September 4, 2019-Back to Michigan!

(click here for today's pictures)

We went to bed early last night know that we had a big travel day in front of us along with an early start to pick out our fast passes for the upcoming Disney trip. Robby and I were both up and ready before it was fast pass picking time.

We had already found out that the Disney site was down on the computer so that just left our phones. Right when the clock changed over to 6, we started making our passes. I wasn’t any help at all. Not only was I having phone problems, but I was also having problems with the app. 

It worked out just fine though. Robby was able to get most everything that we wanted. One family already had theirs, and we were able to match up pretty well. I will say that it was a stressful few minutes. 

After a while, when I couldn’t do anything, I headed upstairs to wake up the kids. The boys all stirred quicker than the girls. Whitman was in Graham’s bed, and blankets and pillows were all over the floor of their room. I am not sure what all happens upstairs during the night. 

The girls were a bit harder to stir. When I went back down the stairs, Reagan had not moved. She did manage to get downstairs before we had to call up there. Robby was finishing with the fast passes plus doing some extra loading up, so we didn’t leave at our desired 7 time. However, we were on the road by 7:30.

We listened to some of a book about Eric Liddell before passing out ipads. The kids played on their ipads until our first bathroom stop. There I drove a little bit while Robby caught up on some computer work plus he made a huge fastpass spreadsheet. 

I passed my time driving by eating almonds. You can eat 3 almonds and then spend 12 minutes trying to get them out of your teeth. I barely made a dent in my almond package. I knew that I better save them since this was a long driving day.

The kids did their school work while I was still driving. I had given everyone 8 different things to do. Nothing was too difficult so today they did a few. My big kids did just enough while Keaton was flying in the back and finished everything but the back of one page.  

We stopped at a gas station for a fill up and for a bathroom stop. It was a pretty rough place-not the neighborhood-just the inside of the gas station. One potty was duct taped closed! I am not a big hand sanitizer person but it was used after that bathroom stop. 

We were then back in the car passing out a snack for the next leg of the drive. I am not really sure what all happened on that part of the drive. There was eventually another stop-mainly just to grab our lunch stuff out of the ice chest. Keaton is in the back row along with Whitman so we were trying to make it easy on her.

After I made sandwiches and roll ups for everyone, Keaton was able to put everything back in the ice chest just fine. Reagan did say that we stopped too much, but can you ever really stop too much? 

The kids played on their ipads and listened to The Greatest Showman soundtrack. We did notice today how much things have changed in our lives with the kids growing up. Robby looked back in the mirror and said, “It’s almost time for a frappuccino stop.” Ha! There was still plenty of ice cream bought, but Reagan, who is feeling a bit under the weather with a cold, was delighted with her caramel frappuccino from McDonalds.

Robby also commented that Whitman is really a good traveler. All of the kids are, but for being the baby, we have never had any problems with him traveling. I did remind him that traveling is all that Whitman knows since he did make it to 48 states by car by the time that he was 5 years old.

Keaton’s huge McDonalds drink caused us to have one more bathroom stop than planned. We were in the middle of nowhere when she asked so it took us a while to find her suitable stop which also doubled as a gas stop. 

We searched for a while for someplace fun to stop and eat. We ended up stopping at Poor Boys in Kankakee. Robby had a Phillycheese steak while I had a BLT. Most everyone else had chicken or burgers. The food was decent-I really liked my sandwich but Robby wasn’t that impressed. We may have to swing by Philadelphia on the way home so he can have  sandwich.

We had just passed a toll road, somewhere in Indiana when we came to a complete stop. While we were stopped we noticed that there was no traffic coming from the other side. Within 10 minutes, we were moving. It wasn’t long before we noticed a mass of police cars, a semi kind of blocking the other lanes, and about 20 police cars behind it. I know that I may have watched too many crime shows, but it looked like there were yellow evidence markers on the road around the truck. 

After this, our side of the interstate continued on our merry way. The other side however was backed up for about 5 miles, then at every exit police were funneling people off of the interstate. It was about 20 miles or more of the road that was stopped or empty. It was quite an eerie site. So far I haven’t been able to find out what exactly happened. It did not look like a wreck so there must be more to the story. Very thankful though that it was on the other side or our check in time would be much, much later.

Update: We did discover the reason for the backup: a stolen car, police chase, another stolen car and a police shootout. Here is a link to the news story. 

The kids have pretty much played Minecraft all day long. Reagan has even joined in with them. I am not sure what all they do on that thing, but it is sure must be interesting to keep their attention all the day long.

The day's excitement continued as we checked into the hotel. Robby took Anderson and Keaton in to check in. Keaton had said that she needed to use the restroom before the hotel, but the toll road exit was jammed with people having difficulty with the paying the toll so that took forever.

At the hotel, there were signs everywhere about only 5 guests per room. It went on to say that it was Indiana State Law. Eeek! Let's just say we slowly trickled into our hotel room. When I left the car, I took the keys out of the ignition and handed them to Robby. I even said, "I am giving you the keys." Just a few minutes later, I had a text asking if I had the keys. It didn't take long from him to find them since they were in his pocket.

After one more trip to the car for a forgotten bag (not child). We settled into the room. I worked franctically with my side-making beds, gettng drinks, managing pj putting on and tooth brushing-while worked on his side-ice chests, more ice, plugging up a zillion devices.

We lost an hour tonight so it is 10:30 here and the crew is all bedded down and hopefully going to sleep. We are not too far behind them!

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