After my post yesterday about how we keep the kids happy on long road trips I briefly considered capturing some video footage for tonight's post. About fifteen minutes before our lunch stop Margaret shifted into full meltdown mode while William just wailed and wailed and Joseph basically sang as loudly as he could in an effort to tune them out. All they needed was a nice lunch break and a nap but it really made me wonder for a bit what we were thinking when we embarked on this adventure.
Today I crossed two states off my "to see" list. Missouri was a first for me. The most frustrating thing about long-haul car trips with kids is that there is very little time to get out and sight see. Urban community and urban development is a definite passion of ours and we would have loved to see St. Louis but we had to keep moving. Fortunately the freeway affords a great view of the city's most famous landmark.
The kids especially loved this huge geyser at the park near the arch. And, yes, we were definitely seeing some weather. We watched but did not personally experience a lightning storm over Kansas City a few hours after this.
Kansas was another first for me but Eric was born there. We've stopped for the night in Manhattan and it has been incredible to watch the Kansas landscape change so quickly just in the distance we've come so far. I'm pretty sure it just gets more desolate from here on ourtuntil we reach Colorado Springs.
The kids are more or less holding up. Joseph, as I said yesterday, is a great traveler. He is just loving the geography of everything. He was fascinated by the Eastern Continental Divide. He loves to see the rivers. He is really excited about seeing the prairie. We finished up a couple months ago a year-long journey through the entire Little House on the Prairie series. He is excited to see the prairie Laura Ingalls lived on as a little girl and we'll be headed through South Dakota next week where she lived as an older child and young adult. Unfortunately her books have also instilled in him a real fear of tornadoes so he was a little on edge during the storm today.
William is really excited about dancing lately so whenever he starts to fuss we turn on some music and get him moving. He's sort of Pavlovian about it--he can't not dance when he hears music. It is very cute.
Margaret is struggling the most but she (and we) are learning how to keep her feeling balanced. She likes to have her window down for large sections of the day so she can get blown to bits by the wind. She has discovered gum chewing as a way to work off nervous energy. And, for some reason, she has developed an odd ritual about making coffee at hotels. She finds the mini coffee pots so inviting and spends an hour or more tinkering with the pot, the sugar packets, the powdered creamer, and the stirrers making us a coffee concoction that we can barely stomach.
There has been some reported disbelief about us fitting into our small car so tomorrow I will try to get a shot of our intricately packed trunk for those of you just love logistical details like that.