The Great Escape: Days 1 – 3

This is the part where I get to bore you with the details of my fabulous trip (and pretend I’m still on it)– I really am trying to keep it brief yet informative. And share some pics… okay okay, just skip the next 5 or 6 posts if you want 🙂

Day 1– Tuesday, August 31: I left work late (of course). Had to race home and pack in a very hot house. Ugh. The dogs caught on to some sort of trip and wanted to wait in the car while I packed it. They are ready to go!

We eventually had the car loaded, dragged the dogs back into the house, and headed to pick up Katie in Ypsi. And then realized I’d forgotten an important bag (battery chargers and all) so we headed back to the Homestead before finally getting on the road… and yes, I was on automatic pilot and did get on I-94 going east… oops. We finally got on the road going west and played what became our trip theme song “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler. I happen to love that song from high school and it makes a great road trip song because it is really really long and ridiculous and I know all the words. How could you go wrong, especially with a song that starts “Turn around…” and has a verse that says “Every now and then I know there’s no one in the universe as magical and wondrous as you…” So great. Anyway, I digress.

We made it to Chicago in good time and stayed the night with Brigette and Sam. Got a good visit in with Brigette.

Day 2– Weds, Sept. 1: We left Chicago shortly before 8… Brigette had let us into the parking structure with the guest parking pass and some swipe card, but of course we had no idea we needed one to get out… until we were sitting ready to exit the parking garage and the door wouldn’t open. Oops. Just as Leslie was going to go to the front desk and ask for help, someone pulled behind us, also wanting out. He handed us his swipe card to get us out and we were on our merry way (well, at least until we got stuck in some lovely Chicago traffic).
We headed up into Wisconsin and had a lovely lunch and visit with Patty and her adorable munchkins, near Amherst Junction. They took us for a short walk around their yard, some raspberry picking, egg gather, swinging, and lots of entertaining. It was a great visit- though too short. And as I told my car buddies, we only stop at the friends houses who have cute kids 🙂

From there we headed west to St. Paul for dinner with Betsy and her munchkins, Kate, and Angelique. Iain kept us entertained through the meal, and Betsy and Kate fed us wonderful home cooked food and a heavenly dessert (you are amazing Kate!!). It was amazing how much we appreciated real meals, even after being on the road such a short time. The appreciation grew through the rest of the trip… not only did all of our hosts and hostesses feed us well, somehow snacking in the car for days on end really improves one’s appreciation of a good home cooked meal.

We followed Angelique to her apartment to stay the night… including a massage (oh my gosh awesome) and some late night pillow talk. So much fun and once again, much too short (are you sensing a theme?)!

Day 3– Thurs, Sept 2: The Long One. This was the longest stretch on our trip. We drove from St. Paul, MN to Canyon Creek, MT. Did you catch that? We drove through Minnesota, North Dakota, and halfway through Montana that day. Saw a lot of hay, cows, hay, cows, barns, hay, cows… you get the point. We had a blast, saw some beautiful country, scoped out several farms I was sure I’d be perfectly content living in… and even saw some interesting sights along the way… like the giant Holstein cow “Salem Sue” somewhere in ND. The ND Badlands. And naturally we used every excuse for a good photo shoot (doesn’t everyone pull off the highway to climb on hay bales?) And took a few random roadside stops to get out, tackle Reenie, ya know, the usual.

Really, until that last two hours, it didn’t feel like an 18 hour day in the car… until that last two hours. Let’s just say we were really ready to get out and crash when we finally arrived at 1 am. Linus, the vicious watchdog, licked us and let us sneak in without even a bark.

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