Friday, March 25, 2016


We had a very low key visit to Wyoming. We will be back in May to see Yellowstone but since it is closed for April we went a different direction. While there might not have been a lot to do in Casper and Green River, there was no lack of indoor swimming pools! The kids and I spent quite a few cold, snowy days playing in nice warm pools in Wyoming. Casper is also home to The National Historic Trails Interpretive Center, quite possibly the coolest realistic history museum I have found so far! The hands-on and virtual experiences that teach you how the pioneers lived had my kids full attention for hours and I cannot give this place enough stars! Highly recommend if you are in the area!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

South Dakota

Brace yourself...South Dakota has a crazy amount of pictures as we had SO MUCH FUN here!!! We started in Sioux Falls...where apparently there are the most beautiful falls! Seriously...we must've looked like total idiots to the locals because all 5 of us were literally dumbfounded by these beautiful, amazing waterfalls!!! Come to find out, they originated in the Ice Age and were formed by the rush of melting glaciers...beautiful falls and a science/history lesson! We actually were so awestruck by the falls, we went back and got Craig to see for himself! The kids and I also spent a day exploring the Butterfly House/Aquarium which ended up giving us the neatest lessons on the ocean forest in Key West we apparently missed while we were there! Guess we need a trip back!!! From there we went to the local children's hands-on science exploratory. What a fun place this was! We happily spent a few hours playing, exploring and learning! Our night was topped off with a visit to what might be my new favorite store...Scheels! It is like Academy on steroids! I freely admit I have an unhealthy love relationship with Academy...well this is bigger and has interactive games/activities/rides to entertain the little people while you shop! A shooting range, bowling lanes, a basketball court and a ferris wheel to name a few!!! I am going to miss this when we leave this part of the country!!!\

Our next stop was a long one...we decided to spend Spring Break somewhere really fun, especially since we had two Birthdays here! Rapid City is home to a crazy amount of fun stuff! It has definitely changed since I visited as a kid!!! Besides the obvious (Mt. Rushmore & Custer State Park), it is like the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg of this part of the country! Unfortunately for us, a good amount of stuff was closed as it was still considered winter, but this means we are for sure going to come back!!! No worries though...there was still more than enough to keep us occupied! Custer State Park was something the kids and Craig were not expecting! You can have someone tell you as many times as they can that there are wild buffalo that walk right up to your car but until you actually experience it you have no idea what you are in for! The kids were literally hanging out of the Jeep in excitement! We saw so many animals including buffalo, many types of deer, bighorn sheep, and our favorite...wild prairie dogs! There were so many you could hear them talking to each other! The kiss and Craig thought it would be a great idea to get and out see if they could catch one...guess who stayed in the car taking pics of this brainiac idea!?!?! Next stop was Mt. Rushmore, Luke's stop! Our little president fanatic was so excited to get here!!! Let me tell did not disappoint! Something about this massive mountain with images of presidents carved into it takes your breath away! We had watched a PBS documentary about it prior and the kids were fascinated to see how this wonder of art was actually built and then seeing how big it is in person left them speechless! Mt. Rushmore has changed since I was a kid and now has this mile long path you can take that literally leads you right up to the base of the carvings. Craig and the boys went out there and the picture I got is a real-life "Where's Waldo?"

Matt and I celebrated our Birthday here and Matt chose our activities for the big day! What fun we had with a visit to an indoor waterpark the night before, followed by a visit to the Reptile Center on our actual Birthday and dinner at a Japanese steakhouse! The reptile center is the Guinness Record Holding Center for most different types of species under one roof. We saw the biggest gator in North America (who looks like a baby dinosaur he's so huge!), the gator from James Bond, birds, owls, snakes, frogs, and so many random things we had never heard of before! Sharing my Birthday with my Matt means I have to look at crazy animals but there's always time for other activities when he is older and not interested in me! I was spoiled by my guys all day from start to finish and Matt had the very best day ever so we can call our Birthday a huge success!!!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

North Dakota

North Dakota wasn't really more than a "we should go to North Dakota" kind of stop. South Dakota is a crazy fun state with lots to see and do but North Dakota is just kind of North Dakota, a state at the top of America in our minds. We headed to Bismarck, smack in the middle of the state to explore and spend Craig's Birthday! I'll bet he never thought he'd spend a Birthday in Bismarck, ND!?!?!?! Bismarck turned out to be a great little town. We went to the zoo and saw some of the local animals, spent a day swimming, and visited the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center. The kids and I have had on ongoing Lewis & Clark unit going on and this was our final destination in our studies. We even saw their camp and held some actual artifacts the museum has in possession! It was a neat way to end our unit and I feel like I have more knowledge of the Lewis & Clark expedition that I ever dreamed I would (or cared to have...ha!!!!)

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


Nebraska will hold the place in my heart for the state all my people got sick :( Quite an accomplishment to make it this far into the journey without this happening!!! Nothing major, but lots of whining, crabby, snotty, coughing, wheezing boys (Daddy included!) so Mommy did not particularly enjoy this state :) Of the four day we were here, the kids and I only ventured out to explore one time! We spent almost the whole time lying around, watching tv and playing video games and you know was kinda nice!

The coolest realization of the trip came in Nebraska. It made living in an RV and doing this trip all the more worthwhile! While in DC, we got to talk to an astronaut live in space on the International Space Station. The Smithsonian live chats with them everyday and we happened to stumble upon the time when it was happening. It was really neat to talk and see them floating around. The kids all asked questions and we left with the coolest experience under our belts. got cooler! Papa called us and told us that the astronauts were leaving the space station live on tv and to turn it on. Imagine our surprise when Sergey Volkov, the astronaut we chatted with, was one of these guys! We all sat glued to the tv and remembering our chat with him. Talk about once in a lifetime experiences that we would never have had without this trip!!!

Our super fun adventure was to downtown Lincoln where we found the trains and a restaurant full of retro video games! After a few days of playing nurse to these whiners...I happily parked myself in a booth with my book, gave my boys cups full of quarters and let them go at it! Nebraska...success!