A successful road trip has ended.
The van worked out well. Matt was co-pilot (and a fine one he was), Katie had the middle seat and Alyssa stretched out in the third seat. Pillows and blankets all through the car. Favorite expressions--"Did someone say music???", "So, it's raining, so what, who cares", "Mia, quit swerving the car", "Is this a tornado?". Ran into really frightening weather in Ohio. I know you are not supposed to pull over when there is wind, rain, hail, winds that are blowing the van all over the road, but boy, I was tempted. Smooth sailing after the storm passed until we got outside Chicago, where there were "traffic incidences" and backups galore. Took us 45 minutes to go 4 miles, and by that time, we were all tired.
Not to worry, arrived in Iowa City at the exact same time as Rob, Anna and Mara, the Cedar Rapids component. All weariness was forgotten as the kids played cards while brother, sister-in-law and Mia shared a bottle (or two) of wine. Kids all had a sleepover and the next day was filled with shopping, relaxing and dinner with the cousins, courtesy of Rob and Lisa.
We left Iowa and traveled east to Cedar Point, Sandusky where we met with Marci, Mike and Zach for a fun day at Cedar Point. Such laughter as we drove back to the hotel, waving at strangers, being silly as only one can after a long, long day.
Went to Amish country in Berlin, Ohio. That was a bust for the kids, but I sure had fun walking through the town, looking in the shops.
Back home to drop off the van and pick up my car to go to the farm. Mr. and Mrs. Miller were welcoming as always. However, Mrs. Miller's breakfasts aren't quite the way I remember. In fact, we wondered how we could avoid breakfast the second day, as on the first, food was placed in napkins by a certain child and left to feed the multitude of kittens. Some, less than a week old, were found in the bushes snuggled up to mom.
Onto Altoona for a baseball game with the Curves. On the way to Altoona, engine light came on in a raging rain in the mountains. Matt and Katie's response? "Our engine light has been on for years." No consolation as I called my mechanic who said if it starts blinking, it's trouble. Otherwise, just bring it in when you get home. Sure. Will do.
Game was good until the two hour storm delay. Notice I said storm. Not rain, storm. Lightening, thunder, downpour that flooded the field. Beautiful ballpark. But by this time this lady was exhausted. Twenty-two hundred miles of driving did me in!
It was a safe trip and oh, so much fun. Matt, the co-pilot, and I discussed in the pouring down rain from Altoona to Pittsburgh that next year would be back to Chicago. And no, I am never, ever driving on a road trip again. Of course at the end of the road trip next year I will say I am never, ever flying again.
Road trip----success, but oh, so good to be back home again! But already planning for next one!
On another note, today was a celebration of summer with everyone. Brunch at the Grand Concourse and lots of picture taking. Memories of our Sunday dinners with Mary Rose joining us. She and Katie off to college next weekend. Sad, but happy. Time passes so quickly.