September 29, 2018-Spur-of-the-Moment Mid West and Beyond Trip

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Dayton, Ohio to Elizabethtown, Kentucky

It was almost 1 when the girls in my room were asleep. Reagan complained that it was too bright in the room, so she put a towel in front of the door. I knew instantly that Robby would also have a towel in front of the door in his room. I don’t think that I am as sensitive to light at night as those two.

We started heading to breakfast around 8:45. It was a traditional breakfast-we have yet to stay anywhere that has granola so I have been sticking with my standard bagel and cream cheese. Everyone ate their fill before we headed back to the room. Anderson has become the cart loader upper so he did that as everyone else pottied and checked the rooms.

Our first stop this morning was the Air Force Museum. It was 4 huge hangars full of airplanes. It was ridiculously huge. It was also family day at the museum so they told us as we walked in that the special events would be in hanger 4 and 2.

We headed off to hangar 4, and I swear it took at least 10 minutes to walk there! This hanger had lots of presidential planes that we could walk through. Including the Air Force One that Johnson was sworn in on.

There was also a simulator that the kids took turns with trying to land the space shuttle. We then made it to the second hangar. The girls and Whitman all made a button to wear. Everyone had a turn driving a robot. Graham, Campbell and Whitman all put on a parachute and hung in the air for a bit. It was a really neat museum, and we only covered about 20 percent of it.

From there, we went to the Dayton Aviation Heritage Area. The first stop was the Wright Memorial. We walked through that visitor center and looked at the field that the Wright brothers used as they perfected their flight.

Then it was on to their house and bicycle shop. Now, the original house and bicycle shop were moved by Henry Ford to his Greenfield Village which we saw at the beginning of the trip. There were multiple bicycle shops that they worked in so they did have an original one there.

They had a 30 minute movie there which we watched-well, I snoozed through, Reagan did Campbell's hair, Keaton and Whitman traded shoes during the movie, and Graham and Anderson hung on every word that they said. The exhibits were interesting, and we even walked to the spot where the house used to sit.

Afterwards, we drove for about 45 minutes to our lunch stop: Blue Ash Chili. The kids were delighted when they realized where we were. Everyone remembered the hot dogs and chili dogs topped with mounds of cheese.

Reagan ordered spaghetti with chili on top. I was wondering if that is what I should have ordered but after trying hers, I really like my chili dog better. Graham got a shirt from there so he left pretty pleased.
We didn't have too far to drive to our next stop. We have taken in a lot of history on this trip. It is easy to see Reagan’s eyes are glazing over! Meanwhile the boys continue to take it all in. We have been to William Howard Taft’s National Historic Site a few times.

There was a brief tour of Taft’s house. The kids listened to it while they worked on their Jr. Ranger books. Robby says he remembers going into the home, meanwhile I have no memory of the inside of the home at all.

We have been snagging lots of Jr. Ranger badges on this trip. For the most part, we had finished many of our Jr. Ranger books before the trip. Taft’s home is one that we had not done. We asked if we could mail it in, and they encouraged us that we could finish it in the house.

I really don’t like doing our Jr. Ranger books while we are at the site. I can’t listen to anything at all because I am spelling arrowhead to 3 different people or intently focused on finding what kind of trees Ms. Taft had planted in Washington D.C. (cherry). We managed though. We used to try to avoid the rangers who would offer up Jr. Ranger books to us. We didn’t want any part of them because there is/was no way that can see the museum/site and finish 6 Jr. Ranger books quickly. We had never thought about mailing them in afterwards. And yes, I possibly may be obsessed with doing this now.

After we finished the tour, the kids turned into their Jr. Ranger books to receive their Jr. Ranger badges. Then we watched a video about Taft. I worked really hard to stay awake this time and did manage. They were pretty adamant that Taft did not get stuck in the bathtub, but I am not too sure!

It wasn’t too far to downtown Cincinnati. They were having a Reds baseball game so parking was a bit difficult. We ended up parking across the river in Kentucky. Then we walked across the Roebling bridge. It is a pretty neat bridge that we have walked across a few times now.

Across the bridge in Cincinnati is a neat little park similar to the one downtown in Little Rock. This one is larger and has lots of neat things. Whitman loved the water and piano that played chimes. Everyone could have stayed a bit longer at the park, but we still had to walk back across the bridge to the car and then on 2 more hours until our hotel.

Once we were in the car, it was time for a snack and a drink for the kids. We did run by Kroger to take back a Redbox movie. Then we listened to the last of our book on tape. This was the 4th or 5th book in the series. Reagan and I loved every minute of this series even though none of our friends have taken to the books.

Again we hit traffic on this stretch of the trip. We have hit major traffic delays every single day of our trip. Robby tried to turn on one of our podcasts to kill some time but they were both busts! Good podcasts are so hard to find.

Once we made it to the hotel, I knew instantly that we had 2 rooms because Robby pulled up to the front door. Usually, we have to come in through the back door! I asked him not to park us there while he was checking in. I already feel like we are on display enough!

The hotel and every hotel near here seemed really full tonight. Apparently, some tournament is happening that involves lots of middle school-ish boys. Needless to say, while we were eating supper it was still pretty noisy in Robby’s room.

Tonight’s supper was “clean out the ice chest” night. We had chicken tortillas, leftover pizza, nachos and cheese sticks. We have really done pretty good on food packing-well, the ice chest packing. I have packed way too many snacks but that is fine because it all will keep.

Tomorrow we have a bit longer drive than planned-7 hours. That is fine though because the kids still have some school to do and I am sure we will find another podcast or two to listen to.

September 28, 2018-Spur-of-the-Moment Mid West and Beyond Trip

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Erie, Pennsylvania to Dayton, Ohio

My Keaton was still warm, actually hot, last night when we went to sleep. We were hoping that she would rest all night, but at 1 I heard Robby jumping up. Keaton was standing up crying looking for me or the bathroom. We sat in the bathroom for a long while until she felt well enough to go back to bed.

Robby took Keaton’s spot with Reagan, and Keaton climbed in bed with me. Thinking he had the all clear, Robby went to the bathroom. It was seconds afterwards, that Keaton told me she was going to be sick. Thankfully, I had already grabbed a towel to have beside us so she did her business in the towel until Robby left the bathroom.

After that episode, Keaton did go on to sleep and slept all night. I am ure that the Tylenol we gave her didn’t sit well on her empty, tender stomach. This morning she was still hot so I gave her more Tylenol. I went to get her some toast and a pancake for breakfast. She ate a few bites of toast, but still had to sit by the potty before we left for the car.

