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I enjoyed a lot of things about our family vacation (four-wheeling around The Farm with my sister-in-law is very close to the top). But my very favorite thing we did was driving to De Smet, South Dakota to visit Laura Ingalls Wilder’s homestead. We’ve talked about going there for years, and decided that this was the year.

Now De Smet isn’t really on the way to anywhere, which is why it took us so long to get around the getting there. We found a sweet bed and breakfast to welcome us (all four kiddos included), and they even let me use their kitchen to cook my GAPS-road-food. The kiddos loved the pancake men for breakfast (need to refresh your memory? Look in Little House in the Big Woods)

The homestead was quite impressive. We had heard to allow two hours to go through it. It took us four, and we didn’t even do everything.

Back at home, we questioned the kiddos about their favorite parts of the entire vacation. Pumping water at the Ingalls Homestead was near the top of everyone’s list.

And Ruby said that doing laundry in the washtub was so, so much more fun than using the washer and dryer at home. Even Gabriel thought so.

In the end, we all left feeling bitten by the pioneering bug that infected Pa Ingalls. I know the work was hard and heavy, but I can’t help but feel they had a satisfaction in their work that we’re missing out on these days.  We like to think we would have made it out there on the prairie, proving up our land, and finding some joy the tilling and churning and planting and milking (and washing and mending and watering and hauling and……)