Alvrez's at Little House

Trip Start Nov 06, 2009
Trip End Nov 30, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Minnesota
Thursday, November 12, 2009

Off to De Smet, South Dakota today, home town (one of them) of Laura Ingall's Wilder, author of the 'Little House' series (in case you've been living under a rock & unfamiliar with the series of books and the 1970's TV series.) Drove through some small towns on the way there (Josh had to make an emergency toilet stop at a tiny gas station in the town of Fedora and I use the term 'town' lightly as it had a population of 21 according to the town's sign) and again the wide open fields of maize and prairie grass. De Smet was a lovely little town and we decided to do the Laura Ingall Wilder tour. Our guide was called Bev and she was very knowledgeable and
entertaining – we especially like the way she said 'creek', which came out as 'crick'! First we went to the Surveyors Cottage where Bev told us about the families travels and then we checked out the old schoolhouse. Lastly we drove across town to the house that Pa built in the late 1870's and heard about the family once the girls had grown to adulthood. We were really glad we did the tour and even Josh and Kate seemed to enjoy it – Kate of course dead keen to buy
the set of Laura's books (which we did). After the tour drove back into town to have lunch at Ward Store (a cross between a bakery/diner/general store). The waitress there was very friendly
and even gave Kate a grilled cheese sandwich for free when she didn't like the soup that she'd ordered. Fred was talking to the waitress later, who was originally from Florida, and when she asked him where we were from she had no idea where New Zealand was (she even asked
Fred what 'State' that was in), or even Australia or Antarctica! Also the other couple from Michigan who were on the tour with us came over for a chat, which was nice. Stopped in at The Loftus Store, (an original store from Laura's time, which now sells souvenirs) and bought a couple of gifts – the lady there again very friendly. All and all the friendliest town we've been to so far in the USA and would loved to have spent more time there.

Back on the road to Mankato, Minnesota – not sure if mentioned in the Laura books, but was mentioned on the TV Series. Also drove through Walnut Grove (where Ingall's family lived in) and past 'Plum Creek' (name of one of the books). Staying at the Comfort Inn in Mankato. Walked across the parking lot and across the road (was freezing outside, at least I thought so) to
Taco Bell where we ate (more than enough) for $16. Back at the motel, the kids enjoyed having a swim in the heated pool.
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