We knew we were going to sleep in a bit today which worked out perfectly with Keaton being under the weather. We were in a Holiday Inn Express so everyone could not wait to get down to breakfast-cinnamon rolls. They are truly the best cinnamon rolls ever. We even smuggled out 4 for a snack later!

By the time we made it to the car, Keaton was perking up. She had seemed to cool off some and was almost gleeful that she was getting to sit in the front row near us. We stopped to pick up the movie about Mr. Rogers so we could watch it on our way to the Heinz History Center. Robby and I could only listen to it, but it really did keep everyone’s attention.

Keaton napped some on the way there, but when we arrived she started to think she was about to get sick again. I am not too sure, it was almost like a little panic attack. Maybe she was worried about getting sick in the building (I was prepared for that with trash bags in each pocket.) Whatever it was, it went away by the time we walked through the parking lot. Once we made it into the building she was good to go and stayed that way for the rest of the day.

The Heinz History Center is a mix between the Discovery Museum and a Smithsonian Museum. It was very neat to see. The Mr. Roger’s section was a bit smaller than we had thought, but it was still interesting. The museum was full of Pittsburgh history and apparently Pittsburgh has quite a bit of history.

The boys couldn’t wait to get to the sports section of the museum. Whitman’s favorite part was the 3 story slide along with the huge blocks. Those huge blocks took up quite a bit of our time with all of the kids working hard to build a house We could have stayed in the museum even longer but we still had a full day ahead of us.

We just drove about a mile or two to Heinz Stadium. Which is the home of the Pittsburgh Steelers, one of Anderson’s favorite teams. We walked in the gift shop and around some of the stadium before coming back to the car.

In the car, I made everyone sandwiches before I drove us out of town. Robby was working and barely noticed my New York City type traffic that I was dealing with. The GPS would say take the exit left and then as soon as I did that, it would want me to cross 4 lanes of traffic to go another way. Back and forth across lanes and lanes of traffic which was at a snail’s pace exceptn when I was needing to merge.

We finally made it down the road a bit. After the gas light came on, Robby took over the driving. He saw a sign on the interstate and soon we were at the Barnseville Pumpkin Festival. It was a small town (think Benton) and their Main street area and surrounding blocks were covered with carnival rides, carnival games, carnival food and lots of pumpkins.

Of course we took a few pictures with the largest pumpkins. I overheard that this year was a good year for pumpkins. I believe that the first place one was over 1100 pounds. Soon after this, Robby gave everyone 7 dollars and told them they had to get suppe and whatever was left over was for fun.

Here is how all of that went down-Whitman had a corn dog and then rode a roller coaster. He loved it, but then really wanted to do what the girls did. Campbell and Keaton both had nachos along with getting to do one of those trampoline jumpy things. Graham had a bbq sandwich and played a basketball carnival game winning a soft football. Anderson had nachos and also won a soft football. Reagan wanted the steak but the line was too long. Robby did find her a steak sandwich which he thought was a better deal since it was already cut up.  

Everyone was pleased. I was full from my BBQ nachos and Robby enjoyed his BBQ sandwiches. We did make sure that the kids understood that we would never ever ever let everyone eat carnival food and ride carnival rides or play carnival games at home or even near home! This was indeed a special night!

Once the girls had finished their jumping, we headed back to the car. Reagan finished her sandwich in the car while the kids played on their ipads and listened to our book on tape. We are almost finished with it-only one more disk after we finished tonight’s.

Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl in Zanesville, Ohio was our final stop of the night. We weren’t expecting to see that we still had 2 hours to drive to our hotel. Now that is what happens when you end up at a pumpkin festival on the spur of the moment.

After teasing the kids with ice cream in Niagara, we were a bit concerned that this stop may not be open (even though their site had said that they would be.) After turning down a dark street, I was pleasantly surprised that Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl was open.

It was an old timey ice cream parlor. We sat down and everyone picked out their ice cream. I let the people at my table order 2 scoops and I did as well. I wondered if I should have gotten a bit more for me!

I was incredibly wrong. Keaton’s 2 scoops of mint ice cream were huge. I am talking more than Robby and I eat at night after the kids have gone to bed. Campbell and I soon received the same amount! Gracious. I didn’t even finish mine, and it is rare that I do not eat all of my ice cream. Whitman had just one scoop with chocolate syrup on it. He ate the entire time, but barely made a dent in his.

Robby’s table had more 2 scoops of ice cream along with a shake for Reagan. Robby had a brownie sundae. They also left ice cream in their bowls! It was a really neat stop-one that will just need to make our travel recommendation list! Though tomorrow we will definitely need a free day after all of our expenditures today! They were all worth it though.

On our drive back to the hotel, we listened to our book on tape until we almost made it to the end. Reagan shouted from the back row to please stop the book. She didn’t want for it to end. The kids then played on their ipads until the batteries were almost dead!

It was around 12 when we all went waltzing into the hotel. The kids didn’t seem to be too tired since Keaton was wondering why we weren’t popping popcorn. Now Campbell was devastated that she couldn’t sleep in the bed with me again. Keaton had already called it.

Some nights on this trip, Robby has been using points to book our hotel rooms. When he does, he often is able to get two different rooms. Sometimes it has been obvious as to why the hotel uses less points, but tonight our two rooms are huge! We could have easily all been in this room tonight.

Tomorrow we should end up in Nashville but we start right across the street from this hotel at an Air Force Museum.

September 27, 2018-Spur-of-the-Moment Mid West and Beyond Trip and Happy Birthday Keaton!

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Niagara Falls, Toronto to Erie, Pennsylvania

Last night after everyone went to sleep, Robby and I started blowing up a few balloons and hanging up a birthday banner. It took a while to stir Keaton this morning despite the 7 balloons that we had piled on her.

Whitman was quick to wake up and quick to stomp into the closet. After I let him pout him for a little bit, I asked what was wrong. With tears in his eyes, he looked up and me and said, “I never get balloons for my birthday.” Someone please remind me that I need to get him balloons for his birthday.
Soon everyone was happy again and awake. We grabbed our supplies and headed down to breakfast. This was the most crowded breakfast that we have been to; Anderson and I actually stood up during breakfast.

We had bought Keaton double chocolate chip muffins as she had requested. Since there were so many people, we didn’t light the candles. Yet, we still sang and she acted like she was blowing out her candles.

Loading up the car was the next event. We have been changing everyone’s seats so that changes the whole dynamic of the car ride each morning. We crossed back into the US this morning. They are pretty intense every time. Today not only did she ask each kid their name, she also looked in the back of the car. Of course, this is a precarious situation because stuff is crammed in the back. She was nice enough to let Robby open and close the doors so everything didn’t fall out onto the ground.

Once we made it back to the Home of the Brave, we headed to our parking spot of the day. We parked right in front of the Cave of the Winds. Soon the Heltz had parked in their parking spot on the their side of the little island. We walked to our meeting spot in front of the Maid of the Mist.

First we looked at the gift shop and pottied-seem to have to do that much more often near all of this running water.  Then we were soon walking to the observation tower above the Maid of the Mist. Everyone snapped a few pictures, and then we headed down towards the boat.

We tried to stand on the top deck of the boat, but it was crazy so we came downstairs. This was a very good choice because downstairs was nearly deserted. We had plenty of room to walk around. Whitman even had a perfect spot where he could see everything,

You forget how wet you can get on the Maid of the Mist even with the ponchos on. The wind was blowing, the boat was rocking and I think my Campbell was a bit on the scared side. I am not sure why she was uneasy, but I still think that she had a good time.  

It is always something to see those massive falls and to be right underneath them. Robby figures that we have been on the Maid of the Mist now 4 times. The big 3 have been on the boat 3 different times! It is the iconic thing when you are at Niagara.

After we left the boat, we took off our ponchos and found that we really weren’t that wet. We then walked towards the Cave of the Winds attraction. This was what we had been waiting for! First there was a neat new movie before Cave of the Winds.

The next stop was getting our water shoes. Last night when we were laying in bed, Robby asked me where we were going to put all of the shoes-8 more pairs of shoes in this car! We were fortunate that Robby was able to take our real shoes back to the car before going down towards the falls.

The last time that we were here, the crowds were pretty thick. This time, there were not too many folks at all. We almost had the place to ourselves. The first few decks on Cave of the Winds are mild with you barely needing your poncho hood.

The closer you get, the more the water comes. Then when you climb up to the Hurricane Deck, you immediately know why they call it the Hurricane Deck. The water is pouring off of the rocks onto your feet and splattering all over your once dry poncho.

The force of the water was crazy-so crazy that Whitman’s hand never left my hand. He wanted to go as close to the crazy water as possible so I took him over there a few times. When we finally left the Hurricane Deck, we could immediately see that everyone was going to need more clothes.

I guess that I am the only one who knows how to properly wear a poncho because I didn’t have to change everything, including my undies as my boys and Campbell and Keaton did when we got back to the car. Reagan just had to change her shirt, and Robby dropped his shorts in the middle of the parking lot to change. (He was standing in the door with Anderson standing behind him so no one could see much of anything!)

From there, we drove to find the Heltz’ parking spot. They were near some picnic tables so we ventured out there with our lunches. The kids played a few games with the football in between bites. As lunch closed, Robby appeared with a giant cookie cake for Keaton. It even had her name on it.

We covered it with candles and sang once again to her. (The kids had already sang Happy Birthday to her once on the Maid of the Mist.) The Heltz even had a bag full of candy for Keaton as her birthday gift. I do think that she had the best birthday ever!

After we played for a bit, we walked towards 3 Sister’s Islands. We explored the 3 islands and took some more pictures. Robby and I remember when we took a back picture on one of those islands many years ago. We climbed out on a rock right near the rushing water to take our picture. Now there are railings and ropes everywhere so you would never be able to get that close to the water today!

Yesterday, someone had told us about the Niagara power plant. So we headed there for a quick educational stop. All of the kids rode in the Heltz’ motor home while Michael was the only one who rode with us. He was almost asleep when we made it to the power plant just 6 miles away. The power plant was very interesting. They have made the power plant into a huge attraction. It was all free and started with everyone getting name badges with our pictures on it.

Then there were different computer stations you went through to earn points on your badge. One activity was were you can put your hand on the ball and the electricity makes your hair stand up. The highlight was the 4D movie. Earlier on this trip, Whitman had been asking us what dimensional means. He must have figured it out, because when he came off of the 4D movie, he shouted, “4D is the best D ever.”

It was a neat stop, and we stayed until it was closing time. Out in the parking lot, we said our goodbye to the Heltz’. They are heading further north while we must go back south towards home. When we were back on the road, I passed out water, cokes and leftover cookie cake to everyone while they watched a movie.

The movie finished and we had about 20 more minutes to drive. We soon made it to our pizza spot to pick up tonight’s supper. Then it was on to the hotel for pizza supper, showers and lots of laundry.

The dryer wasn’t working so Robby used the housekeeping hotel dryer and our clothes were dry in a flash. After the birthday girl finished her shower, she just kept shivering. I didn’t think too much about this because it is chilly in here. Soon though, as she laid beside me with ice cold feet, red eyes and a warm forehead, I did realize that my birthday girl had fever.

That was a downer. She was almost asleep but Robby helped me stir her to give her some tylenol. Of course this just caused her to start crying, but with lots of encouragement and a glass full of coke, she calmed down and chugged her medicine. She is still a bit warm, but hopefully the medicine will kick in soon and she will even feel great tomorrow.

September 26, 2018-Spur-of-the-Moment Mid West and Beyond Trip

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Buffalo, New York to Niagara Falls, Canada

I do think that we all slept incredibly well last night. We knew that breakfast would be at Paula’s donuts this morning so we didn’t rush around at all. We even pulled out of the hotel a bit earlier than we had planned. It was a good thing that we did since as we finished loading up, it really started raining.

Our first stop was Sams to buy a few things to prepare for tomorrow’s birthday. Keaton said early this morning that she wished that this day would hurry up and be over! I think that she is pretty excited about her birthday.

Next up, was Paula’s Donuts. We had been waiting for Paula’s Donuts for well over a year. It did not disappoint. Most everyone opted for an M&M donut. I had a pecan log along with some hot chocolate. When we walked in a man handed us a coupon which we of course used. Somehow we ended up walking out of there with 2 dozen doughnuts.

My car is completely full-birthday cake and muffins for tomorrow and 2 dozen doughnuts. Yesterday, I had told Robby that if it was just us in a car, we could fill it up with lots of souvenirs. I could have bought a few dozen apples yesterday and even walk through a few gift shops.

We then drove by the Martin House which was a Frank Lloyd Wright complex. I have always wanted to learn more about architecture, but I did pass on the 20 dollar tour of the house. We did jump out and take a picture while Robby read us info about the homes.

