Sunday, 11 July 2010

My American Experience 2010 (part 1)

Well, where to begin – I know at the very beginning, a very good place to start…sorry, I was getting carried away.

Our early morning flight to Chicago meant that we stayed near the airport on Sunday night – so much more civilised to get up at 4.15 and only have 15 minutes to travel than  to leave home at 2am and drive for two hours in the hope that you don’t hit any road works.

We flew American Airlines (other airlines are available but this one got us the best deal to where we needed to be) to Kansas City, Missouri, via Chicago O’Hare. I managed to stay awake (lord knows how) for the entire flight and watched three whole movies in the process – all easy on the eye and the brain and nothing too contentious. Once at Chicago we found that our connecting flight was delayed by an hour – we already had a two hour layover. I thought it would be useful to let our friends (remember them from here ?) know – hoping to catch them before they left home, too late as they were already on their way! Anyway, moving on – we found a Starbucks, had a lovely Latte and a Muffin and then found out the flight was delayed even further – please bear in mind that we have had an eight hour flight, been up stupidly early and were now in a time zone six hours behind the one we left. To say I was becoming irrational and agitated would be a terrible understatement – I wanted to climb the walls with tiredness.

When we finally arrived at Kansas City we managed to find Scott, Shirley & Emily without any difficulty – after all it’s not the biggest of airports! We’re headed off on a road trip and manage to squeeze all of our luggage into the van – poor Emily has it stacked up all around her! First night the plan is to stop at St Joseph, Missouri and we check in to a Ramada hotel for the night. Scott always likes to ask the locals where to eat and we’re directed top a local Cajun restaurant – I haven’t got a clue what it was called because I didn’t write it down, I remember that I had Talapia to eat but other than that I have no recollection. I was tired, my feet were twice their normal size and hurting like mad.

Day two saw us heading off to Sioux Falls in South Dakota but first Scott decided to introduce John to the world of geocaching – if you feel the need to know more please take a look, I am not going to give them the satisfaction don’t understand enough about it to elaborate!

This was to be a very informative trip and we started off going around St Joseph’s Pony Express Museum, yes siree, this was the birthplace of the Pony Express. They also have a museum of psychiatry! Now that was unusual!

At 3pm we started the journey to Sioux Falls. I slept for about two hours and there is photographic evidence that my mouth fell open. However I did not snore or drool!

We arrived in Sioux Falls at 8pm and again Scott asked for a recommendation for food. This time the receptionist suggested a picnic at the Falls to see the sound and light show – so Subway it was!! We took our picnic and sat up at the falls and let the mosquitoes picnic on us while we sat through the show – it wasn’t until the end that we realised we were almost the only people there as everybody else had obviously got fed up with being eaten alive! Now I expect your looking for me to show you photos of the Falls aren’t you? Well, guess what – I left the camera behind in the hotel, I took a few on the phone but they didn’t come out at all well.

The next morning we had time to watch a little of the World Cup game between England & Slovenia before setting off on the final leg of our journey to Rapid City, South Dakota – some 300+ miles.

Scott has this knack of learning about unusual places so on the way we stop in Mitchell to visit the worlds only Corn Palace, all puns intended we thought this would be a really corny place but it was surprisingly interesting.

011 The exterior decorated with various parts of the corn – we watched the local craftsmen cutting the corn for this years decoration.


Now this was corny – his name is Cornelius!

Back in the van we head off across miles and miles of, well, nothing-ness. Just great plains of crops and the odd property scattered here and there.

Another ‘must stop’ place was the Badlands National Park, which was spectacular – just cast your mind back to all those old westerns with the cowboys & Indians hiding amongst huge rocks and ravines. There was a trail to walk down but this poor old girl couldn’t get down because of the stupid swollen feet thing that was still going on :(



030039 There were several of these cute little guys – prairie dogs!

For the last couple of days we’ve been seeing signs for ‘Wall Drug’. Hundreds of them. All different. All intriguing. Well we just had to pay a visit didn’t we?

How can I describe it without causing any offence…I probably can’t but take a look here to form your own opinion! They must spend a fortune in advertising…


Well – what can I say!

We continued on to Rapid City and arrived at our accommodation after dinner at Applebees and shopping at Walmart.


The next day took us off to Mount Rushmore. Which was AMAZING. Let the photo’s do the talking…





Next day it’s off to Deadwood, and yes, I know you now have the image of Doris Day as Calamity Jane singing her heart out in the movie! Wild Bill Hicock was assassinated in a casino here and is buried in Mount Moriah cemetery.

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After a quick dash across the state line to Wyoming – just to say we’d been there – we went back to the accommodation for our last night before we head back to Neosho for the rest of our holiday, this was to be over two days and clocked up over 700 miles going via Lincoln, Nebraska en route. We also managed to listen to the second half of the England v Germany World Cup game – enough said on that matter I think!

I’ve just had a quick preview of this and it’s already waaaaayyyyy to long so I’m going to stop now and leave you wanting more (isn’t that what you’re supposed to do??). Plus I’m tired and have to get my going back to work head on for tomorrow and the World Cup Final is on soon and I still need to put the clean bed linen on and I haven’t hooked since last Wednesday (more of that soon :)) and oh, I don’t know, it’s getting sort of stormy here and I just need to stop – OK?

Thanks for making it this far if you have


  1. Not too long at all, for a holiday like this. Looking forward to episode two

  2. I can't believe how much ground you covered in 2 days! Holy Cow! Looks like an amazing trip, I love the little cabin you stayed in. How cute! Glad you made it safely home and I'm looking forward to reading about more of your adventures. Kat

  3. Anonymous14/7/10


  4. How neat! I have never been to South Dakota myself. And I would love to go. I have been to the Kansas City airport a few times though! :) I'm glad you had a fun trip!


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