Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Catching Up, Starting With the Great American Road Trip

WOW!  It has been forever since I have felt inspired enough to write a post.  This year has gotten off to a fast start.  I usually get into my school routine in just a couple of weeks, but this year I still don't feel like I am in my routine.  I have taught at the same school for the last three years, since we move to Northwest Arkansas.  I thought I would be doing the same this year, but a couple weeks ago I found out I would only be at my "home" school half days and would be traveling to another school in the afternoons.  So, to make a long story short, I am now working at two schools and trying to adjust.

Change isn't really my friend so while I am trying to cope with this big change, I have been thinking a lot about the slow and easy pace of summer.  I have also been reminiscing about how much I truly enjoyed this past summer, even though it was so stinking hot!  Hubby didn't have to go to school and we were able to enjoy our time together without worrying about his job situation.  By the way, he totally loves his job. (I'll share more about it later.)

The big highlight of the summer was our Great American Road Trip.  We ended up being gone 15 days and traveled around 5,000 miles.  We all survived all those miles in the car and saw some really breathtaking and amazing sights.  I have been looking back over our pictures and wanted to share a few with you.  Well, I'll probably be sharing more than just a few, but it was so hard to narrow them down. Believe me when I say that the pictures in no way do justice the the magnificent sights we saw.

We left Arkansas and headed to the Chicago area for the annual 4th of July picnic we our extended family on my mom's side.  We also met up with Mike's brother and visited with him while we were there.  I am sad to say that we took no real pictures during our visit.  We go to Chicago fairly regularly, but it still would have been nice to have pictures of the friends and family we only get to see about once a year.  Hopefully, I will do better at this.

In recent years, we have kind of become Frank Lloyd Wright buffs.  We have visited several homes he designed and read some books about him and his life.  He was a brilliant architect, but led quite a screwed up personal life.  So when we left Chicago, we headed up to Spring Green, Wisconsin to visit Taliesin, his home.

Our first stop was the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison.

When we left Madison, we travelled another hour to Spring Green.  In case you haven't been there, Spring Green is a tiny town and Taliesin is  one of the only tourist attractions.  We stayed at this cute motel call the Round Barn Inn.  Our entertainment for the evening was swimming in the indoor swimming pool and have dinner at one of my new favorites, Culver's.  If you haven't eaten there, they have good burgers and even better frozen custard.


We spent the next day touring the Taliesin estate, starting with the little church on the property.

We also saw his grave.  Well, it used to be his grave until his wife had him moved to Arizona.

This is Hillside.  It used to be a school run by Frank Lloyd Wright's aunts.  Then, he turned it into an architecture school.  It is still in operation today.  We were able to see some of the students at work.

This is the Romeo and Juliet Tower.  The hill we waled up to get a closer look is a lot steeper than it looks.

The Wisconsin countryside was beautiful.  I'm sure I would have enjoyed it much more if I hadn't walked across it in the blazing heat and humidity.

This is Midway Farm.  It is located about "midway" between Hillside and the house.

We finally made it to Taliesin.  The only thing between us and the house was another hill.

We were rewarded for making it to the top of the hill with cool drinks and a snack!

Here is a view looking back across the valley.

Let me just say, the house was pretty amazing, especially considering it was built in the early 1900's and has been rebuilt due to multiple fires.  We weren't allowed to take pictures of the inside, but it it pretty incredible.  I would highly recommend touring the house if you are ever nearby.

Here are some views of the house from the courtyard/garden area.

After our tour, we headed out to South Dakota.  Our next destination was Badlands National Park, which I will share with you soon.