Once again, the weather bent to our iron will, and saved the ominous clouds slash rain for a day of DRIVING. It's nice that the weather understands who's boss around here. The gloomy weather did make the landscape even more stark and impressive - we really enjoyed our drive out through the Badlands. Plus I just feel so cool saying "Badlands." I feel like a cowboy. "Howdy, just rode in from Sioux City. Sure, it was a long drive across the Badlands, but if he knows where the water tanks are a man can survive." YES.
We stopped at the Minuteman Missile National Memorial a few miles outside the park. They give tours of a non-operational old missile silo! I startled myself by realizing that not only did I not know where all our nation's nuclear weapons are kept, I hadn't even ever wondered. Way to be an informed citizen. Turns out they're all over the great plains states. I guess if I had ever thought about it I assumed they were in a giant warehouse in Washington. Sometimes my intelligence level intimidates people.
Colby LOVED the missile memorial. I thought it was interesting for about 10 minutes, and then I got antsy and wanted to go. This equates to a perfect role reversal from how we react to museums about cowboys and indians, so I think it was fair that we went.
Other than that, we pretty much drove all day. It was a gloomy day, but we liked driving across the plains. They're really flat. And we found the "amber waves of grain." We had lunch at Taco John's. Isn't that the dumbest restaurant name ever? I was busy laughing about it the first time I saw a sign, and then Colby started singing the jingle, and I realized it was a chain. And my husband knows the theme song. They could at least make it Taco Juan's. I mean, PLEASE.
We also finished our book, Life of Pi, and were so depressed afterwards that we had to stop at Target in Sioux City, Iowa, and buy me some chocolate. Suddenly, just within today's drive, it's gone from dry and windy to seriously HUMID. Welcome back to the Midwest! It's good to be home.
We arrived in Omaha at about 6 in the evening, and you should have seen our faces. The last big city that we saw was Salt Lake, and that was like three weeks ago. We were like, WHAT? Where did all these PEOPLE come from? Look at all the cars! When did they start building buildings that tall?! We sere so blown away we tried to turn the wrong way down a one-way street. Felt like the Beverly Hillbillies.
We've had an Applebee's gift card burning a hole in our pockets since we got married, and we decided that tonight we'd USE IT. Livin' it up in Omaha, NE. We casually asked the guy behind the La Quinta desk about restaurants, and he wasn't much help. There didn't seem to be a lot, "I mean, unless you want to go to Applebee's." We looked at each other, walked out the door, and high-fived. That's exactly where we wanted to go. Success.
Unfortunately, that was about the only thing helpful about La Quinta for our whole stay. When we got back to our room, we realized the toilet was a mess - just hadn't been cleaned from the last people (who must have been seriously gross)! So we asked to switch rooms. So they put us in a room with dirty sheets covered in someone-else's-hair. Double gross. So we switched rooms again, and we didn't look too closely, just went to bed. We didn't want to know.