Road Trip 2014-Day 3 (July 4, 2014)-Independence Day!

(click here for today's pictures)
Happy Fourth of July!

Again we all slept incredibly well.  The first thing that I heard was Robby coming back into the room after he had been running.  He then went to shave in the bathroom by flashlight-this caused a shadow that highly entertained Whitman.  By the time that they emerged from the bathroom, the kids were stirring and on their way to get ready.  By the time that I was ready, Robby was stacking up our bins.  He typically gets a cart and loads up the car while we are finishing breakfast and making one last potty stop before leaving the hotel.

Breakfast this morning was adequate yet it was very crowded.  By the end, I didn’t even have a seat and all poor Keaton wanted was more waffle but the line was way too long-she had already eaten a banana, half a cup of yogurt, ¼ of a waffle and at least 5 cups of orange juice.  Soon we were on our way to the parade in Parkville.

This was the quaintest little small town.  We found the parade route and then saw lots of parade watchers waiting on their Main Street.  We finally found us a spot in the shade (though the sun did keep moving).  The kids ate their red, white and blue cookies while waving their flags and wearing their patriotic clothes.  We were pretty far from the start of the parade so it took a while for the action to get to us.  

I guess we have not been to a parade in a long time because I had no idea that the folks would throw out candy for the kids.  The first few folks even handed out bags for candy.  There were tanks, motorcycles, ambulances, fire trucks, scooters, mini coopers, dogs, clowns and many other thigns.  The kids thoroughly enjoyed it all and Whitman sat on the edge of his stroller watching all fo the things drive by.  The parade lasted quite a while and when we thought that it was over, more people and vehicles came.  It was a pretty neat 4th of July parade.

When it was over, we went back to the car and passed out water bottles for our short ride to the Arabia Steamboat museum.  The weather at the parade was perfect in the shade but a bit warm in the sun so the water bottles were much needed.  Parking was right in front of the Steamboat museum so that was perfect.

Robby thinks that it was about 10 years ago that we went to see this museum and it was just as impressive today.  The Arabia was a steamboat going down the Missouri river that hit some of a tree and then sank.  All of the people on board were saved but the goods on the way to merchants out west were eventually buried in the mud of the Missouri river.  Years later the route of the river changed and the boat was in the middle of a nearby field so in 1988 some local men dug it up.  (They now have plans to find and dig up another boat nearby.)  

The kids (especially the boys) listened intently to the guide at the beginning and to the movie.  Robby kept feeding Whitman milk and candy so he would be quiet during the film.  At the end of the film, one of the men who dug the steamboat up came in to answer questions for a minute.  I saw the kids eyes light up like a movie star had just entered the room.  

The museum is impressive from the start-tons and tons of dishes, tools and clothes.  There are rooms and rooms of items-the kids loved looking at the things and since we have been reading the Little House books we could really imagine all of the things being used on that little house on the prairie.  Graham wanted to know how the treasure hunters digging up the boat knew that they found everything in the mud.  So we found someone for him to ask and the man carefully explained that they were pretty sure they found everything but there was no way to be certain since they had to dig it all up in 4 months.

Afterwards we walked around their farmer’s market and then had ourselves lunch at Winslow’s BBQ.  Reagan loves BBQ and when Robby ordered corn on the cob she could have died from excitement.  She did say though that she liked Nonna’s corn on the cob better than this corn.  Everyone had full plates of food and Whitman even ate some.  He was too busy playing with his water cup which he eventually poured on top of himself.  He had this huge look of shock as the ice cold water spilled all over him.  Thankfully, he didn’t scream but just looked at me puzzled!

After we had finished our supper, we bought us a bag of clementines for 2 dollars and grapes for 2 dollars a pound.  So it sounds like supper will be fruit!  Then as we walked along the market, Robby ran into a store and came back with a huge strawberry tart.  He was hoping that the store would have some day old bread but it did not so he settled for that delicious tart.  It was beautiful-we even hated to eat it but eat it we did.  We cut that thing into 8 pieces and started chowing down on it.

Then we went back to the car for our short ride to the next hotel which is actually a bit south of Kansas City-we are going a bit backwards but the fireworks were in Lee’s Summit.  Of course there was a stop at the grocery store for jelly (I left it at home), fabreeze (always a good idea on a 19 day road trip) and milk (it keeps our Whitman happy, happy!)

At the hotel, we quickly unloaded-I know this is only day 3 but we have it down to a science and I know by saying that tomorrow night we will leave half of everything we need in the car.  Robby does check in each night and then we unload and park on the side of the hotel.  Reagan did ask why we never get to go through the lobby.  I didn’t know how to explain that most people don’t understand how a 4 person hotel room can hold this many Dennies so I just told her that her daddy was embarrassed of us!

