I’ve been blessed to be married to a farmer who likes to travel. A few days away gives us time to really be together without some type of farm work invading. On vacation, there’s nothing that needs to be checked, fixed, done or cleaned up.
This year we decided to revisit the Black Hills in South Dakota. The last time we visited, Isaac was a few months old. What a difference it is to travel with three growing boys! So many times I just laugh at the way they interact together in the back seat. Brothers who I pray will grow into life-long friends. They tease, laugh and yes, even torment each other, but they get a long and they enjoy being together. That makes traveling for hours in a car so much easier for Mark and me!
So much of the vacation is the drive there. As we traveled through much of Nebraska, my impression of the state changed. Just like people wrongly assume Kansas is all flat, I wrongly assumed the state to the north was all rolling hills and corn. Western Nebraska is beautiful and diverse. It even has a national forest on the far west side!
We left the evening before we planned to leave and were able to stop at a wonderful museum the next morning that we’ve only driven under before. What a treat! This bridge was built over the interstate and was one of the best museums I’ve been in. Everyone of us was given a headset so we were told the stories rather than having to read hundreds of cards. Anyone who has ever done a museum with kids understands the value of this! If you moved to quickly, the story changed and you missed the end. For once, the boys weren’t at the end waiting while we finished!
Too often, when we travel, we are tight on time and have a place we have to get to. Last summer we traveled to the Oregon Coast via Yellowstone. It was a wonderful trip, but by the time we got to Oregon, we had plans to meet friends for lunch in Portland. As we drove along the Columbia River, we past many bridges that would have taken us over to Washington state. Our middle son kept asking to drive across, but we were on a schedule so I said no, repeatedly. A few days later, I was looking at the map and was excited to tell the boys they had traveled in EVERY state west of the Mississippi River–except Washington. They never let me forget that one!!
That was a good lesson learned. Sometimes, it’s better to go a little slower and stop and see what’s along the way. It’s those treasures that add to the memories!
At the bottom of this picture is a maze. I don’t like mazes! My boys finished in five minutes then laughed from the lookout as I struggled to find my way out in twelve!
Memories…that’s what vacations are all about!