“Live for the journey, not the ending.” ~M
Photo credit: Pixabay.com
Photo credit: Pixabay.com
We slept in this morning, and oh how glorious it was to finally be able to get some much needed rest. We have another full day of driving ahead of us though and so we can’t really dilly dally all day long. So… after quickly checking out of our hotel, we are now on our way to Urbandale, IA.
After a couple of hours of driving, we spot an Air and Space Museum and decide that we can’t possibly pass this up. We both love airplanes and if I hadn’t joined the Army, I probably would have joined the Air Force. I have always had a fondness for anything related to space as well. So this is the perfect place for us to spend an afternoon.
I am completely amazed by the sheer size of some of the aircraft. It’s hard to believe that something this large can actually make it off the ground. I’ve seen plenty of airplanes in my life, but these are huge! After making our way through the self-guided tour, we stop in the gift shop and buy some much needed space ice cream and some other small trinkets that we are sure that our girls will like.
We are back on the road within a few hours and still making good time, even though the traffic has picked up. After arriving at our hotel, we are surprised to find that our room resembles at hospital room. We are in a very crowded district here in Urbandale and after settling in, we try to figure out what to do for dinner. Neither of us really wants to venture out into the traffic, and fortunately we find out that there is a very nice restaurant within walking distance of the hotel and so we decide to eat there for dinner to avoid the traffic on the roads.
The place turns out to be quite charming, its country style suits me. The place is called the Machine Shed and honors the American farmer. I am very surprised at how amazing the food is. The people here are really friendly and this is such a great way to end our day. We’ve had an amazing adventure so far and this will be our last dinner on the road. Tomorrow we head for home. Ahh… Home Sweet Home! I can hardly wait!
It’s finally here, my favorite day of the year, the 4th of July! I’m not sure about you, but the 4th has always been a big day for me. Here are some of the memories I have of this special day; cookouts, visiting the old Stow house, eating homemade ice cream, going on rides, (pony, hay, train, boat, & Model-T) taking long walks on the beach, drawing messages in the dark with sparklers, watching fireworks, reminiscing about the good old days, and most importantly, sharing the entire wonderful day with family and friends.
Every year is different, but every year is amazing in its own way; and this year is no exception! From the moment I got up this morning, I have been anxious and eager. Celebrating our freedom, in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, is such a thrill to me! Brian and I decided to grab breakfast at Einstein Bagels, which is located at our resort. I am so glad that we decided to eat here. The food is really good, inexpensive, and the staff have been very friendly. With our stomachs full and a helpful tip from one of the staff members, we decide to head to the LINQ to park for the day. The LINQ, is a gigantic high roller observation wheel that offers panoramic views of Las Vegas. Unfortunately it’s $30 a ticket to take a ride, so we decide to pass and instead visit a few casinos.
There is so much to see and do here, and the streets and casinos are so crowded today. It’s hard to get around and the heat is unbearable. I am determined to buy souvenirs today, but it seems like every shop has basically the exact same thing. The only thing that ever changes is the prices. So I am spending most of my time just looking at the costs and trying to find good deals. In a city like this though, good deals are hard to find, and Brian and I don’t have much luck finding anything worth buying.
Back out on the streets, which are getting more crowded by the hour, we pass by a woman who is very intoxicated and not wearing anything but a string to cover up her lady parts. With the image now burned into my mind, I try to erase my last few minutes of memory, but unfortunately the delete button isn’t working. I finally just realized, that we aren’t in Kansas anymore! Oh wait… we never were! Oh well… back to what I was saying… out on the streets there are lots of interesting people today. Most are trying to make a few bucks selling their homemade cd’s, and some are even selling sculptures that they have cleverly designed. I feel bad that I can’t buy everything.
We finally pass a couple that isn’t trying to sell anything, all they are asking for is food. The sign reads “No money, food only please.” So I decide to stop and offer them a package of apple raisin crisps and some water that I have stashed away in my backpack. The couple is very appreciative and eats the crackers right away. Janet and Steve are their names and they return the favor by offering us handmade roses for our daughters. I feel blessed by their generosity and Steve won’t let us leave until he has finished making all four roses. While Steve is making the beautiful roses out of palm fronds, Janet shares their story with us, about how they ended up here and how they still feel blessed despite their situation of being homeless. Janet’s mother is very sick and she doesn’t want to tell her mother that she is homeless. She fears that her mother will become more ill by the news. Their story is all too familiar and I feel sad that they have to live this way. After carefully putting the flowers away in my backpack, we head out once more.
Heading down the street further, we spy a Mexican restaurant and take a peek inside, to see if there are any tables available. We are surprised by how vacant the place looks and we are seated right away. After ordering, our food comes fast and everything tastes really good. After eating, we walk around and visit a few more casinos. The day is going by fast, and before we realize it, it is already 9:15 p.m. and the fireworks are scheduled to start in 15 minutes. We hurry outside and notice that the whole strip is covered from one end to the next in a mob of people. We aren’t sure where the best viewing spot is, so we just stay where we’re at and hope for the best.
Soon the fireworks begin and we realize that we have hardly any view at all. Unfortunately with the crowds being as thick as they are, we have to remain where we are, catching glimpses of the fireworks through the buildings that are blocking our view. The fireworks don’t last long and afterward we decide to get frosties at Wendy’s and chicken tenders at Chick Filet for a late night dinner/snack. Once done eating, we decide to walk back to the car. The crowds aren’t quite as bad as they had been, but it still takes us about an hour of walking before we reach our car.
Once back at the resort I flop on the bed in relief that I can finally lay down. I can see the LINQ through the window. It’s all lit up in red, white, and blue. It’s been a good day, but in a way I’m happy it’s over. I have never seen so many people in one place before and it’s good to finally be free from the crowds once again. Goodnight!
When we first arrived, we were ushered to the gift shop to pay the entrance fee and receive our map. Then we proceeded to the tram which took us to our desired location. Old World Wisconsin consists of many historical buildings that are situated on 600 acres. The historical site is broken down into different ethnic farms and villages.
The first stop we made was to the German and Polish farms. We had fun spinning flax into thread. We also took a tour of the woodworking shop, where we got to use some woodworking tools which were originally used in the 1800’s.
Finally, we decided that it was getting late and we knew that the site closed at 5 p.m.; so we walked over to the Caldwell Farmers Club Hall to play some last-minute games; and peddle a reproduction tricycle around a small track. On our way out, we headed back to the gift shop and bought some beverages for the road. We had such a fun day, and we look forward to going back again soon. We only visited about half of the villages before we had to go, so we are looking forward to another trip back soon to see the remainder of what we missed.
To get more information about Old World Wisconsin, go here.