Tuesday, June 28, 2011

One Week on the Road

So it's been a week since we left home. It's been interesting and monotonous at the same time. On Sunday we stopped in Republic to visit my younger brother Kevin. We had a nice visit. I always enjoy getting to visit with him. The kids enjoyed ransacking his kid's toys! They were in Vegas at their Grandma's house so we weren't able to enjoy a visit with them. We got on the road about 9:30 and headed toward Kansas City. We made a stop in Lexington, MO at Wentworth Military Academy, where Jess attended his first year of college. There was a sweet woman who was a mother figure to all of the boys when Jess was there. She works in the alumni office, and she was still there. When Jess walked in, she jumped up and was so excited to see him. I was a little surprised that she remembered him since it had been 20 years since he was a student there, and it was only for a year. The kids enjoyed looking around the campus and hearing stories about when he was there.
After that, we continued on our way to Kansas City. We drove through Liberty, MO and realized that this was the same Liberty, MO (duh!) where the Liberty jail, an LDS church historic site, was located. We decided that a stop in there was a must. You know how I like old things! It was a great break from travelling. While we waited for our tour, I took the kids outside and they ran up and down this grassy hill for 20 minutes! Anything to burn the energy off when stuck in a car all day is awesome! The tour was great. My favorite part was witnessing Summer put her arm around Matthew and comfort him when he got scared because it was dark. Nothing makes me happier than watching my kids show kindness and compassion toward one another.
Once we arrived in Kansas City, we changed for the pool and headed over. We ordered pizza and spent the rest of the evening swimming and eating. Not the best food, but who wants to go to a sit down restaurant with four kids who have been couped up in a car all day?! Pizza by the pool sounds even better, right?!
Today our plan was to drive from Kansas City to Sioux Falls, SD on I-29 N. This proved more difficult than we anticipated. With all of the flooding that the overextended Missouri River has caused, our route was crazy. Several sections of I-29 were closed, and we had the pleasure of exploring several scenic routes through Missouri and Iowa. I had to work really hard at reminding myself that as annoying as it was to have to detour every 30 miles or so to back roads, it is a whole lot more annoying to have your home and farm flood. Why is it hard to keep perspective sometimes? I felt guilty several times today for being annoyed. That being said, the flooded areas were something to behold. It's kind of crazy how nature can wreak such havoc on mankind. It's totally the boss of us!
We finally made it to the Ramada in Sioux falls. We stayed here last year on our summer road trip. The hotel is nothing to write home about, but they have a great pool with pirate ship children's pool and spiral slide! The kids played as hard as they could for three hours. More sub-par food for us, but convenience won again. Who wants to tear four kids away from the "most fun pool ever" to shower, dress and go sit in a restaurant? Not me! It paid off, because the kids fell into bed, and once again, bed time on the road was a cinch!
Tomorrow, we are crossing South Dakota. We will make a stop at Wall Drug, and maybe something in Rapid City. I am excited for the drive. I will feel a little nostalgic as part of our drive will take us through this canyon that we would drive through when we drove from ND to CO. It's breathtaking! Thursday, we will finally pull into Montana for a great week at the ranch. I can't wait to see all of the progress there, and hopefully get plenty of relaxing in.