Friday, July 16, 2010

Day 14, Home

Iowa, Minnesota then Wisconsin. Home. The last 13 days flew by.

BUT there was still one more tourist stop to make. Spices and Ham combine to make SPAM. The SP stands for spiced and the AM stands for ham. Did you know that? Me either, until our final museum trip to the SPAM museum in Austin, MN. Very well done museum and now I know more about SPAM than I ever thought I would. Have I tried it? Nope. Will I? Don't think so. I think there is a good reason why they don't give free samples at the museum!

A short drive and we are home. Home sweet Home.

So RV life was pretty good. Without a doubt, we will do it again someday. We made it home with no major stories to tell, and that is a good thing! We learned a lot in the last two weeks, including that most gas pumps do not let you put more than $75 worth of gas in! Hope you enjoyed following along with us!

Day 13

Day 13. This really is our drive home. A few stops, but the trip is coming to an end. I could stay on the road longer, but the kiddos are ready to be done. They miss their friends, A LOT!

We traveled from NE into IA today. We stopped at the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument. A museum that spans over the interstate. Inside is the history of travel from the first travels across the US until today. Very well, done. Excellent stop.

Our next town was Omaha, NE. We had just a couple hours to spend so we had to pick one activity. We narrowed it down to the zoo or the Amazing Pizza Machine (a huge arcade with rides). Since it was 90 plus degrees outside, we opted for the arcade. The kids had a BLAST! I think this might just have been their favorite part of the whole trip!

Here is my #1 family with their blue ribbons. If you think Stuart can handle an RV, you should see him knock the other little kids out of the way at Go-carts!

Back into the RV for a drive into Iowa!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Day 12

Today we woke up in Laramie, WY, just outside of Cheyenne. At this point in the trip, there are occasions when I ask Stuart what city we are in, or what day it is. We tend to argue about the day of the week until we just have to look it up! Guess that is the sign of a good vacation!

We spent some time in Cheyenne this morning. What a neat town. Our first stop was to a the Children's Village. A cute hands-on park and botanical gardens -- and also a puppet show stage. Stuart put on a show that Jackson enjoyed!

We also toured the train depot and rode the covered wagon for a tour of the town. We finished with a visit to the Boot Shop for a new pair of sparkling pink cowgirl boots for Hailey.

Cheyenne is a city worth a longer visit, but it was time to hit the road. We ended day 12 in Gothenburg, NE. And today marks the first sign of rain on our whole vacation! The weather has been really, really great.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Day 11

Today we traveled for about 5 hours. A quick 5 hours. Amazing what a little sleep can do! We traveled from Vernal, UT to Laramie, WY. I would show you pictures from today, but I did not take any! Stuart took 14. We stopped at an old run down gas station with potholes the size of small lakes (okay, so maybe not that big....) Anyway, when Stuart has the camera it is either to reference a sign or font or an antique or a building. I know you are bummed that I am not uploading them here, but it's okay....really, it is.

So tonight we are staying in yet again, another KOA -- except we did not realize it was right next to the hwy until is to a good nights sleep!

Day 10

Day 10 has been the longest day of travel yet. We drove for 6 hours, but for some reason it seemed like 24. Really. When I fell asleep sitting up, I knew it was just too long of a day! Our drive from Jackson Hole, WY to Vernal, UT was full of hills. We knew we were in cowboy country when we stopped at a gas station and saw this sign.

Much of our drive looked like this.

and this.

Once we arrived in Vernal, UT (YAHHHH) we visited the dinosaur museum. The kids loved it. I think their favorite part was just playing with the plastic dinosaurs. I am still kicking myself for getting rid of Jackson's tub of them thinking that Jenna would never play with them, boy was I wrong.

Night 10 was spent in a KOA in Vernal, UT. We took some time to look at our remaining path. To CO or back up to WY? The WY path won. Enough mountains for one trip.

Day 9

Day 9 was spent in Jackson Hole, WY. We did drive out to Teton Village in the morning and had lunch there. We spent the afternoon walking around Jackson Hole being tourists. Jackson has been taken by the cowboy way. Here is is outfitted in is new gear. You cannot see the gun and holster, but it is there. So much for no play guns...

In the evening we went on chuck wagon ride to dinner and a show. It was fun and Hailey enjoyed helping drive the team of horses, Daisy and Duke.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day 8

Today was our last day in Yellowstone Park. We headed out the southern loop to Jackson Hole, WY. The main sights we visited were Grand Prismatic Basin and Old Faithful. We took turns with Jackson and Hailey since Jenna slept again for 3 hours!

Otherwise, today was a little bit low key. We finished our travels around 5pm when we arrived in Jackson Hole, WY. What a neat town. Here is a photo of the Teton Mountains as you drive in to Jackson Hole.

