Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Road Trip UT to NY: Day 3 (Lincoln to Kirtland)

Day 3: Lincoln, NE to Kirtland, OH (if you're keeping track, that means we drove across Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana today).
Pace: Grueling (14 hours in the car).
Rations: Meager.

Here are the highlights and observations for today.

-We left Nebraska, where "all the toilet seats in public restrooms are black!" at least according to Miriam's observations.

-Iowa is my new best friend. Not only is the place startingly beautiful, but their water towers have smiley faces on them and their rest areas are clean AND come with wireless internet. I could have done without the automatic flushing toilets at the rest areas, though. Miriam is terrified of those and so I had to stand by the potty with my hand over the sensor the whole time Miriam took care of her business. It's one of those parenting tasks that no one ever warns you about.

-My dear friend from childhood Britney lives in Des Moines. Do you know anyone who lives in Des Moines? I do. Sadly, our schedules did not align during the 15 minutes we were driving through town. She was able to give me a good Costco tip-off, though, so that was nice.

-I was a little nervous driving through Illinois since we're Mormon and all. Until 1976, killing Mormons in Illinois was smiled upon, so I was happy to cross the border to Indiana.

-I shed a tear as I drove through South Bend because I missed meeting up with another dear friend (this one from college), Liz. Cursed twice in one day! So sad. The only friends we ended up successfully visiting were Chris and Anna yesterday in Lincoln.

-We stopped at a McDonald's in...somewhere, Indiana, to pick up some nugs to bump our rations up from bare bones to meager. As soon as I drove up, the employee gave some spiel through the drive-thru speaker and in a moment of tired honesty, I replied, "I didn't understand a word you just said. Can I just get a 9-piece chicken nuggets?" Silence. "Is there such a thing?" Silence. I think she was still reeling from me telling her I found her incomprehensible. Finally, she told me there was a 10-piece chicken nuggets, and I could have that, if I paid her THREE DOLLARS AND SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS. Fast food is expensive. The kicker is that after we drove away, Jeremy counted the nugs and there were only nine of them. Ha ha. Nice one, McDonald's employee in Indiana.

-I personally drove about 12 hours today. I got a little loopy around hour 11. Three lanes is good. I can do three lanes well, for a long time. It's the two lanes that gets to me, what with the semi trucks clogging up traffic and all.

-Even though I drove a lot, I think Jeremy had the tougher job taking care of kids in the back. In the final hours of the drive, we just handed Nigel the GPS over to Miriam and let her have at it. Then we got to listen to a commentary of all the roads we were crossing, and all the bodies of water we were driving near. It was wonderful.

I think that's about it. Tomorrow we're going to turbo-visit Kirtland and then push on to Ithaca. The end is almost in sight!


Liz Johnson said...


And I'm so ashamed of our local McD's person. Geez. Way to represent, loser.

Also, I know that everybody complains about the Nebraska/Iowa nothing-ness, but I love that drive (it's Wyoming that makes me want to shoot things). So beautiful, and I'm with you - the rest stops in Iowa are definitely the best part. Ohio's aren't too bad either, but Pennsylvania needs to upgrade (at least in the lower sector).

AmandaStretch said...

I have family in Des Moines, as my paternal ancestors helped settle the area. There's even a street with my last name. So, I lunched with my dad's cousin's family when I drove through.

Susanne said...

Great to read the updates on your journey. So not only could McD's person not speak, but s/he couldn't count either. :-)

Britney said...

So sad to have missed you, but glad you made such good time and enjoyed the great state of Iowa.

Reading your travel log has made me a bit nostalgic, actually: first, being reminded of the Oregon Trail and that computer game we always played, and now hearing about your quick stop in Kirtland, where I lived for seven memorable years. I ALMOST want to do a cross country trip myself.

Good luck on your last day.

The Ensign's said...

I can't believe you are doing this with two kids. I was talking to Chad about this yesterday. I would have spent the couple days with grandma/grandpa and then flew out. He could do the driving.

Laura said...

Wow, 14 hours in a car with kids. That is a scenario that I would never wish on anyone. I am glad that you guys are doing good. I bet everyone will be glad to get to the final destination.

Kat Clark said...

I have this feeling that she intentionally gave you 9 chicken nuggets just to get back at you. Maybe that is only something I would do. Anyway, you are so cheap. I am not even going to be pc and call you frugal. But you know what?! I love it! It makes life fun and interesting somehow and I love the five dollar limit. Brilliant! Good luck.

Scotty P said...

No offense, but I hope you guys get over some of your cheapness once Jeremy starts getting a real paycheck. :)

That smiley face makes my comment inoffensive.

Bridget said...

Kat, I know she did it on purpose. I meant to convey that clearly but I wrote this late at night after 14 hours on the road. Very funny, huh.

Kingfisher Farm said...

It's too bad you didn't go see the new temple in Illinois. I was invited to see it by my friends before it was dedicated. They are so proud of it. And I assure you killing Mormons was not legal as recently as 1976. There are a lot of Mormons in Illinois. So you'll have to come back some time. Incidently, I have a 2 tiny pairs of shoes that came from Ohio, that have on the bottom of them what I believe to be the deseret alphabet, which was in use only a few short years in the 1870's or thereabouts. One has a crown and the other another symbol from the alphabet, it escapes me right now.

Kingfisher Farm said...

Here is the link to the Navoo Temple.

Bridget said...

Kingfisher Farm, I bet those shoes are worth some bucks. They must be very old.

Kingfisher Farm said...

Bridget, I just went and looked at the other little pair, it has a beeskep on the bottom. Both pairs of shoes have metal plates on the heels, and the heels seem to have been cast out of metal with the alphabet on them. I am guessing they are very rare. I bought them as a lot, and when I got them I about died. I had seen something about the deseret alphabet somewhere (can't 'member where!) and my memory was triggered. I could find nothing about Mormon shoes like this. I have no clue as to their value. They are adorable, but priceless to me.


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