Tuesday, October 4, 2011

How we got there

1-2  We (the littles and myself) left the house with the dogs.  Went to both sets of grandparents houses.  Driving.  ~3 hours. 

2-4  We flew to Chicago via Phoenix.  In middle seats...we had to change because the boys (obviously) aren't old enough to fly by themselves.  Most people were pretty cool about it but there was that one guy.  He pitched a fit and stormed off.  Luckily his ire was directed at the Flight Attendant and not me. 

4-5 Bought a car in Chicago (it was planned, don't worry) and drove to Wisconsin.  Had a bit of trouble on the ridiculous Chicago toll road system.  They don't accept cards so after getting an opportunity to pay online at a later date and being told to stop at an ATM and get cash for the tolls coming up (which I did), the entrance ramp to the freeway not only didn't accept cards, they didn't accept cash, either.  Just coins.  And I didn't have coins.  I just had my newly minted $20 from the ATM.  I am sure I'll get a ticket, but since I have no idea where I was and the car isn't registered to me yet, I'm waiting on a phone call from the dealership.  I went to the website to pay and I wasn't able to because I have no idea where I was on the toll road (they want to know what exit I was at...I have NO freaking idea). 

5-6 After a night in Wisconsin I drove to Minnesota to stay with friends.  The drive was beautiful!  I enjoyed the fall color immensely.  Perhaps it was a gift since I didn't get to see much last year. 

6-7 After a week in Minnesota I drove through both Dakotas (just to say I've been there)!  I stopped in Bismarck for the night (or so I thought) and was told there were no hotels available.  LT W, who was in Japan, helped me secure a hotel some 200 miles away in Montana.  Seriously.  There was no vacancy anywhere.  Said hotel was a dump and when I showed up at midnight they didn't have my reservation but they took pity on me and let us stay, even though they had to take away a room from another guy who had reserved 4 rooms.  He hadn't showed up yet so they told me to just lock my door and don't answer it if he's mad when he shows up.  very comforting. I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only one that had this unfortunate experience because as I was unloading the boys another 2 cars showed up with "reservations" and the lady had no idea who they were, either.  I think maybe someone was drinking on the job (that's what it smelled like, at least). 
Driving, 13 hours

7-1  Woke up at 7 am in the motel.  I thought about putting on a movie for the boys and dozing, but then decided that I'd rather not stay any longer.  Packed up the boys in about 8 minutes and was outta there.  Drove (with two stops and no tantrums) home to PDX that day (night...whatever). 
18 hours. 

It was a great trip, but I'm happy to be home!