Monday, July 22, 2013

Drive Home

 We drove home through Iowa and South Dakota and along the way found this great park called the Porter Sculpture Park. It is visible from the highway and the guy that runs it lives out of his RV at the park Memorial Day through Labor Day.  We talked with him a while and he told us about the other stuff he is working on. His stuff is definitely very "artsy" but its all pretty awesome.

My kids especially loved this guy's dog who let them pet him and rub his belly as long as he wanted too.  He also gave them all Hershey Kisses.

 This Egyptian sculpture was the biggest there and it was all made mostly of railroad tie plates.

We also visited Corn Palace which turned out to be super lame. Other than the corn that was plastered all over the building, I couldn't figure out why this was such a big tourist attraction.  The inside was pretty disappointing and just had a lots of places to buy random souvenirs.

One of the favorite things we saw was the Badlands National Park in South Dakota. It was an amazing sight and the rock formations were gorgeous.   We drove down into the park and the kids got a chance to climb on some of them.

 They also had several fossils displayed of things they had found around this area that were dated back to the dinosaurs. Isak found it fascinating and insisted we go through and read each one.
 Our next stop was Wall Drug which we started seeing signs for 200 miles before we got there. There was a TON of billboards for this place so we knew we had to stop. It ended up being this kinda crazy mini indoor shopping mall with a bunch of separated stores.  It had several random statues and Lucy insisted I taker her picture with the "pretty lady"...
 This antelope was one of my favorite that we saw, Lucy calls it a "rabbit reindeer", but it was a great place to take a picture.

 There was also this giant Trex that went off every 12 minutes. We waited what seemed like forever and sure enough, it rises up and makes some very scary roaring sounds and shakes its head back and forth. It was pretty frightening.
 There was also a splash park at this place (pretty random) that the kids could run around at as well as a Sacajawea cut out that Lucy posed for me in.
There was also the horse and buggy for the kids to pretend to ride. We found a few souvenirs here for our trip and Lucy found a pretty great glow in the dark unicorn shirt.

 We also made it to Mount Rushmore which was also pretty cool in person. Our kids were completely exhausted by this point and so were we.

Poor little Edyn looked So tired. But our eventful day wasn't over.  Shortly after we left Kevin stopped to get gas and forgot to unplug the gas from our car before driving off. We had to fill out some incident report form and leave our insurance information.  The next day we had about 13 hours if we wanted to make it back home and we decided to plow through. About 30 minutes after getting in the car Isak threw up. Then he proceeded to continue for the next while. Luckily he hit the bag every time.   Lucy was also sick, only she was feverish and just wanting to sleep in the back of the car the whole trip. We knew we had to get home at this point before anyone else got sick. I made it to Missoula before I fell victim as well. I slept the rest of the way while Isak kept Kevin awake. We were so glad to see our house!
Our trip was a lot of fun, I would totally do it again in about 3 years when I don't have a baby. Isak and Lucy did great but it was a little hard on Edyn. But, hey, she won't remember any of this either while Isak and Lucy will remember most of what they did and the fun they had with their cousins. And, Kevin and I both noticed that Lucy and Isak became better friends on our trip and played together much more than they have in the past.  I don't know if the banshee yell will leave my memory any time soon but it was definitely worth it getting to see so much of our family!

Sunday, July 21, 2013


 We spent another five days of our trip in Michigan visiting Kevin's brother and his family in Michigan.  Claire and Lucy took a dance lesson from Vicki (Lucy's dance suit found at the Dig N Save!) and we hung out in the hammock a lot as well.
 Kevin celebrated his 32nd birthday while we were there and enjoyed several great gifts from our kids, handpicked from the local dollar store. His brother and him went and bought new suits for his birthday but declined our request for a picture in their "birthday suits". Kevin's last suit was 8 years ago when we were married so it was very much needed.

 Vicki and I enjoyed some serious thrift store and consignment kid store shopping while we were there and found several treasures. The kid clothes there are amazing and I found several items for a $1.  We also visited this treasure called Value World which was more amazing than I have words for. Best part? They gave us all our stuff in black plastic garbage bags, there are no changing rooms so you just put your clothes on over your clothes, and everyone that was working there was in sweatpants. It was so cool. I found the best stuff!

 We took an evening and walked around this local lake that is filled with ducks and tons of lilly pads.  We saw several swans and their babies and Lucy collected several bird feathers.

 We also went to the botanical gardens which has a great kids area that has several things for the kids to explore.
 Edyn and Ella were born 3 months apart and had lots of fun saying "hi" to each other over and over and laughing at each other.

 The greenhouse part of the gardens was one of Isak's favorite parts and he loved seeing all the different plants that we don't have back in Washington.
 We also visited the Henry Ford museum while we were there and got to ride a train around the village. We saw glass blowing, rode a carousel and saw tons of great stuff. Everyone that works there walks around dressed in early 1900's attire and acts the part. We even took a little ride in a carriage which turned out to be really hot...
 There was also an inside portion of the museum which was HUGE and had so much stuff inside of it, we didn't get to see everything. The trains were really cool to look at the inside of as well as several of the cars that have been made over the years.
 There was an exhibit where kids could put themselves in a music video and it would project them onto a screen.
 And of course the giant Oscar Mayer weiner vehicle and the kids tried to make themselves into a hotdog.

We were also there for the 4th of July and they had a nice little parade in their town and their ward also had a breakfast and let the kids ride their bikes/scooters around.

 I attempted to get my kids in one picture for the 4th since I actually put them all in patriotic colored outfits. This was about the best I got.

 We had a lot of fun in the afternoon playing in the pool and then we had dinner outside.  Since there a lot of fireworks available in Michigan compared to Washington, Kevin had fun buying a bunch to set off that night.

                                                                     Lucy and Claire.

 The kids loved the fireworks and we could only set off some of our bottle rockets due to their enormous range and we weren't sure where they were ending up. Our kids were exhausted at the end of every day and for the most part, went to bed really well.  I am campaigning for everyone to come live by me and pled my case at Valerie's as well at Jason and Vicki's house.  I'm hoping it works!