Then we drove through Forest Lawn Cemetery. There are over 100 thousand folks buried here so finding Fillmore’s grave was like finding a needle in a haystack, but we did it. The kids enjoyed picking out places where they wanted to be buried and telling us where they would bury us. Whitman shouted through most of our cemetery drive through that he was going to “heaven” and not here. Campbell assured us that she would be in Hawaii!

From the cemetery, we moved on the Theodore Roosevelt’s Inaugural Site. We had already done this Jr. Ranger book at home so we quickly picked up our badges once we were there. Robby and I had taken our picture in front of this site on the day we flew out of Buffalo when we came. Then a few years ago when we were here with the Wilsons, we just looked around the gift shop and did not take the tour.

Despite the overbearing worker people there, the tour was actually fairly neat. It was pretty interactive but still a guided tour through the house. We went through the different rooms while watching videos and listening to recordings about what we were seeing. It was a pretty neat stop-neat enough that I bought an ornament.

As we walked to outside to take a picture, we discovered that it was still raining outside. Not only was it raining a bit, but it was coming down pretty good. Once in the car after the picture, we ran to Anchor Bar to pick up some chicken wings to eat on the road.
Our plan was to eat them on the road, but the massive amount of boxes and bags and buckets that Robby came back to the car changed those plans. We did stop at a 7-11 for everyone to get themselves a slush. So as we drank our drinks, I passed out chicken wings. They had actually given Robby at least a whole extra order of wings. We had wings everywhere in this car!

The favorite by far was the boneless wings. The kids were unimpressed with the real bone-in wings. I am really not too impressed with any of the wings. That is one meal that I could pass on. However, when you are in Buffalo you must eat as Buffalo-nians do!

Then we headed on towards Niagara Falls. On the way there, we made a wrong turn an ended up in Canada. That was fine since we had passports, otherwise, I don’t know what we would have done. It was fine though because we just made a big loop on our way to Lewiston, NY.

The kids played on their ipad during our trek through Canada. There was a short line coming into Canada, but a few miles down the road when we crossed back across, the line was sure a bit longer. The US Border patrol take things a lot more seriously than the Canadian side.

Once we made it back to the Land of the Free, we headed to The SIlo. We had seen that they would be closed, but we still went. As we drove up, it looked like they possibly might be open. There were people around stirring but unfortunately, they were just cleaning up.

When we did see all of this, Anderson shouted, “I know where we are.” And yes, he could anyone forget us eating a bucket full of ice cream! We walked around some and then headed off to find some gas since our gas light was already on.

From there, we drove to where I thought I could pick up Jr. Ranger books for Niagara Falls. I was mistaken because we found no place to get those books. However, we did get to discover Niagara University for a little bit.

Then since we had struck out on the ice cream stop, we headed towards another iconic Niagara ice cream stop. It too was also closed. There season ended just a week or two ago when it officially became fall. Robby even drove around some looking for ice cream, but we had to settle for a doughnut from this morning.  

From there we crossed back into Canada and drove to our hotel. This hotel is pretty near the falls. Robby checked in, and we unloaded the van. After a bit, we headed down the hill towards the falls. We rode the Niagara Falls Incline. On our way down, I was texting Candice and they were at the bottom of the incline waving at us.

We walked by the falls with them. The kids enjoyed taking pictures with their friends. After a bit, they headed to a souvenir shop while we headed to Clifton Hill to do some sightseeing. We walked through the Hershey store. I could tell that Robby wanted to buy something, and the kids definitely wanted for him to buy something. After doughnuts, wings, icees and an upcoming bit of supper, I shook my head no!

We moved on up the hill. We did stop at Tim Horton’s for a bite to eat. I learned today that he was a hockey player who played in Buffalo and Canada. I found that little nugget interesting about the famous Canadian chain. Even though they are famous for their breakfasts, we ate mostly supper food-we had some sub sandwiches along with a wrap. Robby also bought a few sausage biscuits. I was not hungry at all since those doughnuts from earlier were absolutely huge, however the kids devoured our snacky supper like they hadn’t eaten in weeks or even months.

After we ate, we had to walk back down the hill and along the falls to our incline. It closed at 9:30, and it was important that we didn’t miss it since we would have to walk up the hill! We hustled along the falls stopping long enough to take a few more pictures.

Thankfully, we made it in time to ride the incline. A man, who must not have spoken English, motioned for Campbell and Whitman to come and sit by him on the incline. They did. When it was over, the man tried to give Whitman a high five. Whitman declined and said, “I’m not giving you a high five, you are a stranger.”

From there, it was a short walk back to our hotel. We ran to the car first so the kids could pick out their drinks for tomorrow. While Robby kept them busy with that, I loaded up on Keaton’s party supplies that I would need in the morning.

Back in the room, we changed clothes and for the first night on the trip, we did not do laundry. We let the kids stay up a bit later since I was busy blogging and Robby was busy working. Once it was bedtime, the kids went to sleep pretty quickly.

September 25, 2018-Spur-of-the-Moment Mid West and Beyond Trip

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Cuyahoga, Ohio to Buffalo, New York

I do think that I should make this clear, I know that many of us are wearing the same clothes in all of our pictures. We have actually done laundry every night so most of us have been putting on the same clothes each morning. It makes my laundry folding much easier at night so I am actually encouraging it. Talk about over packing-this is our 6th day of the trip, and I have worn two different outfits!

We took it a bit easier this morning since we had reservations for the First Ladies National Historic Site at 11. We leisurely ate our breakfasts. Keaton was intent on getting a double chocolate chip muffin and saving it for her birthday. We did put one in a ziplock bag in the car, but by noon that baby was smashed to smithereens. There just isn’t a ton of extra space in the car! Whitman was still very pleased with the coke machine and did drink his weight in lemonade. I was sure that he would have to potty in the middle of our tour!

Everyone came back to the room, and we loaded up the cart and headed down. The kids begged to listen to our audio book so after our gas station stop, it was turned on. My morning task was to work on downloading a book on Reagan’s iPad for her to listen to. She told us that she has watched everything already on Netflix.

Our first stop this morning was the President McKinley National Memorial. He is actually buried there along with his two young daughters. I had read that we had driven by it in 2011 and decided to not even stop. This time we not only stopped, but we also climbed all of the steps to the top of the memorial.

We just had a few blocks to go until we made it to the First Ladies National National Historic Site. We had tried to stop at this site also in 2011. Robby even went in the building with the kids but quickly exited when he realized that a tour was an hour and a half.

This time however, even with 2 more kiddos, we were finally old enough for the tour. Thankfully, the tour wasn’t an hour and a half but only an hour. Even though it is a site about the First Ladies it is a predominantly a tour of Ida McKinley’s family home. It is a massive structure, and we pretty much saw all most all of the entire house and its 3 stories.

