I fear that some of our fans at this point may be getting bored with the narrative of our trip, since we’ve mostly been hanging out with friends and dealing with administrative moving crap. I can’t make any promises that our blog will get less boring, but I do promise that it will be very different in a couple of days. We have two more nights of “city life”, and then we’ll start camping and seeing some of the amazing national treasures to be found in the middle of this country. At least at that point you’ll start seeing some more interesting photos.
This morning we went out to breakfast with the Wierdas at The Omelette House, which seems to be a small Traverse City chain. It was delicious – if you’re ever there, I highly recommend the homemade cherry pecan bread. Then we bid our friends farewell (no hugs from Maddie, since we hadn’t really been there long enough for her to warm up to us that much) and got back on Hwy 37.
It was slow getting out of the general area surrounding Traverse City. There aren’t really any freeways in that part of the state, so we had to take a couple of two-lane highways (37 and 115) for a little over an hour. Those are always challenging, because you get stuck behind a truck or a guy towing a trailer, and then you have the psychopaths who decide they can pass two or three vehicles at a time. Very scary! But we did survive and made it to the nearest freeway (131) safely. We were very relieved.
Today was pretty much just a driving day. We had a good time hanging out in Michigan with family and friends but it was enough time spent in Michigan. From Traverse City until we got to Indiana, we only stopped once, just to change drivers. It seemed like a long drive, but we made good time. We were very pleased with Michigan freeways, where the speed limit is 70 mph.
I was amused to drive through Western Michigan and see what it’s like there. My parents’ church is a denomination (Christian Reformed) that came from Holland, and the U.S. base is in Grand Rapids, so we’ve known a lot of Dutch people from Michigan over the years. Seeing this part of Michigan, it suddenly made sense why so many Dutch dairy farmers seemed to feel so at home in California’s Central Valley – it’s just like the general Grand Rapids area! Except in Michigan there are quite a few more trees. Now I’ll need to investigate the farm country in the Netherlands to see if it looks like the San Joaquin Valley as well.
After we crossed into Indiana, we switched drivers again (I was getting kinda sleepy… no good at 80 mph), and then made a gas-and-food stop. We didn’t want to spend a whole lot of time in Michigan City, IN, so we went through the drive-through at McDonald’s after getting gas and Pepsi at the gas station next door. After eating my McDonald’s fries (yum!) I was quite upset to discover that my Pepsi didn’t taste good! Dave theorized that McDonald’s food is designed to only taste good with Coke products. Hopefully my Pepsi will taste good later.
We headed out of Indiana onto the Chicago Skyway (but no sign welcoming us to Illinois, alas!) and then hit Lakeshore Drive. As we neared the city, a large black cloud began to devour the city. The raindrops began to fall as we got off Lakeshore Drive.
We parked in front of the apartment building where our friends Katie & Matt live, and Dave made a phone call to our friend Laura to find out how the movers did this morning. I’m happy to report that our stuff all made it to California safe and sound and is now living in our new apartment in San Diego! Very exciting! So I guess we officially live there now, even though we haven’t seen it yet…
We bravely got out of the car and started walking around Chicago, aiming for a Starbucks where we could be warm and dry and get some internet connectivity and upload our latest photos. We were a little skeptical at first, because we didn’t seem to be in a “Starbucks” kind of neighborhood, but I spotted a Borders before we got onto the El (that’s what they call the subway here in Chicago), so we headed there.
Of course, as soon as we finally got connected to the internet, the sun came out. Oh well. This has been a good stop in any case.