Friday, November 11, 2016

Kansas City -Day 4

We woke up a little slower this morning...and for good reason: we had been going, going, going for 3 days and it was taking it's toll. Everyone was just a wee bit tired. I was expecting there to be lots of nappers on the way back home.

We ate breakfast and packed up our things. The van was loaded and we said good-bye to the creepy little neighborhood and made our way to Chez Elle. It was Ella's birthday and she got to pick where we would eat breakfast before we hit the road. She had been asking to go to the Creperia since we arrived, so it was no surprise that we found ourselves navigating towards this restaurant.

It was such a cute place and the ambiance was so tre chic. The menu was amazing and every plate that went by us caused us to sign with delight. We got 3 savory crepes and 3 dessert crepes. They were all quite good although we pretty much all agreed that Ella's was the best. Salmon, capers, and a dill sauce. Yum.

It was such a quaint little place. No one wanted to leave...especially to get into the van for a 7 hour drive home!

The ride seemed much, much longer that it did on the way there. Not a single person slept (except me...which was only for about 20 minutes) and I was shocked that they were all wide awake. Wide awake and bored and cranky and not interested in sitting in a confined space. I was really unsure if we were going to make it back home without kicking someone out of the vehicle. I was almost ready to walk home just so I could get out of there and away from all the complaints and bickering.

Hattie kept complaining about here tummy which she often does in the car (whether that is because it really starts to hurt from the position she is in for so long or the motion of the car...or if she is just that bored and that she has no distraction and it seems like something to pass the time) but she told me her tummy hurt well over 200 times. I kid you not. I started timing it and she would mention it at least every 1-2 minutes and this went on for over 2 hours. I thought I was going to lose my mind.

We were about half way through Iowa when the van started to shake and the check engine light came on. Luckily we were right at an exit and we got off right away. I had this sinking feeling that we were going to be staying at a hotel in Iowa that night. We crossed our fingers as we went into the gas station and gave the van a 15 minute rest. Jason had looked it up online and saw that a number of people had had this problem when they were using cruise control and once they gave their van a rest, it started right up like nothing had ever happened. We waited our obligatory 15 minutes, prayed and held our breath as Jason turned the ignition. "VANessa" (nicknamed by Ella) started right up and was willing to get back on the road. Woot! Prayers of thanksgiving were offered up and we continued on up I35.

We finally reached home around 8:45pm...about 8 hours from when we first set out. Everyone was so glad to be home and get out of the vehicle.

We had an amazing time and loved every minute of the trip (return trip excluded)...hehe. I learned something...based off of that return trip...we are going to need to fly when we go to Florida. I'm pretty sure a 24 hour drive might just kill me.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Kansas City-Day 3

We got a good start to our day. Everyone slept in a little bit later (and by later, I mean about 30 minutes...but I'll take what I can get.) and we were all nice and warm. We got everyone loaded in the van and headed back downtown Kansas City, Mo. Today we were on our way to Kaleidoscope. It is a free family-friendly art experience. All of the extra/left-over things from Hallmark that they don't need for cards gets sent to Kaleidoscope. It's here that kids are encouraged to be creative with all sorts of different supplies at their fingertips. You get your tickets and once you are allowed in during your time slot, you get 40 minutes to let your imagination run wild. The kids had such a good time here and the 40 minutes went by so fast. We were told that since it was a Saturday which is typically slower, we could just get back in line and if they had tickets available for the next time slot, we could just come back in. We immediately got back in line!  The next 40 minutes went just as fast and if it wasn't for the fact that it was past lunch and everyone was getting hungry, we would have gotten back in line and stayed for another time slot after that. I couldn't believe that this place was free. We walked out of there with all sorts of things.

We grabbed some lunch and headed straight to Science City. It was located in the old depot and it was kind of fun to see what that looked like. Once in Science City, we got to get our hands on all sorts of fun things. We got to build with blocks...

Play and learn about the power of water...

And excavate for dinosaurs...

It was a fun place, however I think the weekend was starting to catch up with all of us as we started dragging as the afternoon came and went. It was so quiet in here too, so we had a lot of the place to ourselves. The kids learned a ton and overall it was really successful.

We headed back to the house for some much needed showers and r&r. We sat around that evening reading books and just chillin'.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Kansas City 2016-Day 2

Altho sleep was a bit scarce for me, everyone else seemed to catch some shut-eye. Cora and Lily were up at the crack of dawn and that's putting it mildly. By 7:30am all the kids were stirring and ready to get up and start the day.