It had rained some while we were there, but was clearing by the time the tour was over. We then drove a bit to our lunch stop-Retro Dog. It was a cute little hot dog place. We had smothered fries, hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken sandwiches and even 2 shakes! We all left full and happy.

Then we were back on the road. We have spent quite a bit of time listening to a comedian on the radio. He is family friendly and really funny. The kids, even Whitman, ask to listen to him, but I am not too sure if they really get all of the jokes.

From our hot dog place to the next stop was about 45 minutes (I think!). The kids mostly played on their iPads during the stop. We went to the James Garfield National Historic Site. Robby had printed out the Jr. Ranger book for this stop ahead of time along with some other ones. We had finished all but 1 of them, but I had forgotten that we still had one to do. Of course, this one was the one that we had not finished. It did work out fine though because Robby had some job work to do so we sat in the car and worked on the Jr. Ranger books while he worked on his computer

Once inside, we watched the video-Did you know that Garfield was a preacher? Yep. Also did you know that he was assassinated? Yep. He sounded like a pretty good bipartisan guy. I try my best during all of these history stops to take everything in and actually learn something. During the movie today, I was trying to sing the president song to get all of these guys straight in my head. Sometimes I think it might be hopeless though.

After the movie, we walked around the museum. Then the kids turned in their Jr. Ranger books. This was the 4th set of badges so far that we have gotten on this trip. Now, I have seen a cloth map made to hang badges on, but I certainly did not like the price. I am going to have to look for just some fabric that has the US map on it. I think that Jr. Ranger badges would be fun to display. I currently have them stuck in a map in Robby’s office.

We walked through the grounds. We had opted not to tour the house since the next tour was about an hour away. The grounds were pretty. I am always surprised at how big some old houses are. This one looked huge.

Our next stop was Brant’s Apple Orchard. Robby had found it and even mentioned that it was right off the interstate. It was, but it wasn’t near an exit. We had to wind and weave for a good long time until we finally made it to the edge of the interstate and found the place. (And may I mention, I'm doing the majority of the driving this afternoon because Robby's real job is keeping him busy today.)

The apple farm was a neat little place. They had all kinds of prepicked apples, some pears, which seemed to be a variety that looked like fuzzy green apples, and even grapes. Of course we all had a drink-I had hot apple cider along with Graham and Reagan. Whitman had cold apple cider and everyone else had an apple slush. Anderson went on and on about how it tasted like a real apple in your mouth. It was all very, very good.

When we had finished the drinks, we walked over to the pastry section. It would have been rude to not buy an apple cider donut along with 2 apple muffins. So then we went back to our table to split all of those. My little 3 would have none of it-I guess apple in their food turned them off. I hope their food adventureness changes-my big 3 tried it all and loved it.

The kids played on the playground for a bit while I walked around looking at the grape vines and apple trees. Oh, I would love to have an apple tree in our yard. Soon it was back in the car for our drive through Pennsylvania and New York. We didn’t have that far to go through Pennsylvania.

Within two hours, we were in Buffalo at our hotel. We have two rooms tonight which makes some things easier and some things more difficult. We were able to speed through showers and soon had the laundry washing.

Since we had eaten out for supper, we opted to finish off our BBQ for supper. It again worked out perfectly in the room. Everyone had at least one sandwich along with chips and dip. We could be professional hotel livers.

Reagan, Anderson and Graham had their EAST assignments to complete tonight. They still had two more days to do it, but tonight’s internet was decent so we pressed on and finished them tonight. Maybe I am a helicopter mom, but they needed me to almost talk them through it. That was fine though because they are all finished with it now until we come back home. I am glad that is the only real-ish school assignments that we have to deal with.

Once all of that was finished, the girls and I headed back over to our room. I gave them about 5 minutes while I figured out where all of my cords would go. Robby usually deals with plugging everything in so I had to do our stuff in our room tonight. Then it was lights out for them and blogging time for me.

September 24, 2018-Spur-of-the-Moment Mid West and Beyond Trip

(click here for today's pictures)

Port Clinton, Ohio to Cuyahoga, Ohio

Everyone was almost asleep by 11 last night, the laundry was complete and the blog was finished. That is an early night anytime for us and especially on a vacation. I woke up at 7 and headed to take my shower. The shower was an odd shape. By the end, I felt like I had showered in the pod that takes you up to the top of the St. Louis Arch.

It took me a while to stir the girls, but soon we were meeting the boys in the hallway and walking to breakfast. Their breakfast was average today so everyone was pleased. This was the first hotel that had hot chocolate so that was nice. I even had some last night as the kids were swimming.
Our first stop this morning was only about 5 minutes from our hotel. We made it to the Miller Boat Line ferry just as the other ferry was leaving. So we had to wait for the next ferry to arrive. While we waited, the kids played on their ipads for a bit.

Soon we were on the ferry. Man, it was rocky. I was worried that Robby would get a bit sickly because of the rockiness but since it was just 18 minutes, he was fine. The skies were pretty overcast, and storms were definitely coming. We were not sure if the wind and waves were from the upcoming rain or if they are just a common occurrence here on Lake Erie.

We have never been on Lake Erie much less an island on the lake. Put-In-Bay is a busy island town. They were having an old timey car race there today, so the boys enjoyed seeing all of the cars. There are few cars there so golf carts are the main mode of transportation. We had debated renting one instead of bringing the car over, but by the time we rented one, the price would be about the same.

Our main goal was to see Perry’s Victory Peace Memorial which is a large monument. Perry was a sea captain in the War of 1812. We watched the movie, browsed in the gift show and rode to the top of the monument. The kids enjoyed using the binoculars to see the neighboring islands.

After the monument, the kids received their Jr. Ranger badges before we headed down to the main part of town. Everyone played on the playground while I walked in a few stores with Reagan. I was looking for a Christmas ornament while she was looking for a shirt. I did find my ornament after much searching, but she did not find her shirt.

Then we hurried back to the ferry. Keaton did not get the concept of the ferry. She had heard 30 minutes but not the part about “leaving every.” As she came down from the monument, she worried, “I think it has been more than 30 minutes.” We tried to explain, but she was a bit uneasy until we made it back to the dock.

Robby was as well. He wasn’t worried about missing the ferry; he was worried about them closing the ferry. They will close it when the wind is high so we definitely didn’t want to sleep on Put-In-Bay tonight without a hotel room.
There was no reason for anyone to worry-we made the ferry just fine. We were the first car in line. This ride was rockier than the first. Campbell was the only one who braved getting out only because she wanted to get wet. I wouldn’t let her though! The water was splashing all over our car during the crossing. I had never really seen anything like it!

