Spring Break Trip 2017-March 20, 2017

(click here for today's pictures)

We all slept great again last night-my people sleep better in a hotel than anywhere else. Robby and I always sleep better in hotels as well-possibly we need to invest in better bedding. Whenever Robby says the words “breakfast is closing in a bit” everyone always starts moving very quickly to put on their clothes. We were up early enough that breakfast wasn’t closing soon but his words still get everyone moving.  

Soon we were in the lobby grabbing breakfast. Most everyone had what they had eaten the day before-Keaton had toast, Whitman had yogurt and cereal, Anderson ate cereal and I am really not sure what everyone else had. I did have myself a bagel but they aren’t nearly as good without flavored cream cheese.

We then loaded up the car which is so much easier now that everyone can carry their own weight. Then we headed towards downtown Bartlesville. There was an old locomotive that you could climb in and we took full advantage of that. The kids climbed and posed picture after picture. As we were about to leave, we looked at the bell and wondered why they weren’t able to ring it. I went back up into the locomotive to see if I could ring it myself and indeed I could. I am sure that the townspeople wished that we had never figured that out because everyone then rang and rang that bell.

Our moms are coming here next week so we went to one of their planned stops-Keepsake Candles. We had heard that the kids could dip their own candles very reasonably priced. They all were able to dip a candle and so enjoyed that. Then we let tehm all pick a scented votive. It was a neat little place full of cute things.

Then it was on the Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile. We just followed the cars and people-it seemed like most everyone in our hotel was going there this morning. We drove around the building once-on one and a half sides of the building there was a line of people waiting to get into the restaurant. Another line was half a block long waiting to grab something from the to-go area.  Eeek! That meant we weren’t eating there then.

Robby did drop me off and ran inside to look for the directions to the lodge. We had seen on their site that the lodge was open for visitors during spring break. I then went back outside to meet Robby and the kids on their way in. We browsed through the Mercantile and gracious me, I don’t think I have ever seen so many people in on place. It was craziness. There was neat things to see everywhere and I sure could have filled up a shopping basket but I don’t think my people could have waited while I joined the line of 50 or so waiting to check out.

We did venture upstairs where they have a neat little bakery. It was also crazy crowded. Robby tried to wait in line for a bit to get us a few treats but the line wasn’t moving at all. So we headed to the car and had a snack. Then it was on the Lodge, where the Pioneer Woman films her tv show.

It was quite a drive there-about 25 minutes and much of it down a gravel road. It was fine though because there were wild horses everywhere. We could also see smoke from grass fires. The ranchers burn the grass here so it will have more nutrients and less weeds for the cattle to graze on during the summer. We were able to see them lighting the fires, filling up their water trucks and spraying the fires. On the way out, we even saw Ladd driving by.

The Lodge was full of people looking around. It was a beautiful country lodge-huge kitchen table, tons of windows, massive fireplace-I could have stayed there. You were able to browse through bedrooms and everything. In the middle there was a huge pantry full of food and Pioneer Woman dishes. There was also an addition on the back with a huge industrial kitchen which I am sure has been added since her show began.  One bedroom even had some of her clothes and a table with all of Ree’s makeup. Dogs were laying around everywhere and Campbell was in heaven petting them. We walked around the back deck and enjoyed the beautiful view.

On the road leaving the Lodge was a BBQ stand so we stopped there for lunch. It was typical roadside food-delicious. The BBQ sauce did have tiny pieces of pickles chopped in it. It was all very good but it was a bit hot outside since it is well into the 80s. We devoured 4 huge sandwiches and 2 large containers of fries before getting back in the car, which has been starting wonderfully today.

We had to drive right through the fires on the way off of the Drummond Ranch. The fire was so hot that we could feel the heat in the car. We did drive back through the town to check out the lines at the Mercantile, which were not quite as long but long enough for the staff to have passed out umbrellas for everyone who was waiting in the sun to eat their lunch.

Pawhuska was the home of the first Boy Scout troop in America so we stopped at their little statue and let the kids play at a tiny park for a few minutes. Then it was back in the car for a quick stop at the gas station. Robby got gas and we all pottied before I drove on to Tulsa. We listened to our book, I ate my driving candy-candy that I save to eat when I am driving, Robby worked and Keaton slept.

In Tulsa, we stopped at Webber’s Root Beer stand. We had a root beer float, a frozen root beer float, a mug of root beer and a tiny hamburger that we all tasted. It was ridiculously prices but with the fun. We all crammed into the tiny eating area and after my crew sat down there were only 2 empty stools. It was pretty tight in there but that did provide plenty of ambiance.

We had another 2 hours to drive to the hotel after leaving the root beer stand so we all pottied before getting into the car. From there it was just 2 hours to Ft. Smith and we didn’t even have to stop. Campbell was asking for a bathroom by the time that we arrived and Robby took her and Keaton in to the hotel with him to check in.

Later Keaton was happy to report that not only were they able to use the restroom, they also had a cookie. Graham was quick to ask Robby why they all didn’t get a cookie. Robby replied that he tries not to advertise that he has a basketball team with him. I reminded him that we have more than a basketball team.

After we unloaded our stuff, Robby found a neat little restaurant for us to eat at tonight-Calico Country. It was Cracker Barrel-ish but the meal began with them bringing warm cinnamon rolls to the table. That is the way to start a meal! We ended up with leftover so we brought bag a doggie bag since tomorrow we will be heading home after seeing the National Park site here.

Once we went back to the hotel, the kids changed into their pjs and everyone had a bit of ipad time before bed. I think everyone had a good day. Anderson said that he was ready to go home (not sure what is wrong with him) but Whitman started crying when I told him that he we were going home tomorrow. He said that he wanted to stay in a hotel forever!

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