APRIL 22, 2012, DAY 13
7:30 a.m. The Hunni got up. He read his Bible in the quiet moments before we all awoke.
8:00 I got up. The kiddos were all still asleep. I love to take pictures of them sleeping. There is nothing so sweet and precious.
Little Man won’t be able to sleep in the Pack-N-Play next summer.
These three comrades probably won’t all fit in a double bed next summer.
But this trip they did. And this trip was special. They are still all “little”. They still all want to be together–with us.
8:30 Ate breakfast at the hotel (Sioux Falls, South Dakota)
9:30 We pulled into Panera for a coffee and a free pastry (from their rewards program.) The Hunni eats on the road 50% of the year, so we join all the reward programs, then The Hunni always gives me the “freebie”.
9:37 The Hunni asks if we are taking the northern route or the southern route. I quickly grab a map, as I had planned to stay on I 90. I had about 25 seconds to decide as the exit was rapidly approaching. I chose the southern route. I had been dreading this last day’s drive because to me, leaving South Dakota was leaving the west, and the wildness, and the freedom, and the openness. I had looked and looked for a way to make the last day interesting, and the only plan I could think of was to take the ferry across Lake Michigan–a four-hour ride. But when I had check the ferry schedule, I realized that it didn’t start running until May 1. So when The Hunni mentioned a different route home for the last day’s drive, I jumped on it. We took I 29 south out of Sioux Falls toward Sioux City Sue, Sioux City Sue, Your hair is red, Your eyes are blue, I’d swap my horse and dog for you-u-u. Sioux City Sue, Sioux City Sue. There ain’t no gal as sweet as, My sweet Sioux City Sue.
10:10 It is Sunday. We don’t usually spend Sunday traveling. We usually plan our trips around Sunday, but this time, we had to. It felt a bit odd. So we put in a CD of hymns. And at 10:10 our entire car was singing “I Am Bound For the Promised Land” along with Andy Griffith.
That’s right Andy Griffith of “The Andy Griffith Show.”
Here is a sample from the CD we were listening to.
10:28 Pulled off in a rest area. It will be our last stop in South Dakota. In twenty miles we will cross “The Wide Missouri” and leave the west.
All of the South Dakota Rest Areas have this sculpture. It is beautiful.
The Hunni got out the jump rope again. It was sunny and windy, yet there was a chill in the air, so it felt good to be running around outside.
10:44 We are back in the car. The empty bladders, the stretching of the legs, and the wild windy outside, make climbing back into the car feel almost cozy.
10:48 The Hunni hooks up his iPad to our car’s speaker system. Then he uploads a J. Vernon McGee sermon. The Hunni listens to him on the road and occasionally at home. Here is the link if you are interested in reading through the Bible in five years. J. Vernon McGee has a mini sermon on each chapter.
12:21 We see a wild turkey while listening to “Clifford the Big Red Dog”–Eloise’s listening choice.
12:38 We begin listening to, “Al Capone Does My Shirts”–LBG’s (Little Big Guy) listening choice. “Al Capone Does My Shirts” takes us all the way across Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and into Michigan. It is listed as “young adult literature”, and you can read a summary of the book here. I had pre-read the book and decided it was okay for this family–some lessons in dealing with a trouble-some and persuasive girl, lots of baseball, and lots of dealing with an autistic sister whom he truly loves and cares for. I would suggest a pre-read to decide if this book is for your family.
2:07 We pull off I 80 in Des Moines, Iowa and head downtown to a Panera.
It was very quiet downtown, which I hope means everyone was at church.
2:31 We leave Panera and get back on I 80. Now when I was a kid and traveled through Des Moines, Iowa, my father would always point out the golden dome on the Iowa State Capital Building. And he would always say, “Iowa corn built that. That gold is all Iowa corn.”
I know the photo is blurry, but I wanted you to also get to see some golden Iowa corn.
” The commanding feature is the central towering dome constructed of iron and brick and covered with 23 carat gold.” (from Wikipedia)
Here is a photo of the front of the building. (from Wikipedia)
9:37 Our goal had been to eat supper on the other side of Chicago. We finally found a Cracker Barrel that was opened and at 9:37 we pulled in for supper. Scout bought Silly Putty and I bought Little Man a little airplane.
10:27 We knew we were in Michigan when we started to see Meijer’s. Meijer’s is our Wal-Mart. We stopped for some gas and to buy milk.
1:32 We arrive home–tired, but safe. Glad to get out of the car, but sorry the adventure is over. Happy to have our own bed, but not looking forward to the laundry. Thankful for the opportunity to drive cross-country, but sad for the occasion.
Thanks so much for coming along with us.
we try to stop at every capitol building we can. also we listened to ” al capone does my shirts” this year too…we enjoyed it…especially jude.
It’s been a great “ride” going along with you all on your travels….J.Vernon McGee has been part
of our family radio time for MANY years. Such priceless pics of the children sleeping!!
You lead an exciting life
Almost wish it wasn’t over but glad you made it all the way safely and are back home again. Thanks for the stories along the way.
Big kids travel well across the country too. (But they don’t sleep in the same bed.) They enjoy being together and with Dad and Mom too.
LOVE LOVE LOVE that the kids enjoy being together AND being with Dad and Mom! When you see the love they have for each other it somehow makes up (sorta) for all the fighting that goes on. Maybe it’s just my kids that fight, bicker and generally annoy each other? BUT, they also can’t live without each other and that’s precious!
Just a fun story: My mother-in-law lived across the street from J Vernon McGee before she was married. On her wedding day, (the ceremony was held in the front yard of her childhood home) the judge was (very) late, and she still worries about what Mr. McGee must have thought about that inconvenience when he was just across the street and could have taken care of the formalities for them!