The road home is always more subdued for us, not because we're worn out, but because we've travelled through the same areas so many times in an attempt to leave Minnesota. Today is no different. Knowing we'd end up in Des Moines eventually, we decided to detour through Missourri.
Our first stop was the Crown Center in Kansas City (KC is the home of Hallmark Cards). We had a chance to visit the Crayola Store - with a giant wheel of crayons in every color ever made, an incredible children's theater, Chip's Chocolate Factory, and a pretty cool Dinosaur Explore Area (on loan from our own science museum in MN).
But we were hungry and had some ground to cover, so we headed to Rico and my new favorite fast food joint, Taco Beuno. We had chicken tortilla soup, empanadas, brisket tacos, and enchiladas. I was terribly depressed to find that there are no Taco Beunos within 350 miles of our home. If Rico attempts a new business venture, expect to see Kooka in a sombrero and Punk frying up empanadas.
We hit the highway toward St. Joseph, MO. Part of Punk's history final this year was a two page portion on the Defeat of Jesse James, so we couldn't take this route without stopping to see his house. The needlepoint picture he was adjusting was still hanging askew on the wall, right next to the bullet hole where he was shot. The house was small, and took us maybe 15 minutes to tour, which was all we had planned anyway.
But things don't always go as planned on a road trip and we soon found ourselves next door in the Patee House Museum. Another crazy mix of stuff from here and there - this 1858 hotel, also served as home base for the pony express, a courthouse for the Union when they overtook St. Joseph, and a boarding home for the Studebaker brothers while they developed their famous car. The kids had a blast in here. One of our favorite parts was the "Where's Waldo" type game that they've set up throughout the museum. For 25 cents we bought a scorecard and traipsed through every exhibit looking for the one item that was out of place in the 1800's recreation (for example, we noticed a digital camera chip in the photography studio).
We were surprised by the sheer number of museums in St. Joseph. Rico and I really wanted to hit the Glore Psychiatic Museum, but Yoda was exhausted, so we drove by and headed toward DesMoines.
We wanted to end this trip with a bang (at least the biggest bang we could find in Iowa), so we booked a room at the Ramada Tropics Hotel in DesMoines. Our poolside room, cute little waterpark, two giant, room service pizzas and Dr. Peppers all-around made for some wonderfully happy memories and very sleepy kids. It's another Friends marathon for us tonight (I swear Punk is Chandler, and it's possible that Kooka will become Monica). Tomorrow we'll be home.