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Old 07-13-2011, 10:29 PM   #1
middlepat
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The Wagon Queen Family Truckster Goes Northwest - Update 10/3 pg 6 (Canada)

Hi All,

So this is the start of a non-Disney trip report from our family's road trip to visit my family in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Before I get ahead of myself, lets give you all some background...

Our family:

We are a family of 5 from Arlington Heights, IL, a suburb of Chicago. I grew up in Canada and moved to Chicago after college, where I met my wonderful DW.

We are:

Me - Brian (38) - Lead singer and driver of the Winnebago.
DW - Erika (not 38) - Mother to 3 beautiful girls and chief navigator (remember this for later)
DD1 - Mary (8) - Master of the Nintendo DS and keeper of the snacks
DD2 - Shannon (7) - the Queen of all Drama
DD3 - Megan (3.5) - the Hot Potato as she always keeps us hopping.



The Plan:

A few months back, we were talking with the kids about our family in Canada and they told us that they missed their cousins as they hadn't seen them in over a year and a half. DW and I talked this over and we thought it would be fun to do a cross country road trip. So we starting planning a 2 week extravaganza where we would see some of our country's National Parks, spend a week with family, and cover nearly 4500 miles in the process.

The Route:

So as we sat down with our handy dandy road atlas, Google maps, and AAA TripTik tools, we started to draw out the routes we could take between Arlington Heights and Edmonton. As we looked at the maps, our plan was to try to find interesting stopping points along the way, as well as keeping the driving manageable for each day. After considering a number of different routes, we decided on including the following sites:

The Corn Palace
Buffalo Grasslands and Badlands
Mt Rushmore
Jewel Cave
Old Faithful
Mammoth Hot Springs


Coming up next, departure day.
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Nov 01 ASMo, Sept 05 WL, Jan 07 POFQ, Nov 09 Poly May 13 Off-Site (Windsor Hills)

Last edited by middlepat; 10-03-2011 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 07-14-2011, 12:43 AM   #2
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subbbbbing!
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Old 07-14-2011, 06:00 AM   #3
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I'm in!
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Old 07-14-2011, 06:27 AM   #4
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Oooooo, trip back to the motherland!

I'm in!

Did you make ADR's for Swiss Chalet or Harvey's?
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Old 07-14-2011, 06:37 AM   #5
jason4024
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A trip report not going to a disney park? You mean people still take those kinds of vacations?

Subbing to follow along
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:33 AM   #6
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Hey there, nemesis. You can't have a TR without me here to hijack it, you know.
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:34 AM   #7
GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
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I’ll follow along (I need a vacation).
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:16 AM   #8
middlepat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grooovertoo View Post
subbbbbing!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rental01 View Post
I'm in!
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason4024 View Post
A trip report not going to a disney park? You mean people still take those kinds of vacations?

Subbing to follow along
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
I’ll follow along (I need a vacation).

Glad you are all along for the ride. Hopefully you all have set your expectations low enough so that I can meet them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tutter99 View Post
Oooooo, trip back to the motherland!

I'm in!

Did you make ADR's for Swiss Chalet or Harvey's?
Thanks for joining. I must admit that we did not get to enjoy a stop at Swiss Chalet / Harvey's this trip ( I know, its a travesty missing out on Harvey's Poutine, in fact it one of my few regrets from this trip)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
Hey there, nemesis. You can't have a TR without me here to hijack it, you know.
Ok there nemesis, I suppose I'll welcome you to, if nothing else it will keep me honest about staying on top of this to avoid hijacking.

BTW, can you pick out any of the movie quote references from my into? No points, just the satisfaction that you've infulenced TRs forever going forward.
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by middlepat View Post
BTW, can you pick out any of the movie quote references from my into?
Quote:
Originally Posted by middlepat View Post
Me - Brian (38) - Lead singer and driver of the Winnebago.
Quote:
Originally Posted by middlepat View Post
No points
D'Oh!!! No points??? Forget this TR!

Just kidding, looking forward to reading about your epic road trip, Clark!
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:55 AM   #10
Captain_Oblivious
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Quote:
Originally Posted by middlepat View Post
BTW, can you pick out any of the movie quote references from my into? No points, just the satisfaction that you've infulenced TRs forever going forward.
The Wagon Queen Family Truckster...a fine automobile, from National Lampoon's Vacation!

