We left South Dakota on Saturday, June 4th, drove through Minnesota, and headed to Iowa to attend a wedding.
These first two photos were taken in our own town. The kids wasted no time breaking in to their activity bags.
M.G. and M2 had a blast on the dance floor that night!
The next morning, after Mass in Waterloo, IA, we headed through Illinois,
and stopped to hike in Indiana at the Indiana Dunes State Park, getting our toes wet in Lake Michigan and having a quick picnic.
We took scenic highway 12 into Michigan and made an unexpected stop at Oink's Dutch Treat. We saw a small building covered in wild pig paraphernalia and surrounded by a crowd and it was just what we needed to finish off that leg of the trip.
We spent that night in Ohio and got a fairly early start the next morning. We drove so that the kids tended to fall asleep in the car each night. This prevented any wild hotel room bedtime scenes or super early wake-ups. Being able to get up before the kids is really different than our regular routine!
June 6th was M3's first birthday!
We headed through Pennsylvania and in to New York! The kids were really very upbeat about all the driving (at least until the final two or three days when M2 was just ready to be done!)
We spent that afternoon exploring Niagara Falls. I had never been before and found it amazing! Papa caught this photo while we were on the boat tour.
We were so very glad to spend June 7th - 9th staying with good friends in Albany, NY. We were able to see quite a few people from the time we lived there and toured around to see the old sights as well.
The kids really enjoyed just relaxing and playing at our friends' house.
We drove around a bit pointing out important places to the kids and stopped by our favorite bakery for a treat.
We spent part of the next day in downtown Albany exploring the view from the Corning tower, running on the Plaza, and playing in the museum.
We were a bit sad to leave Albany, but we still had adventures awaiting us. The next morning we set off through Massachusetts (picking up some delicious strawberries at a toll road travel center)
and arrived in Newport, Rhode Island to spend the afternoon and night with family there. We hit the beach, had great seafood from a clam shack, explored the docks for starfish, and had a nice walk around that evening.
Saturday, June 11th, we got an early start and drove through Connecticut, with a stop for breakfast sandwiches,
on our way to our favorite train station back in New York.
We spent that evening in Pennsylvania and on the 12th headed toward home. The mountains of Pennsylvania and a small sliver of West Virginia were beautiful and had us wishing we could spend more time in this area.
This day was when M2 started having enough of the small confines of the back seat. I think M.G. read her way through 5 states. But, we had a lot of fun running and blowing bubbles at a rest stop in Ohio
The next morning we walked around campus and drove around so that M.G. could see where we lived and what we did when she was a baby. It was a really beautiful day for walking around.
This post feels almost as long as the vacation! I can't wait to share a few more photos of specific spots along our way!