Anyways, we woke up around 8:30 - which was later than we planned - and I wanted breakfast before we left. So Scott made coffee, then I made green smoothies. (The kitchen isn't big enough for two people to work at once.) But I knew I would want something more soon, so I decided to whip up some oatmeal quickly before we hit the road. Bad decision.
I picked up the container, and the lid wasn't all the way on. (I'm blaming Scott.) Oatmeal. Went. Every.Where. And like I said, I was already tired, already running late, it was hot in the van, the van was an unorganized mess, which irritates me in and of itself. The oatmeal was just the last straw. Ugh.
It was in every corner, in every shoe, in the sink, in my suitcase. You name it. If it was in the van, it had oatmeal on it. And I was so stubborn, I refused to start driving until it was ALL gone. I moved stuff and swept and moved stuff again and swept some more. Scott kept saying, "let's just go, we can vaccuum it when we get there," which would have been way easier, but I was so over the messy van that I just kept angrily sweeping oatmeal out the door in the hotel parking lot.
So we actually started driving at 10:10am. And the drive was from the hotel parking lot, to the gas station parking lot across the street. Bathroom break, dump the dirty water, fill up my water bottle...and buy Scott a THREE DOLLAR fly swatter. There were some flies in the van that were driving him nuts, and insted of getting one for fifty cents at Wal-Mart, he had to have the expensive one from a gas station. Oh, and he and conveniently forgot his wallet in the car. So guess who bought that.
It did come in handy, I'll give him that. He set it across his arms while he worked, and put an end to two of the three flies annoying us in the van. I guess less irritation is worth $3 sometimes.
Finally on the road, it was more blue skies and corn fields all through Nebraska, and in to Iowa.
A gas/bathroom stop in Adair, Iowa, lead to this picture:
Midwesterners love their American flag.
I really was surprised with just how heavy the traffic was from Lincoln on. All through Omaha and through Iowa to Bettendorf, the traffic never really let up much.
At one point, coming in to a construction zone, I misjudged how slow the traffic was getting. Well, actually, it wasn't just getting slow, it was coming to a complete hault. Which lead me to slamming hard on the breaks, and everything in the back of the van sliding forward to the front of the van. Ooops.
On top of the heavy traffic, there was a heavy bug population as well. The van took care of a few of those. (It's desperately in need of a wash!)
I drove the entire day - 8 more hours - and even ate some leftover dinner from the driver seat. I was hell bent on making it to our final destination: Scott's parents house in Colona, Illinois. But before we could go there, we had to stop at his cousins house in Bettendorf to take some pictures for them.
While he did that, I had to get out and get some exercise. Or fresh air or something. That was over 26 hours of driving in three days! I think I deserved a break. ;) So he took pictures, and I went for the slowest of slow jogs down a country road, and even found a new friend along the way! This dog joined me for at least a half mile.
The sun was setting over a corn field, and I couldn't help but stop every few hundred feet and take more pictures.
I really do love the Midwest. How can you not with views like that?!
After a quick stop at Target (somehow I forgot to bring any hair stuff to control my frizzy mess), we finally pulled in to Colona around 7:30pm.
All the way across Nevada, all the way across Utah, all the way across Wyoming, all the way across Nebraska, and all the way across Iowa, just to the edge of Illinois. 25 hours. (It actuallly took longer with stops and a slow van...)
We were both pretty wiped from the trip. Apparently just sitting in a car for so long can be exhausting, so after chatting with his family, we hit the van for some sleep. (Yes, we could have slept inside on the mattress, but there were 4 dogs and a crying baby inside. So we opted for the quieter van.)
I was hoping to get to sleep in some on Friday, but Scott had to get up and work. And once he was up, I was too cold to keep sleeping. The van gets COLD at night, even more so without him around. So I got up, too, and decided to go for a run. Scott told me how to get to a nice canal nearby, so off I went.
A little over a mile in, my mom called, so I started walking and talking to her. So much for that run. And the path ended anyways!
Well, not that that stopped me. I definitely went around the signs and kept on going. It was a cool, cloudy morning, but it was still beautiful out there.
Somewhere along the way, I swear something growled at me from the bushes. The canal was on one side, and there was thick brush on the other. And I'm telling you, there was a mountain lion or coyote or something in there. And it was going to eat me. I FaceTimed Scott to find out what kind of predator I was up against, but he assured me there was nothing harmful out there. Regardless, I made him stay on the phone with me as I turned around and went back, so he could be witness to my death by wild animal. Now of course the animal was gone by the time I got back to the spot. But whatever. It was real! (He officially thinks I'm crazy now.)
I snapped a few more pictures on my now walk back. The jogging stopped when I thought I was going to get attacked. (I'm not dramatic at alllllll.) But see how pretty of a fall day it was!
Scott continued to work most of the day, so I sat around next to him and pretended to work, too. Which really meant reading articles online, stalking people on Facebook, and coming up with fun workouts that I'll probably never do.
When his parents, sister, and brother-in-law got off work, we all went down to a nearby park/barn that his brother-in-laws family owns, and decorated for the upcoming wedding reception to be held there on Saturday. Parties are always way more work than I think they're going to be... but they're usually worth it I guess.
Not that either of us really worked that hard. (His poor mother did.) We were too busy laying in the grass taking pictures of the beautiful sunset. I thought mine was good until he showed me up, as usual.
After the decorations were up (we did hang the lights!), we came back to the house for pizza and hung out around the fire pit. The backyard set up here is pretty legit. Swimming pool, enclosed hot tub, enclsoed fire pit with section couch around it, patio table, garden... Yeah, I'll be spending some time around here over the next week.
Up next: a party filled weekend. Wedding reception for Scott's brother on Saturday, and birthday party for his niece and nephew on Sunday!