Author: Craig Mashburn

Day 11 – 2018 Vacation

Not too much to report for today. We spend about six and a half hours driving to Tulsa where we checked into our hotel. Then we went and did our fourth escape room and as always, we were successful!

After, we returned to the hotel where Vicky caught us messing around in the fitness room.

Tomorrow we will return home and officially conclude our trip.


Day 10 – 2018 Vacation

We started the day going to the St. Louis Zoo. Fortunately, the humidity was down so it was not miserable out.

And of course, Stephen with flamingos…

After a quick lunch, we decided to fulfill Michael’s month-long dream of going to Ikea.

And he wanted to try the meatballs..

Then we stopped by the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. It was huge.

Went back to the hotel to take it easy a while before going to do Escape Room #3 where we escaped their most difficult room with only 1 minute remaining.

Tomorrow morning, we begin the journey home.

Day 8 – 2018 Vacation

Not too much today. Most of the day was spent driving from Iowa to St. Louis. We did pass two towns significant to MASH fans…

We got checked into our hotel. On the way to find some dinner, we happened upon an interestingly named school (and road)…

Then we went and got on the MetroRail…

We went downtown to visit the arch.

Us crammed into the little capsule to take us to the top…

At the top.

Waiting for our capsule down.

Now back at the hotel. I am pretty wiped. Have driven over 1500 miles now. Ready for bed!

Day 7 – 2018 Vacation

Today was something I have wanted to do for a long time. An Indycar race. I have been a fan since the 90’s when it was called CART, then Champcar and now Indycar. We decided to go to Missouri then I realized there was a race in Iowa so we went.

We got there at 9:00 this morning. We had paddock passes so we could walk around the garages and all the team trucks. There was only one team I was interested in seeing. Team Penske. It was interesting to see them working on the cars in the garage.

Josef Newgarden’s car…

Simon Pagenaud’s car is the yellow one, Will Power the silver…

Me with Will Power’s car. I have been a fan of his for a looooong time…

Right before they introduced the drivers, I ran into Josef Newgarden!

We had tickets for the stands to watch the race, but I could not pull myself away from watching from behind the pits.

And along came the man himself, Roger Penske…

The race was really cool. Iowa is a short track so a lap takes only like 18 seconds with the cars traveling in the 170’s mph. There were only two yellow flags so the race took just over two hours. After it was over we waited around and I finally was able to get a picture with Will Power…

So we basically stood up from 9:00am until 4:30pm out in the sun. Needless to say we are tired and sunburned. But for me, it was worth it. This really makes me want to go to more races in the future.

Tomorrow, we head to St. Louis.

Day 6 – 2018 Vacation

Another easy going day today. We started the day by going to a huge farmers market in downtown Des Moines. It was impressive.

Then we went to the local zoo. My favorite animal? Giraffe. And got to feed one!

Stephen and Michael got to feed them too, but it is my blog so my picture.

And of course, Stephen with the flamingos.

After relaxing at the hotel a while, the boys and I went to see the Jurassic World movie while Vicky stayed at the hotel and watched Netflix.

Tomorrow is the reason we came to Iowa. Looking forward to it.

Day 5 – 2018 Vacation

We slept in a bit this morning before checking out. Then we hit the road towards Iowa. We made a stop in St. Joseph, MO and went to a museum called the Patee House. Lots of cool things to see there.

After a quick lunch, we stopped by the Glore Psychiatric Museum.

Stephen preparing to do an autopsy…

All of these items were surgically removed from a woman at one time. She had swallowed it all!

We then continued the two hour trip to our hotel in Des Moines, Iowa. Pretty slow paced, relaxing day.

Day 4 – 2018 Vacation

We slept in a bit today. We headed out around 9:30 to the World War 1 museum.

After lunch we swung by the Money Museum at the Fed…

Lifting a real gold bar…

The we went to Union Station..

And while we were there, we successfully escaped another room!

After dinner, back to the hotel to get packed up. Tomorrow we are Iowa bound.

Day 3 – 2018 Vacation

We started early this morning going to the Kansas City Zoo. We decided to go early because it was going to get hot and I figured big crowds because of July 4th. I was right about the heat, but not the crowds.

They had a skyway where you could ride over the park…

This is another pic of Stephen with flamingos. Trust me, they are back there…

Stephen petting the stingrays…

This was a big zoo. After four hours, we were ready to go get something to eat and cool off.

Then it was off to add another Major League Baseball Stadium to our list of stadiums visited.

And being the 4th of July, fireworks after the game…

And now, to bed, late!

Day 2 – 2018 Vacation

We slept in a little this morning before making the drive to Kansas City. After checking into our hotel and grabbing lunch at a mall, we went to the Truman Presidential Library.

The Truman’s graves…

Vicky enjoyed it…

I was hoping to get a library card, but they explained to me that it was not that kind of library.

So today was another relaxing day. Tomorrow will be a long day.

Day 1 – 2018 Vacation

Most of today was straightforward. Driving. We drove to Wichita Kansas. We did stop in OKC for lunch.

After checking into our hotel in Wichita, we went to an escape room. We killed it with time remaining!

The escape room was next to a place called The Alley so we did some stuff there. Like a VR game…


And I also got to school everyone in go cart driving…

Now we are back at the hotel to get some sleep. Tomorrow, on to Kansas City.

2018 Mashburn Vacation

It is that time again. Though this year will have something different than all others since 2006. No trains. We decided to try and do a cheaper trip this year to save up to do something bigger next year for Michael’s “Senior Trip”.

So this years is a road trip. We start by spending a few days in Kansas City, then a few days in Des Moines, Iowa, then a few days in St. Louis before heading back home.

Should be a nice, relaxing time spent together.

We would like to again thank our friend James for house and dog sitting for us. You da man.

We hope you enjoy following along with us.

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Coming Home

Our last day started early with breakfast at 6:30. After that we stepped of the train in Texarkana. Here is Michael with one foot in Arkansas and one in Texas (approx.).

We pulled into Fort Worth right on time.

We took an Uber back to back to our friends house where we got our car and headed back to Amarillo.

We got home around 7:45.

It was a good trip and we were happy to go places and see things we have never seen before.

Until next year. 

Returning On Amtrak

The day started early. We left our final hotel at 6:15am and walked a couple of hundred yards to the train station next door. It was raining, but fortunately no heavily. 

Michael at the Dearborn Station. 

Our train was on time. We were in business class on this train. It was about a five hour trip to Chicago. 

We arrived into Chicago Union Station and went to leave our bags in the Metropolitan Lounge. Then we walked down the street to Lou Mitchell’s for lunch. 

Our next train, the Texas Eagle, boarded and left right on time at 1:45. As usual, we are in sleeper. We have two small roomettes. 

We just hung out and relaxed and let Amtrak do the driving. We eventually went to dinner and all had steak and shrimp.

We had an extended stop in St Louis. 

After that stop, I made everyone’s bed and time to get some sleep to the sways of the train. 

Last Day In Michigan

Today was a slow day. We slept in a little and then checked out of hotel number four. We then went to play not one, but TWO escape rooms.

The place we went needed to reschedule is later so they gave us a second room for free. We got out of both of them even with the second only having an 18% escape rate.

We were planning on the zoo after that but we got lots and lots of rain. So we grabbed some lunch and drove back to hotel number one that is next door to the train station. We had some pizza delivered while I went and returned the rental car.

Now we are settling in to get to bed early cause the train leaves at 6:50am. Oh, and a good chance of rain so it could be an interesting walk to the station.

No pictures today so here is one of me and of the little guy we are all missing.

Greenfield Village

Today was all Greenfield Village at the Henry Ford.

Train ride.

We took a ride in a horse drawn bus. Then a model T bus and while we were on that who walked by? Mo Rocca.

Turns out they were filming today for Innovation Nation which is a show I watch on Saturday mornings.

We happened upon him several time around the place.

And then we were able to get a pic with him.


We got to ride in some Model T’s

Stephen tried walking with some ducks.

This was a courthouse that Abraham Lincoln worked as a lawyer.

While we were watching some filming going on, a group of people walked up. I saw one guy who I thought looked like someone who would be famous, but I did not know who or take a picture. Found out later it was JJ Abrams. Yup, he was there.

It was a long, tiring day, but we loved it. Tomorrow will be our last full day in Detroit.


Today was pretty simple. We slept in a little later then checked out of hotel number three. On our way back to the states, we stopped off to see a Canadian destroyer from World War II.

After that is was just the drive back to the good ole USA. We went over the bridge this time instead of the tunnel.

After crossing the border, we went and checked into hotel number four. We went and got dinner at some Tai place and then back to the hotel to rest up for tomorrow.


We started the day on the subway again heading downtown. Then to the aquarium.

We found him.

Then a quick lunch and then we stopped by the railroad museum.

Then on the subway again to go a little ways north where we went to Casa Loma castle.

We had a final ride in the subway back to our car and then to our hotel for a bit. Then we left to go do an escape room. It was a lot of fun and we did well. We got out with 10 minutes to spare.

Then back to the hotel. Earlier than other nights so hopefully get some extra rest. Tomorrow, we head back to our homeland.