Sunday, October 3, 2021

4329 miles. 4199 photos. 13 days. 5 states. 3 time zones. 2 happy people. 1 amazing vacation.

 Hey Friends!  It has taken me some time to get through my photos (and I am still not done) but i figured I would start posting a little at a time about our vacation and just do this in "installments".  

I have decided since I have so many photos I will be making "photo movies".  I sincerely hope you will take the time to click this link:   Vacation photo video Part 1

and check out my first effort.  Please leave a comment on the here, on Facebook, or on the video and let me know what you think of this format or if you think I should go back to just posting pic after pic here in the blog.

 I had such a hard time narrowing down photos, at the suggestion of one of my besties I took a shot and went this route.  It was fun making the video and I think I will be able to showcase more of my pics doing it this way rather than just putting 40 trillion pics in the blog.  I hope you will "like" the video as I am also going to try to grow my You Tube channel and that helps me. we go..

Mark starting driving five years ago and had not had a vacation since a couple days in August of 2015 when he came to Myrtle Beach to spend the end of a week with Andrew and Griffin, when Adam and I had to leave early to go to a drum corps competition.  He doesnt consider that a vacation anyway since it was at the beach. We have talked about taking time off to go do stuff, and had big plans when I got on the truck in 2018 but it seems that between the two of us it was one medical issue after another and between time off for that and medical bills (and working for two crappy companies that didn't pay squat or treat their drivers right) we could never really just afford it or find the time for it.  When Mark made the switch to his current company (FCC we love you!) and actually got a weeks paid vacation, great miles, and great pay the stars finally aligned and we were able to actually plan and execute a real life grown up empty nester vacation!  With the invaluable help of my mom, and my favorite blogger/YT'ers (Adventuresofaplusk) and lots and lots of research, we make our plan, picked our dates and started the countdown!  I wont bore you with the gazillion of iterations and million discussions I had with Mark and my mom but eventually the day came....

I took off around 5:00 in the morning on Sunday the 12th of September.  I could NOT wait to get on the road and had a hard time sleeping the night before.  I was only going as far as Davenport, Iowa that day.  My drive was uneventful.  Full of my favorite podcast "Crime Junkies" and singing at the top of my lungs.  I had had my hand post op appointment on the Thursday prior where my doctor told me zip lining was not going to happen but I was bound and determined that was not going to bring me down.  I will admit that once I got to Davenport I could tell by the way my hand felt just from driving that I was in no condition to do much else anyway. However, I had some time to kill before checking in at the hotel so I decided to go check out the Vander Veer Botanical Garden.  This place was so beauitful!  It is a 33 acre park that showcased several fountains and tons and tons of stunning flowers.  I think my favorite part was the stone bridge.  It was there that I met Niki and her cat Karl (with a K) that she was teaching to walk on a leash.  He was pretty comical, and not really happy about it.  I spent a little time there and then headed to the hotel because I was TIRED.

On Monday the 13th I got up super early (2am) to head to Fremont to meet up with Mark who was already at the terminal.  I arrived there and picked up my travel partner.  Since our original plan didn't have us setting off until Tuesday we decided to add in the Omaha Zoo since we had the time.  The Henry Doorly Zoo had been on my zoo bucket list since my parents went there some 30 years ago.  It did not disappoint. Not only did they have a great variety of animals, but the habitats were large , well kept and beautifully landscaped.  The entire zoo was gorgeous.  We totally enjoyed the kick off to our vacation. Once we left the zoo we headed to the grocery store to stock up on supplies for vacation, picked up Taco Bell for dinner and then retired for the night so we could get an early start on Tuesday!

6am. Coffee. Ice. Fuel. and we are on our way! Porter Sculpture Park would be our first stop this morning (three hours from where we started) right outside of Sioux Falls, SD.  We have passed the place countless times on I-90 and you can see several of the sculptures from the road.  I have always wanted to go and was super stoked to get to go.  The weather was cold (about 50 degrees) and drizzly and super overcast but I didn't care.  My photos didn't come out great because of this but hey, I got to go!  We got to meet Wayne Porter, the owner and sculptor so that really added to the experience.  We were so flabbergasted at the sheer size of some of the scupltures.  Mr. Porter makes them all himself and has a lot of signs with his poetry around the property as well.  The inside of the bull's head was creepy and delightful.  You can see in the photos the dark photo (and one with flash) the "boogeyman" that surprises you when you go inside!  Those photos can be found in the video!  Here is the link for Porter Sculpture Park.  Check it out!  portersculpturepark 

 * when watching the video take note of the photo of the horse sculpture.  I am standing near the front leg.  If you dont know I am there, you will probably miss me but it shows you the MASSIVE scale of this sculpture!

Next stop was about three hours further down the road and was another thing we had seen several times but never been able to stop at.  1880 Town is a historical town that has a ton of buildings that are furnished authentically like the 1880's- 1920's.   We love stuff like this so it was right up our alley. My favorite part was standing on the stage in the saloon. I just longed for some red feathers! While there Mark locked me in the jail cell and I tried to pout my way out, then to tough guy my way out, but in the end it just took a sweet smile (and the threat of no more home prepared meals) for him to finally let me out. They also have a museum that has movie set items from Dances with Wolves which was very exciting for Mark!  After we left there we went on to Wall, SD.  Of course stopped at Wall Drug before settling in for the night. Wall Drug is the biggest "drug store" in America or some nonesense like that. We had tons of fun wandering around looking in the shops and taking silly photos with the statues and sculptures before calling it a day. 1880 Town     Wall Drug

Again, please be sure to check out the photo video at Mark and Kathy's Most Excellent Vacation Part 1

Stay Tuned for our next stop....Theodore Roosevelt National Park!

Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. Porter Sculpture Park is incredible! I’d not seen about it before, but am adding that to my bucket list! Jubilee watched the video with me and said she wants to go on a vacation like that! I told her one day we could! Thanks for putting this all together so we could travel along!