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.

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