It's nice to know my influence has been felt far and wide...it's all part of my plans to dominate the Tri-State Area.

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D'Oh!!! No points??? Forget this TR!
I guess it's another Whose Line TR...the points don't matter.
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Old 07-14-2011, 02:00 PM   #11
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Interesting that we put on as many miles as you at the same time, but in the opposite direction. Go Big Oil! Wooo Hoooo!
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Old 07-16-2011, 09:04 PM   #12
middlepat
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Hi everyone, I thought it would be appropriate to first of all apologize for not getting the next update posted here yet, but I still have not downloaded all of our pictures and I would like to have a few for our next installment.

Also, I wanted to let everyone know that today we had a family detour to go and pick up our newest family member....

PERRRY

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Old 07-23-2011, 10:00 AM   #13
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Day 1 - Departure Day

So, where were we... oh yeah we just did the introductions. I wish the guy writing this trip report was a little more timely... oh wait, that's me... This TR is AWESOME.

So Saturday morning rolls around and we wake up bright and early to pack up the van. We get everything all situated and roll out to.... SOFTBALL.

{side note}
When we first planned our trip we tried to account for all events / team sports so we pulled out the schedules from last year, analyzed, reviewed and decided we should be fine booking the last week of June / first week of July for vacation. So with time booked at work and my primary backup person already booked out the second week of July, we get the softball schedule and see that the last game is JUNE 30th???...what the.... oh well. So we had originally planned to head out first thing Saturday morning but the girls had a softball game at 10:30. So we re-tooled the schedule and decided we would leave after softball.
{end side note}

So we headed off to the girls last softball game of the season with the van packed about 90%. We figured that it would be good to swing by home before hitting the road for last minute items / potty breaks.

So about 1:00 PM we head out on I-90 going west. The plan was to drive to Sioux Falls the first day without any sightseeing stops. This was fairly easily obtained as we were driving through Wisconsin and Minnesota. So we drove without much ado for the majority of the afternoon /evening. The few notable events of this part of the drive were as follows:

- The first "are we there yet" didn't happen until a little after 5pm from Shannon. (she won the prize for being the most impatient).

- When we crossed the Mississippi River Megan renamed it the "Sippy" River. Of course every river we crossed after that was also called the "Sippy" River.

So without further ado we pulled into Sioux Falls around 9:30 pm. We had a reservation at the Springhill Suites. As it turned out we were not able to book the same sub-chain hotel for the 6 nights that we stayed in hotels so I'll be adding comments about each hotel.

We were very happy with the room at Springhill Suites and this was one of our top 2 hotels for the trip. The hotel seemed relatively new (or at least recently renovated). We had booked a room with 2 queen beds and a pull out sofa. This worked out very well for our family and the room was very spacious. Overall I would give Springhill Suites an A based on this experience.

So there we have it, we've made it to South Dakota and are ready to begin the sightseeing part of our adventure.

Next up.... The Corn Palace!!!!
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Nov 01 ASMo, Sept 05 WL, Jan 07 POFQ, Nov 09 Poly May 13 Off-Site (Windsor Hills)
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Old 07-25-2011, 12:38 PM   #14
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I can't wait for the Corn Palace. It has been over 30 years since I was there. I hope you post Pictures!
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Old 07-25-2011, 02:02 PM   #15
afwdwfan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by middlepat View Post
So Saturday morning rolls around and we wake up bright and early to pack up the van. We get everything all situated and roll out to.... SOFTBALL.
Did they win?

Quote:
Originally Posted by middlepat View Post
{side note}
When we first planned our trip we tried to account for all events / team sports so we pulled out the schedules from last year, analyzed, reviewed and decided we should be fine booking the last week of June / first week of July for vacation. So with time booked at work and my primary backup person already booked out the second week of July, we get the softball schedule and see that the last game is JUNE 30th???...what the.... oh well. So we had originally planned to head out first thing Saturday morning but the girls had a softball game at 10:30. So we re-tooled the schedule and decided we would leave after softball.
{end side note}
What would be the point in even having plans if you didn't have to change them?

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