Sunday, August 4, 2013

Midwestern Roadtrip 2013- Part 1

We took this trip in June.  When we got back, we made the decision to put our house on the market and see what happened.  Lots happened, and so I am just now getting around to posting about our trip.  I figure better late than never, right?!  At least it will be floating out here in cyber space for us to remember in years to come.

Day 1- Left Illinois and drove towards Iowa.  With a goal of avoiding chain restaurants, we stopped at Don's Oasis in Freeport, and it was WONDERFUL!  The kids loved their jello with whipped cream and sandwiches.  We split a couple of malts for dessert, made by the man who I can only presume is Don himself.  Awesome lunch stop.  We detoured off Rt 20 in Dubuque to drive up to the top of the Frenelon Elevator (which we chose not to ride as we had THREE sleeping kids) and took in the beautiful view.  We then found a cute local coffee shop called Jitterz and enjoyed their Kaladi Lattes. Frankly, anything tastes wonderful in a car with THREE sleeping kids, but these were particularly good.  We reached Pine Lake State Park and set up in site 108.  It was a great site, the kids had a wonderful loop to bike around, and we got the tent up before the rain.  Enjoyed a dinner of chili and Fritos and headed to bed before the storms hit...which they did, but we stayed dry!
Blessed with great travelers- we spent a lot of time like this!

Awesome meal here!

Dubuque...didn't expect elevation changes like this in Iowa!

Happy camper

This site was great- the kids biked around and around!

Day 2- We woke up, had a breakfast of bacon and eggs, and then quickly took down camp, once again racing the storm (and winning!)As we pulled out of the campground, it began to rain.  We drove west on Rt 20 again, and randomly decided to stop at the Fort Dodge Museum and Frontier Town that we saw a sign for.  It was AWESOME! It had a frontier style town with log homes, church, school house, mercantile and more.  We have been listening to the Little House on the Prairie series on tape as we drive, so this was particularly apropos.  Then we headed on to Sac City, Iowa to see...the world's biggest popcorn ball.  I have to say, it was a bit of a letdown...nowhere in town could we buy popcorn to eat ourselves (someone is missing a retail bet), and lunch at the Villager was a little less than stellar.  Ah well, we continued on to Ponca State Park, crossing the Missouri River and entering Nebraska.  We checked into our cabin and WOW, is it nice!  Kitchen with stove and fridge, queen bed, bunk beds, couch...just wonderful.

Love it when you see a sign, pull of the highway and find a treasure!

It had a whole frontier town set up
This went perfectly with our recent study of pioneers

Prairie school 

Tool shop

A highlight...for the kids at least!
A wagon, just like in the Little House books we listened to in the car

World's largest popcorn ball...kind of lumpy and odd, but a landmark nonetheless.

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