All 50 Road Trip-May 13, 2018, Day 2

(click here for today's pictures)

Tulsa, OK to Denver, CO

We woke up a few times during the night. I am not sure if Robby and I woke up because he got up to go to the bathroom and then I needed to as well or if Whitman’s coughing woke us up. He had a pretty good coughing spell, but of course by the time I grabbed his water for him, he was sleeping peacefully.

The alarm was set for 7, but I thougth Robby would wake up earlier, but he did not. Though when that alarm went off, we talked about our 10 hour drvie for a few minutes, and then quickly jumped out of bed. Thinking about a 10 hour drive can definitely light a fire under you!

We all put on our clothes from yesterday since we weren’t in them very long. Robby had to shave and was the last one in the bathroom since the rest of us got ready first. While he did that, we headed down to breakfast.

There were lots of choices today-Reagan started with an egg and bacon bagel. Anderson had a bagel and cream cheese. I didn’t know that he even ate cream cheese. Graham and Campbell went for waffles while Keaton had muffins. Though she did debate about having her normal hotel breakfast toast. Whitman had cereal, yogurt, an egg and a muffin which ended up mostly on the floor. All of the boys ended up bringing cereal in the car.

Robby showed up about the time that we had finished. He had his hands full of Mother’s Day cards for me. Most everyone had one except for Reagan, Anderson and Graham. Graham did scribble out one on a napkin really quick. I did skip my traditional Mother’s Day waffle and had myself a begel and cream cheese.

Those of us who were finished went back to the room to brush our teeth. Soon the boys delivered the cart so the girls loaded it up. We had wanted to leave at 8:00 but it was 8:15 when we pulled out of the parking lot. That was still good. Robby was able to drain and fill up the ice chest again, and the car is loaded up neatly. Robby and I reminisced about all of the days that we had to do every bit of the loading and unloading by ourselves since the kids were so little. Now everyone can help, and things happen much more quickly.

We didn’t have to go very far to our first stop. We took a few pictures at the Golden Driller in Tulsa and then headed to Catoosa, OK. On our way we listened to a podcast about Route 66. Sixteen years ago (2002), Robby and I saw the Blue Whale on Route 66. It was pretty pitiful then so we weren’t expecting for this to be a very long stop at all.

They have refurbished some of it. We were able to walk and climb on that whale. It was actually an anniversary gift from the builder to his wife. Isn’t that interesting? They had kids and lots of grandkids who were able to enjoy that gift before it was opened to the public as a swimming hole.

If you look at the pictures, you can see that they climbed to the very top of that whale and all around inside of it. And if you look really closely, you can see the death grip Robby had on Whitman’s arm. We all made it back to the ground dry so it was a winning stop.

Back in the car, we listened to the song I Get My Kicks on Route 66 before turining on the church service. I did see the sign to Bartlesville, which is the town near the Pioneer Woman’s store. Yesterday, Robby mentioned that maybe we could see how far we are from there since the last time we were there it was crazy crowded.. I was quick to pul out the atlas and phone to check only to be diappointed that they are closed on Sundays.

We drove for about 2 more hours until Robby and I both had to go to the bathroom. We gladly found a bathroom and gas stop. They also had a dog park with some big dog statues. My little 3 were happy to walk out there and take their picture beside them.Then it was back on the road to enter Kansas.

We stopped in Wichita at the Keeper of the Plains. It was a park-like area around the Little Arkansas and Arkansas Rivers. It was a nice little stop for us to stretch our legs for a bit. There were geese and ducks all around and two bridges to walk across.

We weren’t there too long and jumped back in the car for just a bit. There was a QT gas station right down the road. We had already noticed their 50 cent ice cream cone signs so of course we had to have just a bite. We all had cones except for Keaton, who doesn’t really care for ice cream except mint flavored. We walked around outside until we had finished most of the cones. Then it was back in the car heading towards Salina and our lunch stop.

About this time during our trip, I used my marker board to make a list of our next activities-lunch, movie, book on tape, bingo, etc. This seemed to help with the questions we were getting over and over again.

