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A Book Geek Vacation: The Road to Madison

July 21st, 2010 (05:52 pm)
tired

current mood: tired

People keep asking about my recent vacation, and I realize I never posted anything about it. I won't do one massive missive on the whole adventure; this will be more of an episodic travelogue of our trek through the American Midwest.

Monday, June 29
My husband Bob and I departed from Alexandria with our 8-year-old, Jon Morgan, buckled into his booster chair in the back seat of our Prius, which was crammed with luggage pretty much everywhere else. Our first real destination was Madison, Wisconsin, but we would drive it in two days, stopping overnight near Toledo, Ohio, where a room at the inn (the Comfort Inn) awaited us. It was one of the hotels I'd booked in advance, but I still had more reservations to make, along the way.

Of course, we left home later than planned. Partly that was because Bob noticed water gushing from a pipe in front of the house (not on our property) and had to call the water company to come deal with it so that it wouldn't pour into our basement while we were away.

After a few hours of driving, we debated where to stop for lunch, but there was never really any question. It had to be pizza. Picky Jon Morgan will eat few foods that are commonly served at restaurants, but pizza is one of them. We stopped at the Pizza Hut in Breezewood, Pennsylvania, the first of many Pizza Huts we were to sample over the next 11 days. I had borrowed several books on CD from the library to keep us entertained along the trip. I've never been an audiobook person; I'm too visual to want to read that way on a regular basis. But it seemed like a great way to keep all of us, especially Jon Morgan, entertained on what would be some very long days of driving. During the first leg of the trip, we started listening to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Even Bob, a Harry Potter virgin who didn't think he'd like the books, loved it.

In Maumee, OH, that evening, we walked into the Comfort Inn to check in, and there was no reservation in my name. Maumee has two Comfort Inns, both on the same road, a half-mile apart. After checking into the other one, we ate dinner at a nearby Big Boy, where Jon Morgan could order one of the few non-pizza entrees he'll eat in a restaurant: pancakes.

Tuesday, June 30
After breakfast and then a swim for Bob and Jon Morgan in the hotel pool, we loaded the car and got back on the road for Madison. This leg of the journey is a pretty boring one. Turnpike driving. But Harry Potter kept us entertained, and Jon Morgan liked the Illinois travel plazas, which are built like bridges over the interstate. I bought postcards every time we stopped along the way. We hit some traffic around Chicago, of course, but Bob was driving that day, so I was able to get some great photos of the city skyline, including the Sears Tower.

Finally, we arrived in Madison, Wisconsin, at the home of Bob's brother Charlie and his wife Lynn, who are gracious hosts and all-around swell people.

More later -- including photos, after I upload them.