Day 1 - Madison
|Tuesday, March 19, 2019: We picked up Claire at her day program at 3:00 and hit the road. This was our first attempt in 12 years to take a car trip with Claire longer than two hours since the Great Reunion Meltdowns of 2007, where she just couldn't stand being in the car longer than five hours. We arranged her seat so she could keep her feet up, since that is her preferred method of relaxing currently.
|We had our first stop an hour later at Burger King in Danville. So far, so good.
|Another hour later, we had a second stop at a rest area. Doing great.
|We love seeing those huge windmills along the highway. The buildings in the background of this photo gives you an idea of the immense scale of these things.
|We took the long way up to Madison so we could avoid rush hour traffic in Chicago. As a result, we drove past Normal, Illinois, where we encountered the Corn Crib, which is probably the best name ever for a sports stadium.
|A huge flock of starlings entertained us along the way.
|An olde tyme barn and a pair of sheep grazing. Can't get much more pastoral a scene than that.
|Our little point-and-shoot with the 40x zoom came through for us again with a nice photo of the full moon. Note that this was taken while the car was doing freeway speeds.
|More cool windmills.
|In Rochelle, Illinois, we picked up some donuts.
|Tom ordered a pair of ugly donuts (what Debbie calls old fashioned donuts) and was surprised to receive four. Clearly, they were just getting rid of their end-of-day extras because no one goes to Dunkin' Donuts for ugly donuts.
|These meandering streams across Illinois prairie land are so pretty.
|Six and a half hours into our trip, Claire started to lose it. We took her toy away and she felt better immediately and quietly watched a movie for the last hour of driving. When she gets overstimulated, she can't put her toy down herself, but if we take it from her, she calms down. This is probably what happened during her meltdowns 12 years earlier, but we didn't know this trick yet.
|The Welcome to Wisconsin sign wasn't lit up for our arrival, but fortunately, this Culver's billboard was.
|We were close to Madison when we hit this excellent mileage. Ahhh, memories of buying this van two and a half years ago and driving to Wyoming with just 99 miles logged.
|We arrived at the Best Western East Towne Suites before 9:00 PM Wisconsin time. We booked it because it had a sofa bed in a separate area ...
|... from the bedroom area.
|However, we put Claire to bed on one of the double beds and left her there. We would have gotten more sleep if we had take the time to make up the sofa bed, but by the time we realized this at 3 AM, we were too tired to do it. Lesson learned. This trip turned out to be filled with learning experiences of traveling with Claire again, which is a good thing.
Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy