Our trip took us to Chicago to celebrate our four years and then to Wisconsin for a wedding! Hubs and I were not alone, though. We had our faithful guide, Gigi. She navigated us very well throughout our entire trip (even surprising us sometimes). We kept an atlas close, just in case, but she usually had us going the right way.
But, let's just run this down by state.
Kansas - Our first stop was only 3 hours away through a giant thunderstorm, but it was a very appreciated night's sleep. By knocking off 3 hours the day before, our trip to Chicago was easier. Plus, we had to drop off the pups (see post).
Missouri - I snoozed thru a lot of Missouri, but when I woke up I realized it is a decent looking state (at least the area we drove through). There were lots of hills and trees and it was a good thing because it kept Hubs awake!
We stopped in St. Louis to eat our picnic lunch and then headed on our way.
Illinois - This part of the journey was the worst of the entire trip. There was road construction and random traffic problems. It didn't help that Illinois is officially the ugliest state I have ever seen. The roads are unmaintained and trashy, the scenery was dry and weedy, and we were not impressed at all. I have never seen so much corn in my life (and I have lived and travelled in Nebraska)!
We reached Chicago in time to head out to dinner and take a long walk along Lake Michigan. Then we slept extremely well at the luxurious Chicago Hilton.
During our full day in Chicago, we started off with some breakfast and then simply walked along Michigan Avenue and browsed. It was a low-key, but relaxing time with Hubs.
For dinner we had some delicious Chicago-style pizza with some of our favorite friends! We were so excited that they were able to travel from Michigan to spend some time with us.
Ryan and Hubs were able to discuss all things teeth; while Martha and I were able to discuss those important dentist-wife topics.
My favorite part of Chicago? Definitely the Buckingham Fountain:
Wisconsin - I had a picture in my mind of Wisconsin. It included rolling green hills, red barns, and black and white cows dotted across the countryside. And although it wasn't like that at first, it turned out to be a beautiful place. We were in central Wisconsin and everything was so green. Since back in Kansas everything is dying because of the extreme heat, the green seemed more vivid. TREES were everywhere and it was so gorgeous. We had fun at the wedding and seeing a few people we knew from Nebraska.
Minnesota - I was blessed to drive through Minnesota. We crossed the Mississippi and were suddenly able to increase our speed to 70 mph and were greated with giant hills and curvy roads, and of course the trees were plentiful. It was great fun and very easy to stay awake during my shift.
Iowa - I was dreading Iowa; but after driving through Illinois, I found that Iowa is not bad at all. Well, it wasn't as bad as Illinois, at least. There were some rolling hills, so it had that going for it. By the time we reached Iowa, though, we were just ready to be done.
Our trip didn't end in Iowa, we still had to drive through Missouri and Kansas again, but they were the same as before. All in all, driving was not anywhere near as bad as either Hubs and I expected. I think we just might do it again sometime!