Wow. Don't know how many times we said that. Best description I can do. Just WOW!
First, the boring part of getting to the park. Our planning began 3 weeks ahead of our trip. There was availability for both lodging and snowcoach. Husband could take vacation from work. Full moon on the calendar. Weather too far out for an accurate report, but we booked it. Plan was for 4 nights, and before booking, upped it to 5. (The way things worked out, we needed at least one more.)
My attendance at my fitness class began with renewed vigor. (Emphasis on skiing legs and boy did that pay off! )
Packing piles began to sprout. The home cupboards began to get bare- much to the dislike of the daughter that would be living out of them for the 10 days we would be gone. Food piles for the park began to grow. (much food left over, but we had the flexibility we wanted to be where we wanted, when we wanted) Much thanks for all the help here on the Chat page for packing list. It had been 30 years since we did the park in winter, and we were pretty unprepared last time. Young, dumb and no internet for research.
My timeline did not go exactly as planned- grandson was sick and couldn't go to daycare, so Grandma watched him a couple of days right before the trip. Hand washing to the max!
Finally! I know! It took forever to get to day one!! January 25, 2013. I packed up my stuff, packed the car, visited the library ( I am a reader, in the car and wanted to be prepared if we needed to spend a lot of time indoors due to weather) and picked up the driver at work. We are hard core when it comes to driving to the park. It is not the journey for us- only the destination. So, from Sperry, Iowa we drive 436 miles to Alda NE for gas. We should make it to the hotel without stopping, but the low fuel light came on and made me nervous. (We could have made it.) On to Kearney where I had a coupon for the Ramada Inn (stayed there with the same thing this summer) and we checked in for the night. 7 hours of driving, Dinner was smoked salmon, herb cheese, crackers, apples and chocolate. Another note- eating in the car is easier before dark, and break up the salmon into bite size pieces ahead of bagging.
Hotel Review: we had a grease stain on our sheets- looked like it got caught in the washer? But we are pretty easy travelers- we determined they were clean and reported it in the morning. Happy with the hotel and especially the coupon rate. Day one under our belts!Edited: 10:07 am, February 04, 2013