Monthly Archives: August 2021
Reminiscing: Wall, South Dakota
“Where the heck is Wall Drug?” When driving across South Dakota you’ll see numerous signs asking this question. SPOILER ALERT: Wall Drug is in Wall, South Dakota. Wall is just outside of Badlands National Park so we decided to use it as our base of operations for a couple of days while we were in the area. Since our hotel was just down the street from the famous Wall Drug Store, we decided to have breakfast there before spending our day in the Badlands.
I thought the breakfast buffet was a little pricey but at least it was tasty. Wall Drug still sells coffee for 5 cents per cup and honestly, it was some of the best coffee I’ve ever had. I’m a big fan of rustic decor and the dining area has it in spades.
Is Wall Drug a tourist trap? You bet. Is it a fun place to spend some time? Absolutely. There is actually a pharmacy at Wall Drug but it’s only the beginning. (You know the place is big when they give you a map.) We spent a couple of hours wandering around and buying souvenirs – including cowboy hats from the western wear store.🤠
Since Kenn was still working at the time of our 2019 road trip, there was a lot of go-go-go mentality involved. Our trip to Wall Drug was unplanned but it was not only enjoyable, it gave us some much needed downtime.
Until next time, stay safe and happy trails!
I’m still journeying down memory lane with this post but, I’m also telling on myself. I had what is probably the biggest brain fart of my life while driving through South Dakota.😂 There are a couple of places you see a lot of signs for: one is Wall Drug, the other is 1880 Town (which is where the brain fart came in).
I was driving when a small town came into view on the horizon. Kenn said, “Oh, that must be the place we’ve seen all the signs for.” Additional signage confirmed that he was correct; we were approaching 1880 Town. My response was “Oh, it’s eighteen eighty town!” I then had to explain that for the entire drive I had been reading each sign as “1-880-Town”; I had even gotten a little annoyed, wondering why they didn’t just put the name of the attraction on the sign instead of a phone number. (Yes, I know that’s not enough numbers for a real phone number but that’s still how my brain was interpreting it.) *facepalm* Kenn got several miles of laughter out of my revelation. I hope you get a good chuckle too.
Businesses with Heart: Chewy.com
This isn’t the post I originally had scheduled for this week but, that’s one of the great things about blogging (and retirement!) – I get to make my own schedule!😊 We are a multi-cat household and we’ve been purchasing all of our pet supplies online from Chewy.com for several years now. (We made the change shortly after moving into The Cabin four years ago.) I was tired of schlepping forty-pound boxes of cat litter around. Now, instead of a trip to PetSmart every two weeks, I place an online order with Chewy at the beginning of the month and a couple of days later our amazing FedEx delivery people arrive with a stack of boxes. I’d like to pause here and give a shout out to delivery drivers everywhere. Our Chewy order is easily 200 pounds each month. Even though it comes in multiple boxes, handling it can’t be fun. So, dear delivery drivers, I appreciate you!😘
What makes Chewy.com a business with heart? In short, their customer support. It’s easy to find examples of poor customer support on social media so I think when someone does an exceptional job, we should be willing to post that as well. (Side note: if you’ve never done customer support, it can be hard y’all. I spent most of my adult life in IT customer support. As much as I enjoyed what I did, there were also days where just tossing it all and moving to a shack in the mountains and living off the grid sounded like a wonderful idea.) Chewy’s prices are easily in line with any other places from which I have purchased pet supplies – and shipping is free with orders over $49. But, if there is a problem with your order, say you receive the wrong item or no longer need an item you purchased, Chewy will not only refund your money but they ask you to donate the item to a local animal shelter rather than return it.👍
I have a couple of examples of Chewy going over and above on their customer support. We have used Sentry brand calming collars for Delilah, our fourteen year old deaf cat, for many years. Delilah was, understandably, easily startled by pretty much everything. The calming collars release a pheromone that helps the cat relax and worked wonders for Delilah; she was always more relaxed (and stylish) when sporting her purple calming collar. However, Sentry has recently re-designed the clasp on their collars rendering them somewhat useless. (A calming collar that won’t stay on doesn’t work well.) I went on Chewy.com and wrote a review. In my review I stated that, up until the past few months, I would have given the collar five stars but that, due to the change in the clasp, I could only give it three. I wrote the review just to let others considering purchase know that yes, the product works, but that getting it to stay on is now problematic. I was greatly surprised to get an email from Chewy a couple of days later apologizing for my experience and refunding the cost of the collar. I was gobsmacked. Chewy is in no way responsible for the change to the Sentry collar, customer satisfaction is just that important to them.