From the ferry, we drove right by our hotel from last night on our way out of town. We had about an hour to go to Cuyahoga Valley National Park. We had planned on going there first, but the beginnings of the day’s rain caused us to change our plans to another national historic site. Upon further research, we realized that they were closed on Mondays so we switched the GPS back to Cuyahoga.

Both of these places were in the same direction so it worked out perfectly. We arrived at Cuyahoga Valley National Park as it was just sprinkling. We walked through the visitor’s center, and the kids turned in their booklets to earn a Great Lakes Jr. Ranger badge. We also walked around outside a bit despite the sprinkling rain.

We did hear at the Visitor’s Center that tomorrow is the big race at Put-In-Bay. We had originally planned on going there tomorrow but those plans changed due to the rain in Branson. We were super glad that we weren’t trying to go tomorrow-it would have been a mess!

After the Visitor’s Center, we drove to Brandywine Falls. Robby swears that we have been here before, but I am not so sure! We walked down the boardwalks to the falls. It was a rainy mess, but no one really seemed to mind very much because it is kind of fun playing in the rain.

Once we made it back in the car, Robby worked on finding us a hotel for tonight while the kids worked on their school work. I could have taken a nap in the car, but I was busy working on the blog and answering questions about school.

I think that today was a pretty perfect day for us to have our rainy weather. It didn’t really hurt us too badly on our plans. Now, I hope that we don’t have any more days like this though (it looks like tomorrow will be more of the same though!)

When Robby found our hotel, we headed straight there. This was a nice suite which is completely different than last nights much older hotel. This hotel even had a supper. The menu shows things like BBQ or taco salad which would be wonderful to have tonight. However, the supper tonight was sub sandwiches! Ha! We have had our fill of sandwiches, but we still ate there. It was free, and it was a bit different so that made it all still yummy. It did help that there was a coke machine that went along with supper. Everyone filled up on coke and then barely had room for the cookie that we brought in from the car for dessert.

It was a pretty perfect day. Things worked out well for us and we did get a nice relaxing evening which I think that the kiddos might possibly have needed!

September 23, 2018-Spur-of-the-Moment Mid West and Beyond Trip

(click here for today's pictures)

Dearborn, Michigan to Port Clinton, OH

After our little water incident the night before (almost spilling a tiny cup of water on sleeping Whitman), tonight’s water incident was much more exciting. Robby and I were the only ones awake. We were lying in bed looking at our phones and computers planning the next few days. Robby had his large cup of ice and water on the nightstand while below the nightstand Whitman was peacefully sleeping. Robby grabbed something in the dark room from the nightstand. When he did, he knocked over the cup of water. This caused much scrambling by us trying to turn on the lights. Most of the water was still in the cup which thankfully landed right side up in the drawer of the nightstand. However, a large portion of it was laying on the floor just inches from Whitman. If the water had hit any differently Whitman would have gotten a bath in ice cold water. Robby picked up Whitman while I pulled out the soaking wet blankets and sleeping bags. Then we hung them up to dry while finding him more covers. It was quite exciting. Kids just don’t have a clue about what all happens while they are sleeping. Now, tonight there will be no water allowed on the nightstand. After we stopped snickering about Whitman and the water, we went on to bed.

We were also sleeping peacefully until the silly wake up call happened again this morning at 5. This time I didn’t make it to the phone in time to hear the message, but I did get the phone to stop ringing. We woke up when our real alarms went off this morning. Packing up from a hotel is easier than it used to be with no one who could really help. The kids are good help these days but there are still lots of people to navigate around. We packed up our bags and then went to eat our breakfast. Most everyone had waffles today, though Reagan and I had bagels. I do believe that some of the kids would pick a hotel breakfast over any other place to eat. I guess they love all of the choices. After we ate, we loaded the cart and packed up the car.

Today our first priority to was to ride the model Ts again before heading into the Henry Ford Museum. The Hetlz were there early just like us and again we were waiting at the front gates as they opened them. The music is playing and walking into Greenfield VIllage is Disney-like. It is really a pretty special place and unfortunately not many people know about it. Not only did we ride the Model Ts once this morning, but we rode them twice! Everyone divided up and we were on the first round of cars during the day. The drivers talk the entire time, and you learn a ton of info. (Floorboards-made of boards on the floor, Dashboard-originally in carriages to protect the driver from the dash that the horses flung up from their feet.) On each of my Model T rides today, my goal was to find out when the best time for us to return is. Halloween and Christmas sound pretty intriguing, but I am not too sure that I can get Robby to drive us back to Detroit in just a month or two. After riding the Model Ts again, we headed right to the carousel to ride it one more time. The carousel last over 5 minutes long which is about 3 minutes too long for me. I guess we do get our money’s worth though. The kids absolutely loved it.

From there we headed over to the massive Henry Ford museum. The front is shaped like Independence Hall and inside is spectacular. It is a bit overwhelming when you enter it. I think my model T driver told us that the museum is 14 acres, and I definitely believe it. We headed straight to the build a Model T area. We were all able to put a piece of the car together. At the end of the day, we walked back by to see it completely assembled. Then we watched a recording of the I Love Lucy episode when Lucy and Ethel worked at the candy shop. After we had seen their assembly line, we worked on a little assembly line building Model Ts. Next up was the chair that Lincoln was shot in. Rosa Parks bus is always a neat stop to see and sit in. The kids all listened intently to the lady inside telling them about it. While we were on the bus, my Whitman started saying “I’m black, and we are all equal.” Bless that child. From there, we headed towards the Weinermobile. The museum is so massive that you could stay inside of it for days. We saw some doll houses that were magnificently built. Everyone took turns climbing up into a combine. It was huge and everyone wanted to climb up inside of it. Robby ran to buy a cup from the village. They offered free refills, and boy we certainly got our money’s worth. There was another Model T that we were able to sit in for a picture. Then it was a walk through all of the trendy things from the past few decades. The Dynamaxion house was near there. The house is basically a round tin house. It is pretty Jetson-ish. I think that I would enjoy living in one because there were lots of windows. Robby did listen to the person talk about the house. He told me that I didn’t want to live in one because they had condensation. Therefore, we would need to have interior gutters which often become stinky.

