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News from the Nest: Traveling the yellow brick road at Storybook Land

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My family and I spent the weekend in Aberdeen, South Dakota visiting friends. We had a great time and a packed agenda. After attending the Northern State University football game, our friend had a suggestion of something quick we could do before going to dinner. It was about 5 p.m. and she said we could head over to Storybook Land before eating, as it only takes about a half hour to walk through.

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It was a great idea and I'm glad we went, as I had heard wonderful things about the place. However, 30 minutes with my husband and son isn't even possible on a quick milk run to the grocery store, more less a theme park.

As we began our adventure walking through different fairy tales, my husband sounded like a children's CD. He had to sing the corresponding song or rhyme to each story as we passed by. My son had to walk up to each character, look them over, and ask a few questions before he was satisfied enough to move on. I usually call this "getting our money's worth" however, when it's free to begin with, that isn't a very good excuse!

After passing Humpty Dumpty we ducked our heads to enter the Wizard of Oz display. My son literally walked into every single one of the miniature houses and wanted to pose for pictures by all of the munchkin statues. As we followed the yellow brick road out of "Oz," my husband noticed another yellow brick road that led to a separate building off by itself. He asked our friends if they knew the significance of the building and wasn't convinced when they said it was Dorothy's house. He argued that Dorothy's house was the big white one near the exit, but seeing they weren't as interested as he, my husband followed them out to continue around the loop of other displays. He brought it up again later, pondering what that house could have been.

My son was ecstatic to see the three little pigs and recited the entire story as he and his dad inspected each house. They even determined that the brick house was made with real brick, good thing we know that now (sarcasm).

Then we came upon the Jack and Jill hill and my son and our friends' daughter each had to roll down the hill, just like in the story.

The castle was my favorite. Of course my husband and son found a staircase that led up to the top of the castle. Both on the way up and back down my son had to poke his head through each of the peak holes and pretend to shoot the bad guys who were trying to invade the castle. That took almost a half hour in itself!

As we came near the end, we realized what a fun and entertaining venue this place was. What our friends had thought could take just a half hour turned into close to 2 hours and most of the place wasn't even open!

We plan to go back next summer to walk through again and check out the second yellow brick road, so my husband can finally have an answer to the "secret" building. Next time we'll probably go alone, or at least advise our friends to drive separately so they don't have to wait for the Lauritsen clan as we "get our money's worth!"

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