Had it not been for our last spontaneous adventure, I would have referred to this trip to Nebraska as a spontaneous trip. We had talked about the possibility, but I was either going to have to take the train (which was more expensive than I wanted) or drive both ways by myself (doable, but not desirable). I was sort of wavering on whether or not I would go, and (if I did go) when I would go. Roughly a month ago, I suddenly had the thought that maybe I take a college student home to Nebraska and, at least, have company for half of the trip. I contacted a student from Nebraska that I happened to know and she was looking for a ride home! It was meant to be. Up until a week before we left, I was still putting the trip together.
Somehow, through the combined effort of a Garmin doing everything to keep us away from the one road we wanted and our own penchant for missing turns, Katie (the college student) and I ended up going way out of our way...and added hours to the trip. Where we should have arrived at a reasonable time and been able to enjoy a relaxing evening settling in, we, instead, arrived in the wee hours of the morning and started our trip exhausted. I was so thankful for Katie. She stayed upbeat and positive the whole way - the perfect travel companion in less-than-ideal circumstances.
Since we were so exhausted, we started out our time at Papa and Gigi's with relatively simple fun (at their new house!).
Having recently discovered how to spread dandelion seeds, the twins were obsessed with blowing as many dandelion seeds as possible...
I'm sure Papa will be thrilled with the visible reminder of their visit once the dandelions start to grow...
Riding the tractor my brother's rode when we were kids
(note: Ryan has never reminded me more of my youngest brother than he did on this trip!)
Uncle Matt actually had to be on the West Coast for a wedding most of the time we were there, but we got in one afternoon of time with him before he left (he literally said goodbye and left on his trip from seeing us). I didn't get many pictures (Uncle Matt prefers to hide behind of the camera rather than be in pictures himself).
Helping Allie with her handstands.
One of the big things Papa had been planning was flying kites. Having never flown kites, but seen it in books and on tv, the twins were beyond excited. The first day was too windy, but the second day seemed to be better suited to kite flying. Papa took the kiddos out and helped them get started.
He preferred to fly one-handed - being too cool to use both hands.
A dinosaur kite for Buddy!
Allie, who wanted to run with her kite, promptly got it stuck on the roof. Papa carefully pulled it down and got her started again.
Being a little more careful.
A butterfly kite for Sis!
The wind was a bit stronger than we originally thought. The twins were doing great, but Papa thought he should get a kite going for me. The third kite was vicious - forcefully diving every time he tried to get it up. I was worried it would hit one of the kids, but something else happened (far worse in the minds of our kids). It was almost up when it took a dive right over the strings of Ryan and Allie's kites. It knocked the handle out of Ryan's hand and, in the extreme wind, the kite took off. It was flying so quickly and so high that I don't think we ever stood a chance of catching it, but my dad and I took off after it anyway. Roughly a block away, the kite stopped...or, rather, was stopped by some power lines. It flew into them with such force that the handle whipped around the lines - stringing them together - while the kite was still flying high in the air. Ryan was beside himself at the loss of his kite.
The top arrow is pointing to the kite, the bottom arrow is pointing to the power lines flying his kite.
Papa eventually retrieved the kite, and all was well. Kite flying was their favorite part of the day! After some quiet time, we broke out the sprinkler (the temperature was in the high 90's, and there is no pool in the area). The kids had a blast running through, and (for the first time in years) played in such a way that they got thoroughly soaked.
We followed these up with many more adventures. To be continued...