A mad dash for a happy weekend

(L) During our stay in Sioux Falls I was able to fly to LA for the weekend.  It was an honor to be able to join my sister Carmen at her retirement party.  After over 30 years of a rewarding career as a teacher and administrator, she was ecstatic to be retiring!  Long-time friends, colleagues and family partied and danced into the night.

Carmen with 30+ years of Teaching and Daughter Christie who already has 1!
Never left a child behind

I smile because you are my sister. I laugh because you can’t do anything about it!
Grandma Branka, 93 years. Aunt Jeannea, a lot younger
Carmen, Lance her beau and daughter
Lowell and Mariam Zelinski

We have learned over and over in our travels that it’s the detours and unplanned events that become some of our best memories.  Returning from LA, after hustling from terminal G14 to A8 at Minneapolis Airport, I missed my connecting flight to Sioux Falls by 5 minutes.  I could see that the bridge was only 12 inches away from the airplane door.  “Let me jump!  I can make it,” I tried to convince the gate agent.  She was unconvinced.  So I had a 2 hour layover until the next available flight.  Ok, that’s not so bad.  Now I had time to go back to the Pei Wei that I ran past just 5 minutes ago bemoaning my missed dinner.  And there my perspective on life was improved by Deondra Taylor.

Deondra Taylor

Deondra is the Supervisor of loading and departing for the Delta Terminal and happened to be getting dinner at Pei Wei too.  She is a wonderfully delightful young woman who shared menus selection advice (upon her advice, the server at Pei Wei gave me a discount!), anti-migraine tips, and amazing waterfall travel locations.  Deondra works full time, goes to Veterinary School full time and travels on her off time (an Airport employee perk).  She shared some of the best places nearby to jump off a waterfall with her dog.  I shared with her some of our favorite places like the national parks near Moab Utah and the amazing waterfall in Falls Park near downtown Sioux Falls.

The key to renewing your faith is to meet new people and don’t listen to the news.  The world is a wonderful place, so enjoy it as much as you can, be nice to people and be proud of young folks.

It’s not been easy to slow down.  Since 2013, fulfilling our goal to see all the national parks, we traveled many miles.  Now that we are “all in,” it’s been hard to slow down and really get the feel that we are home and not on our way to somewhere.  Gary wants to adopt the 4-3-2 rule.  No more that 4 hours of driving, get to your destination by 3 o’clock, stay for 2 weeks.  So with this in minds, we leave Sioux Falls South Dakota for the Badlands National Park.


  1. Lillian is the best sister in the world!!! (applause, applause) What an incredible day it was with my sister at my retirement party. I will never forget it!¡!!


  2. It was wonderful to see you. It made Mommy so happy. Good luck on your next stop and we can’t wait to see you guys later this year. Have fun watching the reruns of Big Bang 😉


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