Christmas get-a-ways are great for families by Amber Skjonsberg Another Christmas has come and gone here in Wakonda. Families came from near and far to be with their loved ones but some friendly Wakonda faces weren't here for the holidays.
The Johnston family was among those who weren't here to share a Wakonda Christmas. On Christmas Eve they all hopped on an airplane from the Omaha Airport to Arizona. There they met Corey, Nikki's older brother, and went to their hotel for the night in rental car.
After settling in to what would be their home for the next four days and getting a good night sleep, they all headed off to Corey's house to plan their fun-filled day. They all decided to go see the sights at the Superstition Mountains, so they all hopped right back into their car and were on their way.
All excited to see more of that beautiful scenery they parked their car and got out at their first tourist sight-seeing stop, only to find that it was closed for Christmas. Needless to say they all were disappointed but they decided to make the best of their trip and drove around the countryside.
"It was neat going up the mountain and all the winding roads but with my dad driving I was a little concerned for my life," said Nikki. "He likes to look at the scenery, too, and with all the turns in the road I was kinda scared he was going to drive off the cliff."
After surviving the drive, they thought it might be safer to walk, so Nikki, Kelli and Corey decided to climb up the mountain for a little fresh air and some exercise.
After getting a good night's rest and icing their sore muscles they stared out on another exciting day. But there weren't any tourist sights open because of the holidays so they headed back to their hotel. They thought that their excitement for the day was over until the motel worker suggested a great place to eat. They decided to give it a shot, and headed up to the restaurant.
"It was really neat because it was up on top of this hill and you could look over and see all the lights of the town."
The good night food and a good night rest turned into a great next day. The Johnstons finally got to go to all their tourist stops because now they were all open. Saturday was spent shopping and even more sight-seeing.
The big event happened on Sunday. They all woke up and got ready to see the Vikings play the Cardinals.
"You had to look far and wide to see any Cardinal fans so that made the game that more exciting."
All the excitement and cheering fans never really seem to help the Vikings because they ended up losing, again.
"That may have been disappointing but it sure was fun being able to experience it."
After the big game they all decided to end their trip with fun filled game of bowling.
Everything has to come to end so the Johnstons packed up their stuff and headed back home.
"Although this trip was a lot of fun, Christmas sure wasn't the same not being in Wakonda."
Another friendly Wakonda face that wasn't here was that of Erin Spurrell.
Erin started her 12-hour drive with her dad, Owen, step-mom, Julie, and step-sister, Annette on the Dec. 29. They headed off to Denver, CO, to see her other step-sister, Stephanie, and her boyfriend, Joe � a.k.a. "Poo Yeah."
"It was a long drive but well worth it," said Erin.
Being stuck in a car with three other members of your family for 12 hours is a bit strenuous, so when they reached their destination they spent much of their time sight-seeing and shopping. Their first sight-seeing adventure was driving through the Eisenhower Tunnel, which is a mile and a half long.
"The cool arrow design inside the tunnel made it seem as if we were going super speed."
But Erin's claim to fame wasn't seeing the tunnel; it was being able to see the house that was in Charlie's Angles. But this wasn't just a normal house; this house could rotate to follow the sun!
Although sight-seeing is one of the reasons people go on vacation it isn't' the main reason people go; well not for the girls, anyway. You go for shopping, getting souvenirs and buying things for the people you left back at home. Erin and her family walked down the beautiful 16th Street for a fun-filled night, complete with plenty of shopping, driving through "steaming pot holes," and even dodging a few out of control busses.
When the night was finished Erin and her family went back to their hotel room where she could sit relax and soak up the sight of the seemingly small mountains, that are just on the other side of the city. Returning home on Dec. 31, Erin was a bit tired but glad to return home so that she could be in her own home and sleep in her own bed.
Going on vacation with your family is a lot of fun, but it's always a good feeling to come home to your own house and be with your family here at Wakonda.