Our family woke at 3:30am Eastern Daylight Saving Time and packed up the comfortable silver minivan. We left Mount Pleasant at about 4:18am with Brad taking the first shift of driving while the kids and I tried to settle in and get some rest. He drove through most of South Carolina and we got stuck in a line of cars that were detoured (still don't know why the detour happened). Stopped at a gas station for a potty break and coffee and then I drove the second leg. I drove through the rest of South Carolina and all the way through North Carolina and into Tennessee. Time for another bathroom break and to switch drivers again.
We got through the beautiful Smoky Mountains and had lunch at a McDonalds in Kentucky. Back in the car and once again got backed up in a LONG line of cars near Conway, Kentucky for about an hour. It was in a construction zone and evidently three cars were involved in a crash. We pray everyone is safe and healthy. On the move again and made it to Indiana. I kept looking on the navigator to see if there were more accidents and found an alternate route through central Illinois that would avoid more backups. Low and behold, it took us directly to Normal, Illinois, Anders' birthplace.
I drove from a rest stop in Indiana to Bloomington while Brad got a little shut eye. We tried to dine at Lucca, a pizza place that was really unique, but the wait time was too long. We then drove to Tobin's Pizza (another favorite) where we had RC, Pepperoni and Sausage Pizza, a 1/4 chicken and spaghetti and meat sauce. We drove to Anders' hospital--OSF where we just drove past and said hello. We also drove past the Barnes and Noble where I went into labor and said hello. Brad and I remembered parts of Bloomington/Normal, but it's been nearly 17 years so there was a lot that didn't look familiar.
It is now about 8:20 and we have 6 hours to drive so we headed on I39 and drove north. The kids and settled in to watch Jurassic World while Brad drove through the night. I finally fell asleep around 10:30 and woke when we were near Eau Claire and noticed the snow was really coming down. Brad ended up driving very slowly 20-40 mph. We arrived home safely in River Falls about 3:00am Central Daylight Saving Time.
We traveled just over 24 hours, saw a lot, relived good times but boy, it's nice to be home!