
We stopped by the Hill City visitors center to let the dogs out, let Husband cast a line into the streams there, and most importantly, to sober up a bit before heading back into town for more drinks.
It just so happened the Black Hills Film Festival was also in full swing in Hill City, so we checked into the hotel, downed a few cups of coffee, then went to check out the wine tasting at the Harley Davidson Theater.
It was here that we found ourselves in an interesting situation.
After setting up a little plate of hors d’oeuvres and securing a glass of wine and a beer for Husband we made a place for ourselves to the side of the room and observed. Observed that everyone except a very few people were wearing film festival tags. We had officially, unknowingly crashed the party.
We tried not to panic and started making conversation with a lady wearing a North Carolina sweatshirt (she was from Charlotte! Small world.), and then talking to a few of the other film buffs, and eventually the Harley Davidson store owner.
Then the second awkward situation arose.
Around 7:00 the next film was being shown and everyone slowly made their way upstairs to the theater. In other words, us party crashers were left standing there alone like some doofuses staring at the beverage servers and the store owner. Thankfully I think we were personable enough, and honest about our UN-involvement with the festival, that they let us stay for a bit and chit chat.
It was now time for dinner, but everything in town was set to close in a little over thirty minutes.
So we landed back at the Alpine Inn for dinner. They have a historic dinner menu that allows you two options. Large or small. As in a large steak, baked potato, and wedge salad, or a small steak with the afore mentioned side items.
Husband went for the large and I went for the small, and no one could have believed the shock on our face when our bill came back and was just barely over $20! So far our trip was surprisingly wallet friendly.
And it only got better.
As we walked out of the restaurant the bar area had filled up with the film festival folks, and we met up with a few of the people we had met prior…and enjoyed a few more free drinks 🙂
Much later, back at the hotel, we fed the dogs the leftovers of Husband’s steak dinner and fell into bed.
The next day we were going to explore the beauty of the Black Hills.