The hardest thing about traveling with kids is that we, as adults, don’t know how to travel like kids. We prefer to stop for breaks and meals when it makes sense, so we get irritated when someone has to go to the bathroom five minutes after we just stopped. We believe in the idea that sometimes things just have to be a certain way, so it’s frustrating when our kids say things like “I’m not eating an apple unless you slice it” because it’s a hassle to slice an apple in a moving vehicle and you can eat an apple without slicing it.
And we tend to want to hurry along to the next place or pass up an opportunity because we feel like we need to get to our final destination. And I wonder why sometimes. What is it about being a grown up that makes us want to pass up a trip to a free art museum just so we can get to Cedar Rapids, Iowa sooner. It’s really ridiculous when you think about it all.
And I think that’s why I love traveling with our kids so much. Yes, it’s often difficult, like when I spent twenty minutes walking around the Sculpture Park while Lia was screaming at me and trying to hit me. We kept them up WAY too late to watch fireworks the night before we left for this trip and I was certain we were going to pay for it at some point. She was great the whole trip until we stopped at the Pappajohn Sculpture Park and she just lost it. But I let her scream and she eventually calmed down, but not before I got judging looks from everyone around. Oh well… what can you do?
But here is where we started. We had the car mostly packed on the morning of the 4th. When we got up on the 5th, we had some last minute cooler packing to do and a few errands to run. We got out of our driveway shortly after 10 am. Josh’s parents were traveling with us, so we met up with them at our Quik Trip, where we made our usual pit stop for some start-our-trip-off-right junk food. Silly as it may seem, this little family tradition is an important to our kids. We never leave town without stopping there and it’s become an important symbol for the beginning of a new adventure.
And so, with strawberry milk and chocolate bars in hand, we set off for Iowa. It was a fairly uneventful drive to Des Moines, save a few grumpy kids bickering. When we were headed into Des Moines, I consulted my favorite road trippin’ app, Roadside America.
I found a sculpture park and we thought that sounded like a good idea. We spent about 45 minutes wandering around the Pappajohn Sculpture Park. It was a nice green space with tons of giant sculptures to look at. It’s also the scene where Lia through her epic fit. Max + Ava (Lia, too, after she calmed down) especially liked climbing on all the rock walls and rolling down the hills. It was super hot so we didn’t stick around too long. If there’s one thing my kids whine A LOT about, it’s being hot.
Max somehow found a brochure about the Des Moines Art Center at the sculpture park and persuaded us to go even though we had other plans. It was nice and air conditioned and they were closing shortly after we got there, so our trip was pretty short. The kids enjoyed running around looking at all the art and I was shocked when they actually agreed to recreate the deer pyramid sculpture we saw outside.
We grabbed some dinner at Chipotle and Noodles & Company and headed to a park to eat dinner. We drove to Cedar Rapids and went for a quick swim at the hotel pool before heading to bed.Decorating our minivan for a road trip.Kids having fun in the car on a road trip.Kids at the Pappajohns Sculpture Park in Iowa.Kids playing at the sculpture park in Des Moines.Rolling down hills in Pappajohns Sculpture Park in Des Moines, Iowa.Awesome sculpture park in Des Moines.Family fun at Pappajohns Sculpture Park in Des Moines.Fun at the Des Moines Art Center.Des Moines Art Center family fun.Kids playing on a road trip.Boy eating a cookie.


  • Okay, so I think the two family portraits are my favorites that I have seen of yours.  Too funny!  Was Lia having a tantrum over you sunscreening her?  It is so hard to be that age!  Apparently.  I don’t remember.  LOL!

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