As soon as we were unloaded, we changed into our bathing suits and went to swim.  I don’t know why indoor hotel pools always seem so cold but this pool was way too cold and even the hot tub was way too hot.  The kids eventually managed to get into the pool but when they say it is cold, it really is cold.  And Robby managed to get into the hot tub for a bit.  I didn’t bring Whitman’s big floatee on the trip because he really doesn’t like it and I knew that we would have to get in if he got in so with neither Robby or I wanting to get into the icy cold pool, poor Whitman just had to watch the excitement from the comfort of his stroller.  He was perfect for most of the swim and then decided that he was ready to go so him and Keaton went back to the room with me to start on their baths.

After everyone had baths tonight, I made our sandwiches and we ate in the hotel room.  We did get smart and put Whitman in his pack n play and he was happy in there as long as I kept giving him food to eat.  Actually, I forgot to clean it out when we put him in bed tonight-I guess he can just have himself a little midnight snack.  The kids ate 5 of the clementines we bought today and quite a few of the grapes-we probably should have bought more but oh well.  (We need to go to the Farmer’s Market at home-I have never been and the kids would really enjoy it.)

Then we left the hotel and headed out to Lee’s Summit for the fireworks.  We knew where the fireworks were but had no idea exactly where they were and exactly where the best viewing was and exactly where we should park so we just followed the crowd.  We drove until we saw lots of people parking on the road and parked there.  We did drive extra and make a u turn so we were headed the direction that we wanted to go when we left.

Parking where we parked meant that we had to walk on the side of a 4 lane road a few blocks to get to where we were going-or where the other people were going.  Robby pushed Keaton and led the way with Campbell right behind him and the others behind her and I brought up the rear with Whitman in my stroller.  After we turned off the busy street, we walked and walked and walked some more.  Finally, we saw tons and tons to cars parking nearby and questioned our parking choice until we realized they would all be leaving at the same time (Imagine 10x the number of cars at church on a Sunday morning).  

The fireworks were going to happen around a lake and after following the crowd long enough, we made it to the rest of the crowd.  There was lots of excitement going on-jumpys (2 bucks a jump-nope), playground (1 dollar a turn-nope), band (listened) but the most exciting thing of all were the sky divers.  We really thought we might have missed that but someone said they were coming soon so we went to the roped off area where they would land and spread out our towels and waited.

Minutes later 4 skydivers jumped out of the plane and came twirling and soaring down.  They had smoke coming from their shoes; one had to lift his feet to avoid the trees; and one was soaring with a huge American flag.  They landed feet from us and it was very, very impressive and no, we have no plans at all of skydiving but I think Graham would in a heart beat.

We moved up some after the sky divers landed and sat closer to the lake.  The kids went with Robby to throw our ball around some and I stayed with Whitman.  That guy clapped his hands to the music, waved his fan and danced along.  They were gone a long time playing ball and then they ran off to go and get slushies.  By this time I was pretty chilly and they were gone so long that I started to wonder if they were lost!  They finally returned each carrying their slushies.

It didn’t take too long for most of them to be finished up-no, not by the kids but by Robby who was handed all of their half eaten slushies.  I passed out our glowsticks from home and before too long the fireworks were starting.  Keaton did great-she did have her hands over her ears the first half but soon was telling me which ones she wanted me to get for her.  Campbell who also could have been scared of them was not at all.  She spent most of the time reciting the Pledge of Allegiance over and over during the fireworks.  And Whitman-I am not sure what he thought of them.  He didn’t smile and didn’t fuss.  Whitman just turned his head and wouldn’t really look at the fireworks-he looked at them but didn't really look at them.

They were very good fireworks and we heard it was the largest show in a 4 state area-they must not have been talking about Little Rock though (or maybe I am thinking of Little Rock’s Riverfest but last time I saw them at home, they went on and on and on).  These fireworks were shot off from the other side of the lake so they were smaller but also quieter which probably was a really good thing for Keaton and Whitman.  And they did last for a while but not long enough that we grew tired of them!  

Now we do usually leave during the middle of fireworks (at least at Disney) so we do not get caught in the crowd but tonight we stayed until the end and left with all 10,000 other people.  I demanded that the kids carry their glowsticks until we climbed into the car and away we went.  My Reagan made sure to hold Campbell’s hand-we didn’t ask her, she just does things like this herself which is very helpful.  We were pleasantly surprised that the walk back to the car didn’t seem nearly as long as the walk to the lake.  And even though we had to fight the other walkers and plenty of cars we were at the car before anyone complained.  

Of course Whitman was asleep by the time we made it to the car and Keaton fell asleep on the way back to the hotel, but we were staying so close to the hotel that no one else feel asleep which was really great.  It was after 11 when the kids had their pjs on and were laying down-within minutes my boys were asleep.  This bathroom is itsy bitsy teeny tiny-let’s just say you can sit down and do your business, wash you hair and brush your teeth without moving at all!  So Whitman didn’t fit in it-but it will be nice to use the bathroom in the middle of the night tonight!  I do believe that he is asleep now (midnight) so that is a good thing and hopefully everyone can sleep well tonight! (I probably said that last night but I really mean it tonight!)

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