Thursday, November 29, 2012

Miller Road Trip 2012...Kansas

 We're still kind of getting back into the swing of things around here.  Tuesday was a recovery day filled with laundry and cleaning bedrooms.  Wednesday we went to the Works Museum with a bunch of homeschool friends.  The kids had a blast and are asking to go back...the two hours was not enough time.  The kids went straight to piano lessons and I ran a few errands (Costco, Trader Joes, Marshalls).  Today we finished super cleaning the kids rooms...more on that later...I have a new thing I'm going to try starting December 1st...it's from the book Cleaning House.  And, in about 30 minutes, we're off to our homeschool co-op, and then friends over, and then wrestling and swim team.  Tomorrow I need to get the Christmas storage tubs in from the garage so that I can get ready for Advent and decorating on Saturday!  I decided to wait until December 1st this year.  Mostly b/c of our trip, but also, it just made sense.
 On the road to Kansas!  This is the audio book that I brought along.  We listened to about 1-2 chapters each driving day.  This is book 2 in the series...we love the Penderwicks!
 Technically...the kids didn't sleep once on the entire road trip.  I think MJ was tricking me here.
 The was the front of our hotel...the Kansas City Marriot Downtown.  A beautiful hotel!  BTW...all 10 of our hotel nights were free.  One of the perks of having a husband that travels a lot.  Oh, and the Kansas City Chiefs football team stays at this hotel on the Saturday nights before their home games.  Yes, we ran into several of these big dudes in the lobby, and also rode the elevator with them!  It was cool.
 One of the best days of my life happened when my kids were old enough to swim on their own.  I really don't like being wet, and I despise being cold.  So, indoor pools and water parks are some of my least favorite things.  It has to be like 90+ degrees out for me to want to be wet (Acapulco Mexico anyone?).  I do like a hot tub, but, of course, the getting out is miserable.  All that to say, the kids know better than to ask mom to come in, but I do love to hang out in the pool area and read a good book.  Sweetie on the other hand, loves to swim with the kids!  I only got in the water once on this trip...Dallas...hot...outdoor pool.
 We had gotten into town late on Saturday night, so we let the kids swim for a bit on Sunday morning.  Then, it was off to see the city!
 First stop...the Historic City Market. 
 Flea Market/Farmer's Market...I'm in!
 I found this cute little purse for $2...loved the colors and the hobo shape and just couldn't pass it up.  Plus, I want to make a pattern from it and make some more!
 For lunch...we got some ribs...
 ...and some tacos.
 Look at this little cutie selling baked goods!  We stocked up with him on the way out.
 Pineapple Upside Down Cake, M & M cookies, and a brownie.
 Then, we went to the WWI Monument...Liberty Memorial.  This was an awesome tribute to WWI.  Beautifully done. 
 We told the kids to be good and take it in b/c next stop...
 LegoLand!!!  I don't really like stops like this, but the kids were so excited.  We had told the kids that they could each spend $20...if you know Lego's, that doesn't go far.  But then, we found out that LegoLand isn't owned by Lego!?!  They are just licensed to carry the product.  They didn't have all the stuff and you didn't get VIP points for your purchases.  We quickly looked up a Lego shop that was on our trip (found one in Oklahoma City...next stop) and decided to not make a purchase but planned on checking out the Lego shop in Oklahoma.  The kids were surprisingly OK with this.
After going back to the hotel for a little rest and an afternoon chai, we headed to my girlfriends (beautiful!) house in Overland Park, Kansas.  Sarah and her husband hosted us to a wonderful dinner and lots of fun chatting time.  Our kids played beautifully together and it was one of our favorite stops!  Sarah and I were freshman roommates at Iowa State and sorority sisters and for our 4 years there...oh, the stories we could tell!!!  Sarah...I love you and it was so great to hang out!!!  Your family is beautiful!

Next stop...Oklahoma!

XOXO Tiffany

"There was a pot of freshly made coffee warming on the stove and someone had set a pitcher of real cream in the middle of the table".  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Miller Road Trip 2012...Nebraska

 Last night, we returned home from an 11-day road trip.  This morning, I've got the laundry started, some whole wheat bread in the bread maker, and my grocery list is made.  The kids are playing outside...it's 19 degrees.  I searched my freezer and found some of my homemade macaroni and cheese sauce, a smoothie, and some veggie spaghetti.  I pulled those out to get us started.

I'm planning on sharing about our trip in 5 separate posts, since we visited 5 different states.  A few things that I love about road tripping...1.  you have your car with you.  2.  you have a cooler with you.  3.  you get to see SO much more!

I packed up a cooler with:
28 apples, grapes, carrot baggies, 10 lbs of clementines, gogo squeez, energy balls, almond granola bars, water bottles, and blueberry muffins.

