Friday, August 13, 2010

Road Trip!

There are few things that will bond a family together like a road trip! It took two days for us to drive from Connecticut to Iowa: we left in the afternoon on Friday, July 23rd and arrived on Sunday afternoon. 1200 miles and 18 hours of pure fun! Right. Peter, Sam, and I drove in our car with the two cats, and my mother drove in her car with John. The kids were surprisingly very good, and luckily the trip went well with no big mishaps.

It was fun to see different parts of the country. Pennsylvania is stunningly beautiful. For many reasons it will always be one of my favorite states. I was also impressed with Indiana, which was full of green rolling hills and well-kept farms and some nice-looking malls. Ohio and Illinois were pretty bland, at least from the highway. Iowa, of course, was and is beautiful!

We spent Friday night near Scranton, Pennsylvania (The Office!) at a Marriott Residence Inn. Check out the swanky digs:

This kitchen is nicer than the kitchen in our new house!

There's Brody on the bedside table. The cats were happy to get out of their cage and explore.

HOT TUB! So nice after hours of driving.

We didn't make great time the next day and failed to meet our goal of reaching Indiana. So we spent the night in Ohio. The nearest Residence Inn was booked, and the other nice hotels were either full or didn't allow pets. So we had to settle for a Super 8. I'm not putting down motels, but after you've stayed in a nice place, any place less nice feels worse than it actually is. And since we'd stayed at a very nice place the night before, it felt like we were staying in a dive. It wasn't helped by the fact that the view out of the window of our room was this:

It's the Residence Inn, in the exact same layout as the other one we'd stayed at. It felt like a slap in the face to look out the window and see that!

Needless to say, the Super 8 didn't have a pool. I didn't take any pictures, except for these when we were leaving the next morning:

Getting ready to hit the road again!

I liked the way the clouds filled up the sky above the fields. I love the trees and forests of New England but I also like the open sky of the Midwest.

During the trip, there were a number of times when I wished we could stop and take pictures of the beautiful scenery, especially in Pennsylvania. It was impractical to do it this time, but I did manage to get one shot in the little town of Brookville, PA, when we stopped for lunch on Saturday. This was great...look closely!
It's an adult entertainment store with a big sign in the lot next door that says "Pornography Pollutes Body Soul Mind." Obviously the residents of town weren't too happy about this store setting up shop. Good for them! And it's true too, what the sign says, although unfortunately it didn't deter the drivers of those pick-up trucks from patronizing the place. Anyway, that was my golden shot of the whole trip!

When we drove into Iowa on Sunday afternoon, it felt good to arrive. It was a beautiful day with a bright blue sky and puffy white clouds, and the rolling farmland and green hills and fields seemed to rise up to greet us. It almost felt like we were coming home, which was an unexpected surprise. I'd been worried that I'd be feeling homesick by that point, but I wasn't.

Brody and Bentwood were especially happy to arrive. Poor cats!

We drove to our house to show it to my mother and the boys before going up to Cedar Rapids to stay in Peter's temporary apartment for the next two nights. The movers were coming the next day to move our things in. I liked the house just as much as I remembered liking it, my mother definitely approved, and John loved it!

The boys together at their new home for the first time. Home sweet home!

It was a good trip! Especially because I got away without having to drive at all!