As our kids get older and older, they naturally begin to spend less time with us. It makes me really crave and treasure the quality time I do get! At the end of last summer, my then twelve year old daughter said eight magical words to me: “Mom, we should go on a road trip”. My eyes lit up and a huge smile spread across of my face. It was on. For the next ten months, I planned the heck out of that road trip. Truth is, I had way too much time to plan our awesome epic trip of a lifetime road trip because there is so much to do in this awesome country of ours and no way to fit it all in. I wasn’t going to let that stop me from trying, though…I’m no quitter!
Day 1: Lana and I left for Indiana to visit family and pick up my mom for the first leg of the trip. We were super excited to start collecting the National Park Passport Stamps, so we stopped at Cuyahoga Valley National Park. We have driven by this so many times on our yearly road trips to Indiana and didn’t even realize it! We did not have much time to spend at the park because I wanted to make it to Indiana the same day and that is at least a twelve hour drive. Luckily, we found the perfect little jaunt that took us to Brandywine Falls. We were able to experience the park and hop back in the car and reach our destination for the day.
Day 3: Growing up, we spent at lot of time at Indiana Dunes State Park. We would swim in Lake Michigan and then go climb the big sand dunes. There are also a network of trails through the woods leading to the beach and a campground. I have a lot of memories here from my teenage years and it was great getting to share this spot with Lana. In addition to the state park, there is a National Lake Shore so we picked up our next passport stamp!
Day 5: We were back on the road on day 5 heading to our first destination. This was also our first night of camping.
Day 6: One of the best parts of road trips were the spontaneous stops and activities. My awesome sister in law suggested that we visit the Ingalls Homestead in South Dakota. As avid “Little House of the Prairie” fans, my mom and I were thrilled to visit this this actual one time home of Laura, Pa, Ma, Mary & Carrie featured in the book “By the Shores of Silver Lake”. I was obsessed with this show as a kid and Laura Ingalls was a personal hero of mine. My mom and I watched this show together so it was super special that we experienced the homestead together.
I am so excited to show you South Dakota next time! It’s a really cool destination with so much to do! Thanks for following along!