Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Great Summer Road Trip 2012: Leg 3--Minneapolis to Omaha

Now we kick off the second part of our Great Summer Road Trip!  We left Minneapolis around 8:20am and set our destination for Sioux Falls, SD.  Our final stop of the day would be Omaha, NE.  Josh has been to 48 states, so South Dakota would be his 49th!!!  We stopped once to feed Graham, and Jackson ended up napping for about an hour and a half.  We got to Sioux Falls and immediately went in search of lunch.  I had seen a write-up about Chedd’s online, so we went there.  On the one hand, paying more than $5 for a grilled cheese sandwich is a bit ridiculous, but it was SO yummy!  
On our way back to the car, we saw this neat exhbit on the street about pulleys.  Of course Jackson had a great time “lifting” the car :)  
After lunch we headed to Falls Park.  This place was amazing!  It was the perfect stop—it was beautiful, there was plenty to walk around and see, and it was dog friendly.  
We walked around with Pax and checked out all the waterfalls—there were lots!  
There were some neat bridges to walk over and a  lookout tower that we rode to the top of.  
We also accomplished one of the most important missions we had while in South Dakota: BUYING A MAGNET FOR OUR COLLECTION!  It was pretty toasty, especially since it was the middle of the day, so while Jackson didn’t nap again, he did sit and zone out in front of a movie for a while.  That was a nice bonus :)  
We had to stop one more time to feed Graham before we arrived at our hotel in Omaha.  We booked rooms in Super 8 hotels along the way since they appeared to be pretty pet-friendly.  Most were only an additional $10 a night to have Pax stay with us, and there was no weight limit.  After staying in a couple already, they seem to have gotten a little overhaul and have been pretty ncie.  Added bonuses with staying in a budget hotel are free wi-fi and breakfast!  We dropped Pax at the hotel and immediately went in search of dinner.  The girl at the desk was really nice and gave us a great recommendation for a Mexican restaurant (what we thought we wanted to eat), but as she was describing where it was, she mentioned it was near Valentino’s.  
Valentino’swas one of our FAVORITE restaurants when we used to visit my grandma every summer in Grand Island, NE!  We would eat there for sure once, maybe twice during those trips.  Their pizza buffet, salad bar, and dessert buffet were fantastic!  However, I didn’t know if I was remembering this as my 12 year old self, or if it really was good…  The girl said it still was good, so we changed our mind and headed to Valentino’s.  Boy, did it bring back memories :)  
It was yummy, and then it was time to head back to the hotel for baths and  bed!  Josh was a good sport and brought in pretty much all of our stuff so I could re-organize.  I got it all situated so that we only had to bring in ONE duffel (not three) for the next few nights.  I also got Jackson’s snacks all organized and realized exactly how much dirty laundry four people accumulate on the road…

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