26 March, 2011

Flatlands - Getting There

We're on our way.  Almost 10 days of travel and visiting with friends.  I'm hoping it'll be slightly warmer than home - since Spring always comes earlier for everyone else.  In that vein, I've packed sandals, shorts, and short-sleeved shirts.  But I've also packed extra jackets for layers, socks, jeans, and I'll be wearing tennis shoes.
Heading to Seattle - Sunset Over Clouds
We're going to be traveling for quite a while.  First the airplanes - three airports and approximately 15 hours (not including time changes) there - then the road trip (another 10 hours).
Landing in Chicago
I absolutely *love* road trips.  It's one of the things I miss, living in Alaska.  There are only so many roads you can follow before you've been everywhere that a day or less road trip would cover.  And we've been there.  So "going for a drive" is just picking one of the locations we've already explored and going there again.  Now, there's nothing wrong with that - we have some absolutely stunning vistas in those areas that we've already explored - it's just that sometimes I miss being able to go someplace "new".
O'Hare Airport is Enormous
Springfield Airport is Quaint
Anyhow.  I'm looking forward to this trip for several reasons, one of which is the road-trippin' we'll be doing.  The other reasons involve the people we're going to see - it's been... well, years... in both cases; and I've never been to these areas of the country, so we'll be seeing lots of new ground.
Kansas City Skyline
I was hoping that this trip would be warmer than home, but it looks like I'm to be disappointed in that regard.  No matter.  I won't be getting any kind of tan, but the primary purposes - travel and visiting - are still in tact; extra warmth and growing green were just added bonuses that are not to be.
Osceola, Mo - Osceola Cheese Factory
We are going to spend the first part of our trip in Omaha, NE, visiting with Shawn.  This requires driving north from Springfield, MO approximately 350 miles (which is like driving from Anchorage to Fairbanks back home).  We did some sightseeing along the way - stopped at the Osceola Cheese Factory for some samples (ended up with three types of cheese, caramel corn puffs, rye crisps, and some tasty ginger snaps - those samples will get you every time!  Wouldn't have walked out with anything but the cheese, except that we sampled the other fare too...) and Jack Stack Barbecue in Kansas City for a late lunch (late for Central Time anyway - we're right on schedule for Alaska Time).
Where are we?  Ewe's in the Country!
When anyone has asked "where're you going on vacation?" My response has been "we're heading to the Flatlands (or Middle America)."  I realize that it's a stereotype, but it's almost eerie to see the rolling hills with no mountains or water - it seems to go on forever!  Right now the fields are all dormant, waiting to be plowed and sown, the trees are starting to bud but there's no real color yet, and I seriously doubt I'll get to see the fields of sunflowers.  We might have to find our way back here sometime, but later in the year so we get to see more of the lush, growing season (or the colors of the fall - except that corn fields are generally golden in the fall, so I suppose we'll just aim for Spring or Summer so we get more variety).
Greg and Shawn
We're finally here.  A bit more than 24 hours of travel and seven different states (Alaska, Washington, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, and Nebraska - whew!), and now it's time to relax and visit.

1 comment:

Shawn said...

So awesome to have you all visit! :D