New Orleans Road Trip – Day 9

Posted by in New Orleans

She Said:

Today we got up and started heading back to Kansas City. We wanted to hit up the Arkansas Air Museum, but they didn’t open until 11 am and we were going to be in Fayetteville by 9:30 am. So, on a tip from a comment on yesterday’s blog, we headed up to Devil’s Den State Park. It was too muddy and wet to do much walking, but we drove through the park and enjoyed the scenery for awhile. And Lia loved looking at all the cows, deer, and horses. We even saw some chickens.

Then we headed to the airplane museum. It was a really cool museum. They had lots of old airplanes and helicopters and a building full of old military planes, choppers, and trucks too. The kids got to climb in an airplane and in one of the old military helicopters. And the best part was it was right next to a little airport, so there were lots of little planes taking off and landing.

After that, we pretty much drove home. We did make a detour to go see a homemade dinosaur statue, but it was pretty lame. I’m glad to be home and excited for our next road trip!

Things I learned today:

1. Lia really hates hotel rooms. I’m not sure why, but as soon as she’s done eating her cereal, she is screaming to get in the car. Josh actually put her in the car this morning while he cleaned it out and loaded it and she was a happy camper. I wish we had figured this out earlier in the trip.

2. My kids always have to go potty when there’s nowhere to stop for 20 miles.

3. My kids are spoiled. We almost always let them get something at the gift shop of every place we visit.

4. My kids get about the same enjoyment out of their gift shop treasures whether they are cheap trinkets or are more expensive.

5. I get much more enjoyment out of the gift shop purchases if they are cheap trinkets!

6. I love gift shops that sell stuff that I remember playing with when I was a kid. We bought these little foam airplanes for 75 cents each that you put together and fly them and I was excited too 🙂

7. FYI in case you don’t remember from when YOU were growing up, those little foam airplanes don’t survive too long with little kids. Good thing they were only 75 cents.

8. Ava thinks Tootsie rolls are chocolate gum.

9. The worst day of any road trip is the day you go home. You’re just tired and ready to be home and back to your own bed and a normal routine. And then it takes FOREVER to get there because your kids have to go potty every 20 minutes.

10. It’s good to be home 🙂

The kids loved playing in this old military helicopter. Of course, they pretended they were flying a Jedi cruiser and destroying red battle droids.



Max is pretending to be a Southwest airplane.
Ava is also pretending to be a Southwest airplane.
Lia is trying to figure out how to get daddy to quit pretending she’s an airplane.


Lia likes Star Wars too.



All gone baby


He Said:

We’re home, but not before we hit up the Arkansas Air Museum. It rocked, then we drove home.

New Orleans Road Trip – Day 8

Posted by in New Orleans

She Said:

We woke up this morning and opened the door to fog, overcast skies, and rain off and on. Josh was ready to throw in the towel and head home, but I thought we should at least see how the day shaped up. So we packed up and headed to the Fort Worth Stockyards.

We perused the cowboy shops and the candy store. Then at 11:30 am we headed over to the main street to watch the Texas Longhorn cattle drive. Max & Ava really liked the cattle drive; Lia was scared.

After that, we went into the Cattlepen Maze. You basically have to find your way around the maze and find all four letters M A Z E, then go to the exit. We did it in a record (ha!) time of 33 minutes. And when you finish you get a prize. Don’t get too excited though… Lia got a bouncy ball and Max & Ava got spinning tops. But they liked their prizes 🙂

Literally within seconds of finishing the maze, it started pouring down rain on us. So we ran across the street an ducked into a Mexican restaurant for lunch. I tried to convince Josh that since we were in Texas, we should get some barbecue, but he said we wouldn’t like it as much as Oklahoma Joe’s.

After lunch, we got back on the road again. We spent most of the afternoon and evening driving, but we did stop at a sweet little park to play for awhile… gotta take advantage of 50 degree weather.

After dinner, we stopped at a Braum’s ice cream place. If you know us Solars, you know we love our ice cream and no road trip would be complete without it.