We stopped at the Cozy Inn which was a slider burger joint. It was pretty tiny-as in our whole family would have doubled the max capacity of the place. They had tables outside where we ate. The restaurant begain 1922-96 years ago.

The burgers were made with onions so that did turn a few foks off. Robby grabbed a fork from the car and scrapped them off for a few folks. They were Krystal like burgers and very good. We ate 16 of them along with our chops and drinks from the car. Robby and I thought it was the perfect lunch spot while Reagan did ask, “Did we go out of our way to get here?”

From there we drove just a bit until we arrived at the world’s largest Czech egg. Who says we don’t know how to have fun? It was a large painted egg. It was a pretty and all, but some of the kids were underwhelmed. Robby did remind those children that we have indeed driving miles out of the way to see the largest ball of twine, even bought a Christmas ornament there. It was a good stop to stretch our legs for a bit.

I will have to consult my schedule to be exact about what we did next, but I am pretty sure that we began our bingo games. Robby bought us 5,000 bingo sheets so we can do that plenty over the next few days. The first two games had prizes from my Bingo prize bag-fancy things like mini tic tacs, lifesavers, or even a few fidget spinners. Reagan and Keaton were the first winners and picked candy from the bag.

Whitman had taken a nap and did wake up in time for the final game of cover all bingo. Out of 75 numbers, there were only 5 left when we were still waiting for a winner. Reagan was the grand winner with Graham coming in second place. Their prizes were a bit more valuable. Reagan choose “Pick your bed for the night” while Graham choose “Sit anywhere in the car that you want for an hour.” Those were pretty important prizes which led to their even being a few tears by my little girls at the end of the game.

We knew that would probably happen so we had already planned ahead to give out the kids’ presents from Grannymom. Everyone was happy to open their candy boxes. I then passed out cokes for most to enjoy. My two eldest children lost that privilege since they just hauled off and hit each other at the Czech egg! Children!

Before the final game of bingo, I had started driving and drove us all the way into Colorado. About the last 50 miles, I had to use the restroom, but there just wasn’t too many stops. I did miss the rest stop because it snuck up on me. Then I pulled off the interstate and the next gas station which was on the other side of the interstate. That was fine because I was just planning on taking the bridge over except the bridge was out. The detour would have taken 18 minutes so we just pressed on.

After I had driven at least 2 and half hours, we finally found a gas station. We refilled up and were surprised by the cool weather outside. We knew it was going to be cooler, but this was the first we had felt of it. We will probably all be wearing our jackets tomorrow.

Soon we did have our supper on the road. I passed out cheese, crackers and sausage slices to most everyone. I did have a few sandwich takers which proves to be a bit more difficult to make in the car. When we were about an hour outside of Denver, it did start raining on us a little bit.

I pointed out the clouds in the distance and explained that we could see the rain falling. Graham was wildly amazed by this. Though I guess it doesn’t take too much to impress some folks. We have been seeing wind turbines since early this morning and have talked about them many times. It was late this evening, when Whitman looked out his window and started shouting, “windmills!”

When we drove into Denver, it was too dark already to see the mountains but we were able to see the lights of the city. Before we drove to our hotel, we had to find a Redbox to return our movie from yesterday. It would have been late but with the time change, we returned it with 8 minutes to spare. Now, paying another 2 bucks for the movie would have been fine because the kids have watched in 2 times along with watching the extras.

We had guessed that we would arrive at our hotel at 10, and we did arrive right at 10 Denver time so it was really 11 at home. The kids all had showers, a snack and then a few minutes to play on their ipads. The kids do pretty well staying up with these crazy hours. And they were all really great in the car today! Tomorrow is a much shorter day-just a 5 hour drive.

However, since Whitman had a nap today, this night might be a lot longer! He just popped up and told Robby and I to please whisper. We weren’t being loud but were rehashing the day. I do believe that he is singing something from The Greatest Showman right now. Sometimes I fondly remember those days when the baby slept in the bathroom in their pack n play! It was much quieter in the hotel room at least!

Today's mileage: 755

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