Weekly Update from South Dakota

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We are currently in state 12 of 50 in a cross country honeymoon with the mission to film a documentary about extraordinary hourly workers.

Before my 30 days of blogging (of which this is day 22), I only wrote monthly updates about our travels. However, weekly updates may be necessary! Here’s a visual recap of our week:

weekly update south dakota

I suppose we’ve technically only driven about 6 hours, BUT a lot has happen either way.

We visited family in Longmont, Colorado. Alan & Debby are my dad’s cousins, or my first cousins once removed (we looked it up). They’ve hiked the highest point in all fifty states, sometimes also traveling in a class C motorhome. They’ve also climbed in France, Russia, Tanzania, and Argentina. How cool is that? I suppose travel is in my family tree. (Also, Heath now wants a Goldendoodle, like Jax here).

Alan & Debby Olson, first cousins once removed

While in Longmont, Heath found his first job. Up until this week, our sponsor, Snagajob, has found all of our jobs for us on the road. This week our contact was out of town, so we took to the streets.

After 24 minutes, Heath’s name was written in on the schedule at La Vita Bella, the number one coffee shop in Longmont.  24 minutes! People like saying yes. People also like being told they could be on TV.


The owner of La Vita Bella blew us away. Chris has owned the coffee house for eight brief months and it’s already ranked number one in the city. That in itself is pretty impressive. Plus, five days before we met him, his wife gave birth to their third daughter! The man pretty much runs on caffeine. Furthermore, he’s a strong believer who closes La Vita Bella on Sundays to host a morning Bible study on site, which sees about 200 people a month.

This is why we are on our trip. We get to regularly meet ordinary people who have lofty, impossible goals and are just crazy enough to work until their dreams are reality. These people believe in changing lives and helping others. Great people don’t try to lift themselves up. Great people look outward and reach out to pull up others.

weekly update south dakota

After driving through all of Wyoming (for what felt like the millionth time), Heath and I visited Crazy Horse monument and Mt. Rushmore. Let me tell you this, the Black Hills of South Dakota are stunning, but Mt. Rushmore looked WAY cooler in Richie Rich. That is all.

One difficult part of life on the road is the absence of amenities. We loved hanging out at Planet Fitness in Colorado because we had hot showers and massage chairs. The one thing we wanted? A pool.

NEVER underestimate the healing powers of a hot tub. When looking for a cheap place to stay in South Dakota, I found a place with a hot tub and heated pool and immediately booked it. We’ve been in the warm, relaxing water daily and feel rejuvenated. In fact, we stayed all weekend in middle-of-no-where South Dakota just to spend more time with the hot tub and the lightning fast (also known as Netflix-streaming fast) WiFi. These on the road luxuries help quell homesickness.

As an update, living phone-free is much easier than sharing a phone with my husband. In case you haven’t heard,  I lost my phone this week. I’m still really torn up about it. I miss Instagram, which I’m currently locked out of because my login information is all on my phone…somewhere in Colorado… Oh well. I can’t complain.