September 29, 2018-Spur-of-the-Moment Mid West and Beyond Trip

(click here for today's pictures)

Dayton, Ohio to Elizabethtown, Kentucky

It was almost 1 when the girls in my room were asleep. Reagan complained that it was too bright in the room, so she put a towel in front of the door. I knew instantly that Robby would also have a towel in front of the door in his room. I don’t think that I am as sensitive to light at night as those two.

We started heading to breakfast around 8:45. It was a traditional breakfast-we have yet to stay anywhere that has granola so I have been sticking with my standard bagel and cream cheese. Everyone ate their fill before we headed back to the room. Anderson has become the cart loader upper so he did that as everyone else pottied and checked the rooms.

Our first stop this morning was the Air Force Museum. It was 4 huge hangars full of airplanes. It was ridiculously huge. It was also family day at the museum so they told us as we walked in that the special events would be in hanger 4 and 2.

We headed off to hangar 4, and I swear it took at least 10 minutes to walk there! This hanger had lots of presidential planes that we could walk through. Including the Air Force One that Johnson was sworn in on.

There was also a simulator that the kids took turns with trying to land the space shuttle. We then made it to the second hangar. The girls and Whitman all made a button to wear. Everyone had a turn driving a robot. Graham, Campbell and Whitman all put on a parachute and hung in the air for a bit. It was a really neat museum, and we only covered about 20 percent of it.

From there, we went to the Dayton Aviation Heritage Area. The first stop was the Wright Memorial. We walked through that visitor center and looked at the field that the Wright brothers used as they perfected their flight.

Then it was on to their house and bicycle shop. Now, the original house and bicycle shop were moved by Henry Ford to his Greenfield Village which we saw at the beginning of the trip. There were multiple bicycle shops that they worked in so they did have an original one there.

They had a 30 minute movie there which we watched-well, I snoozed through, Reagan did Campbell's hair, Keaton and Whitman traded shoes during the movie, and Graham and Anderson hung on every word that they said. The exhibits were interesting, and we even walked to the spot where the house used to sit.

Afterwards, we drove for about 45 minutes to our lunch stop: Blue Ash Chili. The kids were delighted when they realized where we were. Everyone remembered the hot dogs and chili dogs topped with mounds of cheese.

Reagan ordered spaghetti with chili on top. I was wondering if that is what I should have ordered but after trying hers, I really like my chili dog better. Graham got a shirt from there so he left pretty pleased.
We didn't have too far to drive to our next stop. We have taken in a lot of history on this trip. It is easy to see Reagan’s eyes are glazing over! Meanwhile the boys continue to take it all in. We have been to William Howard Taft’s National Historic Site a few times.

There was a brief tour of Taft’s house. The kids listened to it while they worked on their Jr. Ranger books. Robby says he remembers going into the home, meanwhile I have no memory of the inside of the home at all.

We have been snagging lots of Jr. Ranger badges on this trip. For the most part, we had finished many of our Jr. Ranger books before the trip. Taft’s home is one that we had not done. We asked if we could mail it in, and they encouraged us that we could finish it in the house.

I really don’t like doing our Jr. Ranger books while we are at the site. I can’t listen to anything at all because I am spelling arrowhead to 3 different people or intently focused on finding what kind of trees Ms. Taft had planted in Washington D.C. (cherry). We managed though. We used to try to avoid the rangers who would offer up Jr. Ranger books to us. We didn’t want any part of them because there is/was no way that can see the museum/site and finish 6 Jr. Ranger books quickly. We had never thought about mailing them in afterwards. And yes, I possibly may be obsessed with doing this now.

After we finished the tour, the kids turned into their Jr. Ranger books to receive their Jr. Ranger badges. Then we watched a video about Taft. I worked really hard to stay awake this time and did manage. They were pretty adamant that Taft did not get stuck in the bathtub, but I am not too sure!

It wasn’t too far to downtown Cincinnati. They were having a Reds baseball game so parking was a bit difficult. We ended up parking across the river in Kentucky. Then we walked across the Roebling bridge. It is a pretty neat bridge that we have walked across a few times now.

Across the bridge in Cincinnati is a neat little park similar to the one downtown in Little Rock. This one is larger and has lots of neat things. Whitman loved the water and piano that played chimes. Everyone could have stayed a bit longer at the park, but we still had to walk back across the bridge to the car and then on 2 more hours until our hotel.

Once we were in the car, it was time for a snack and a drink for the kids. We did run by Kroger to take back a Redbox movie. Then we listened to the last of our book on tape. This was the 4th or 5th book in the series. Reagan and I loved every minute of this series even though none of our friends have taken to the books.

Again we hit traffic on this stretch of the trip. We have hit major traffic delays every single day of our trip. Robby tried to turn on one of our podcasts to kill some time but they were both busts! Good podcasts are so hard to find.

Once we made it to the hotel, I knew instantly that we had 2 rooms because Robby pulled up to the front door. Usually, we have to come in through the back door! I asked him not to park us there while he was checking in. I already feel like we are on display enough!

The hotel and every hotel near here seemed really full tonight. Apparently, some tournament is happening that involves lots of middle school-ish boys. Needless to say, while we were eating supper it was still pretty noisy in Robby’s room.

Tonight’s supper was “clean out the ice chest” night. We had chicken tortillas, leftover pizza, nachos and cheese sticks. We have really done pretty good on food packing-well, the ice chest packing. I have packed way too many snacks but that is fine because it all will keep.

Tomorrow we have a bit longer drive than planned-7 hours. That is fine though because the kids still have some school to do and I am sure we will find another podcast or two to listen to.

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