We're finally on our way to Yellowstone! The long-anticipated great American road trip of the summer. In fact, I am sitting in the quiet dining room at my cousin Les' home in Lincoln, Nebraska. I'm never up this early, but I wanted to see her and her husband before they left for work today- a Monday in the Real World.
We began with a Friday evening trip up to my in-laws. CD's sister's family came over for a slightly early birthday dinner for him that night. (Must mention the gift that Bug gave his daddy: he composed a piece of piano music "The Superdaddy Theme Song". I have no idea how I would attach it here unfortunately. But he worked it out at the piano, and together, with help from his piano teacher, we got it written out with music notation software. Anyway, I'm a bit jealous; no one has ever composed music for ME.)
We gave our love and got an early start, ready to begin this huge adventure.
We made it to St. Louis in remarkable time and spent the rest of the afternoon at the arch. The lines to ride up into the arch were long and running late, so the afternoon quickly spread into evening. Was it worth it? Probably not, to me, but the kids were fascinated and excited.
And it made for some lovely photos! This is our shadow, reflected in the Mississippi river. We were peeking out windows at the very top.
No road trip is without a few problems, so we tried to get them over with early. We have old fashioned paper maps we've hardly consulted, a GPS named Gertrude Penelope Smith, from CD's parents, and Google maps prepared at home. Nevertheless, we exited from our parking garage, turned the wrong way, made at least one other well-intentioned-but-poorly-chosen turn, and ended up in Illinois again. The traffic to return to Missouri was backed up with lane closures at 2pm and now it was Saturday evening, and still backed up. We slogged across it again and began searching for some sustenance for our starving children, arriving at our hotel in Columbia, MO after 10pm.
Sunday we detoured around the swollen and flooding Missouri river, bypassing a drive into Iowa entirely and heading into Kansas instead. This photo, taken out my window while CD drove, proves that Kansas is not, in fact, as flat as a pancake.
Today is a long drive north to Rapid City, SD, stopping in the Badlands. The kids are doing well; we're surviving the long boring stretches fine. We'll have more photos and I'll post again in a few days!