Road Trip 2014-Day 9 (July 10, 2014)

(click here for today's pictures)
Meeting Fonzie in Milwaukee!

After staying up until midnight, the kids were a bit groggy this morning but when you mention breakfast they still quickly put on their pajamas. The kids were ready before we were this morning but we do have a few extra things to do each morning.  They just put on their clothes, brush their teeth and then sit and watch the Disney channel while waiting on us!

Breakfast was nice today-pretty empty.  It was probably empty because we were there after 9 but we will take it.  Today they had delicious muffins which most of the kids had multiples of.  After breakfast, Robby brought the cart to the room and the kids all road on it down the hallway-all except Whitman who was in the stroller. Then when we were loading up the car everyone was buckling up and I let Whitman out of his stroller and put him on the ground to run for a minute.  Before we realized what he was doing, he had climbed on the now empty luggage cart and was waiting on his ride.  So Robby pushed him when he went to put the cart up and you could tell that Whitman thought he was such a big boy.

We drove a few miles to see the State Capitol building.  We walked around the entire square-it was a happening place and smelled delicious with the food trucks getting ready for lunch time.  Back in the car, the kids worked on their daily journals.  Each day they have to write what they saw, their favorite part of the day, draw a picture from the day and write the best thing they ate.  Graham wrote that the best thing he ate yesterday was Spam!

We have just started season 2 of the Little House shows and we finished listening to On the Banks of Plum Creek.  We saw an interesting sign and thought we would check it out and drove to the Ten Chimneys National Landmark.  Doesn’t that sound like it has a pretty nature trail?  Thankfully Robby sent me in to check things out and when I opened the door of the visitor center and saw a man in a suit, I knew I was in the wrong place.  He explained to me about the tour of the grounds costing 28 dollars and then went on to discuss the champagne tour.  I thought about asking him which one he would recommend for my gaggle of kids but I just politely thanked him and headed back to the car.

We soon were in Milwaukee and our first stop was Leon’s Frozen Custard.  It was an oldie but a goodie and we all enjoyed frozen custard-I had a tin roof topped with chocolate syrup and peanut, Robby had an oreo shake and the kids had mint, vanilla and chocolate cones and cups.  I had Robby get Keaton and Campbell cups and Campbell was not too pleased with this decision.  I just didn’t know if I could get chocolate ice cream out of her pretty little orange shirt-especially since Nonna isn’t with us.  And you really can’t please everyone because Whitman wasn’t too happy either-he didn’t think that he was getting his share of ice cream.  What is the saying?-You can’t please all of the people all of the time.

Driving through Milwaukee, we passed through a few tunnels.  The kids tried to hold their breath through the tunnels and it was so quiet and peaceful in those tunnels.  I kind of understand why Robby slowed the car down to a crawl at the end of the tunnels.  Once in Milwaukee, we found ourselves the Riverwalk and walked right to the statue of The Fonz from Happy Days.  

Back to the car, we drove around to find Lake Michigan.  I have not done a great job at teaching the kids were we re going on the map.  So today, we worked and worked on making sure they could name the Great Lakes-ask them sometime if they can still do it.  At the lake, we found a quick spot to jump out for a few minutes.

Our first thought was to have a picnic lunch there but when we looked to see how far away our next stop was, we just didn’t have time for a picnic.  So the kids played football for a minute and then we walked to the lake to see Lake Michigan.  We even took the time to do a back picture and by the time we made it back to the car, we didn’t have any time to spare.  

After driving for a few minutes, Robby realized that he didn’t have his sunglasses.  He must have sat them down while taking our pictures.  This is not too surprising since just about every trip we go on, we have to stop and buy him sunglasses.  Actually, as we were still on Lawson at the beginning of this trip, he realized that we had left his at home so we have already bought him one pair on this trip. I would love to know how many sets of sunglasses that we have bought on vacations.  I guess his next pair will have to come with a string that he can wear around his neck.  

We hit traffic on our way to Pleasant Prairie-home of the Jelly Belly warehouse.  They don’t make jelly beans here but they do give tours so we rushed-I am talking sprinted to run and get in line so we could make the last tour of the day.  It was short and informative but we got to ride in a little train and wear Jelly Belly hats.  Whitman would wear his hat and grin and then Robby would try to take a picture of him and he would jerk that hat off and throw it down.  

The highlight of the tour was at the end when they handed you a bag of jelly beans to enjoy.  I don’t care for Jelly Beans but the kids do so they were thrilled.  But when we were climbing in the car, Graham said that he wasn’t too excited about eating his.  He went on to say that he was a bit nervous about eating them.  I asked why and he said “what if I get a bad flavor?”  That is a valid question since bad flavors are those like moldy cheese, grass clippings, barf and baby wipes.  

After the tour, we walked around the store and Robby found a few things to buy and I did find a Christmas ornament.  The kids worked on some stickers as we drove into the great state of Illinois. Soon we were at our hotel and this was going to be the earliest night so far on the trip-but we can’t have that.  

So we emptied out the entire car and then went to McDonalds to eat.  The kids are tired and that is starting to show with their behavior.  Graham just couldn’t keep his hands off of anyone at the McDonalds play area so he spent most of his evening sitting with me.  And poor Keaton had herself a melt down after I told her she couldn’t play anymore after pooing in her pants (it was time to go anyway).  Then when we were loading up the car, there was another scene.  Robby sternly told the kids that their behavior had to improve immediately and it worked (temporarily at least).  

After we vacuumed out the car, the kids were perfect as we went into the hotel.  They still got to go swimming, even though they really needed to go to bed early.  While they swam the first few minutes, I repacked just about everything that we had and gathered a load to go back to the freshly vacuumed out car.  Then I joined the others in the pool.  When I arrived, Robby jumped in-he had thought that the water was warmer than it really was but by then he was committed.  

And soon Whitman was begging to get in.  I left his floatee at home since he doesn’t like it, so Robby had to hold him while the other kids hung all over him.  The first time that we swam, the kids left their goggles (2 old pairs) at the pool so now we are without goggles.  Campbell will not go under the water without her goggles so the only swimming she can do is doggie paddling with which she pretty quickly tires out.  So it was floatees, stay in the shallow, swim under the water or get out-those were her choices and she just didn’t like any of them!  Finally she did decide to start swimming under the water but after awhile, they all moved to the hot tub.

Whitman was the first to tire of swimming-actually, he probably didn’t tire-it was Robby that became tired of holding him.  After a while in the water, Whitman starts to think that he can go where ever anyone else can and this makes him very hard to hold.  Graham decided that he wanted to go back to the room with me-I think because he knew that if he went back with me then, he would be the only kid and that would mean that he would be able to push the outside elevator button, the inside elevator button and open the hotel room door.  

Graham and Whitman had baths and were all dressed when the others came back to the room. Whitman played happily with an empty coke cup and straw and all of our shoes.  But as soon as everyone else was finished with their baths, he was done playing and ready to go to bed.  Well, I thought he was ready to go to bed but he sure didn’t think he was.  When he heard us watching a bit of Happy Days (we had to show the kids who Fonzie was) Whitman started to fuss again.  Soon he was quiet again and the kids all sat down and drank some milk and ate a cheese stick before playing on their kindles for a bit before bed.  Tomorrow is a really, really big day-Six Flags!

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