One of the things we have enjoyed about our trip thus far is the lack of traffic. We've had wide open roads, and sometimes we have been all alone on our stretch of highway. The country roads have been beautiful, but occasionally they have offered views other than farm lands and pastures. This morning we had to pull over to the side of the road as a house passed by. Yes, a house! As it was being relocated, all traffic came to a halt so the workers could lift the power lines to let the house pass under. Country life sure is different!
We stopped at a little park in Huron, South Dakota, to enjoy our breakfast.
Each of the children chose one place for our trip that they wanted to be sure to visit. Shannon's pick was one of the homes which Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote about in her Little House series.
That meant we had to stop at De Smet, South Dakota, the place which inspired the books By the Shores of Silver Lake and The Long Winter. We visited the Ingalls Homestead, which is a place where the prairie life of the 1800's comes to life! Here's the video we watched in the country store before we started exploring the grounds.
The kids got to find out just how small the covered wagons really were.
We found Bunny checking out the old cook stove in the prairie kitchen. Good thing the fire wasn't lit at the time.
John got the sewing machine to work with a foot pump. What a huge difference that machine would have made in the life of the prairie mother.
Joshua figured out how to get the pump organ to work and was able to play a few tunes on it although some of the keys did not work.
Shannon stretched out on the straw tick mattress to get a feel for the prairie beds. Imagine crawling into that after a hard day's work in the fields. It gives new meaning to the saying, "Don't let the bed bugs bite!"
We found a Shetland pony foal nursing with his mama in the hay barn.
The children discovered a mama cat with new kittens in the loft of the barn!
John checked out the real outhouse--yuck!
Mom helped Shannon make a corn-cob doll just like Laura Ingalls had when she was a girl.
John demonstrated how the corn sheller worked.
Every child should get a chance to play hide-n-seek in the corn fields.
After all this time exploring the prairie life of the 1800's we decided to get into the act and turn our Sienna into a "covered wagon."
We passed into Minnesota in the early evening.
We finally arrived in Minneapolis at the home of our friends, the Ramirez family. Our children enjoyed their three girls (Marcella, Bianca, and Veronica) immensely, and we all enjoyed the great spaghetti dinner waiting for us! The kids played out in the back on the trampoline while the grown-ups caught up on what has been happening in the past 12 years since Paco and Melissa moved from San Leandro, CA, to the midwest. How did the years pass so quickly?