Now we’re at the hotel in Van Buren, Arkansas. Tomorrow we’re going to do the airplane museum in Fayetteville and then we’ll be headed home. I’m SO not looking forward to the cold weather again.

Things I learned today:

1. Never trust the weather forecast. We drove to Dallas hoping for a nice sunny day and woke up to a rainy, overcast day.

2. Because we did the stick-on mustache thing on our Colorado road trip, Josh thinks we can’t do it again. Even though I found some sweet mustaches at the Stockyards.

3. Anytime we go somewhere or do something that charges admission and one of the kids is barely old enough to have to pay for them, I consider saying they are younger. But I never do. I’m afraid of the bad karma.

4. Anytime I push Ava on the swing, her mantra is “push me higher! Super high!” I’m convinced that ‘super high’ is impossible to reach. Believe me, I’ve tried.

5. Lia’s enjoyment on the swings is multiplied when Max or Ava is swinging next to her.

6. Even if there’s nothing cool to do, just being able to play outside makes it worth not being in Kansas City right now.

7. Ava is terrified of automatic flushing toilets. She literally jumped off the toilet after she was finished so it wouldn’t flush while she was still sitting on it.

8. If you hold your hand over the sensor of an automatic flush toilet, it won’t flush until you move your hand. SO, your kid can go potty without fear. But you will probably have to show them proof first.






Lia was SO excited to get her own ice cream cone. I was SO excited that they were 79 cents each.


She always has this look… always watching her back.
‘Who’s gonna try to take my ice cream cone?!’





Daddy got a strawberry shortcake sundae.





He Said:

We still aren’t ready to come home yet. Even if we’re just driving to random places, it’s nice to be able to play outside, run around, get lost in a cattlemaze at the stockyards in Fort Worth, Texas. Basically, do anything we want. The pictures from today are from the stockyards in Fort Worth, and some random playground in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma. Enjoy life!

Who knew Ava liked salsa?

New Orleans Road Trip – Day 7

Posted by in New Orleans

She Said:

Today was a driving day. We got up and on the road early, headed for the Dallas/Fort Worth area. We didn’t find anything to do along the way, so in true Solar style, we pulled off an old dirt road for a mini portrait session.

That’s really about all we did today, but we made it to Fort Worth this evening and tomorrow we’ll be hitting up the Stockyards and possibly the Log Cabin Village and the Botanical Gardens. If you know of any other must-see places, leave me a comment!

Josh’s side of the story is here.

Things I learned today:

1. Ava thinks we should get m&m’s at every gas station that we stop at.

2. We really should have bought the rechargeable battery packs for the leapsters. I had to buy more batteries at a gas station and they were expensive!

3. We have sippy cups for a reason and that reason is because EVERY time Ava drinks from a water bottle, she gives herself a shower.

4. The mini Cootie and mini Don’t Break the Ice games I got on clearance for $2 each at Target are amazing for entertaining the kids while waiting for dinner to be served at a restaurant.

5. It’s SO worth $2 to wash a load of laundry when you’re on a road trip. My kids just dirty up their clothes SO fast.

6. Lia doesn’t care if she gets a snack at the gas station as long as she gets to get out of the car.

7. As soon as it gets dark, Max starts whining about when we’re going to be at our hotel.

Watch out for Anakin!

Lia sure loves her blankie!


Anakin & Ahsoka in a heated battle!
Snuggle the baby!






Lia wanted to be a Star Wars guy too

I love that Lia is running after Max & Ava in this photo…

… and running away from them in this photo (and crying!)

Lia loves her George








Lia was double fisting it at dinner


He Said:

Today, we left the Big Easy and headed west. We just aren’t quite ready to come home yet. So, we drove to Dallas. It was a long drive and the kids were getting antsy, so we pulled off the main highway looking for a good dirt road to stop on for some exercise (and pictures, of course). Ava LOVES having her picture taken. Max doesn’t mind (as long as he’s doing what he wants to do). Lia is cutting 3,248 teeth at the same time so she’s just plain grumpy.