June 15, 2017
While Kevin had to take care of a few items at work I used the chance to finish packing, on Thursday morning. I asked the girls to get each a pillow, a blanket, and their favorite plush animal for the road. Clothes, DVDs, markers, pencils, journals, and snacks were already packed. I just had to take care of the small little details like tooth brushes and passports.
Kevin came home before noon. He packed everything in the car. And on the road we went around 1 p.m. With all the plans and the sights we had in mind, we were really excited to go on this road trip. We made a short stop for lunch in Van Alstyne, before we left Texas.
Arriving in Oklahoma, we took Highway 69. It is the shortest way to get to I-44 and then hitting east to Missouri. When we made it to Will Rogers Turnpike (I-44), we took a short break at the rest area near Vinita. The rest area is in the center and can be reached by people traveling both ways, east bound and west bound. It’s called the Will Rogers Archway. Katelynn and Sara were fascinated with the fact, that people can eat in a fast food restaurant while watching the traffic passing by under them on the freeway. With their noses touching the glass windows, the girls watched the semi trucks coming in and out of the rest area.
Another several miles later, we paid toll before we left Oklahoma and entered Missouri. We stopped at the first rest area to have dinner. The girls love “Brotzeit” (“Bread Time” in German). We usually pack some bread, lunch meat, lunch cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, snacks, juices, water, and other goodies for the road. That saves a lot of money, and it is healthier than eating every meal in a restaurant. Kevin, the girls and I enjoy sitting outdoors for lunch/dinner. And when Katelynn and Sara are done with their meal, they still can spend some time at the playground or run around in the grassy areas. On past travels Kevin and I learned, it is very important to take more breaks to let the kids run and get the wiggles out of their systems on the rest area grounds. They are much happier and can handle the upcoming stretch to the next rest area much better.
In Lebanon, Missouri we stopped at a Motel 8 that night. I liked the fact, that the Motel was far enough away from the freeway to not hearing all the traffic, but close enough to see the freeway at a short distance. Katelynn noted, she didn’t like the matress too much. It was a little bit too soft for her. But overall, she still got some good rest, before we left for St. Louis the following morning.
… to be continued …