Monday, August 06, 2007

Day Five

We had another three state day today! We started in Sioux City, IA, and decided to make it a big driving day. There weren't any sites in either Iowa or Illinois on our list of things to see, so it made sense to just power on through. We made it to Des Moines, where we had lunch at a Cracker Barrel! I'd been trying to have a meal there since we first realized we were in Cracker Barrel country. Yes, I know, they're all over the country. But they're not in Oregon or Washington. The food was good, the service friendly and the store was full of cool stuff! I bought a Josh Turner live CD (Cracker Barrel exclusive) and DH got one of railroad music. The servings were large, so we packed up leftovers (and had them for dinner!). This was only our second restaurant meal of the whole trip, as we realized that not only would eating out cost a lot of money, but even more important, would eat up time.

After lunch, we got right back on the highway and headed east for the Iowa border. Along the way, we checked maps and found a likely stopping spot for the night: Merrilville, IN. It's right at Highway 30, which we'll need to take to get to Ft. Wayne, our next planned stop.

Nothing much to report about traveling across two whole states. We saw corn, lots and lots of corn. It's kind of beautiful...although it makes me sad that it'll be turned into high-fructose corn syrup.

We did hit a lighting storm on the way through Illinois, close to the Chicago area. Man, was that a bear to drive in! Huge thudding rain drops, lightning, other cars and trucks going way the heck too fast. After that, the Chicago area (we were on I-80 remember, so we skirted the worst) was full of huge trucks, cement walls, a friggin' toll booth of all things, and people just going way too fast. I don't mind speed, I enjoyed going 85 through stretches of Montana and South Dakota, but in those conditions, 80 just wasn't safe. Anyway, we did make it safely to Merrilville, our hotel is cheap (thanks to a coupon book I found at an Illinois rest area--look for those, you can save $20!), and the kids are letting off steam by jumping on the beds. Nothin' like a bed you can jump on! We have futons at home, which aren't nearly so much fun.

Tomorrow, we'll arrive in Ohio via Ft. Wayne, IN.

Pictures soon!


Miss Piggy said...

Weren't you afraid to eat somewhere with "cracker" in the title?

clutter buddy said...

Yes, all the corn is very unsettling, especially if you've spent any time reading Stephen King. :) And I remember being terrified driving through Chicago, especially at night. I thought at any moment I would end up in the wrong lane and get shot off into no-where land.

In Recovery said...

When in Iowa, do as the Iowans do...oh wait, we're not in Iowa anymore! :-)

Crimson said...

Actually, we've got a fair number of ethanol plants going or starting up soon here in Iowa. Not *all* corn is destined for high fructose corn syrup. :-)

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you're just looking for natural sites to visit, ie, lakes, forests, mountains, Mt Rushmore, etc, but Chicago does have a lot to offer. They have some fantastic art museums (the Art Institute would take a week or more to see everything) they have wonderful parks right on Lake Michigan, they have a great zoo, window shopping galore on Michigan Ave (the "Magnificent Mile"), and lots of historic buildings and wonderful architecture, like a couple of the tallest buildings in the world: the Sears Tower and the Hancock Building, from which you can see four states when the air is clear (Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan). Maybe when the kids get bigger? As for now, are you going to go through northern Ohio on the toll road (80)? Because there's an awesome amusement park somewhere out there, on an island, I believe (between Toledo and Sandusky? past Sandusky? Somewhere in that vicinity....)on Lake Erie. If you're going to Cincinnati, there's a totally awesome 6 Flags amusement park right outside town, I think it's called something like King's Island, not sure. Cincinnati is also a beautiful city, lots of hills, a beautiful river.

In Recovery said...

We did take I-80, the Ohio turnpike toll road. Those are a new experience for us, being from Washington. I'll look up the amusement park, the kids would probably love it.

Chicago will wait for another visit. We won't really have time to do it justice, and the kids, I fear, will lose patience with the things *I* would enjoy, like the Art Institute.