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Ryan, Megan, Alex, and Katie's Midwest IV Itinerary
Friday, August 29, 2014 - Monday, September 1, 2014

Howdy! It's been a very long time since we've flown into Kansas City - one of my favorite areas of the country. So, when the opportunity came up to take a Labor Day weekend trip to the Midwest, we didn't hesitate! Unfortunately, the weather will be less than optimal for most of the trip, but we'll make the best of it. We plan to do a bit of driving across 4 different states, although my original drafted plans involved a trip further north towards Omaha and double the amount of driving. My better half didn't think that was a good idea, so now our driving will be restricted to just under 1,000 miles and only 16 hours in the car. Either way, I've already got Alex excited about seeing "long grass in Kansas", so let's go!
~ Ryan

All times are local to the particular city. This trip will take place entirely in the Central Time Zone (1 hour behind Eastern).

Emergency Contact Information:
Phone (Ryan's Cell): 410-259-4180
Phone (Megan's Cell): 443-564-1301
E-mail: (will be checked as often as possible)

Mobile Road Cam   Mobile Inside Cam
You know the drill. If we have signal and feel like setting up the webcam, the pictures above will start changing.

*** OUTBOUND ***
  Flight 1/1 (nonstop): Friday, August 29, 2014 -  TRACK IT!
  Southwest Airlines - Flight 333 (Baltimore to Kansas City)
  DEPART Baltimore, MD (BWI) at 8:15 AM
  ARRIVE Kansas City, MO (MCI) at 10:05 AM [11:05 AM, EDT]
  POSITION - Ryan: A31, Megan: A32, Alex: B10, Katie: N/A
  AIRCRAFT - Boeing 737-700

*** INBOUND ***
  Flight 1/1 (nonstop): Monday, September 1, 2014 -  TRACK IT!
  Southwest Airlines - Flight 2821 (Kansas City to Baltimore)
  DEPART Kansas City, MO (MCI) at 5:35 PM [6:35 PM, EDT]
  ARRIVE Baltimore, MD (BWI) at 9:00 PM
  POSITION - Ryan: TBD, Megan: TBD, Alex: TBD, Katie: N/A
  AIRCRAFT - Boeing 737-300

Hotel: Night 1 - August 29, 2014
Residence Inn Springfield
1303 East Kingsley Street
Springfield, MO 65804
Phone: 1-417-890-0020
Room Type: 1 Bedroom, 2-room suite, 1 King

Hotel: Night 2 - August 30, 2014
Marriott's Willow Ridge Lodge
2929 Green Mountain Drive
Branson, MO 65616
Phone: 1-417-348-3100
Room Type: Guest room, 1 Queen, Sofabed

Hotel: Night 3 - August 31, 2014
Wichita Marriott
9100 Corporate Hills Drive
Wichita, KS 67207
Phone: 1-316-651-0333
Room Type: Guest room, 1 King

Car Rental: August 29 (10:00 AM) - September 1 (5:30 PM)
Alamo Rent A Car
1 Nassau Circle
Kansas City, MO 64153
Phone: 1-888-826-6893
Car Type: Premium (Chrysler 300 or similar)

Note: The numbers in the itinerary correspond to the map at the bottom. For context, this section was written by Ryan.

Please note that times are ESTIMATES only to give you an idea of what our original plans were. We get distracted and detoured easily, so just check the webcam and/or GPS tracker to get an idea of where we really are.

Friday, August 29
Up until a couple weeks ago, this was going to be a routine work day with an evening flight out to Kansas City [1]. After some consideration, we decided to head out in the morning and spend the day exploring the town. We might check out the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and walk around Country Club Plaza for a while before making our way over to the Harry Truman Presidential Library [2]. We've been to the library before (with Kelly, no doubt), but it wasn't until after we visited most of the presidential libraries that they decided to implement a 'passport' program, similar to that of national parks. So, now we are re-visiting everything to get our stamp! Anyway, after swinging by the place where the buck stops, we'll make our way southbound, into the rain, to spend the night in Springfield [3].

Saturday, August 30 Find more about Weather in Branson, MO
Branson, baby! Today is all about the midwest's version of Las Vegas. Starting from our hotel, it's only about an hour ride south, and we might have time for a museum or two. By 1pm, we'll make our way over to the Dixie Stampede - pretty much Dolly Parton's version of Medieval Times. That will take most of the afternoon, and we might just head over to our hotel [4] in town afterward. It's one of Marriott's Vacation Club properties, so hopefully they will have some decent activities for Alex to enjoy. After that, it's time for bed!

Sunday, August 31 Find more about Weather in Pawhuska, OK
Hopefully by today we'll start to see the sun again. Today, we are headed west - and to 3 new states for Katie! We'll make our way along the Missouri/Arkansas border [5] for most of the morning before stopping in Joplin [6] - the site of a severe tornado a few years ago. We might grab some lunch there before making our way into Oklahoma [7] and all the way out to the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve [8] - for the third time! After walking around some grasslands, we'll start going north back to Kansas to spend our final night in Wichita [9].

Monday, September 1
Happy Labor Day! Today is our last day in the midwest, and we'll spend it doing what we love - driving. We'll hopefully get an early start so we can spend some time at the Dwight D Eisenhower Library [10], a place we have not visited before... at least I don't think so. After that, it's off to the Kansas State Capitol Building [11] in Topeka, and then a liquor store [12] in Lawrence - for no other reason than they sell a beer that is marketed by the Hason brothers. You can guess who wants to do that! And then, it'll be late afternoon and time for our flight home [13]. See you next time, Kansas City - for Midwest V!

Where you at?? We are never 100% on time to our destinations, so we've taken all the guesswork out of figuring out where we are by broadcasting our GPS location. You'll need to manually refresh this page to see our latest movements, but so long as we get cell phone signal, you'll be able to see where we are!

Megan's Location...                                     Ryan's Location...

And if that's not good enough, we've still got our guesstimated route highlighted below...

Just as before, these are some links where you might be able to track our flight. With all of these sites, be sure to hit refresh (F5) and click 'Retry' as applicable to view the latest information.

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