Memorial Day Road Trip


Although sometimes it seems very appealing to stay home and be lazy, Matt and I have a very hard time keeping our spare time free, and we usually end up packing our holiday weekends to the brim with travel plans. This Memorial Day week was a nice, extended break because I had a staff retreat the week leading up to the holiday, and I didn’t have to take extra vacation to hit the road early on Thursday morning to drive to Kansas.

Thursday was a lazy day of driving that started with a Starbucks stop in Austin, was broken up by lunch at Cane’s in Norman, and ended with a yummy dinner of ribs and corn on the cob that Grammy had ready when we made it to Hutchinson. (We took a vacation from healthy eating too). We went for a nice driving tour of town to show Matt the sights, drove through the middle of the Fairway on the State Fair Grounds, drove down Main St., marveled at the great prices on beautiful little historic homes, and then we all got hooked on a marathon of house-flipping shows on HGTV. 

Friday morning we woke up early and drove to Stafford to visit my Grandma Heyen in the hospital; grandma was awake during our visit and really perked up when I talked to her about the rain, wheat harvest, and her kids. She always knows all the words to the songs we sing before leaving, which is never an easy thing to do.

We drove West to the Stafford cemetery so that I could put flowers on Grandpa Heyen’s, Uncle Madean’s, and the other Heyen graves. We then drove back through Stafford and out to Peace Creek cemetery to put out flowers for Aunt Frances, Granny, Brady, and several other Clothier ancestors. It was a neat memory to be able to visit with Grammy and Papa again, because I remember going many times before with them and hearing stories about that side of the family.

It continued to rain as we drove back to town and we took another little driving tour. Grammy and I went inside a cute little home having an estate sale, and then we headed home to wash up for lunch. Lunch was at Pizza Ranch, and I think it very may well have been Matt’s highlight of the entire trip.

Saturday I woke up early to have time to talk a little more before leaving Grammy and Papa. We are so lucky to have grandparents that we get to have such a great relationship with and we are always thankful for our visits.

Our drive on Saturday was rainy, but Eastern Kansas, as much as it pains me to say, is prettier than it's Western half and it seemed like the roads were all lined with bright green and wildflowers. We made it to the cabin by early afternoon and spent the afternoon doing a little work and a little more fishing. 

Sunday we drove into Springfield for church and lunch and shopping at Bass Pro, which always brings back memories of my childhood family vacations with the Petty's. On the drive home, we passed several Amish families out on their Sunday drive with wagons loaded down with cute little kids in hats and bonnets. We mowed, cut down limbs, and did a few odds and ends before heading back to the pond for more fishing.  
Being at the land is very peaceful and pretty.  One of the things I did to amuse myself was try to find as many types of wildflowers as I could. 

Here are pictures of our best catches:  
Tim's is obviously the most impressive. 
On Monday, we woke up, had a little target practice, and then packed up to eat lunch in Ozark at Lambert's (home of the throwed-rolls, in case you hadn't heard). We decided to take the scenic route home to avoid I35 on a holiday, which was so enjoyable, but probably not the best decision in hindsight.

We did love our drive through the Ozarks. I think the Northeast corner of Arkansas is gorgeous with its alpine looking hills, rivers, and wildflower meadows. We decided to pull into an antique mall we were passing and came away with this awesome project! Matt is right in saying that I probably would not have noticed this bike if it wasn't my favorite color, but I did, and I think it has great bones so hopefully for $18 and a little tlc, I will finally have a bike as cool as my vintage turquoise Schwinn in college.  We finally made it home in the wee hours of Tuesday morning - thankful for family and for a brief, but great holiday North. 

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