My husband’s family all lives in Washington State. Roughly 1800+ miles from where we live in Wisconsin. But since my husband is not a big fan of flying, we’ve made a few road trips all the way cross country to visit.
If you’ve never been to Washington, it is someplace that I would recommend putting on your travel to do list. Tim is from the west side of the mountains on Whidbey Island. It is such a cool place to be where you can have mild weather all year round, go hang out on Puget Sound, take a Ferry to other parts of WA, take in the rain forests or head to the mountains for a day trip. And contrary to popular belief, no, it does not rain 24/7. Yes, it does maybe rain more than it does in other parts of the country but it’s not gloom and doom all the time.
Tim documented our last trip out to Washington. It is quite adventurous with 4 kids.
Here is a snippet from day 1:
We decided to get an early start, so we grabbed a blended caramel frappe from McDonalds and left Eau Claire around 5:30 a.m. It concerned me that two of the four kids were stuffy and sneezing, but we hoped for the best and pushed on. We had barely made it out of the starting gate before a suicidal bird decided to use our van to do its best Kurt Cobain impression.
Our first rest stop was at a tiny convenience store in the middle of nowhere. I was excited to discover the existence of Grape Vines. Being a big fan of Red Vines, I was eager to try this long-lost relative of the Vines family. Unfortunately, they did not live up to my expectations. I can see why more stores don’t carry Grape Vines; they taste like grape-flavored children’s cold medicine.
Prior to learning that Grape Vines are not fit to carry the Vines’ family name, I asked Dawn to alert the world of their presence, via the foursquare iPhone app. Since Dawn acts as navigator on road trips, it probably wasn’t the best idea to divert her attention from the map. Fortunately, she realized I had made a wrong turn was headed to Iowa before we got too far off course. Her faith in my navigational prowess shaken, Dawn vetoed my impromptu plan to take us several miles out of our way to visit a town named “Wells”. I vowed to someday return and investigate what lies within Wells’ mysterious borders.
At our next stop, Dawn spied something on the front of the van. The Seppuku Sparrow had embedded itself in the grill. Since I have a strict ‘no hitchhikers’ rule, I extricated the feathery carcass with the aid of couple of sticks fashioned into crude chopsticks. The kids were not pleased that I had killed one of God’s creatures. I tried explaining that the one-armed man was actually the guilty party, but they weren’t buying it.
We reached Wall, South Dakota around dinner time and decided to grab a bite to eat at Wall Drug. I nearly dumped our two trays of food on my way back to our table. In hindsight, I wish I had. To say the food was bad would be a gross understatement. My cheeseburger resembled a science experiment gone terribly wrong. It was actually melting. Not the cheese, mind you. The burger. It was oozing grease and various unspeakable toxins. I’m of the opinion that all meals served at Wall Drug should come with a t-shirt that reads, “I ate at Wall Drug and all I got was this explosive diarrhea.”
Our stomachs lecturing us on poor life choices, we took our leave of Wall and made our way to Mt. Rushmore. Apparently, seventeen hours on the road is too long, as evidenced by the twins’ meltdowns under the disapproving glare of the granite presidents.
While the food we ate at Wall Drug was not the best we’ve ever tasted, Wall is a place that you should visit if you’re in the Dakotas. We stop there on every trip we take west. The kids love it and it definitely beats the Corn Palace. Anyone who’s been there, understands.
Kids at Wall Drug
You can read the rest of our Day 1 Trip here.