So not necessarily the white rabbit, more like a mini-van, but that is what I did for the past 8 hours today. I am happy to say that Day ONE of our journey has come to an end, and I can actually put up my feet and reflect while my awesome hubby is out grabbing dinner for us.
I would have to again say that we could not have left WI any better than we did. We woke up on the floor- got some sleep, but not much. Got kids to school, and took pics of Emily and teachers before it started. It was rough to see Emily get teary eyed with past teachers, and I myself got choked up at times- but we got through it. I ran home to help Craig pack up the rest, clean the place, and then it was back to school to get Emily. (WHY they have an hour and a half on the last day of school is SO ridiculous to me, but WHATEVER). As Emily got her yearbook signed by her friends, pictures taken, we headed to find another teacher when the fire alarm went off. Emily and I scurried through the empty hallways to get out the door, but it was pretty funny way to leave her school. We went and hung out at BK to have lunch, and Emily started to cry. I felt so terrible, and I had that sudden pang of “Please God, let her be ok with this decision.” I went to get Kyra while Craig and Em went to get snacks. I knew the next step would be tough because Kyra has been dating Peter for almost 2 years. They came out hand in hand and had their last moments of goodbye-another tear jerker as I stood there with Peters parents.
We had agreed awhile ago to go to Lutz Park in Appleton where we played “Pooh Sticks” and have our last moment of goodbye in WI there. After seeing that there were MANY Geese with babies in the area, we opted to have our moment on the lawn instead of the bridge. We held hands, stood in a circle, and Craig prayed while we all had tears fall. This was it, this was the last moment, and we made it count. We grabbed lunch for Kyra and we were on Highway 41 at noon today.
We ran into lots of construction in the OshKosh area, and we waved to Mark and Jen as we drove past Fond du Lac. We had no problems getting to the Milwaukee area, and again waved to another good friend, Kim Ellefson, at the Medical College from the hwy. The last moment of pain came from passing the Kenosha area- The Value Inn, Cracker Barrel, the Hotel our girl posse stayed at and of course, Bristol Renaissance Faire. I made so many awesome friends at Faire that I just had a hard time believing I wouldn’t be back this summer. I WILL be back next summer though- so keep those opening dates available ladies!
Illinois came with the fun of tollbooths and crazy drivers- I don’t think I have ever been cut off so much in my life than I did today in IL. Maybe we are just calmer drivers in WI, but I swear these people were running from a fire or something. We stopped at our favorite Oasis in Illinois over Hwy 95 and chilled with some pretzels and bottled water. It felt GREAT to get out of the car and stretch my legs- you have to remember, Craig and I always shared the driving, so doing all 24 hours on my own is a bit tough on me- I would much rather nap while he drives. LOL
Gurnee made me think of Kelly, Angie and Court, and I waved to Joes Crab Shack as we passed by. Great America reminded me of my brother Ryan and my birthday we spent there in 2005, along with Kim riding that stagecoach ride with me and letting me scream her ear off- good times girl, good times! We took the beltway around Chicago, and then rush hour hit. I can say that now having survived driving through there, I would take a fast paced highway any day over what we experienced- slow, crawling, 15 mph… you get the idea. Rush hour in Appleton usually meant WI and College avenue was busy- not hordes of traffic crossing 4 lanes. Its preparing me for FL drivers, so it’s all good.
Once Indiana hit, we were thrilled to be doing the normal 65 mph again. The evening was warm, so Kyra and I had the windows down a bit to get some fresh air, while we listened to the hit stations of Indiana. We arrived safely at our hotel and are now chilling out.
Tomorrow we head to Kentucky, Tennessee, and then ending our day in Georgia. It’s a 12 hour day that will be a long one, but hopefully we will make it a fun and adventurous day. We will update as we go, but I am only able to do so when we stop for breaks- that whole “driving thing” gets in the way of my tweeting! LOL (I promised Lou Mongello I would not tweet and drive- too dangerous- wouldn’t do it anyways).
Stay tuned, thanks again for all the kind words today- we are ONE MORE DAY CLOSER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!