Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bentonville, Arkansas

Let's see, where did I leave off? Ah yes, we had crossed the border into Arkansas and spent the night in West Memphis. Well, we got up and moving early in the day on Monday, planning to drive across the state and be at Amy's around 4:00. This was a pretty reasonable goal, since we didn't plan on stopping other than to have lunch.

Have I mentioned yet that my kids are STELLAR roadtrippers? Well they are! We have discovered that the secret to no bickering is to put Kendall in the 3rd row seat and Noah in the middle row. We put the two middle row seats together so he has a "bench" to put his things on beside him. Then both kids take fleece blankets to drape across the seats to make their own individual "tents". This works like a charm! Kendall has a shallow Rubbermaid tote which slides under her seat that she fills with movies, snacks, books, games, etc...and Noah puts all of his stuff on the seat beside him or in the pockets on the back of our seats. Everyone has exactly what they need, and it's all within reach. When they get tired of movies or video games, or looking at books, we play games like "My Father Owns a Grocery Store" or "Would You Rather...", the latter of which gets really gross from time to time. For instance, here is a question that came up during our latest game..."Would you rather drink a package of the juice left over in the hot dog package, or a cup of someone's foot sweat?" Seriously?!?! So disgusting...but just so you know, we all picked hot dog juice!

Aaaaaanyway...we stopped at a rest stop for lunch and the first thing the kids did was to find a little lizard on the picnic table they had chosen. He was a fast little sucker, and while they tracked him for a while, they could never really catch him. Plus, we just wanted them to sit down and eat! Finally they did, and afterward we let them explore a bit before loading back up in the van.

We made it to Amy's with no problem, and the kids were totally excited not only to see her, but also that she had picked up a few little gifts for them! She had a kite and a tube of bubbles with a big wand for each of them. VERY COOL! And we were blown away that she had gifts for Barry and I too...2 bottles of our very favorite wine (which we can't get in Ohio anymore)!!!! I was so touched that she thought of it! All these states we drove through, and I never thought once to stop and see if anyplace had any! But Amy was on top of things, as usual.

Once we got settled, we decided to head to a local park so the kids could play and wade in the was so hot! Plus, since Bentonville is in a dry county, we wanted to head on over to the neighboring county to pick up some beer for our cookout that evening, and maybe another bottle of our favorite wine to take home. Hey, I'm just being honest here...I love me some King Estate Pinot Noir!! The kids had fun running off some excess energy at the park, and the wading was extremely welcome since the heat was oppressive...
That evening after Joe got home and we ate dinner, we headed out for ice cream at a local place, called Braum's was good, but couldn't hold a candle to my first love, Graeters. We were so glad to be there, we all slept really hard that first night!

On Tuesday, we planned to go into Rogers to check out the Daisy Airgun Museum. It was a fairly small storefront museum right in the heart of the downtown, but really cute. The tour was self-guided, with the little hand-held devices that recite the information as you walked through. The kids sure got a kick out of that! Kendall's favorite part was the display dedicated to the making of "A Christmas Story"...who doesn't love Ralphie?After the tour, the kids got fitted for their very own Daisy BB guns. Barry and I had already discussed this the night before, and I agreed...with the stipulations that we also purchase safety eyewear and have numerous gun safety lessons before the guns come out. The kids were surprised and thrilled when we pulled some guns down to try out. They had no idea!
We were so happy to have found this little gem of a was only $2.00 per person, and Noah was free! What a great way to spend some time out of the heat! so if you're ever near Rogers, Arkansas, we suggest you give it a try!
(Notice how I got myself in this picture the reflection?? Hey, whatever works, I always say!)

Check back tomorrow for the continuation of our little trip...we have a few more exciting stops yet!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Technical Difficulties

I know I promised a continuation of our adventures, but guess what? I'm having technical difficulties!!! You know where your charger fits into the back of your laptop? Well the little pin that my charger fits around broke off in my charger!! I'm a little worried, I must admit. The Hubster has my laptop all torn apart in hundreds (at least it seems like it) of tiny pieces and is trying to solder it back together. SOOOOOO, until it's all put back together, I have no way to access my pictures.

But no worries, peeps...the updates are coming. One way or another!!! :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Road trippin'

This week we are road trippin'.

As our "last hurrah" of the summer before school starts, we embarked on a 7-state road trip from Ohio to Arkansas and back to visit Barry's sister and her husband...and obviously, because we just couldn't get enough of the oppressive heat and humidity in Ohio. I mean, really...who goes to Arkansas in the SUMMER?!?! Ummmmm, yeah...that would be us. We really live on the edge around here, man!!

I had stocked our van with plenty of picnic food and water, movies and activities for the munchkins, and a pound of Twizzlers. We were ready to hit the road! We set out on late on Saturday afternoon after the hubster got home from a golf outing, and headed south to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where we spent the night. Nothing exciting going on there, just some swimming for the kiddos and a good night's sleep. Well, relatively speaking...I didn't sleep well at ALL, but everyone else seemed to. The next morning we headed out after breakfast to Land Between the Lakes for some fun (and to break up the long hours in the car that day). There was definitely lots to explore there, but man, I'm tellin' was HOT that day. We caught a planetarium show on black holes (VERY cool), drove through an elk/bison preserve (even cooler!), and were going to attend the Hummingbird Festival (it ended at 4:00, so we were too late!), and had a picnic lunch. We all agreed that we'd like to come back to the area to camp and explore some more! Canoeing, hiking, horseback riding, mountainbiking...there is so much to do there! Definitely check it out if you're in the area!

When it was time to get back in the van (and more importantly, the A/C!), we headed southwest through Tennessee and into Memphis, stopping along the way for dinner. By the way, did you know that at Chili's happy hour means "Buy one, get one free" beer? Oh yes, indeedy! I ordered myself a Blue Moon, and the waitress brought out two. I laughed and told her I only ordered one, and she replied, "It's happy hour!". Still not getting it, I asked her what that meant. "Buy one, get one free!" was her answer. Well, who am I to turn down a deal like that?!?! I blame it on the heat. :)We spent the night in Memphis before heading on to Bentonville the next day. Oh look at me now...I can't even remember what day was what. I've reverted to using "the next day". I must be in vacation mode! Hahaha!!! Aaaaanyway...we're sure having fun and the kids think it's so cool to have been in so many states already. They cheer every time we cross a state border. They are so easy to impress sometimes! (Note that I added "sometimes" there...)

Well, the kids are waking up, so I need to take them down to get breakfast. Enjoy the pictures, and I'll attempt to update again tonight or tomorrow with pics from our fun time in Bentonville!
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