Have you ever just jumped in a car with absolutely no cares in the world; letting the driver take you wherever, and all the while, you know that you will be safe, see many new places, … and pee on all the things? Me either. But, I never leave home on a road trip without my pups! And they just told me, they experience the above all the time! Could you imagine? (Ok, fine ….) Would you imagine? Imagine that freedom and that happiness … and all of that wind rushing through your hair.
BUT – I am getting WAAAYYY ahead of myself. I didn’t start out this vacation on the road! I started it SICK! Like deathly ill. Well, not really. But, I was treated like death …. remember? Well, just in case you don’t remember ….
It started out with Reychl, my littlest sister, coming to visit me! … and I kind of, maybe, a little bit at least, forgot to tell her I was sick …. until she was on her way from Detroit (to Nebraska). Seeing as that is a 12 hour drive, without stops, she was mostly committed at that point. So for the first few days, we just sat on the couch, watching movies and having some quality time.
Then, I felt guilty.
Naturally, I did what any person would do. I took her to the National Roller Skating Museum a few blocks from my house.
This place had some pretty interesting things inside … like roller skates for animals, movie memorabilia, and so many different kinds of roller skates. Like these:
[Cockatoo with skates] [Drew Barrymore’s skates from Whip It] [Skates for short people … haha, just kidding. Crazy people.]
That was all I could take that day. Too much fresh air for my flu. So, we went back home, probably watched more movies.
Then guilt settled back in the next day. So, right around closing time, I took Reychl to see the Governor’s Mansion. We pretended it was my house. Because, well …. why not? It was gorgeous, very historical, the tour guides were very nice, the first lady and the first puppy (Snickers – seriously, he has his own part of the Governor’s webpage) even came out to say hi!
[As a graduate student, I make a lot of money … what can I say?]
The guides here told us that we should hurry up and go to the last tour at the Capitol building. So, we crossed the street as fast as my flu would let me, and we crashed the Nebraska Farmer’s Bureau’s tour. We just kind of weaseled our way into their group like the flu in my lungs. It is such a beautiful building! Nebraska’s capitol building is one of three art deco style capitol buildings in the USA. How neat is that? What that means is … you are basically walking in an art museum. The tour guides at the Capitol were AMAZING! GLORIA WE LOVE YOU!
Did you get my reference there?? I will give you a hint ….
Unfortunately, we didn’t watch this movie while Reychl was in town. But we should have. Because it is awesome.
I still felt guilty for being sick. I mean, wouldn’t you? Your sister drives across the country to come and see you, and you are dying on the couch? I needed to make this up to her! So, in my delirium, I thought:
“What would make this better? A ROAD TRIP ACROSS NEBRASKA!!”
Remember when I said I was a genius when I am sick? Well, I lied. I mean, who orchestrates a huge road trip, in the opposite direction of Michigan, the weekend before their sister has to leave to go back to Michigan? To be clear, we left on Saturday and came back on Sunday, and Reychl’s original departure day was Monday. Can you imagine just how excited she must have been, after driving 24 hours in the past 36 hours, just to drive 12 more? Good thing we brought the pups! When we got tired, they took the wheel. Don’t worry, they’re old enough.
We stopped at a lot of places, and I’m probably going to get the order all wrong. I blame the delirium. So, here are some of the places we stopped, in no particular order, although, I will try to order them because of my O.C.D.
At the archway, we learned all about the emigration out West. What was really neat about this place, was all the history you learn in here is reinforced along your drive (if you do road trips like we do – and stop at everything along the way.)
We learned about the original pony express station, and how there were just a few riders, and how they helped to deliver news to California about the Civil War! THEN BOOM! We drove to the pony express station!
We were in the habit of stopping at this point, so we decided to see what Boot Hill was all about. It turns out, it was a cemetery, and everyone was buried with their boots on. (Hence the clever name: Boot Hill.)
THEN WE ARRIVED AT THE BEST PLACE IN ALLLLLL OF NEBRASKA!!! Seriously, I have been looking forward to going here since BEFORE I accepted admissions at University of Nebraska-Lincoln!
Seriously, I was GEEKED! What is Carhenge, you ask? Simple. You’ve heard of Stonehenge right? (Please say yes.) Just in case you haven’t, or need a quick reminder (for comparison purposes in just a few short seconds), this is Stonehenge.
Nebraska doesn’t have Stone-henge; but, we do have Car-henge. (I hope you are picking up what I am putting down.)
Be prepared to be amazed.
Are you prepared?
Wait, there’s more.
We then decided to go to some of the rock formations that are nearby (sort of) Carhenge.
[This is Chimney Rock, and it basically told all the emigrants they were about a third of the way. No big deal. We are SO BAD at squishing things in the background.]
We couldn’t get close to Chimney rock, because it is fenced in. Most likely due to fear of human-escalated erosion.
BUT, we could get close to Jail and Courthouse Rocks! They were also a little drive from here, but totally worth it.
I forgot to mention the creepy dolls in the Governor’s Mansion. Some of the first ladies leave extra fabric from their inaugural gowns, and some of their hair, for these dolls to be made. Naturally, I took a picture of all of them.
[As creepster as this is, it is neat to see how history shapes the dresses. Not all of the gowns are shown, because not every Governor had a ball – you know, Great Depression and all. P.S. The first gentleman is also shown here.]
All-in-all, it was a great vacation. Even if I was sick.
I will leave you with a picture of carhenge – the graffiti said it the best.