In a nutshell, this is how the trip went down:
church/lunch in Omaha with the Plumbs; dinner in Des Moines with old mission friends of Austin's; decide to call it a night outside of Davenport
note: plan hotels ahead of time. We didn't know how far we would get on Sunday so we decided to wing it and make a reservation on the road, but we didn't realize that the cost-effective Econolodge (the name should have made us halt right there) that seemed okay online was located at a truck stop and didn't believe in fitted sheets for their blue, skanky mattresses. It was a total yikes from the moment we pulled into the parking lot, but we made it through (although even Natalie was getting bad vibes and took two hours to fall asleep) and definitely learned our lesson.
|there it is, folks, part of the World's Largest Truckstop on Iowa I-80...not recommended|
Natalie wakes up at 5am so we get ready and drive to Chicago where we waste time until Austin's family (who left Lincoln that morning) catches up; drive to Sandusky, OH and have dinner at Friendly's; check into a MUCH improved hotel situation and sleep without worrying about bed bugs or serial killers.
|walking around Navy Pier in Chicago|
wake up, eat breakfast, and go to CEDAR POINT! Roller coaster junkies get a thrill out of even saying that name, but for those of you who aren't into that kind of thing, Cedar Point is the world's best amusement park, with all sorts of record-setting/breaking roller coasters and attractions. It's on a peninsula surrounded by Lake Erie and is a Poulsen vacation staple. Natalie is too little to ride anything but the carousel, and I was out of commission as well thanks to a certain growing baby boy inside of me, so we stayed home for the morning nap and then met up at the park for lunch. We went back to the hotel for afternoon naps and then rejoined the fam for the end of the day.
|Austin insisted on a trash can pic...|
|matching shirts from our Cedar Point honeymoon two years ago...don't judge|
|Natalie LOVED the carousel!|
|Natalie, as usual, was a total rockstar all day!|
|the kids! add in the parents and this was our vacation entourage|
|Austin started a trend of doing the 3-point challenge...after he went both of his brothers had to try, and then the two wives had a go at it as well. three guesses how many shots I made...my brothers would have been so ashamed.|
|until next time!|
breakfy; leave around 9; drive west again; bail on our plan to go to the aquarium in Chicago due to traffic/time concerns; check into our hotel in a Chicago suburb; have dinner at a great pizza place; mini-golf at a cool course; Natalie's first time swimming!; crash at the hotel.
destroying the dinner table : )
|she got SUCH a kick out of mini-golf!|
She was going nuts - she giggled so hard that she had hiccups for the next half hour!
breakfy; Jessie/Austin/Natalie car heads out at 8am; stop in Des Moines for Changs and Barnes; have chili at the Plumbs; HOME!
Natalie wasn't feeling very well for the second half of the day, so it made for a sort of traumatic car ride. She was feverish and I think she was having bad dreams, so she'd finally fall asleep in her carseat but then suddenly whimper and wail without opening her eyes...she's all cozy and Tylenol'd now, so hopefully she wakes up feeling better.
|nap cave in the car|
What a great trip! So fun to be around family, especially Afton and Anthony from Utah and Makenzie from Idaho. It is always worth it to put together these kinds of get-togethers, especially in such fun places. BUT, it is always so good to be home!
Also, quick Father's Day recap:
Austin requested waffles with cut-up peach rings (yes, the Trolli candy kind), so that's what we had for breakfast! We added cream cheese frosting, Nutella, butter, syrup, cinnamon sugar, or a combination of those items to the waffles and with the sort of caramelized, warm gooey peach ring bits the waffles were a huge hit.
I am so grateful that Natalie has such a wonderful Daddy; we celebrate Father's Day every day! We love after-work hugs and play time, games like Dive-Off-The-Couch, being silly in the bath, and having cozies before bed. He is so helpful and hard-working and loving; he definitely is an equal partner in the raising of our family. I love my husband and Natalie loves her Daddy!