We ate breakfast at the cinnamon rolls and scrambled eggs. Everyone loved the rolls, the scrambled eggs didn't get much attention. They had to be forced onto everyone. ;) The rolls are a treat that we bring out on special occasions and everyone seriously loves them.
The house looks pretty good from the inside, right?!?
Also major blurry photo...but that's all I got.

After we cleaned up breakfast and fiddled around the house for a while, we got out of our jammies and headed out for an early lunch. It was time to sample a bit of BBQ. We chose Joe's BBQ because it was so highly rated...not to mention that it was in an actual running gas station. Who doesn't want to eat at a gas station?!? We knew we were in for some good food when we saw the line to order. There were a ton of people here and if I lived in Kansas City, I would have a hard time not frequenting this place. Luckily I don't...because the bill was over $60 for lunch. Yikes. Apparently good BBQ costs mucho dinero. BUT the food was ah-mazing! The kids loved it fact, hardly anyone uttered a word during lunch because everyone was so busy enjoying their meal.

Once our bellies were so full we could hardly move, (seriously folks, we had to roll out of this place) we headed to the Steamboat Arabia Museum. This was my personal favorite of the whole weekend. I love history and my imagination can make stories come to life. If you ever ask me how the visit was here, be prepared for a lot of information, because once I get started, I can't stop myself. It's just too interesting!!  It was a guided tour and then we got to look around at all the artifacts that they had pulled up from the wreckage. It was amazing to see how well preserved everything was. It also tied into our trip to Omaha from the year before when we went to the Pioneer Museum because there was a large portion of items that were from the Pioneers that were moving west aboard the steamship. 

The Steamboat Arabia sunk in 1856 and was pulled up from what is an old path of the Missouri River. It was 40 feet underground safely tucked away in cold, dark mud...just waiting for someone to come to dig her out. 

Here are a few interesting facts:
  • They dug a hole the size of a football field long and 40 feet deep.
  • 20 pumps were brought in to pump out the water that kept filling up the hole. It pumped out 20,000 gallons of water per minute.
  • The farmer who owned the field where the Steamboat was found, allowed them to dig it up in the middle of winter so he could have it back come spring when he needed to plant his crop.
  • Once they excavated everything they needed, just leaving the shell of the steamboat, the pumps were turned off and the hole filled up overnight.
  • The whole excavation project cost 1.4 million dollars and was recouped from ticket sales to the museum.
  • A majority of the treasure was on it's way to restock the mercantiles along the Missouri River. People needed things to build their new homes or stock their pantries and such since they couldn't take all of their belongings with them when they traveled West. It was like looking back in time at what a Walmart or Menard's would have been like circa 1850. All of that merchandise never made it to the store to be sold, so it was brand new.
  • I talked with the preservationist, who at the time was sealing nails, and was told that there was still 65 tons of treasure that is currently frozen and needs to be properly preserved yet.

Once we were done, we walked down about a block to an Asian grocery store. It is the largest one I've ever been even had a fresh fish market right inside. If only I had lots of extra room in the van to take home some great groceries!

We all hopped in the van and headed to Glace. It's an awesome, over-priced ice cream shop so you know it was delicious. Everyone got to pick out a scoop of their choice.

From there we went to LegoLand Discovery Center. I have to say that this place was such a diamond in the ruff. I wasn't expecting a lot...and truthfully only included into our itinerary because of Ben's deep affection for the plastic things that make you yelp in pain when you unknowingly step on them in bare feet. I digress. We went to LegoLand and had an absolute blast! They had 4D movies, complete with snow and a book who got sick and threw up on you. Don't worry, that part was just water spraying at you. Hehe) They had a few rides that everyone liked going on. The littles had to have a parent ride with them so Jason and I went around...and around....and around...and around...and around....wait, I want off this ride. Our favorite part was the Ninja Training Center complete with laser beams that you had to crawl under, hop over, and try desperately not to hit. We closed the place down...and had they not closed at 7pm, we would have stayed longer. This placed made #2 on my list of favorite places we visited.

We were so hungry that we went straight back to the house and had curried chicken salad that I had already prepared. There's nothing like food you literally pull right out of the fridge and start eating when one is absolutely famished. Everyone was so quiet after supper. All the kids slept really good that night! It went down in the record books and a fantastic day.