Dylan and two of his best buds, Jax and Mary-Clare
MC cuddled up next to Dylan and then played hard to get when it came time for goodbye smooches.
After staying with our good friends Mary, Steve and Mary-Clare all week long, it was hard to say goodbye this morning. Dylan was so comfortable at their house that he didn't ask to "go home" at all. Sweet boy. He had so much fun at Mary's house! I don't know that he quite understands that this goodbye is different than other goodbyes. It will probably be a long time before we see our Dayton friends again. I'm so thankful for being able to keep in touch via Facebook and free long distance on cellphones. It makes it so much easier to stay in touch when we move.
This morning was spent packing up and getting the car ready for the start of our road trip. After saying our goodbyes and making a couple of maintenance stops (gas and tire check, and of course Starbucks) we hit the open road on the way to Chicago.
I bought this brown bear for Dylan and when Denny saw it he immediately made it our official "road trip to Alaska" mascot. He is riding proudly on the dashboard all the way to Alaska (or until Dylan spots him and wants to hold the brown bear. And I have a feeling after that he's gonna want a red bird, a yellow duck, a blue horse, a purple cat, a white dog, a black sheep and goldfish and a teacher. (if you don't get this, you may not have kids or have never read the book "brown bear, brown bear")
Despite Dylan's runny nose (that of course started yesterday), he was mostly a happy little traveller. We crossed the state line into Indiana and our first stop was to see the giant candle just off the highway. It was the Warm Glow Candle Outlet in Centerville, Indiana and served a triple purpose–bathroom break, sandwich making stop, and kitschy photo opportunity next to the really big candle. Plus they had a koi pond!
Dylan and Denny sitting on the bench at the base of the really freakin large candle.
The bathroom at the Warm Glow Candle Outlet. Really, really cool as was the whole store. Too bad it was really crowded or I might have wanted to look around more.
Denny and Dylan enjoying the koi pond. Taken with my iphone (as were a lot of these). I will get out big nice camera tomorrow, I promise (because this would have been so lovely dslr).
One of Denny's favorite things today were the windmills in Indiana. There were lots and lots of these along the highway and as far as the eye could see.
Other than stopping for gas (and snacks - cheese, crackers and salami), and crossing into Illinois, the rest of our trip was fairly uneventful. We checked into our hotel (The Marriott Oak Brook Hills Resort) where I got a special "romance package" that included champagne, truffles and free breakfast for only $10 more than the regular room price and searched for a nearby pizza place so that we could sample some Chicago pizza. We ordered a "stuffed pizza" from Giordano's. What a creation. First, the aroma that came from the pizza box was heavenly. The crust is flaky and layered, almost like a pie crust. Then comes the meat, we ordered pepperoni and sausage. There wasn't too much of it, (like the famed disk of sausage from another Chicago pizzeria, Gino's). On top of the meat is a thick gooey layer of cheese and that is topped with their special tomato sauce. The whole thing was just ridiculously good.
Yum! Too bad leftovers aren't really practical on a road trip. Although early morning cold pizza wouldn't be terrible :).
And now, as my husband says "it's 10:30 to our bodies". This never fails to make me laugh. I see time zones differently than he does...I want to adjust immediately and forget what time it is to my body. And he will remember what time it is to his body for a week. Good thing we are taking our time flitting from time zone to time zone then isn't it?
Tomorrow I have my fingers crossed for no rain so that we can visit the Lincoln Park Zoo. Here's hoping!