I also packed up a snack bag with:
pretzel thins, dried bananas, bananas, dried pineapple, fruit leathers (Trader Joes), raisins.

The kids and I left Minnesota at 7am on Friday November 16th.  After 2 hours, we stopped at my favorite rest area which is right across the Iowa border in Northwood on I-35.  It's a red barn and they sell coffee and have a gift shop and a guest book.  They are super friendly and sweet.  Then, 2 hours later, we were in Ames, IA.  I spent 4 years in Ames at Iowa State University...I love love love Ames!!!  We made it there around 11:10am...just in time to eat at my favorite pizza shop...Great Plains Sauce and Dough Co.  If you get a chance...you must go there. 
 Mmmm.
 It's been too long since I've gobbled up some Great Plains!
 The kids loved it.
 The grand finale...dip your whole wheat pizza crust in some honey.
 Good ol' Ames.
 It's on the adorable Main Street in Historical Downtown Ames.
 After we got all pizza-ed up, we headed to Omaha!  First stop...the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge.
 A beautiful sunny, cool, windy day.  BTW...I love walking across bridges.
 On the border!
 Happy to be out of the car:).

After some fun on the bridge...we went and checked in to our hotel at the Marriot Courtyard in Old Market Omaha.  I highly recommend this hotel and this location!  We were right across the street from the Gene Leahy Mall (not shopping) and could have walked to the bridge if it were a little warmer.
 Grabbed a chai at Starbucks and walked the Mall with the kids.
 Statues...
 Gorgeous swans...Lucy shared some of her blueberry muffin with them.
 The awesome giant slides!  I heard you should bring wax paper...yep, so much better with wax paper!  I brought a roll and the kids spend all afternoon climbing and sliding.  We even found time to head back the next morning. 
 Some bed jumping.
 Bed diving.
 Bed cannon-balling.
 The kids swam for a bit and then it was back upstairs for showers because Sweetie was flying into Omaha and we were heading out for steaks!
 We went to the Zin Room.  Of course, I loved the Audrey Hepburn pic as we walked in.  I'm sure this place is usually awesome...we didn't have the grandest of experiences.  It's possible that it was our servers first day on the job.  Things got botched and came out in the strangest order.  But, we had a good time:).
 Saturday the 17th...a quick trip to the Gene Leahy Mall (Park) while Sweetie works out, and then it's off to Lincoln!!!
 We hung out in Historic Haymarket.  A-Mazing!  We lunched at Bread & Cup and had some awesome chili and bread and cheese.  They also have the most amazing caramel rolls.  I had wanted to eat at Maggie's Vegetarian...such a cute little restaurant!  But, the family refused.
 We sure love bread.
 Historic Haymarket.  I highly recommend hanging out here!
 After lunch, we headed to Ivana Cone for some ice cream.  Sweetie and MJ split a waffle cone with two scoops of Sweet Cream Vanilla, Daisy had Chocolate Mint, Lucy had Orange Dream Sherbet, and I got Dutch Chocolate.  Nobody was dissapointed!  Yum.
 Some cute button art on the wall.

After all that eating...we decided to head towards Memorial Stadium and check things out.  We went there without tickets.  Something that stressed me out a bit.  But, they were selling for $150 each on line, and I just couldn't stomach that since there are 5 of us.  The kids and I hung out on the curb while Sweetie walked around checking out all the scalpers.  It was getting to the point where we were getting a little nervous...mostly because it was going to be near impossible to get 5 tickets together!  We were hoping for 3 and 2, but even that was getting tricky.  Then, we saw a dad and son selling 5 tickets.  We walked up to them and they wanted $300 ($60/each), Sweetie offered $250...the guy said $300...I said, "how about $255???"  He smiled and said, "sure".  Wheee!  $51 each.  We did a little happy dance...we were so excited and relieved to have our tickets!!!  (4 were together, 1 was in a different row, but, we had no problem all fitting together on the bench).
 Beautiful tickets...
 Watching the parade...
 At the game...
 Family pic...
 Band...
 Players...

I must say, it was hard to not be a Cornhuskers fan.  We met the nicest people in Lincoln!  I could seriously live here...or at least have my kids go to college there.  What a town!
We left the game at halftime...the shade came over our seats, we were hungry, U of M forgot to show up to the game (well, they were there...you just couldn't tell), and we had to drive to Kansas City.  On our way out of the stadium, we grabbed a couple of Nebraska Runza's.  Yum.  A bread pocket with meat, cheese, and cabbage inside.  That thing was good.

Next stop...Kansas.  "There's no place like home..."
 
XOXO Tiffany

"Francie loved the smell of coffee and the way it was hot.  As she ate her bread and meat, she kept one hand curved about the cup enjoying it's warmth."  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith