California Bound – Day one: Round Lake to Sioux Falls

Only 2149 more miles to go!
Only 2149 more miles to go!

After the last suitcase was forcefully shoved lovingly nestled into my already overstuffed car and a handful of tearful hugs and puppy snuggles were given, our California road trip, or our Mother-Daughter Grand Adventure as mom liked to call it, had officially begun.

 

Didn’t want to let go.

 

*Squeeeeze*
*Squeeeeze*

 

 

Giving the fluffball one last squeeze before casting off.
Giving the fluffball one last squeeze before casting off.

 

Armed with enough snacks to feed a small army and a fresh playlist chock-full of showtunes, broadway musicals and Shania Twain, we were on our way.

First state on the list was Wisconsin. No more than a 25 minute drive from our house, this stop didn’t resemble much of an accomplishment, but we decided to stick to our original mission: to get a selfie with each state’s “Welcome” sign.

The grass was too tall to get any closer. And we were both wearing sandals. And were on the highway.
The grass was too tall to get any closer. And were both wearing sandals. On the highway.

After taking in the amazing, never-before-seen sights of America’s dairyland (read: flat), we passed an intriguing sign urging us not to miss Ehlenbahc’s Cheese Chalet. What is a chalet, you may ask? Not a no clue. Thus our first pit-stop was decided.

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Behold, the wonders of Ehlenbach’s Cheese Chalet. Turns out Chalet is basically a store, you guessed it, full of sweet, sweet cheese.

 

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Dropped over $20 on cheese. Worth it.

 

Also managed to get this die-hard Chicago Bears fan to put this on.
Also managed to get this die-hard Chicago Bears fan to put this on.

 

And on we drove.

And jammed.

And then we made another pit stop…

 

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TO THE SPAM MUSEUM! Behold the Spam!

 

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Welcome to Austin, Minnesota. Home of the glorious Spam museum. Yes, this is real life.

Armed with more knowledge about the sodium-rich mystery meat than we cared to admit, the Minnesota weather wasted no time letting us know (rather rudely) that we overstayed our welcome. By the time we stepped foot out of the museum, raindrops larger than my thumb began to fall, and so began the race to Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

And on we drove.

And jammed.

And marveled at the Ikea catalog we brought along.

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North Dakota

Wondering what happened to our Minnesota welcome selfie? Turns out that there isn’t a welcome sign from Wisconsin to Minnesota, so we cheated a little bit and got both the South Dakota and Minnesota sign at the same time, border hopping.

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Minnesota

We checked into our first hotel and scurried off to dinner at Phillips Avenue Diner in quaint downtown Sioux Falls and were just in time to be seated at the last available patio table, as this 50’s-style diner was bustling.

 

 

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Mom and I split a half-price strawberry cheesecake milkshake.

 

Our server definitely caught me taking this selfie. Shame.
Our server definitely caught me taking this selfie. Shame.

 

Afterwards mom and I enjoied the weather and walked around the downtown, imagining how everything would look if the shops were open (everything closed at 8 p.m.).  

Tomorrow we head off to Sturgis, North Dakota. Stay tuned for the Badlands, Wall Drug, Mount Rushmore, and other Grand Adventure shenanigans!

 

Bonus: My Snapchat video for today

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