Day two – Grand Island to Newton, NE (just east of Des Moines)
The theme for today is “Who in the world thought it was a good idea to travel across the mid-west in mid-June?!?!?” Yes, it is HOT!! And the first time I walked out the door this morning, to go to the van, I remembered why I moved to Colorado - I HATE HUMIDITY!!! Well that’s not why we really moved, but that is my story, and I’m sticking to it! From this point out, I am going to take every opportunity to eat ice cream that crosses my path!
Anyway…the kids slept late this am, I had to wake them all up. A combination of still being on Colorado time and staying up too late swimming last night! I took advantage of them sleeping in and went to the gym and walked on the treadmill. Nothing exciting there, but it felt good to walk! I am already missing my early morning walks through the neighborhood. Can’t wait ‘til we get to my uncle’s house in Buffalo – he lives in farm country, and you can walk for miles, as long as you carry a big stick to ward of the overly protective farm dogs!
Did you know you have to “…pay to get into the hotel room…” every time you go through the door? Apparently, my little Jalapeno, who saw me sliding my key card to open the door, thought that I had to pay to get into the room…makes sense, since Mommy “slides a card” when she goes to the grocery store and every other place we spend money.
We started out our morning at Sturh Museum. It is an 1899 town, in Grand Island, with all the local businesses intact, and run by docents. We visited the dentist, the doctor, the saloon…aka the ice cream shop, the general store and the tin smith. We all got to make “tinsicles”, which are now dangling from the rearview mirror in the van. They will be a very nice addition to our Christmas tree this year. They had some cool tin cups, that the tin smith had made right there in the shop. Guess we will pass on those…
We also went to the blacksmith shop, the hardware store and an old log cabin, complete with outhouse (and a bucket of corncobs). The kids are fascinated with outhouses…mental note – find one they can actually use! My Dad told me that the saying “Rough as a corncob, and twice as long.” comes from the use of those corncobs. If you don’t know what they were for, don’t ask me! Go read a book! I for one, am happy that someone invented Charmin!
We also went to the train station, where the kids delighted in running laps through the cargo area of the depot, down the outside ramp and back up the stairs into the cargo area. Did they not get the memo that it is 92 degrees here, and 200% humidity – ugh!
There was also a kids area inside the museum proper, so the kids and Grammie hung out there after lunch while Dad and I went back to the black smith shop to pick up some custom made dog leash hooks. The blacksmith had just created the first of this design that morning, and he made another for Dad and Mom, while we finished the museum.
We had a run in with the local duck population. It seems that they don’t believe they should have to wait for crumbs from our lunch, so they swarmed the picnic table where we were eating, sending one little Pineapple into tears of terror. He may never look at ducks the same way again!
Then, we loaded up into the van, and began our long drive across Eastern Nebraska and into Iowa. I have never been to Iowa (or Nebraska, either), and I find it very pretty. Long rolling hills, some trees, and still that big, blue sky! Very nice! Especially from the comfort of my air conditioned van. Can you believe that people actually walked across this country for two thousand miles?!? Boy, we have become a very whiney people, don’t you think?
As we tried to find a place to stay for the night, we kept hearing from the back…”Are we at the swimming pool yet?” No, not yet, we kept saying. When we finally pulled up to the hotel, I told my little Pineapple that I had to go get a key for our room. His response: “I will wait for you Mommy – and I will be patient”. Must be listening, after all!
We swam for an hour, got ready for bed, turned out all the lights (except for my book light) and read a little from “Little House on the Prairie”…we were reading about Mary and Laura getting tin cups for Christmas…makes me wish I had bought those tin cups, after all!