Road Trip-Day 4 (July 5, 2014)

(click here for today's pictures)
Look what we found in Iowa and Nebraska!

This morning started off the same as usual with Robby running and the rest of us waking up soon after he returned.  Whitman managed to get a shower again with Robby which keeps Whitman occupied for a bit.  Then we stuck him in the pack n play to have some milk for a few more minutes. That child is in to everything in the hotel room and every step that he takes is a stomp-keeping us on our toes.

Breakfast was good and today they had bananas.  I think that between Whitman, Keaton and Campbell, we ate about 10 bananas.  After Robby finished eating, he went to grab our things and load up the car.  But this time when he came downstairs, we were still eating-the kids were hungry from their late night last night.  

To get Keaton to buckle up happily, Reagan told her that she could have a piece of candy in 5 minutes.  So after about 5 minutes, Graham turned around to Reagan and asked “can we have our candy yet, Reagan?”  I was too shocked that I have now been replaced and didn’t hear her answer but I soon heard candy wrappers flying.  Yesterday, I emptied one of the back trash cans and it was full to the brim of candy wrappers.  Soon their candy stash will be empty and I will again be in control of the candy eating.  Actually, it probably won’t happen like long as Robby can find the candy.  
We had about an hour on the road before we arrived in St. Joseph.  The weather was dark-dark enough that Reagan wanted to know what time it was.  We didn’t get into rain until we made it into town and when it started to rain, it started to rain.  It poured and poured on us-thunder and lightening. We just let the kids play their kindles while we tried to wait the storm out.  We waited until we really couldn’t wait any longer so Robby pulled as close to the National Pony Express Museum that he could so we could unload.

The closest he could get was right in the middle of a puddle/stream.  The rain had created a foot deep river of water running under our feet.  Robby grabbed the umbrella and Whitman and I pulled each of the kids out of the van and over the puddle.  We were dripping wet so badly in the museum that the nice lady took pity on us and got us a paper towel to dry ourselves off with.  

The Pony Express Museum was pretty interesting.  We learned lots about the pony express and we were even able to pump water from a real well.  The kids enjoyed playing in the kiddie area the most where we dressed as folks from long ago.  We were actually in there for a long, long time waiting the rain out.  And as we were leaving, the worker lady gave me a piece of candy and sticker for each of the kids.  She said that they had been so good-that was a nice little treat for them.

Then we loaded back up and saw a statue of a pony express rider.  We didn’t all get out so Robby asked who wanted to get out.  Of course the boys did.  And Keaton also decided to have her picture made.  Graham was finished and helped get her out of the car...and as he helped her down, they both fell tumbling to the ground.  I was taking the pictures so I snapped one of their fall since I was too far to help.  Robby said that Graham got up and while rubbing his elbow, he said “I didn’t let Keaton get hurt. I protected her.”  And that he did, she wasn’t phased at all as they both tumbled out of the van, over the curb and into the grass.

The rain stopped and the day turned hot but that was mostly fine because we were in the car for a bit. We stopped at a Lewis and Clark stop in Nebraska City.  They had a picnic table and we had ourselves lunch-even though it was already 2.  They had a little trail nearby that the kids walked on while we fixed lunch but the trail was pretty grown up so they didn’t last too long.  I tried to venture some down it after I ate but I don’t really like mud, grass touching me or bugs so I didn’t last too long at all.

We went into the Lewis and Clark center and the kids really enjoyed it.  There was so much to do and touch for them.  I try to read books about what all we are going to see before we take our trips and at the Pony Express place and Lewis and Clark place, I was surprised to see that they didn’t have the books that we had read.  Anyway, reading the books helps them know about what we are going to see-maybe it helps some, who knows.

Back to Lewis and Clark, they had stamps in each section for the kids so that encouraged them to look around some-and to hurry it up to finish and get all of those stamps.  We were finished with that museum in no time at all.  So we did have some time to take a short trail outside to an underground Indian house (sorry, I don’t know the proper name).

Once back in the car, everyone had rice krispy treats and juice boxes.  We only had about 30 more minutes before making it to our hotel.  But we lasted only about 10 minutes before Robby saw decent priced gas and then since we surrounded by fields of corn, we thought we should take a picture.  I told him that I didn’t think that Iowa was the corn state but after a minute of research (what did we do before smart phones?)  we did find out that Iowa produces more corn than any other state.  You really want a picture when you get everyone out of the car for a photo shoot.  Thankfully, most of them still had some of their drink left so they had something to look forward to when getting back in the car.  

It wasn’t too long before we were at our hotel.  I got so confused about what state we were really in-it seemed like every so often we would change states-I do believe that we are currently in Nebraska (Omaha).  We found our room and unloaded-the bathroom is small but we sized it up and the pack n play fits inside of it though there will be no pottying tonight.  (It almost reminds me of one of the hotels that I had to squeeze through the door which could only be cracked open, then climb on the sink and then through the shower to then go potty in the middle of the night-the joys of traveling with little ones!)  After unpacking, we headed out to see what we could find.

We went down to the river and walked across a pedestrian bridge and in the middle, we stood in Nebraska and Iowa which was pretty neat.  The bridge would slightly shake with the breeze blowing across the mighty Missouri river.  The weather was warm in the sun but it was pleasant on the bridge.  But by the time we came back across the bridge, it was juice box time.  There was a time not too long ago that we could pass things back to the kids without giving Whitman anything.  Now whatever I pass back, he thinks is for him.  I have a bucket that I put stuff in and then reach back and hand it to Graham so he can distribute it.  When Whitman sees that bucket, he started reaching and pointing.  

Then we went to the happening spot in Omaha-the downtown Old Market area.  We walked along the brick streets and found an easy fast food restaurant-Pepperjax Grill.  The food was good-rice bowl, burritos, cheese dip and chicken fingers for the kids.  Robby actually had a Philly cheese-stake for his supper and Graham decided that he really liked it and ate Robby’s meat as fast as it was handed to him.  After eating, Robby found a spot to go to on his phone and I had seen it earlier so I knew kind of where it was and we were both glad that it was within walking distance because parking was hard to come by.  

It was a possibly a city park in the middle of the city by the river but the attraction was 2 big slides. They were like the slides that they set up at the fair but these were built into the landscaping and had stairs leading up to them.  There was a line but it moved quick and we all flew down the slide.  I rode with Keaton and Robby hung back with Whitman taking pictures and catching the kids...if the kids sat on a piece of cardboard that was thrown everywhere around on the ground-they would zoom down the slide and land in the foot of water at the end of the slide (they must have a drainage problem)  He missed Reagan once when she went down the other side and now her tennis shoes are stuffed with newspapers and sitting on the air conditioner.  It was really fun and the kids went down at least 5 or 6 times apiece.  Now I just have to figure out how I can get one of those in my backyard-we just need a really big hill.

We walked back to the car and came back to the hotel.  Robby and the boys walked to the gas station-they had some excess energy to get rid of.  Robby bought some ice while there and some medicine (he has hurt his knee).  The girls and I changed into our pajamas and when they came back Campbell and Whitman had baths more to keep them occupied than anything else.  And as soon as the boys were in the clean pajamas, Robby started our laundry-laundry never ends even on vacation!

Currently, Whitman is asleep in the bathroom, Graham is asleep between to the two beds, Keaton is laying under the desk in her spot playing on her kindle.  Reagan and Campbell are in one bed playing on their kindles and Anderson is somewhere-Oh, I see him, he is laying in my spot while playing his kindle.  It is 10:30 and these chillins should be sleeping!

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