Delilah had pancreatitis in January of this year, spent four days in the hospital, and came home on special food. I created a profile for her on Chewy so I could order more of the prescription food for her. Sadly, Delilah’s health took another turn for the worse a couple of weeks ago and we made the difficult decision to have her euthanized. I contacted Chewy and let them know so they could remove any information regarding her from their system. (They’re good about sending out birthday cards, etc. to your pets.) I’ve seen various posts on social media about people receiving flowers from Chewy upon the death of their pets and…
The beautiful roses and vase pictured above arrived yesterday afternoon along with a sweet card from Lauren, the Chewy representative who responded to my email about Delilah. (Chewy sent a friend paintings of her pets based on the pictures she had used for them in their profiles.) Chewy is an amazing example of how to run a business. If you need pet supplies, in my opinion, there’s no better place to purchase them.
It’s amazing the things you can find when you’re waiting in line at the grocery store.😂 When I saw a can labeled “Liquid Death” I was expecting the contents to be some sort of uber-caffeinated energy drink but nope, it’s mountain water in a recyclable aluminum can.👍 (A sparkling water version was also available.) I’m a big fan of quirky and different so I was immediately hooked. “Murder your thirst.” Well played, marketing team! When I got to the car and read the rest of the can I discovered that Liquid Death also falls into my “businesses with heart” category because they donate 10% of the profits from every can sold to help kill plastic pollution which is a cause dear to my heart.
Reminiscing: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
It’s hard to believe that our last big road trip was in July 2019.😮 Our post-retirement plans were to have 1-2 “big” road trips every year in addition to our smaller trips. Our 2020 road trip was to culminate in Maine with a variety of stops up and down the eastern coast of the US. However, COVID had other plans so, not knowing which states and campgrounds might be closed, we canceled our much anticipated trip and rescheduled it for September of 2021. As the time for this year’s trip draws tantalizingly closer (and life throws in potential roadblocks) I’ve been looking through my photos from our last trip and decided to share some of my favorite memories with you.
The ultimate destination of our 2019 trip was Glacier National Park. However, on the way, I fell in love with the entire state of South Dakota. Seriously, I was ready to pack up and move. (Kinda still am.) One of the first things we learned is that Oklahoma is not the only place where “the wind comes sweeping down the plains.” The wind started blowing when we crossed the Iowa/South Dakota border and didn’t stop the whole time we were in the state. At some point we lost one of the little plastic rain shields Kenn had installed over the windows and we had to pull onto the shoulder of the interstate so I could remove another one that had started flapping in the never-ending “breeze”. One of our first stops was at the South Dakota welcome center where a very friendly woman whipped out a map and marked several things we should see while we were in the state. This is where we learned that there are actually falls in Sioux Falls South Dakota. Who knew?🤦♀️ (I know, I know. It makes perfect sense, my brain had just never put two and two together.) We hadn’t been planning to visit Sioux Falls but we changed our plans and I’m so glad we did.
I was instantly in love. Kenn gets a kick out of the fact that I love rocks and Sioux Falls had them in spades. (I think I should have been a geologist.)
It was an overcast day and rain threatened the whole time we were at the falls. Fortunately, other than a few drizzles, it held off. There was a small gift shop and a few buildings to visit but the actual falls were my favorite part. I also liked the buffalo sculpture named Monarch of the Plains. It was difficult to get a good picture of the sculpture because of the construction going on behind it; I wasn’t crazy about having all of the cones, etc. in the background of my pictures. On another note, I loved all of the different colors that began appearing in the local rocks once we reached South Dakota and continuing all the way to Montana. Some of those colors are apparent in the Monarch.
Thank you for joining me on my trip down memory lane. Be sure to join me again next week for more. Until then, stay safe and happy trails!