Thursday, July 16, 2009

Home Again

We are just back from our trip across the country. If you don't believe that I literally mean ACROSS the county, check this out...

Where do I begin with our adventures?! This picture was taken in the middle of no where in a tiny city called Lebanon, KS. You see this kind of stuff when you go off the main highways and take the little red roads on the map. We stopped because we saw a sign that said US Marker and that always gets my husband excited, we pulled off and searched for life and a gas station. We drove through parts of town that looked like tornado's had hit, only to find out the poor place is just really old and dying. They had shut the school down and all the families moved with kids and that is certain death to any city. As we were leaving the gas station the owner said, "Hey if your going to the marker, take this bread and feed it to my rooster, he lives there." My husband came back to the car with a loaf of bread that was half gone and we stared at him baffled as he told us what we were asked to do. No, I'm not kidding and dang I love small town America, everyone is so nice. We got to the place and the race was on with my kids to be the one to find the rooster.

That was all on our way home. I should begin with the way out to Michigan. We do the drive every year from our Desert Southwest abode and each year there are many stories to tell.

We left on our drive on July 29th and drove to Denver, CO (about a 12 hour drive) and stayed with Tony's sister and saw our other wonderful family members that live there that we have missed. It was a nice time and we always appreciate them tolerating our mad drives through town each year.

From there on the 30th we drove to Omaha, NE which took us all day. The next morning we went to the Omaha Zoo, which I highly recommend. They have a great layout, tons of great exhibits, and even my 15 year old was excited. This is us after we got off our train ride.

We had a great day there and then drove to Davenport, IA to spend the night. The next day we hauled it through IL, stopped in IN to buy fireworks, and kept driving through MI up to the cabin. We stopped at a Welcome Center and they gave our girls these...

Then we got to the cabin and discovered it was a little chilly! We were able to see 2 of my brothers and my parents and lot's of my family that I have missed so much. The next day was cold and windy also so rather than waste the day,we went to the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes.

The next day was my parents 50th Wedding Anniversary Party. Of course the forecast was cold and rainy but after an iffy morning, it cleared up and was beautiful. We got the restaurant about 4 pm with our photographer and took pictures in the gardens. It was the perfect location and the dinner was good. Sadie got the biggest hamburger ever. We shot off our fireworks and told stories around the campfire til late. Great memories.

The next day was the 4th of July and we went into the little town on the lake for small town holiday festivities. We watched a parade, went to all the booths and bake sales, then packed the kids in the boat for the boat parade. It was hot, beautiful and perfect. That night we went into Traverse City for the big town firework show on Lake Michigan. It was a great show but it did get pretty cold.

The rest of the stay is pretty much wrapped up by these pictures...

On the way home we stopped in a town called Nauvoo, IL for an outdoor pageant/musical that they put on every year and got there just in time. From there it was the miserable drive home. We stopped in Hannibal, MO for a walk. If you ever go through there and it is Mark Twain everything, his birthplace. We've been there before and my kids loved it. Then we drove, drove, drove.

Upon our 6:30 a.m. arrival after an all night drive, we found that our air conditioner was broken and our house was 89 degrees already and the day was young but forecasted to reach 106. Our pool was green also, apparently too many dead frogs had clogged our vacuum hose- how nice is that! Yummy! It all got fixed in a matter of hours.

My task was to unpack, wash, and help to repack 3 of my family for camping. My son and husband were shipped off to scout camp yesterday and my oldest daughter got off to girls camp this morning. It's just me and my 2 little ones. I'm looking forward to just getting caught up on housework. Coming back from vacation produces mess but packing guys for camp is insanity.

Unfortunately, I went outside this morning to find my pool filter shooting water up like Old Faithful. I guess that it's up to me to be handy and try to fix it myself or get a green pool again. It looks like a tube cracked, I should be able to tape it up, I'll fix it in my own special way. If I could, I would just sew it together. I am such a dang good woman. I think I'll just stay in the a/c and think about how great that makes me for a while :)

Ahhh.... home again. Never without it's challenges but there's no place like it.

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