Day 4 of the Move from Richmond, VA to Chicago, IL

Chicago Skyline

September 29, 2012

When I got up, I was very excited as I thought the final leg of the journey would be a breeze as we were so close to our destination. Boy, was I wrong! Creeping down the Chicago Skyway (see photo) and going through the Spaghetti Bowl (don’t ask) took as long as traveling through Indiana.

To top it off, we had a problem with the extended stay hotel where we had reservations. We had to cancel them at one building and get a room through another building and the whole process took at least an hour. The service was terrible too, and the 10-day hotel stay turned out to be 10 days too long. However, that is another blog in itself.

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Day 3 of the move from Richmond, Virginia to Chicago, Illinois

September 28, 2012

Luckily, when we got up in the morning at the Akron hotel, the rain had stopped, although it was overcast and chilly. Not much to say about driving through Ohio, except that we welcomed the flat terrain after all the up and down of the mountains from day 2.

However, Indiana is another story. Oh, it was uneventful enough at first, just lots of flat terrain, Amish buggy crossing warning signs, and cornfields. Towards the end of the 200-mile stretch we had planned for the day, when looking for the turnoff that would take us to Auburn, our scheduled stop for the day, we encountered a closed road. Of course it was the one we needed.

While there were detour signs, we decided to listen to the GPS first. That was a bad idea … once it tried taking us down a gravel road we changed strategy. Among more signs warning of Amish buggies and rows of cornfields without any traffic or other signs of civilization (except for 3 lone big rocks on the side of the road at one point), Tom finally backtracked and decided to follow the detour signs, hoping they were actually right. Finally, we got back on the route we needed and the GPS agreed.

When we arrived in Auburn, our scheduled stop for Day 3, we were relieved to find that the hotel was on a civilized strip of highway with gas stations and restaurants, and even a Tom’s Donuts. I love nature and all, but that little stint in the backwoods of Indiana had me worried. After all, who would we have called on for help in case of being stranded, the Children of the Corn?

Day 2 of the move from Richmond, Virginia to Chicago, Illinois (Part II)

Are we there yet? (Gracie in the Akron, Ohio hotel room)

Still September 27

If I had to sum up day 2, it would be: mountains, tunnel, and rain–in that order. Also, since Gracie had not relieved herself into the makeshift litter box during the night, we stopped at a PA rest stop (the one close to where one of the planes went down during the Sept. 11 attack) and took her to the pet area, hoping she would use the grass. Well, Tom took her while I stayed in the car. Unfortunately, that experience scared the daylights out of her and she did not go, so he brought her back to the car.

Luckily, the rain did not start until we were pretty much out of the mountains. It was sprinkling against the windshield before then, and we both saw the clouds ahead of us. However, somehow we had a mutual silent understanding to not talk about them, as if by ignoring them somehow we would not be driving into rain.

Well, that did not work of course and so we have really no pictures to show as it rained from Pennsylvania to Ohio. Tom was almost ready to throw in the towel, when the rain finally subsided enough to cease white-knuckle driving and go back to regular programming of trying to put as many miles as possible between me and Virginia.

By the time we got to the hotel in Akron, Ohio, our scheduled stop for the day, it stopped long enough for us to check in and sneak the cat into the hotel room. This time she happily greeted her makeshift litter box and christened it appropriately, and repeatedly, throughout the night.

If you think that is TMI, it just shows you how little there is to say about that part of the journey. We all were relieved, in more ways than one though because we knew day 2 would be the worst and it was over. Or so we thought.