You know that feeling when you wake up and you just want to go somewhere? Yeah, I had that feeling one weekend while I was on maternity leave. I even woke up HomemadeDady begging him to take us somewhere. We didn’t leave right away but a couple hours later found us packed up in the van with a bag of food and some rented movies.
On this trip I tested out using the iPhone app Roadtrippers. The app lists out some points of interest along a specific route and acts as another resource for finding food and lodging. We did see several listings that looked interesting but didn’t stop at any save for one. Some that we wanted to stop at were a locally painted rock and the sight of the last bank robbery by Bonnie and Clyde. We did stop at the sight of the first train robbery in the west. It wasn’t much to see, just a little pull off with a train wheel and section of track. The area is well maintained but not a place to stop and eat or linger for too long. I did find the roadtrippers app a little difficult to use without having a solid destination in mind. Once we had decided on a direction though the app was much easier to use.
We stopped at a gas station just short of our destination to let BigM use the bathroom and BabyM nurse. We gave the kids a little bit to eat and then headed across the river. Thankfully I have a wonderful acquaintance who has lived nearby our destination for several years and she was able to give us some pointers. We had set out for the zoo but decided on the way, that it was too hot for the zoo and we wanted to wait for the new exhibits to open. So we went to the children’s museum instead! We still had poor timing as the seasonal exhibit at the museum was closed until the next weekend as well.
Once we reached the museum we stopped and fed all the kids a bit more food for their lunch and then packed everyone up to head inside. I wore BabyM and the boys were allowed to run free. We arrived shortly after opening and ended up staying until just before closing. The kids had an absolute blast. There was a river water table where BigM got to experiment with beaver damns and fog and man-made damns. They had a supermarket, bank, hospital, fire station and truck and a house with a garden for imagination play. There was also an art section and a science section. The art area had paints and crayons and salad spinner activities along with building a city out of recycled materials. There were also stations where you could take a picture and play around with graphics and a face painting area. The science area had a bubble show and an interactive floor. A video projector would display a variety of games on the floor for the kids to play. The majority of the science area was set up with ball tubes. Kids could explore different types of force and movement and see the effects on ball pit balls. Afterward we went out to eat and then walked a block to an ice cream parlor famous for its homemade ice cream in unique flavors.
The drive back was a little rough with BigM needing to make bathroom stops several times and BabyM not wanting to be in her car seat. I thought we were never going to get home and end up in a hotel room for the night even though we were less than two hours from home. This spontaneous trip was one of the best days we have had in a while.