The trip home from PA went a little differently than the journey to PA. Namely, shoving my brother's belongings and an extra adult into the sedan made traveling much more like riding economy class on an airplane! But despite the decrease in elbow room we increased our site seeing and pit stops while maintaining our general timeline, making the trek within 5 days.
Sunday involved some last minute errands around the college dwelling but we got on the road at a decent hour. Instead of the PA Turnpike we opted for a highway to Hershey and a chocolate scented factory tour ride. The rest of the day we drove through PA and to Canton, OH, where we obtained a steeply taxed hotel room close the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Hall of Fame was pretty awesome. I'm a relatively new and uneducated football fan (Seahawks bandwagoneer) but even so I appreciated the history and lore. It was a very well done museum with interactive exhibits, lots of great relics, and a nice layout.
After the Hall of Fame we drove through the rest of OH through Gary, Indiana and around Chicago, through Illinois to just north of Madison, WI, stopping in Lodi for the night. It was a bit crazy. Mom drew the short straw and drove around Chicago (my haphazard navigation brought us a little close the suburbs and we caught quite a few red lights but also managed to drive through the town she was born in, so it worked out!) and if that wasn't enough a huge lightning storm rolled in when we were driving around northern Illinois. It seemed to calm down once we hit Madison but it was pretty crazy.
The next day we drove from Lodi, WI through MN and SD to Rapid City (our favorite Ramada in Black Hills). Eating at a Culver's was a highlight as was watching for pheasants and pronghorns alongside the interstate.
Wednesday we woke at a reasonable hour to visit Mt. Rushmore. It was impressive. Not just the huge heads carved into a mountain, but the memorial itself! My dad said that when he had visited decades ago it was just a little trail and now it's a full blown memorial with stone stair cases and multiple buildings. We were tempted to visit Crazy Horse, even drove to the gate, but the $28 fee didn't seem worth it.
After our sightseeing we switched into drive mode. Leaving I-90 for an alternate route, cutting a corner of WY on our way to MT. After swapping through drivers we managed to reach Missoula by midnight putting us right where we wanted to be in order to stop by my sister's college for lunch the next day.
Thursday morning in Missoula my brother and parents ate brekkie at Taco Bell (I opted for the hotel grab and go) and we saw a sparrow picking bugs out of the grill of the car for his breakfast. Ha! We had a pit stop at St. Regis right before hitting ID (I bought some earrings and saw trout in an aquarium). With the last time zone change in order we rolled into Cheney right around noon for a nice visit, dorm tour, and lunch with the sis and to pick up more of my brother's stuff. Needless to say the rest of the drive across WA was really cozy.
All in all the trip went better than I expected. I bottomed out the Friday and Saturday we spent in PA (suicidal/self harming) but texting and talking with the hubby got me through it. Thankfully I was able to bounce back all right and for the most part was in good spirits throughout the trip.
By the last few days nerves were a bit frayed but we never lost our senses of humor. It was a little rough being around my brother's caustic wit and sarcasm again but when I started to frame it as a defense mechanism it became easier to let go and (maybe it was my imagination) with a little time he seemed to back off a bit. Maybe he was nervous being near the family again after so long too?
Coming home on I-90 we arranged to meet the hubster at Snoqualmie Casino to pick me and my stuff up. I didn't think I was going to be so excited to see him but when we rolled into the parking lot and I caught sight of him-I could hardly get my seat belt off quick enough!
Turns out he had chopped his beard off while I was away (having sent a bearded selfie to throw me off his trail a few days prior) and in my shock and excitement I battered him with my wallet like a little old granny warding off a pick pocket. Yes. I am like a toddler, sometimes I just don't know how to handle my emotions!
In other news, we're rearranging the apartment and doing some spring cleaning. We visited with one of the hubster's sisters and another is visiting later this week! He's also made plans to do a hiking mini-vacay with his brother next month. Busy busy.
Oh! My FAM charting, while crazy over the road trip, turned out accurate. A few false peaks but then I hit my luteal phase and conveniently didn't start until I was back at home! Thank you nature! A perfectly delayed ovulation in my book ;)
Well. If my fingertips could sweat they would be. I'm done typing! Will blog on other thoughts later, just wanted to get down some road trip commentary before I neglected to all together :) Goodnight!