Sunday, March 12, 2006

Rapid City...

Home of the in-laws. We made the pilgrimage to Rapid City, the mecca of the Black Hills. Of course, once we arrived, we ate at Piesano's Pacchia. The food was delish as usual! Kim, Sonny's mom, took us to her employment at Stampers where they make Black Hills gold jewerly. Kim sells those at the front but she gave us a tour. Her sister and our aunt, Danna works there also as the marketing assistant and cost accountant. Kim absolutely had to show Ash off to her co-workers and friends! There was not one cold heart left when we left the store!

Anyhoo, Kim showed us the workshop where the elves are busy at work creating the best black hills gold jewerly in the Hills. The process are quite interesting. They first make wax molds for a variety of peices like rings, etc. The mold are then taken to another room for casting where they melt down a variety of precious metals such as gold, white gold, platium, etc and fill up the wax molds. Those are then taken to another room for sanding down (i think). There was so many rooms, many processes so the exact process was completely lost on me. What's special about Stampers is the front store has glass windows to a certain workshop where the elves work on fine-tuning the leaves, gold, etc on the rings for everybody to watch and admire the craftmanship.

Stampers are a family owned business which the structure are kind of similar to CSD. Nepotism runs rampant at both companies but I think Stampers handle it much much better than CSD. *sigh* I love how Stampers have their own mascot! It's adorable big black lab mix that silently enters each room with wagging tail to greet everybody and just keep an eye on the place. My former boss at CSD few years ago had just moved here and didn't have a place yet and didn't want to leave his cocker spaniel alone so he brought William to work with him. What's special about William is that he's a certified hearing dog so he's allowed anywhere. CSD kicked William out after a few days. Whatever.

We visited with everybody, Danny & Nancy, Danna, Neal, and Dick & Margie. Danna showed us her house that's currently undergoing building process just like ours! Her house is almost done and is very nice. It has vaulted ceiling, arch passthrough between the kitchen and great room. Danna’s house is just a few blocks away from her sister!

Take a look at what Danna got Ashton! Too cute.

Daddy & Ashton

Nancy, Ashton, and Danny. (Great- grandparents)

Uncle Sam & Ashton

Danna, Ashton, and Grandma Kim

Sonny & I went out for a date without the kid in tow. It was so nice because we don’t get an opportunity in Sioux Falls so we decided to take advantage of that opportunity while on vacation. We ate at Fireside Inn, a very romantic restaurant with a large central fireplace. Their prime rib is so freakin’ good! Afterwards, we took a walk downtown Rapid City and ate dessert at an Italian bistro. There are no parking meters! That was surprising because most cities get a lot of money from meters and expired parking tickets. RC’s downtown is slowly undergoing improvements, which is great because I love downtown environment with the small shops and cafes.

That concludes our trip to Rapid City. Until next time!

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