Currently writing from Indiana, where my friend, Jay, and I are staying with my brother. It's been a long, fun, sometimes funny, sometimes nerve-raking journey so far.
Friday -- Seattle to Bozeman. The first leg of the trip. Lots of excitement, lots of chatter from both of us. Washington and Idaho seemed to fly by our window. In Montana, drove through a stretch of freeway that had just seen a forest fire. Dense smoke filled the valley we drove through and the sky was dark from the smoke. Kind of spooky and cool at the same time. Got flipped off by someone with a vanity plate that read "6 Boyz" for not going fast enough, which apparently was 95 mph+. Didn't notice if all 6 boys were in the mini-van.
Saturday -- Bozeman to Fargo. 745 miles. Long day. Realized I forgot my pillow in Bozeman about 2 hours after leaving the hotel. Crap. I don't know about the quality of North Dakota schools, but North Dakota reststop restrooms are top notch! No really, I'm serious, these bathrooms were nice. Get into Fargo and finally find the hotel. The great thing about hotels with far doors is that it's easy to smuggle in the cat. More on that later.
Sunday -- Fargo to Chicago. Another long day. Probably because it was the third day of driving all day. First encounter with a toll road. What is this crap? Pay....to use the freeway? We make the rookie mistake of leaving the toll road, which I'm told, I have to get use to calling them. Go to get back on the toll road and discover we have to pay AGAIN to get back on! Get into Chicago. Very excited to get to hotel because we got Cubs tickets and we've never been to Wrigley Field. Frontdesk at Days Inn tells us they don't allow pets. Crap, no far door to sneak through. So we go to get the car from vallet. I'm standing on a busy road in Chicago, trying to convince two guys named Jesus and Lazer to allow us to Max back in the car. See, the vallet won't allow pets in the cars. Luckily, Lazer owns a cat, so he'll allow us to park the car in front of the hotel and put Max back in the car with food and water and windows partially rolled down. We walk to the game. Wrigley Field was a really cool ballpark. No Diamond Vision. No dancing grounds crew. No Hat Trick. You'd better come to Wrigley Field wanting to watch a baseball game. It seemed like the ground was dipped in a giant tub of History. Very cool. Game ends. Go back to hotel. It's pretty humid. So I decide to try to sneak Max into the hotel. There's been a shift change so we sense our chance. Jay runs interference with the front desk and I put Max in a duffle bag and casually stroll into the lobby and up the stairs. Mission successful.
Monday -- Chicago to South Bend. Except in the morning, Max doesn't want to go back into the bag for the trip down to the car. One unhappy cat later, we make a break for it and get the heck out of Dodge. Make to South Bend and are able to get some rest at my brother's house. Car gets washed. We regret to inform you that approximately 5000 bugs met their end of the front grill of my car. It was Men in Black on the front of my car, you know, all that goo when they blow up an alien... My brother has been a great host and this will hopefully recharge us for the next two days.
That's it for now. Syracuse NY tomorrow. The movers from A & G Vanlines are on crack (that's NOT an endorsement). Our house will probably be empty for 3 to 4 days before our stuff arrives because they're late with our stuff. I miss Laura and Jack something fierce and I'm looking forward to seeing them again. My friend Jay has been totally awesome. I realize it can't be easy to be cooped up me, confined to car with me for about 50 hours in less than a week (apparently, Laura has told me I can get grumpy when I get tired or hungry or both). I'm really grateful he came along.