We took a walk from our RV park into town for some Mexican dinner. Best of all, Jenna is back to her happy-go-lucky self.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 7

We spent day 7 touring the upper loop of Yellowstone. We had a slow start to the morning, so arrived at the park around 11am. So far driving through the park has been good, but long. I did not realize it would take so long to get from one place to another. A lot of car time for the kids.

Mammoth Springs was one of the highlights of the day.

I enjoy the wildlife. We have checked most items off our list the Park Rangers gave to the kids. Here is a bear that crossed in front of our car. (Yes, we rented a car for the day)
And one of the many, many bison. This fella was about 2 feet from our car. Wow, they are huge.

After one of our walks, I found Jackson daydreaming. I would like to think that is pondering all the nature of Yellowstone, but know that he is thinking about his friends back home and his Legos!

We headed back to West Yellowstone for the night. The kiddos had sometime to run and play since it was a full day in the car. I did 4 loads of laundry -- vacation is not all roses! And neither was the smell of those clothes :)

Day 6, Happy 4th of July!

Our day started with a short drive to Cody, WY. Right now, have put on 1150 miles.

Upon entering Cody, we found the town packed and the parade already started, so we skipped it. We picked up a few things at Wal-Mart and headed on our way to Yellowstone.

You cannot enter Yellowstone without getting the photo!

It is spectacular sight here. Everywhere you look there is more to see.

We took some time to do a little walking and visited Artists Point, a mud volcano and many cauldrons. I can do without the sulfur smell of the cauldrons! Here is the family at Artist Point. Jenna has a pretty nice ride! And notice Jackson and Hailey picking on each other -- somethings never change, even on vacation!

We then ventured out of the park to West Yellowstone, MT. We spent sometime walking around the town before heading to the city park to watch the fireworks. They kids had a blast!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Day 5

Our travels lead us from Rapid City, SD to Greybull, WY. Today Jenna was on the mend, but CRABBY! We returned our rental car in the morning and prepared for a day of travel and relaxation time for the kids, which they much needed. Our first drive was to Deadwood. We toured a museum and left. I personally, was expecting a little more than casinos and gift shops. Jenna was not herself at all, to put it nicely so we headed back on the road. Our next stretch of driving was to Devils Tower. Jenna fell asleep – yahhh, a four hour nap! Since Jenna was sleeping, we took turns with Jackson and Hailey hiking through the woods. What a sight!!

After this, it was back in the RV to our long drive to Greybull WY – though the Bighorn National Park. OH MY!!!! The way up the mountain was beautiful, the way down – well, my head was in a pillow after deciding that my brake pedal was useless! If you did not know, I hate heights. We did see lots of deer and Jackson and I saw a moose. I will give Stuart lots of kudos for driving. He did a great job with the RV. Actually, I think he drives the RV better than the car!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Day 4

Day 4 was spent in Rapid City, SD. Jenna was feeling okay, so we thought. She started off the day okay but soon you could see the energy drain and the crabbiness start. Our first stop was at Old MacDonald's farm. It was a fantastic farm with lots of animals, including many baby animals. The kiddos loved it.
Jenna was great as long as she could see me. Out of sight -- here is what would happen!

This is kinda what she was like...... Actually, she loves being a troll and does a great, "Who is on my bridge?" Ask her sometime, I am sure she will show you!

Next we were off to Bear Country USA. This is an "open" park. You drive though and keep your windows closed! We happened to be there at feeding time. All of a sudden all the bears started heading towards one spot. We soon saw a white truck with someone shoveling many, many scoops of food out. I am guessing it was chicken. Here is a shot of a bear that stopped to have a bite in front of our car.
Here is the group of bears feeding on the chicken.
After seeing the animals, we spent some time in Keystone and driving around the Black Hills. We stopped and toured a cave, going 225 feet below ground. That was fantastic. The kiddos loved it and I got a workout carrying Jenna the whole way! Our final activity of the day was a Chuckwagon Show. Jackson and Hailey loved the shootout at the beginning and helping to find the Biscuit Bandit. We missed the final show, since Jenna was scared of the bandit and would scream if she saw him! That was a sign, our day needed to end!

I am writing this the morning of day 5. Jenna seems to be feeling pretty good so far. We have a day of mostly travels ahead of us, so rest is in order!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Day 3

Day #3 leads us into the scenic route though the Badlands. What a beautiful way to start a day!

We continued on to the infamous Wall Drug and did enjoy that 5 cent cup of coffee while the kids enjoyed ice cream!
Maybe that ice cream was not such a good idea....or a bug has entered our vacation. Jenna is sick. Oh, she is pretty sick with vomiting and a high fever. Cross our fingers she is better tomorrow. Since she was not feeling good, she only seemed to be happy in the car (we rented one) or me holding her where she could sleep. So we did some scenic driving again. Off to see Mount Rushmore.And then Crazy Horse.

Our day is ending at a KOA here in Rapid City, SD. We have lots of fun plans for tomorrow, but we need to see how peanut is feeling. Fireworks are starting! What is today again? I have a feeling we will see our share this year!