I believe that our lunch break was next. We ate in the parking lot again. Today, we pulled out the table cloth and ate on the grass. Now, my Reagan, Anderson and Graham opted to eat in the van. I do believe that they were a little embarrassed about us eating on the grass beside the sidewalk. Or maybe they were worried about the massive amount of bees that were all over Greenfield Village. Our sandwiches again tasted great today. We are out of sliced cheese but since we were eating outside we just used shredded cheese since it wouldn’t make a mess in the car. After we ate, we joined the Heltz’s back at the museum. We saw the presidential car section. All of the cars in the museum actually work. We had listened to a podcast they said that you would often see oil leaking from these well maintained cars. There were lots of cars to see-old cars, fast cars, motor homes and everything in between. The kids stopped for a while to play in a service station area to work on a car. They highly liked this little break. From there, or maybe before we made it there, we walked through the train section of the museum. The trains were massive there, and there was even a model train set that the kids watched for a long time. We walked through the airplane section where everyone made their own paper airplanes. Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember how to make an airplane like the man at the library a few weeks ago. There was one more thing the kids desperately wanted to do before left the museum-make knex cars and race them down a little ramp. They did this for about 15 minutes and could have stayed for another hour! It was nearly 3 so we walked towards the Village for one last hurrah before heading on our merry way.

We had never walked down to the working farm area so that was our first stop. We toured the farm house. The kids enjoyed discovering what the corn cobs in the outhouse was used for. On our way to the train roundhouse, we walked through the barn. There was supposed to be a turntable demonstration, but it didn’t happen today. That was fine though because Whitman was going to be devastated because he was too young to do it. Back to the carousel we then went. We had to wait to ride on it this time. The crowds today were pretty heavy, but I can certainly see why because it was a beautiful day with perfect 70 degree weather. After the carousel, the Heltz headed back to their motor home because they had about 5 more hours to ride before making it to their evening destination. We opted to wait in the pretty long Model T line to ride one last time before we closed the park down. At closing time, we heard the factory whistle blow and headed out of the park. We did make a run through the gift shop on our way out. Robby bought the kids all a sugar candy stick and he bought me a loaf of hobo bread (raisin and walnut).

Once we made it to the car, we unloaded and readied for our hour and a half drive to our hotel. I worked on the blog while we listened to a comedian. He was quite funny. After 30 minutes, I passed out snacks-oatmeal cream pies, hobo bread, chex mix, and rice krispy treats. The drive back into Ohio was really pretty. The part of Ohio that we drove through was really pretty. There was corn fields and beautiful old farm houses everywhere. Even after a slight detour, it just took us an hour and a half before we made it to our destination. We didn’t see a whole lot of the town, but it seems that we are almost in a beach/lake town in the middle of Ohio. I think that tomorrow will prove this to be a very beautiful area. Tonight we have two hotel rooms that we have spread out in. Super was chicken tortillas in the hotel room. This trip, we have been uber prepared on our meals. Too often we have had to eat sandwiches twice a day which is something that we just don’t like to do. Robby had chicken, shredded cheese and salsa in the ice chest so that along with chips and tortillas, we had quite a super.

Everyone but Reagan swam for a little bit after supper. The 4 big kids played a game that Whitman created, and they played it for a long time. Now, once they stopped playing Whitman had himself a good old fit. He just stood on the edge of the pool sobbing. The boy was just exhausted. His little legs have walked over 5 miles each day for the last few days. Robby said that once they got back in the room, he calmed down some. The laundry is drying and will be done soon. Then it was be bedtime for these two rooms! Tomorrow will be another busy day.

September 22, 2018-Spur-of-the-Moment Mid West and Beyond Trip and Happy Birthday Robby!

(click here for today's pictures)

Dearborn, Michigan

It was exactly 5 this morning when some strange noise started happening in our room. There were plenty of options of what this could be. We have with us lots of dinging things with us-3 phones, 3 computers, 6 smart watches, and 6 ipads. Robby was by the night stand and started knocking things off of trying to find out what the noise was. I did guess that it was the phone and headed that way. Of course, I had to make my way over the landmine of children sprawled around in this room. I made it to the phone, picked it up and heard the recording telling me that this was my wake up call.

When I climbed back in bed and told Robby what the noise was, he asked why I made a wake up call for 5 in the morning. Since it is his birthday, I was kind and politely said that I did not make a wake up call for 5 in the morning….especially since it was at least 2 hours before we needed wake up.

The real alarm did ring at 7, and we were soon awake. Robby ran downstairs to throw in a load of laundry while I was in the shower. When he was unplugging watches from the nightstand, he realized that during the commotion in the night, he spilled a cup of water. That would be fine except below the nightstand Whitman was sleeping. He felt him and fortunately, no water had spilled on him!

Robby ran to put some clothes in the laundry this morning since we had a bit of extra time. Then we all put on our clothes and headed downstairs to breakfast. There were many more choices today for breakfast than yesterday. Whitman and I were the last ones to make it downstairs since we did let him snooze as long as he could.

By the time that we made it down, Robby already had us waffles made. When Robby finished cooking his waffle, we promptly stuck two candles in them. We sang Happy Birthday, and then Robby opened up an envelope full of cards from everyone.

We only had about 15 minutes to drive to Greenfield Village. Today was our 3rd trip to the village, and it did not disappoint. We had hugely talked up this day to the Heltz, and thankfully, I think that they enjoyed it as much as we did.

Even though we had seen the Heltz on Wednesday, the kids were delighted to see them today. It was like a big old family reunion. We were there before the park opened today which gave us time to get our tickets and ride passes.

The first event was riding on the train through the park. Then we walked along to ride the Model Ts. I was in the car with the 4 little people-Whitman, Michael, Charlotte and Keaton. The girls sat in the front and the boys and I were in the back. Our guide was excellent. The kids took it all in and even asked questions.

After the Model T ride, we headed towards the Porches and Parlors section of the VIllage. Henry Ford believed that children learn best by seeing and doing. So he created the Village for the kids that attended his school.

All of the houses that are there are the actual historic homes, laboratories, offices and businesses. Even the dirt that is under the houses was taken from the original location. Henry Ford was pretty amazing in his desire to preserve so much history.

We rode the carousel along with an old timey bus, and this afternoon we even rode in a horse and carriage. The kids loved every part of this. Now, they were all super good as we went through the houses and listened to the workers tell more about the houses.

Even though we were there all day long, we still didn’t even see the area that contains the craftsman area or the farm area. We have actually never walked through the farm area. You truly do need a day and a half for Greenfield Village.

We did stop for a lunch break this afternoon. We walked the our van to eat our sandwiches while the Heltz went to their motorhome for their lunch. Afterwards, it was back into the Village to learn more.

