One Last Road Trip

Today, I'll be back at work. My vacation has expired. But, I wasn't going to go quietly, no siree.  I went on one final road trip.

Remember, when I led you down the Kansas and then Iowa trails in search of Laura Ingalls Wilder home sites? This weekend my daughter and I made our annual trip to Mansfield MO to see if anything new was going on at Laura and Almanzo's home place. There wasn't. Except...there were a BAZILLION people there.

There are two Wilder homes to tour in Mansfield. The farmhouse was built by Almanzo and Laura Wilder over a 19 year span (it may have been 18). They also had a second house built for them by their only living child--Rose Wilder Lane. She felt they needed a more modern home. Rose built it not far from the farmhouse. While they lived in the Rock House, Rose lived in the farmhouse. It was during their time at the Rock House that Laura began writing her books.

Let's begin this pictorial journey with (did you guess) the driveway leading to the farmhouse, museum and store.

The Sign

This is the farmhouse. You get to tour everything except the upstairs. We had the best tour guide. She knew her stuff. Yes, I quizzed her to make sure I was getting my $8 worth. No, I ditn't. My daughter ALWAYS makes me behave.

This is the Rock House sign. We had to wait on another tour to finish and sat outside the tour station until a wasp flew in.  We decided to let him stay and we would move. See those benches, we sat there and waited.

This is the more modern/less work for her parents--Rock House (yes I always capitalize Rock House) that Rose built and where Laura and Almanzo lived for a few years. But, when Rose moved to Danbury Connecticut, L and A moved back into their beloved farmhouse. I mean who needs closets, electricity and less work?  ME!

After we left the home sites, we went back to Mansfield and found a little Cafe'. I had a Bacon Cheeseburger. I 'm only telling you this because I'm a boring eater. I'm very predictable.  My daughter likes to try new foods and I admire that. So when she ordered fried pickles I wanted to try one.

Me: I want to try one of your pickles.

Daughter: Ok (I think she was surprised, but so was I.).

Me: No, never mind. (I should have listened to me.)

D before the order came: Have you ever had fried green tomatoes?

Me: No, I don't think so. Maybe. Is that what they taste like?

D: I don't know, I've never had a fried pickle.

(She's starting to make no sense--like her mother. Somebody help her, please.)

Me: Ok, I'll try a little one. (I took a bite and ewww, it was bitter. Oh wait, it was pickle.)  Do you want it back? (I have no idea why I asked her this.)

D: Nooo (she laughed). (She told me later that she wished I could have seen my face when I bit into it.)

We also visited a (used) bookstore that we went to last year. They have three extra large tiger striped cats in residence. One follows your every step (or maybe it's just us) and talks the whole time. Seriously, I couldn't get a word in edgewise. Meow this, Meow that.

I've been looking for Under The Dome by Stephen King. I started it over Christmas break last year but didn't finish it before I had to return it. I only paid $8 for a $35 book. Now I can finish it at my leisure during the daytime and with all lights on in my house.

That's it--my last road trip for the year.

P.S. If you ever get near Mansfield Missouri, you must visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder (and Almanzo) homes. You will not be disappointed. I promise. I'll even meet you there if I can and you're not scary and if you won't take my picture.

P.S.S. The house photos were taken at an earlier date because...well I already have several photos of the houses. Just saying.

Have a great week and think of me as I come off of a 6-week-vacation. Are you crying a tear for me? I didn't think so. 


  1. Hi Teresa .. happy day today.

    The 6 weeks .. obviously has been great fun - loved the tour of the Wilder places - and one perhaps I'll get to visit.

    Great story re the cafe .. and pickles .. the book shop & cats .. stripey tigers .. well you could have learnt their language - they were obviously trying to tell you something awfully important. 'Enjoy' finishing Under the Dome - I think I'd finish before winter sets in ....

    Good luck today .. and fantastic you had such a glorious time .. cheers Hilary

  2. What gorgeous houses! I loved those books...loved them!

    And I love fried pickles and fried green tomatoes, too. :)

  3. It's hard getting back into the swing of work. I hope all goes well for you. Thanks for sharing these posts of what I call "Little House on the Prairie" I loved that series and reading the books as a child!

  4. Love the post! Love fried pickles and green tomatoes too! Sorry your vacation is over but glad you had fun while it lasted! XO

  5. I too like fried pickles but it is an acquired taste. As to the Rock House, I so understand no electricity and BTW, you sure have a lot of conditions to meeting you :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  6. Great photos. I think I'd be torn between the two houses too. I'm so sorry you're having to go back to work. Six weeks is not long enough. Friday tell them you need a few days off to regroup. :) Have a great week, my friend.

    Thoughts in Progress
    Freelance Editing By Mason

  7. Lucky you! Road trips are great fun. Glad you had such a great time. I've tried fried pickles before. They were okay, but it's not something to get overly excited about. I read Under the Dome and really liked it. I thought the ending was kind of weird and a bit of a cop out, but overall a fine book.

    Tossing It Out

  8. Lovely post - Good luck back at work :)

  9. I have really enjoyed your trip through this part of the US. I haven't seen it but it's so interesting to discover the history behind the houses and the land.

  10. I might have told you I once lived in Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, with the first husband. Beautiful country, Missouri! How lovely this last road trip of yours was. I LOVE this photographs. As for fried green tomatoes you mentioned: I once fried some green tomatoes I picked free from a vine. I liked them.

    My daughter Jen remembers the Wilder stories. Thanks for memories!
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

  11. Wow, so awesome! My mom and I have always wanted to visit LIJ's homes. We're big fans of the books! Those pictures are wonderful.

    I bought my Dad that Stephen King book for Christmas. I didn't have to pay full price bc I had a coupon (woohoo!) but it was still a lot more than $8, LoL. Great find!

  12. Lovely. I love to come visit the LIW houses with you.


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