Visit Wall Drug!

wall drug bumper sticker

If you travel in South Dakota for like 2 seconds, you will see many, many, many signs encouraging you to visit Wall Drug.  I can only imagine how many people are employed just to manage the signs throughout the state. Continue reading

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Sioux Falls and Pierre (say it Peer!)

After leaving Omaha, we headed north.  We were due to spend the night in the capitol of South Dakota, Pierre.  I planned a lunch stop in Sioux Falls, SD.  While researching for this trip, I came upon Sioux Falls, and at one point, I had planned a two night stay in Sioux Falls instead of Omaha.  Y’all, Sioux Falls is lovely. For me, the main attraction were the falls of the Big Sioux River. Continue reading

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Lewis and Clark Visitor Center – Trail HQ

I am a history nerd.  There are lots of different ways to get to South Dakota, and I don’t think the way we went would be considered the most direct route, although, it did come up as an option on Google maps.  Much of the reason I chose this route was because I wanted to see some of the Lewis and Clark Trail.  As it turns out, Omaha serves as the Midwest Regional Office for the Park Service, and that HQ also hosts one of the Lewis and Clark Historic Trail Visitor Centers.
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The second stop on our trip was Omaha, Nebraska.  We scheduled two nights in Omaha because we had heard such good things about it. Continue reading

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Topeka checked a couple boxes for us.  We like to visit state capitols and the kids like to do Junior Ranger programs at National Park service sites. Continue reading

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Our destination for day 2 was Omaha, Nebraska. Our route took us from OKC through Wichita and Topeka, Kansas.   Continue reading

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Make Way for the Hot Mess Express!

So, we’re off.  The plan for our first day was to eat lunch in Ft. Worth and zoom off to Oklahoma City in time to catch a minor league baseball game across the street from our hotel.  

This was us:  

Look at the happiness in these faces!  We’re bright eyed, happy, and eager for the adventures that lie ahead.  

Flash forward to approximately 2 hours later when I notice that it’s hot in the car.  “Is it just me?” I wonder.  Then I notice the vent is barely blowing, and, while the barely blowing air is cool, suddenly the car is getting hotter by the minute.  

It was right about this time that our plan to “take one last trip in the Buick and then trade her in when we get back” started to unravel.  By this time, we reached Ft. Worth and decided we would stop for lunch and to ponder our options for dealing with the car.  

We had a great lunch – the boys got to see TCU, where Chas went to school.  

While eating lunch at Dutch’s across from campus, we decided to ditch the Buick and rent a suburban for the trip.  We didn’t want to risk the drive in a car that appears to be on its last leg.  So, while the boys worked out their wiggles, Chas arranged a rental car.

So, off we went to the rental car location, where we had to uninstall all three huge car seats and then install them in the rental.  Then, we moved all our luggage from one car to the other.  

Needless to say (but apparently I am going to say it anyway), this put us behind schedule for the day.  

We rolled into Norman in time for a late dinner at Hideaway Pizza (thanks for the rec Anne!).  

After dinner, we finished the last leg of our trip to Oklahoma City.  We checked into our hotel just in time to hear the fireworks going off at the baseball game across the street.  

It wasn’t a perfect first day by any stretch, but I was proud at how we rolled with the punches for the most part. 

(And I would love to go back and see more of Norman and OKC!)

Travel Notes:

Lunch:  Dutch’s in Fort Worth

Dinner:  Hideaway Pizza in Norman, OK

Accommodations:  Residence Inn Bricktown, OKC. – great location, friendly staff.  Would definitely book here again.

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Big Adventure 2017

mount rushmoreTomorrow morning, all five of us will depart for Big Adventure 2017.  Preparations have been underway for some time. I hoped to have all 3 children packed by Monday night, but realized that my oldest has an alarming lack of t shirts that are not emblazoned with the name of his school, an academic group, or a sports team.  I take my pictures on vacation somewhat seriously, and would like for him to not look like a walking advertisement for Kiker Math Pentathlon in every image. Continue reading

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A View from the Top

IMG_2031.JPGA trip on the Aerial Tram to the top of Rendezvous Mountain does NOT disappoint, and is definitely a winner if you have kids.  You can catch the Aerial Tram in Teton Village – just look for the big clock tower, and you buy tickets for it right there.  Later in the summer, there are also other lifts you can ride, but in early June, only the aerial tram was open. Continue reading

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GTNP: Breakfast Cruise to Elk Island

dsc_0150We were up and at ’em our first morning in Grand Teton.  I booked a breakfast cruise on Jackson Lake that left from Colter Bay.  I think we were all a little concerned it would be really cold, and not looking forward to the early morning, but (as usual) it all turned out to be sooooo worth the effort. Continue reading

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