We settled in for the evening to relax, but the people in the room above us did not. This particular hotel in Colorado had been extremely crowded since we had arrived… the continental breakfast had been a zoo the past two mornings. We tried to ignore the stomping overhead and attempted to drift off to sleep. At some point, we all zonked out until around 5:00 AM when the people above us decided they had slept long enough. Fortunately, everyone else slept through it, but I’m a very light sleeper, so my snoozing was done. Finally at around 7:00, after two hours of overhead banging and stomping (I think at one point they might have been doing some break dancing up there), I decided to get up. I tiptoed over to Scott, gently woke him up, and said, “Can we go home today?” We had no adventures left for our trip, no scheduled fun activities left, no new scenery to take in, no fabulous places left to explore, no exhilarating and exhausting hikes to trek, nothing left on the itinerary to keep us going. Therefore, I was done with hotel living and all the noises that go along with it. He said yep! So we got dressed, got packed, got nourished, got loaded up, got checked out, and got in the car.
We stopped off in one of the ski towns first so the girls could grab their souvenir postcards from Colorado… and so we could say we strolled at least one ski town. Then we hit the road toward home. We had decided to drive until we couldn’t drive any longer with a goal of making it to Kansas City, Missouri. That would give us a 10-hour drive for the day. Also, since we would be driving through St. Louis on the way home, Scott wanted us to go to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis – since he had been to St. Louis several times on business, and had been up to the top of the arch a couple of times, he wanted the girls and I to see it too. Driving through Kansas was pretty cool, and I was able to get some great pictures.
Doesn't this cloud look like Winnie the Pooh (laying on his back)?
Do you think I've been in the car too long?
A storm cell off in the distance.
Thank goodness it wasn't twirling... or anywhere near us!
|We spotted another storm cell a few miles away from the other one.|
We made our goal of Kansas City, Missouri at around 11:30 PM. We got out of the car and were met with a blast of heat and humidity! Humidity… back to the land of humidity. Ha! We unloaded the van, crashed into the bed, and slept until just barely before breakfast ended the next morning! After eating breakfast, packing, and loading up the van, we set our driving goal for the day… Frankfort, Kentucky with a stop off in St. Louis. We arrived at the Gateway Arch around 2:00. Scott wanted the girls and I to go up to the top. Since Scott had already experienced the ride up, he explained how it worked. It wasn’t your typical elevator… since the Arch is curved, the elevator to the top is actually a 5-seat “tube”, and it takes four minutes to get to the top. I’m extremely claustrophobic, and so is Emilee, so she decided to stay down at the bottom with Scott. Ashlee really wanted to go up, so I decided to man-up and go with her. We got in line to buy our tickets, and the first question the ticket seller asked was, “Is anybody claustrophobic?” Oh, dear! I could feel the color draining from my face. We got the tickets and waited for our time to line up for our ride to the top.
While we were waiting, we noticed a display on the wall that compared the size of the Arch to other structures. We spotted the comparison to Mt. Rushmore and had to grab a picture. Our original itinerary had included a visit to Mt. Rushmore. However, about halfway through our trip Scott started worrying about the girls not having any down time between our trip ending and school starting - our original schedule had us arriving home only four days before the first day of school. So we cut out a few activities here and there to put us back home a few days earlier. So, although not the real thing, I got a fun pic anyway!
|Standing in front of "Mt. Rushmore"|
This is a model of the 5-seater capsule elevator
to the top of the Arch.
Extremely small when the doors are closed!
Ashlee was taller than the capsule, and
we had to duck down to get inside.
We walked a few steps to the top to overlook the city, and the view was amazing. We could see the river on one side and the city on the other. Here are some of the pictures from the top.
|The illuminated sign to the right of Ashlee's head says, "Welcome to the Top!"|
When we got back to the bottom, we found Scott and Emilee. Scott was grinning pretty big… knowing how claustrophobic I am, I’m thinking he really enjoyed imagining me in the tube! But I have to say… I did great, and it was a lot of fun!
We then headed back to the car to finish out our day’s drive to Frankfort, Kentucky. We landed in Frankfort that evening, unloaded the van one last time on our trip, and hit the bed. Breakfast the next morning was one of the best hotel breakfasts we’d had… it was a nice ending to our hotel stays! Then, for the last time, we loaded the van back up for the final leg of our journey home – only seven hours until home!
|One last swipe at the bug guts!|
|Service with a smile!|
|NC State Line!|
|Pilot Mountain - getting close to home|
|Pulling into our neighborhood! There's no place like home!|