J began planning our trip across the country in February. He planned the route, the stops and the hotels. (He did an AWESOME job!) The rest of us gathered books, food and the supplies that we thought we would need to help all of those hours in the car go by well. We were crazy excited when it was actually time to go.
Here's a look at the first few days.
July 13, 2015
J flew to North Carolina for work.
At home we got our house and pets (thank you friends who took such good care of them while we were away) ready to be gone for three weeks. And we packed up the van.
July 14, 2015
We finished cleaning and packing.
Then we caught and released the bird that was stuck in our house. (Seriously.)
After all of that we made the first part of our trek to GrammyKathy and Grandpa's for the night.
(The pink bunny in Beza's hands is now a princess at the Corn Palace. Sadly she somehow got lost there a few days later.)
July 15, 2015
We spent the day with my sister and her guys.
Pennsylvania is beautiful.
July 16, 2015
Daddy was waiting for us at the Cleveland airport when we arrived after lunch.
We continued on through Indiana to Illinois. (Stopping at Notre Dame for dinner.)
Along the way we discovered that Beza has memorized the entire Magic Tree House book Moonlight on the Magic Flute. She listens to it on CD frequently during rest time and I knew that she could repeat a few lines from the book. I had no idea that she knows the ENTIRE 10-chapter, 103-page book. Word-for-literal-word. As in she can't read (yet) but we hold the book and follow along as she recites chapter after chapter. I would struggle to memorize one page. Phenomenal. Amazing. And what-in-the-world-do-we-do-with-this are just a few of the thoughts racing through our minds at this discovery. (Currently she is on her way to having three or four more memorized.)
July 17, 2015
We had a nine-hour driving day ahead of us.
(One clothespin for each hour. The back of each one is marked with a 30. Every half hour we either flipped a pin or took it down to show how much time was left until reaching our final destination of the day.)
Soon after crossing into Wisconsin we discovered that our air-conditioning wasn't working. We were pretty sure we would really be wanting that when we crossed the desert in a few days. We stopped in Onalaska to get it fixed. (Thank you, Luke's, for squeezing us in!)
Our first glimpse of the Mississippi.
Before heading across Minnesota.
And then into South Dakota.
Where we spent the night in Mitchell with the Corn Palace.
The next day we would reach our first official destination--the Badlands. (Coming soon.)