We're on the road and makin' memories. The two hour plane trip was palatable; no delays, no screaming babies, no lost luggage. The kids seemed a little surprised that we didn't spring for a Hummer, but they willingly crammed into our midsized rental for a whirlwind tour through the mid-western states of Kansas, Missouri, Illinois and Wisconsin.
We've hit most of the local sights. Some were more interesting than others. We couldn't believe that the kids were more interested in the local wildlife (mainly frogs, hundreds of them) than the history of the area. OK, maybe we could believe that. We have learned why it's important not to drink large amounts of liquid beverage when traveling through unfamiliar territory. Especially, areas lacking the convenience of fast food pit stops, or even old, decrepit gas stations. (Not so important a lesson for boys who are willing to pee anywhere as it was for their mother with standards to uphold!) The landscape is amazingly different from our desert scenery. Tonight we learned why everything is so green. Twice we were detoured off the freeway due to local flooding. Not a worry. We're equipped with GPS and old-fashioned paper maps. We became pretty handy at negotiating the country back roads. About two hours from the day's final destination, the sky turned ominous and the radio warned us of impending hail and high winds. The Weather Channel indicated that we should take shelter immediately. We quickly calculated that we might make the next big town...if we hurried. We had already missed lunch and didn't want to miss dinner, so we hightailed it to the Coach House Restaurant in Quincy as the raindrops fell in earnest. Just as our dinner was served, the storm hit in all its furry. The storm was everything predicted, and then some. Emergency vehicles wailed outside. The winds howled and the rain pounded all around us. The lightening was intense and caused all of us to jump on more than one occasion. Within a few minutes the power was cut off and we spent the next 40 minutes enjoying our delicious dinner by candlelight. Once it was deemed safe, we headed back out in the storm to complete the day's journey. Hopefully, the rest of the trip will be less adventurous!
Here's a fun game that we called "And Then There was One." As we traveled down dirt roads, dozens of grasshoppers jumped onto the car for the ride of their lives. We cheered loudly as they were able to hang on. We cheered even louder as they lost their grip, one by one! Cheap and easy entertainment, who doesn't love that?!