Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
I didn't keep up with the blogging as I intended this week. By the time we got settled into the hotels, ate dinner and other travel "fun", I was just too mentally done to write anything coherent. What is it about sitting in a car 8 or more hours a day that just exhausts you? Anyway, we are in California now, so I'll give the highlights of each day.
Take (Day) One: Ohio, Indiana and Illinois
We were on the road by 0900, saying good-bye to family for the last time in a while. It was a blessing to be able to live near family over this past year and hard to say good-bye. But away we went, in our car packed to the max with only room to breathe. The cat was in her crate wedged between the boys on the back seat, the dog on the floor and various forms of entertainment squished into any little holes and gaps. Whenever we stopped and the the doors opened, we would come spilling out like the clown car at the circus. The trunk was packed so full, it was like the trick "can-o-snakes" where everything would come springing out when the trunk was released, and sometimes require strong bodily force to get it closed again!
About the cat: the first day she was given a pill, she didn't really know what happened. Craig held her and Chuck tilted her head back, opening her mouth so she resembled a kitty Pez dispenser. She got the pill, and before she knew what was being done, it was done. No hiding, no clawing, no drama. She just shook her head like, "What the heck just happened?!"
The boys did well, the traffic was good, the cat sedated (enough); it was a good travel day. We stayed in a place in western Illinois that was very clean, nice, had an indoor pool, etc. It was located in Farm Town USA, which means it was smaller than the town I lived growing up in Wyoming. There was one restaurant, which did not take debit or credit and was patronized by the "Who the Heck are these Strangers in our Town?" club. I guess the staring wasn't necessarily rude, just curious. Honestly though, this town is right on I-80, do they not get a lot of strangers in their town?
It gave me hope that maybe we COULD make it 2231 miles. But I kept in mind that it was only day one!
Take (Day) Two: Iowa into Nebraska
We were supposed to go to Mass in Farm Town, but the Weather Channel was talking about all of these horrible storms in the area and how it was going to be very bad all day, all the way across Iowa. We were concerned we'd get stuck someplace or have to drive very, very slowly and that our 5 hour day would turn into something really, really long. It's happened to us, on the way from NC to OH: it took us almost 5 hours to get from the southern border of Ohio up to Cleveland, when it normally only take about 2 - 2 1/2 hours. There was horrible rain, wind, hail and at times we would all be pulled over on the side of the road waiting for better conditions. So, we decided to get the heck out of Dodge, drove 20 minutes, and come to find out, the Weather Channel lied and the worst weather we had all day was that which was at our hotel.
(Remember when Katrina hit and everyone asked why people didn't evacuate? It's because the news ramps things up so much to get ratings, that people don't believe them anymore. It's not just TWC that I've seen this trend, either.)
So, this time, Calamity (the cat)was onto Chuck and his pillsy ways: she was hiding under the bed. Not wanting to go back to the car for the Kitty Displacement Tool (the Nerf Foam Sword), he lifted the mattress while Craig crawled back and grabbed the kitty. She was not happy, but was out-muscled and before she could get her claws out, she'd already been given the pill.
We drove the five hours, in mostly dry weather and got to our next stop in NE way too early. We had planned a shorter driving day to allow us time to get to Mass, but TWC foiled our plans. The hotel on the second night had been recently renovated, and while it too, was nice, with very comfortable beds, our room was a non-smoking room formerly known as smoking. Why do places think that people can't smell this? Anyway, the room was fine, the pool good and the dinner at Cracker Barrel down the street very tasty.
Day two was fairly uneventful, other than a little guilt for missing Mass, I was counting the blessings of our trip so far. Jaden and I had a fun time pointing out the old style silos to each other. When Chuck commented on how flat Iowa was, I just giggled to myself. Just wait until we hit Nebraska!