Road Trip 2014-Day 16 (July 17, 2014)

(click here for today's pictures)
Arrival in St. Louis to meet up with all the family!  Dinner on the Hill!

Before Robby and I go to bed, we have been looking at the pictures from the day on his computer.  Last night, Robby kept falling asleep between clicking pictures.  We would be looking and talking about the pictures and then suddenly he would stop clicking to the next one.  I would have to wake him up so he would click to the next picture. This was better than the night before because both of us kept falling asleep between pictures.

That silly alarm clock is the only thing that wakes up each night.  Hotel sleeping is so good for us Dennies and I am sure that every single time that we go out of town and sleep in a hotel, I come back and say that I need brand new bedding.  Seriously, the Comfort Inn chain has perfected their hotel bedding...or maybe I really, really need to upgrade mine at home.

This morning was the same as usual except that Robby couldn’t find a cart.  Now he has had to search for them before but he has never not been able to find one.  So a little bit of child labor was used-if they were able to carry something, then they did and all went down the stairs to take the first load into the car.  Then it was breakfast time followed by more child labor and finally the car was all loaded without even finding that silly ole cart.

Once we were loaded up, we only had to drive about an hour until we arrived at Lincoln's’ boyhood home in Lincoln City, Indiana.  I tell you there is something to see everywhere.  At the entrance it just looked like a regular historical site-park ranger, museum, 15 minute film and picnic tables.  We did all of that including the film-and I am always amazed at how well the kids watch those movies.  Robby retains everything from those videos but I retain nothing-hopefully, the kids will be somewhere in between and able to glean something from the National Park films.

But at the back of this site, they had a living historical farm.  They had 3 ladies in the cabin making cookies and sewing.  They told many things about the cabin and then went on to demonstrate some of the tools in the woodworking shed.  Seriously, I am so impressed with what all you can learn. When the kids were watching the lady demonstrate the tools, the boys were just watching so intently. We looked at the chickens and cows and then headed back down the trail to our car.  On the way back to the car, Robby and I discussed that whenever we are anywhere dealing with pioneer days, we feel just like weenies.  People were tough back then-maybe that is why the women were so ugly. On my brochure in my hand about Lincoln’s boyhood home, there is a picture of Lincoln's step mom and she looks more manly than womanly!

Once we were in the car, we passed out drinks and a pretty hefty snacky lunch-peanut butter crackers, peanuts, cheese-its, peanut butter breakfast bar and chips.  Then we were on the road.  I guess that the kids haven’t seen enough slug bugs today so they started calling out Denny’s restaurants.  Seriously, we don’t need anything else to keep count of.  We had about 2 and a half hours then to drive to St. Louis and on the way we alternated between Little House and Duck Dynasty.  The boys have started to grow tired of Mary and Laura but I sure haven’t.  Just as Robby is planning on reading up on Henry Ford, I am planning on studying up Laura Wilder.  

Robby searched for at least an hour for a good stop so the he could get some type of ice cream snack and the kids could also get a snack for themselves.  There was not a Dairy Queen or Sonic to be found and gas stations were no where to be found.  After much fretting, a gas station did finally appear-and it had 79 cent icees.  That was a win for the kids and a win for Robby’s pocket book.  

On the way, Robby and I finally were able to work out our next trip: we are going to drive back to Dearborn to take advantage of our annual pass that we bought and then make our way to Niagara stopping at Mackinac Island and places in Canada (I will have to study up on that).  Then on the way home, we will find some new adventures somewhere-maybe Gatlinburg.  Our original plan had been to see Niagara and other places on the East coast but we couldn’t figure out how to make all the parts of the drive workout.  So who would like to join us?  Maybe in late May or early June.

About 15 miles outside of St. Louis, Robby told everyone to start looking for the arch.  Campbell would get mad (more like irate) with Robby whenever he would tell her that what she was not an arch.  She kept pointing out water towers and power line poles.  Finally, we saw the arch and you would have thought that Anderson had seen Jesus they way he was pointing and screaming.  The entire car erupted in cheers.  

Grannymom, Grandpa and Les’ crew were all already here but the rooms were not quite ready.  We took our sweet time unloaded the van because we took every single thing (almost) out of it so there would be plenty of room for others to ride with us.  This, of course, took a good bit of time but a clean car is sure worth it.  By the time the van was unloaded the rooms were ready and up we went too the 11th floor.  Grannymom is on one side of us and Josh and Zach are on the other side-now, hopefully we won’t keep anyone up at night!

The kids had a bit of time to go swimming this afternoon and they had a blast going from the hot tub to the swimming pool.  And the boys remembered to bring in their football in so that made swimming that much more fun.  And the hot tub had a zillion and a half bubbles in it so they really enjoyed playing in it-especially Keaton.  

We then changed-well, we didn’t change but the kids did change back into their clothes from their bathing suits.  Then it was off to eat at Zia’s.  We drove the party van and with the back 2 rows full of kids, it was definitely the loud van.  That was fine though because they were having a good time and it was especially fine because the kids were all pretty good at supper.  Keaton did spill a glass of water as soon as she sat down but it was unavoidable with menus and glasses of water everywhere on our table.  Once everyone was settled the kids were pretty good.  My Whitman didn’t really enjoy the Italian food and he concentrated mostly on sucking the butter off of the bread, eating smarties and playing with the spaghetti.  

After supper, we drove around some.  And while we were in the car, Reagan and her cousins were talking about where they had been.  My child bragged “I have been everywhere. Well, to 48 states and my Dad is taking me to the other ones.”  My kids are so lucky to have had the opportunity to travel so and they really don’t yet understand how lucky they are. Reagan did come up to Robby at the end of the night and said, "You have to take me to Alaska and Hawaii before you die."

I do know that though they may be lucky, they are also tired, tired.  The poor things were asleep almost immediately tonight after laying down.  Campbell was the first one out followed quickly by Graham who is still coughing even though he is asleep.  This trip has been pretty busy so far and these next few days are going to be just as busy.

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