|SOUTH DAKOTA'S CAPITOL BUILDING.|
We spent part of the day puttering in Pierre. Jerry and I had coffee at Pier 347, the local café. We were told yesterday when we ordered iced café Americanos and then tried to describe how we liked them (Jerry knows a good café Americano — made by adding hot water to espresso — when he tastes one) that what we were describing was what they called a café latte (which, as I understand it, is supposed to be espresso made with steamed milk, and nothing like an Americano).
|MEMORIAL BRONZE NEXT TO THE CAPITOL.|
Well, OK. So, we ordered two half-caff (half decaffeinated) café lattes. What we received were two decent coffees that were neither café lattes nor café Americanos. And they were a bit weak. So, today we ordered two double-shot café lattes and we received two better coffees (a bit similar to our café Amerianos). And, yes, Jerry and I have been living on the West Coast way too long and get carried away with our coffee orders. The month in Spain in January was very relaxing — dos cafés con leche, por favor! We'll learn.
|AGGRESSIVE AMERICAN EAGLE AT THE WAR MEMORIAL.|
Along with his coffee, Jerry has been getting Pier 347's bagel bites (deep-fried lumps of bagel dough). But, until I explained it to him last night, he thought he had gotten doughnut holes and couldn't figure out why these doughnut holes were so peculiar (not that the idea of a doughnut "hole" isn't peculiar in the first place).
|CAPITOL BUILDING LOBBY. VERY IMPRESSIVE FOR A STATE OF ONLY 814,000 PEOPLE.|
After coffee, I dropped Jerry off at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center, which houses the state archives. Jerry spent the next two hours looking up dead relatives. I wandered (drove and walked) around town taking pictures. All the streets along the river are now blocked off with sandbags and barricades. The parks and related buildings along the river are completely under water. Downtown buildings are pumping water out of their basements and hoping the river doesn't overflow the berms and sandbags.
|THIS DIDN'T START OUT AS A WATER PARK.|
The capitol building is high above the river, so I was able to roam the parks and the halls. I tried to get pictures of the senate chambers, but the doors were locked and no one was home. Anyway, most of the members probably wouldn't appreciate a visit from a former West Coast, ultra-liberal lefty who's getting ready to leave the country.
|PIONEER WOMAN AT THE ENTRANCE TO THE CULTURAL HERITAGE CENTER.|
The Cultural Heritage Center is a beautiful, contemporary building built into the hillside, and it's surrounded by natural prairie grass (which has just started growing for the season) instead of neatly mowed lawns. I'm not enamored with the bronze sculpture out front, but I do like the fact that it's dedicated to the "pioneer women of South Dakota."
|SANDBAGS AND HAY BALES DOWNTOWN. WHATEVER IT TAKES.|