When I woke the kids up at 5:45 this morning, Frijoles put her arms up for a big stretch, smiled and boasted, “I’m so happy today!!!”
We are on day one of a two-week road trip starting with six days in Yellowstone National Park, and ending in Souix Falls, South Dakota.
Along our route, we plan to visit museums that pay tribute to our pioneer roots, and the history of American Indians. My kids will likely lose their minds at the Wyoming State fair, before we head to The Black Hills. I will FINALLY make it to Mount Rushmore (lifelong wish), before driving through The Badlands, heading eastward to visit the homes and graves of my paternal ancestors.
Many months in the making (we booked our Old Faithful Inn accommodations 18 months ago, the day they opened-up AND sold out), the kids are like mini geysers at this point – just ready to explode from all the excitement.
Here is how we got our family *road trip ready*:
I found these two series of highly rated books on Amazon. Both are about families traveling America and visiting its most famous landmarks. They have been a great way to capture the kid’s interests of things still unseen. I really believe that hearing theses stories first will make them appreciate what they are going to see that much more.
We checked out lots of books about Wyoming and South Dakota from our local library. It never ceases to amaze me, the incredible wealth of free information we all have access to through our public library.
We LOVE audio books! For all the time we spend in the car, moving from one place to another, audio books have been an excellent way to keep the car calm, while maximizing learning. These five books all tell the stories of pioneer children, and young adults, growing up in the Great Plains at the end of the 19th century. While we’ve read out loud the first five books of The Little House on the Prairie series, we are making a mad rush to finish the series on audio before our visit to the Wilder homestead in De Smit, SD.
My mom inspired me to have our kids journal during their travels, as she does during hers. I’m super excited about this gadget (!!!) which I just picked up for our journaling purpose. Instant pics, stickers, colored pencils, pens, and glue sticks for gluing down things like ticket stubs and brochure pictures – we’ve got it all packed in.
I came across this old book in our collection and I love the old school illustrations. Not quite sure how it came to us, whether it was a hand-me-down, or something from my childhood, but it helped give the kids a general flavor for the life and times of the first people living on the Great Plains.
So much to look forward to! It’s looking like we will have little to no internet access while in the park, so I might go dark here for a while. But trust me when I say I will be AMASSING a gallery of photos to share once we depart the park and get reconnected to the real world.