This is the fourth year in a row we’ve gone to Missouri in August and the second year we’ve driven there. Next year, we are not going to Missouri. I love my family and I want to see them, but come on. Four years in a row? We aren’t making it five.
I am all about the road trip though. I like planning the routes and finding fun things to do and see along the way. This trip was no different. The drive there was roughly 12 hours. It ended up taking almost 15. We left at 6 a.m. and checked into the hotel a little before 9 p.m. The kids each had books and games to occupy them and they are pretty dang good. They also tend to listen to my podcasts. I manager to clear out my backlog of Stuff You Missed in History Class podcasts, as well as start The Babysitter’s Club Club.
The first stop of the day was at the Daiso store in Dallas. Daiso is who owns the 100 yen stores in Japan. I miss Okinawa, so I go to Daiso anytime I’m remotely close. The kids were thrilled and got all their favorite snacks. Next stop was at a rest stop in Oklahoma because half of us had to pee. There was a huge chair outside, so naturally, we had to take pictures. We also met a sweet lady who we took pictures of as well.
By the time we got to Muskogee, traffic was horrible due to a couple different accidents, so we stopped for a late lunch. Next big stop was at the Missouri state line. There is a plaque at the corner of Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma, so you can stand on three states at once. Not quite as good as the Four Corners (there’s tons of places you can stand on three states at once), but still fun. This was slightly hard to find, even though my directions were spot on. We did find a buffalo farm in route though.
Dinner was at Taco John’s in Lebanon. If I’m eating fast food Mexican food, it’s going to be Taco John’s. There was one at Lackland AFB here, but they closed it, so I have to take it where I can get it. We then drove around Lebanon a bit. I was working there when I met the husband, so we drove by the place. The office I worked at is no longer there, but still. From there, it was straight to the lake.
The next morning, we had time to kill until we met my sister for lunch, so we drove down to Ft. Leonard Wood. The kids wanted to see where they were born and where we lived. I was more than happy to oblige. We drove by the house the biggest was born in. l know the neighbors next door are still there because I’m friends with their daughters on Facebook. I was wondering about the couple across the street though. They were old and he wasn’t in good health 8 years ago. I didn’t know exactly how old they were, but I know he is a WWII veteran. They were still there! We talked for a while and she filled me in on everything. His health is worse and she’s 88, but like she always told me, they’d be there until someone dragged them away.
From there, we drove through Waynesville. I stopped and showed the oldest where he went to pre-school and started kindergarten. He was only in kindergarten a month before we moved though. Then onto St. Robert and we drove by our house there. Onto post and to see the hospital. We were running out of time because we’d spent more time than I anticipated at our neighbors. The kids got to see all the places they wanted though.
On Monday, we had to be out of the house by 10. A trip to the outlet mall and lunch with the family and we were back on the road. We took a slight detour and headed straight south for a stop at Laura Ingalls Wilder’s house. It’s the house her and Almanzo built after moving to Missouri from South Dakota. It’s also where she wrote all the Little House books.
After that, we pretty much drove straight to Muskogee. It was my planned stop for the night. The next morning, we drove around town a bit and then headed home. There weren’t any more planned stops for the rest of the day. It poured once we got into Texas though which slowed us down, but we got home about 4. Next road trip isn’t until November, but I’ve already started looking at places to stop.