Tuesday, October 6, 2009

"Hello"..."Goodbye"

We took a Power Trip to Iowa this weekend with my in-laws to celebrate Aunt Bernice's 80th birthday. This is not to be confused with a "power nap" because it does not rejuvenate or provide rest. This is what it looks like in a nutshell:

Day 1: Drive all day long across Wyoming and South Dakota. Stop only long enough to potty and refuel. Eat while on the road. Pull in to Mitchell, SD and sleep.
Day 2: Leave first thing in the morning and drive across the rest of South Dakota and most of southern Minnesota. Stop for lunch in Spring Valley, MN and then continue to the final destination...Waukon, Iowa.
Relax for a very short time in motel, load back in the car, attend a family function saying hello to hoards of wonderful extended family members that you haven't see for too long of time.
Sleep a bit.
Day 3: Pack as much family time into the day as possible. Go to bed really late and sleep a bit.
Day 4: Get up early, head to a family member's house for breakfast, say goodbye to the hoards of people, load up, drive back to Minnesota, drive back to South Dakota, drive almost all the way across South Dakota. Only stop long enough to potty, refuel, and continue to eat on the road.
Pull in to Rapid City, SD, take 5-10 minutes to regroup at the motel, load back up in the car and eat dinner with a very tired crew.
Sleep a bit.
Day 5: Get up, load up in the car, drive back to Wyoming, eat lunch in Buffalo, WY, drive over the Big Horn mountains, stop to potty at Ten Sleep, say goodbye to the part of the family driving another route, head home, and completely and totally crash.

In total:
5 days
36 hours of driving
2250 miles
3 motels
5 adults, 1 4 year old
2 white Suburbans

That is a Power Trip; my 3rd Iowa Power Trip since I married The Prairie Daddy. The Prairie Kid has gone on all 3 of these Power Trips too. He is a true trooper.

Here is a math riddle for you:

Question:
Aunt Bernice had 8 kids. Each of those 8 kids got married. Each of these married couples had an average of 3 kids a piece. Many of those kids got married and had kids. How many people are in this family?

Answer:
Hoards.

Thankfully they are a wonderful hoard of people! I love these folks! They are genuine, kind, down-to-earth people. I am blessed to call them family. It might take me 3 hours to figure out "who's who" and tease that they're the only family I know that needs name tags and a children's program director at a birthday party, but they are awesome! I just wish we had spent more time there with them.

I didn't take many pictures this trip but I have a few to share:

The Awesome Trooper

Windmills in Minnesota
Iowa
Family Children's Program...aka "Red Rover"
The Prairie Kid checking out all of his cousins and deciding whether or not to join in

Hmmm...decisions, decisions.

When Red Rover switched to Hide 'N Seek he was sold
And then he REALLY loved the girls toys
Aunt Bernice and her kids (she is the one in aqua)
Dad and his sister

And that my friends is an Iowa Power Trip. I might not want to see the inside of my car again for weeks to come but the laundry is almost done, the snacks are put away, and the recovery process continues.
I did make The Prairie Daddy promise me that next time we will stay an extra day or two and actually see some of the fun things to see around there. : )
Happy Birthday, Aunt Bernice!