Friday, August 31, 2012

My Summer Vacation: The Final Push

When we woke up in Albert Lea, MN, we knew we had a long day of driving ahead of us. A day of driving that would take us through five states and deposit us at our final destination. 

I woke the girls up uber-early to give them a chance to swim in the hotel pool before we had to get back on the road. Getting out extra energy before being crammed in to the car for an entire day is always a good thing.

Our first stop was a rest stop in Wisconsin before powering through to Madison, which held our only real break on the day's drive. We planned to meet my friend Stephanie and her kids at Ella's Deli on Madison's east side.

It was so much fun to have lunch with Stephanie and see her kids. Since we see them only once a year, it's always amazing to me how big everyone has grown! Having such a short meet-up with them made me sad that we weren't able to stay in town longer for a more substantial visit. Upon leaving Madison I decided that next time we go back to the Midwest we will take a long, leisurely tour through Wisconsin and really see all of the friends and family that we want to see. 

Our yummy lunch was followed by ice cream for all. I was going to pass on the ice cream, since our road diet mainly consisted of trail mix and candy, but once I spotted the cake batter flavor, ribboned with electric blue frosting, I knew I had to have it. It didn't disappoint. 

Unfortunately I did not take too many pictures of the kids at Ella's Deli, these are pretty much it. Boo! 

Eloise on the carousel.

Stephanie and Nicholaus on the carousel. 

Iris, Nicholaus, Stephanie and James on the carousel. 
Ruby on the carousel. 
It was such a hot day. The only time the weather was hot on our entire trip was the Mon-Fri of our drive. That was it. Oh, well. 

After saying goodbye to everyone we hopped back in the car and headed south to Illinois. We were able to swing a wide detour around Chicago, but the toll roads were still kind of a nightmare. Eventually we made it to Indiana and stopped for some food-- to eat in the car. Only one sit-down meal a day for us! As night descended we made our way up in to Western Michigan and finally, finally, made it to my parents house at about 10:00 pm. It didn't even feel real, pulling in to their driveway. It seemed like there was no way we were actually ever going to make it, yet there we were. I got out of that stinkin' rental car and never laid eyes on it again. Matt returned it the next morning. 

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