Boo! Did I scare ya? Well, I've been here all along, searching and contemplating all aspects of the vacation. W-A-Y back in February, I posted about the vacation we would be embarking on at the end of May. Did you know that May is here already?! After many computer hours and several days of the kids running naked and starving to death (not really, but you woulda thought I abandoned them), I have all of the plans finalized and reservations have been made. This has stretched into a 10 day trip and I am both excited and apprehensive. Normal feelings for me when major excursions take place. So forgive me if this rambles or is less than helpful in explaining our plans...and because I am lazy, I am cutting and pasting from my first post and just adding to it...your welcome. All black text is new.
Day One ~ start from here and drive to Overland Park, KS We will arrive in town around lunchtime and visit The Deanna Rose Farmstead in Overland Park, KS(http://opkansas.org/_Vis/Farmstead/index.cfm).
From the website:
Admission to the Farmstead is free. Please look for donation boxes to help support the best park in town, or consider becoming a Friends of the Farmstead Member today at our join and support page. Visit the Farmstead with your family and here's an example of what you will see:Charming One-Room School HouseKwanza Indian EncampmentInteractive Dairy Barn with in-house 'Moovie'Stocked Fishing PondPony RidesPlaygroundAuthentic Mining ExhibitJohnson County Extension Master Gardeners farm crops, veggies and flowersHorse Drawn HayrideKiwanis Repose GardenButterfly Garden & ChimesConcessions and Picnic PavilionsAnimal Exhibits including goats, chickens, rabbits, sheep, pigs, cows, peacocks, prairie dogs, turtles, fish, bald eagle, hawk, bob cat, ducks
Whoo Hooo! Sounds fun!
Day 2 ~ We leave Kansas City and head for Sioux Falls, SD In Sioux Falls I booked a hotel that has a small waterpark inside. I decided that having a few hours of water fun and dinner would be just as much fun as anything else I could have found...not to mention cheaper (a major factor on this particular vacation, as gas is literally going to cost as much as the lodging for the entire trip). The "waterpark" hotel seems to be the new thing and to be honest, I am thrilled about it! In comparison, this hotel has a tiny waterpark, more like a water play area, in my opinion. BUT, that is just what this mama wants. Some of those places are thousands of square feet and INSIDE a hotel, not the place I want to try and keep track of 3 kids. I am a paranoid freak, there I said it. Anyhoo, this stopover will surely bring lots of laughs and wrinkled toes.
Day 3 (4, 5 and 6) ~ We leave Sioux Falls and head to Minot, ND At our final destination, my aunt and uncle's house, we will unpack, eat all the food they have and then sleep in all their beds, all while they wonder what the heck they have gotten themselves into! We will spend the next three days enjoying the company of my aunt and uncle, cousins and their kids (five girls! whoo hoo). We will be heading to the Space Aliens Restaurant (http://www.spacealiens.com/) and possibly the zoo (http://www.rpzoo.com/), but for the most part, this section of the trip is unplanned.
Day 7 and 8 ~ We leave Minot, ND and head to Keystone, SD Here we will stay in a modern cabin on 75 acres near Mount Rushmore (http://www.holysmokeresort.com/). We will be here 2 nights so that we can fully enjoy the fun that Mount Rushmore's surrounding areas have to offer. The resort offers horseback riding and Alyssa and I are going to take a one hour ride together first thing in the morning on day 8. My mom will stay back with the little ones and explore nature...or dig holes and pile sticks...whatever. We plan on hitting a gold mine and panning for gold http://www.bigthundermine.com. Now, when I told the girls that we would be panning for gold, they began dreaming of finding necklaces and diamonds. When I explained to them that it was a "makeshift" kinda thing and that it's basically for tourists, they began dreaming of finding lost watches and wallets...ahhh, move over Indiana Jones, treasures await my children!!! Even after all the laughing I did, they are still convinced they are going to find something of tremendous value...I was hoping something a bit educational, but the world needs pickpockets too right? There are SO many other things to do in and around Keystone that I decided to note a few and then decide while there which ones to try. We will be in Go-With-The-Flow mode here.
Day 9 ~ Leave Keystone, SD and head towards Omaha, NE Due to arrival possibly being late in the evening, I did not schedule anything here...this is merely a stopover for sleep and refreshment before heading home. The hotel I booked is really cool and has themed rooms and castle turrets on one end, but that is the extent of it's excitement. They do have an indoor pool and really, who needs anything else? The hotel is in a central part of town with malls and screaming kid pizza palaces, so if necessary, we have an out. There is a hotel close by that has one of those HUGE waterparks inside...yeah, I didn't choose that one (see above). At this point, even the most avid vacationer would long for home and I am already foreseeing my future of longing.
Day 10 ~ Head home, fall out of the car, sleep on the lawn...
**While planning this trip I made sure of some things: 1)all rooms have micros and fridges so that there will be plenty of already purchased quick meals for kids who insist they are starving before bed, a nightly occurrence here at my house. 2)all breakfast meals will be ones that I brought or are provided by the hotel (or my sweet auntie)...no restaurants for breakfast! 3)all hotels have indoor pools, my free fun distraction. 4)every event is 2 year old friendly...you must always plan with the youngest child in mind and although museums are a fave for Alyssa and me, they are no fun with toddlers...a second museum focused trip will be planned at a later date and will include daddy.
TO BE CONTINUED...