Dec 20 2008

Notes from the Road, Day 1

Dear Readers, today I’m starting an as-I-get-a-chance-to-write travel journal.  The reviews of the places we visit will be coming later.  This journal will be an account of the things that went right and wrong on our trip.  And so I begin with Day 1.  Our itinerary had us scheduled to leave at 8 a.m. today.

I woke up early after our second night in the motel.  Huh?

Winter travel has changed our plans.

I arrived home from a meeting late Thursday afternoon and made supper.  While we were eating, Hubby mentioned that the weather was supposed to be bad Friday afternoon and Saturday, when we were scheduled to leave.  Not wanting to get stuck at home, the wheels of my brain started turning.  Not only was there a storm scheduled for Minnesota, but Wisconsin was supposed to get it starting Thursday night.  So we did the only thing we could do, which would make us look like fools or geniuses.  We finished up the last two pack-and-do lists in an hour and pulled out of the driveway at 7:36 p.m.

Destination:  Wisconsin Dells.  If you’re going to get socked in by a snowstorm, it might as well be somewhere that has waterparks.  I didn’t make reservations first, but I had checked availability (which, I have learned, isn’t a huge deal this time of year at the Dells unless you want to see the new Kalahari theme park that opened yesterday).

As we drove, we wondered how far we’d get before the snow hit.  Mankato?  Rochester? LaCrosse?  Still no snow.  We drove up to the motel, checked in, and went to the room.  Our youngest went to the window and promptly said, “It’s snowing.”  By morning there were 8+ inches of snow on the ground and it was not a pretty sight in town, so we decided to stay the second night to get us back on our original, oh-so-well-planned itinerary.  (Readers in Minnesota will still think this part of the plan was foolish, because I don’t think they ever got the weather that was forecasted.)

Today was the day we were going to get back on track.  Leisurely time at Madison Children’s Museum, maybe see the Wisconsin State Capitol, and head to see family with a model railroad in their basement, which the boys have been looking forward to for months.

Then, last night, I checked the forecast again and saw that there’s another storm headed our way.  We called Hubby’s uncle, who agreed that we should get out of Dodge (well, Wisconsin) while we could.  So we all went to bed early, with plans to get up and leave early this morning.  (8:00 bedtime meant this mommy was up at 4 a.m. to keep you all apprised of the situation, because I know you were concerned.  Nothing else on your minds this time of year, right?)

That means the plan for today is to drive.  We don’t know how far or for how long, but we know that the closer we get to Columbus, Ohio, the better, because we’ll temporarily outrun the snow and cold that are headed to Wisconsin and Illinois.

Long driving days weren’t in our plan, so it will depend on how rested the chauffeur is, how the kids behave in the car, and so on.

At least we’re still following our original route, so there’s something in those well-planned “vacation books” I made for the kids that won’t be thrown out the window.

Will the crazy-holiday-travel family make it to their destination tonight?  Or will they stop somewhere along the way and wake up to frigid cold tomorrow morning?  Stay tuned for our latest adventures.

And stay warm and safe, wherever you are.

Next: Day 2

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5 comments so far

5 Comments to “Notes from the Road, Day 1”

  1. Carm on 20 Dec 2008 at 7:47 am

    How exciting. I love how your spirit of adventure and flexibility when faced with these weather challenges. Right now I’m just enjoying the lights from a little tree (one of four, I know, I overdo it) in my bedroom, sipping some dark Kenyan coffee, listening to Kristen Chenoweth’s Christmas album and savoring my first day of vacation. Yet, part of me thrills at the open road. Enjoy it doubly for me! Woo hoo!

    Carm’s last blog post..Every year I get a new Christmas CD.

  2. Dominique on 20 Dec 2008 at 7:52 am

    Yup, we’ve got snow here in Detroit…about a foot of it. Mail carrier didn’t make it here yesterday, although everyone else seemed to be able to cope.

    I had dinner at a Kalahari earlier this year (I went down to the one in Sandusky (Ohio) to meet a friend who was there for a week with her 9-year-old). He had a blast, I hear :)
    Kids were running around all over and having a great time…the adults, OTOH, all seemed to have one of those 20-plus-ounce glasses they bought at the beginning of their stay there…and kept constantly refilling them.
    They did keep the kids occupied there, though. All through dinner, they had hula hoop contests, prize giveaways, dance contests, songs…you name it.

    Hope you guys get to your destination safely and have a great time!

  3. Barbara Weibel on 20 Dec 2008 at 2:21 pm

    Well, at least it sounds like you escaped the ice storm. This Florida girl is in Illinois for the holidays and it rained ice two nights ago. Everything is still coated and the roads are so slick it is dangerous to dive on the side streets. My 82 year old father went out to the bank and the grocery store today, but I’m such a wuss I stayed indoors. I wish Christmas came in July. Stay warm and be careful out there.

    Barbara Weibel’s last blog post..Sony Releases “A Night In” World Music Collection

  4. [...] detailed descriptions of the places we stopped along our trip.  Today’s entry is of our first stop, the Atlantis Waterpark Hotel in Wisconsin Dells, [...]

  5. [...] we go again.  A year ago, we spent Christmas in Philadelphia as part of what ended up being a 17-day, 3700-mile roadtrip.  [...]

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