We made the trip in 13.5 hours, which included a couple of gas stops and a stop for lunch.
The last few times we drove to Texas, we packed a picnic lunch and stopped along the Turnpike. The drive down I-44, particularly once you hit the Turnpike in Oklahoma, can be long and monotonous (the upside is that the Turnpike allows you to careen down the interstate at a higher rate of speed and you get to your destination sooner...and having viewed fewer billboards). When E1 and E2 were younger they were just fine with a rest area picnic; running off some energy, blowing bubbles, discovering bugs.
But then there was that one time we picnicked in 104 degree weather.
The last time we drove to Texas I was pregnant with E3, and although she has never had the chance to enjoy a roadside picnic, this time I didn't think a picnic along the turnpike was going to cut it with the older girls.
Above all, I didn't want to have to stop at the country's former largest McD's (over the turnpike in Vinita, Ok).
So, some time before the trip I Googled 'I-44 St. Louis Oklahoma City attractions' or something...and discovered that this particular stretch of I-44 roughly follows the path of Old Route 66 (did you just start mentally singing Life Is A Highway? yeah, me too).
I borrowed The Route 66 Adventure Handbook from our library, with a vague plan of finding something interesting when we were ready to stop for lunch.
That's how we found ourselves having a picnic lunch at the world's tallest concrete totem pole in Foyil, Oklahoma.
The artist, Ed Galloway, also had a collection of over 300 fiddles - each made from a different kind of wood.
It was a nice way to break up the drive.
On the road again....listening to Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone.