I have been reading, but I have also been traveling and I have not found a painless way to post from my iPhone. My husband and I had planned this huge vacation this summer. We were going to take the little plane and fly to Mount Rushmore, Ogden UT, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon. It was going to be amazing!
The first monkey wrench was the weather. Iowa has had some terrible weather this summer. We were basically delayed a week due to weather. We could only fly VFR (visual flight rules), so that limited our travel possibilities.
Then the plane was leaking fuel, so into the shop it went. While we were waiting for that repair we drove up to Minneapolis and Mall of America and the Raddisson with Waterpark of America in it. I got to shop, and go to IKEA. We did the theme park in Mall of America, both of the kids rode the crazy Sponge Bob roller coaster.
We got back from Minneapolis, the plane was fixed, but we had some weather again, which delayed us for a couple more days. Finally we took off. We made our scheduled fuel stop in Sioux City, IA, and got delayed by weather again and ended up spending the night. On the bright side, I finally got to try Tastee's In and Out. They are loose meat sandwiches that I have heard about from my husband and brother-in-law for years.
Finally, we were able to make it to Rapid City, SD. On the way there we flew over the Badlands, which looked incredible from the air. I finally got to take the kids to Mount Rushmore, and of course we did some of the tourist traps on the road to Rushmore, like the Maze and Bear Country USA. We also did Deadwood, Wall Drug, the Crazy Horse Monument, and drove through part of the Badlands.
I think I forgot to mention that we spent a couple extra days in Rapid City. On the 4th of July we took off for Ogden, UT. We got to about Custer, SD, and started to smell a burning smell. It was determined it was a problem with the landing gear, and my husband eventually had to pump the gear down by hand. We turned around and flew back to Rapid City to get the plane looked at.
After going back and forth with the mechanic in Rapid City, we decided that since the plane was flyable we would take it back to our home airport in Iowa City for the necessary repairs. We spent about a day and a half in Iowa City, and then loaded up the Prius and headed west by car.
I think all that we're missing at this point is the boat. I guess we haven't really traveled by train either. We drove from Iowa City to Cheyenne, WY, on day one. Then from Cheyenne to Salt Lake City on Day two. We spent a day with my grandmother and on Day 3 headed south. We were aiming for Vegas, but weren't happy with the hotel situation and pressed on to Barstow, CA, and here we are.
We still have to visit my parents, my other grandmother, squeeze in Legoland and the Grand Canyon and be back in Iowa City to regroup before heading to the Florida Keys!