We ended our day at the village with playtime on the playground and a walk through the roundhouse to see the trains. Then we headed to look through the gift shop for a little bit. The only thing I saw there was Hobo Bread that I have wanted to make since we were here the last time. This time I will try a bit harder! I should tell Keaton and Campbell my plans, and they won’t let me forget it.

To celebrate Robby’s birthday, the Heltz ate with us at Ford’s Garage. It was a nearby restaurant that was so creatively themed like a auto shop. They said that our table would be split up so we were pretty happy to see that it was together. I could just imagine us sitting at one table with the kids sitting at another table across the restaurant. I just don’t see how that would go over well.

Most of the kids ate hamburgers which were seared with the logo from the restaurant. Robby and i split a burger along with bbq mac and cheese which was delicious. Keaton has told just about anyone that will listen that her birthday is in just a few days. Today, however, she delighted in telling the server that it was her daddy’s birthday. They told him twice and soon Robby was surrounded by folks singing to him. The singing was neat and all, but they must not give out a little dessert for birthdays because he sure didn’t get anything.

The girls wanted to go swimming tonight when we made it back to the hotel. We vetoed that idea because we needed a bit of time to regroup, do laundry, shower and possibly catch up on our rest. We were able to do most of those things, but until I get my laundry folded and put away neatly again, I will feel a bit scattered.

I think that Robby had a pretty perfect birthday. To us there is just something magical about Greenfield Village. We will be able to see it one last time tomorrow before and possibly even after we tour the Henry Ford Museum. Then we will head back on the road. Now, we aren't even sure where tomorrow evening will take up, but I sure can't wait! 

September 21, 2018-Spur-of-the-Moment Mid West and Beyond Trip

(click here for today's pictures)

Branson, Missouri to Dearborn, Michigan

We woke up at 6 as planned, and soon everyone was getting ready. Graham was the first one to stir this morning of the kids probably because he was the first one to go to sleep last night. Our of all of the kids, Graham is the one who becomes tired the easiest. Well, Whitman was asleep pretty soon too last night. He even went to sleep before we had taken him potty, so I had to take a sound aseep Whitman to the potty before I went to bed. He did stir enough to do his business and then went right back to sleep.

A bit before 7, we were all loading the car. It is nice that the kids can help so much with this now. Though today, they did a bit more running and yelling than their usual helping. The weather was looking ominious already. We were certainly glad that we had decided last night to head on towards Detroit today rather than waking up to the upcoming Branson thunderstorms and then scrambling to load up and get on the road.

Breakfast opened at 7, and we were there as soon as it opened. The lady had not even put out the waffle mix yet which was probably good for us because it did save us some time. Reagan and I had bagels while Campbell and Keaton had toast. Whitman feasted on an apple and cereal. The boys and Robby enjoyed the eggs and bacon.

We ate quickly and then ran back to the room to potty before loading up. Our first activity was listening to the second disk of our book on tape. We did have to stop this when we pulled over at the largest candy store. Now, I am not too sure if this was actually the largest candy store, but it was a fun gas and bathroom stop. We did leave with a big bag of candy-everyone was told to pick 5 items from the candy barrels.

After the kids all did 3 school pages, we did pass out the candy. The school pages were fairly easy-more for my sanity than the kids. They each have 15 pages to do on our trip. Now, Whitman does have 20. Nothing was too difficult, and they were finished before I was off the phone trying to activate a new creidt card.

We were a bit worried about being in rain on our drive today. However our drive through Missouri was cloud but rain free. I tried my best to look at car license plates, but I don’t think that I am very observant. The kids aren’t too interested in playing. I think they have deicded that since we found all of the states on our last trip, then we don’t have to find anymore.

Things were going splendid on the road until we hit a pretty good traffic jam. We just sat for at least 20 minutes. Robby was on a phone call and was able to do some emailing while we were in park. Then the traffic did start to crawl again so we took a potty stop at a rest stop before passing out drinks. It was a super relief to get back on the road.

I just hated having such a long ways to go today. There are so many places that I want to stop, but we don’t have time. We could use a day or two in St. Louis and driving to Chicago would just add 8 minutes to our route. I guess that I will have to save those stops for next year.

Despite the long way, and despite the GPS still saying that we had over 8 hours, we still made one stop in St. Louis. We needed a snack and Ted Drewes was right on the way. We ate our custard as we took a few pictures and then it was back in the car. Despite having custard in my tumy, I was still a bit bummed drving by the arch and not being able to stop. There is so much to do and so little time!

We then drove a bit longer in Illinois. Reagan was the one who needed to stop, and it coundn’t have been better timing. Across the street from the gas station, was a much smaller replica of the St. Louis arch. Of course we had to get out and snap a few pictures. Now, those pictures do make it look like we were right underneath the real arch.

I believe that was the stop that we also ran into Burger King to grab something to eat. We had planned on making sandwiches for lunch. I had actually even taken orders, but since we had already stopped, we opted for fast food for lunch and sandwiches for supper.

Casey, Illinois is the home of the world’s largest pencil, rocking chair, wind chimes, birdcage, pitch fork, golf tee and mailbox. And we saw them all! You would have thought that we didn’t have over 5 more hours to drive! Indeed we did though plus we would lose an hour during the drive.

Once we were back on the road, we played a few rounds of bingo. My prize bag is completely full so the kids were delighted when they one and not pleased when they lost. We had 4 different winners today-only Katon and Whitman lost.

After bingo, we listened to a podcast about hauntings at Greenfield Village. It was kept the driver awake, but other than that I probably wouldn’t recommend it...even though I had already recommended it to the Heltz.

The last few long driving days that we have had, we have spent the morning playing around stopping here and there. However, the late afternoon and evening has been spent driving and driving without stopping. Today was no different.

The next stop was when I started driving, I think. It is all a bit hazy to me right now. Robby passed out supper to everyone. There is nothing better than sandwiches when you are traveling. He did forget the mustard on mine, but I certainly know how difficult it is to make 8 sandwiches in the seat of a car while driving down the road at 70 miles per hour. It was certainly still delicious.

We listened to a comedian for a good part of the drive. At one point, I was laughing so hard that I was crying. Of course, that made driving a bit difficult for me. Robby passed out snacks a few times before we eventually made it in to Detroit.

The time changed hurt us a bit but it was not too bad of a driving day. By the time that we settled into our beds at the hotel, it was almost 12:30 here. The Village opens at 9:30 tomorrow so we will be able to sleep in for a bit extra tomorrow.