This morning we woke up at the Jensen’s farm and said goodbye to them around 8:30am their time, which was like 6:30am our time! As tempting as it was to head back to bed for a bit after they left for town, we got on the road instead – just in time for the snow to start flying! The wind was whipping the flurries around like it didn’t understand that it was only 48 hours short of being May! This photo was taken quickly with a mad dash back to the warm car.
Good-bye cute little farm!
As annoying as the flurries were, we had bigger problems. Neither of us had listened very carefully when they explained where the nearest gas station was the night before. We were running on empty, and sure enough the gas light came on before we reached the end of the lane. Since it’s a new car (to us), we weren’t sure just how much time that meant we had. We also had no cell service out at the farm and everyone had left for town for the day. It’s also not like there were neighbours we could even easily walk to!
We suddenly remembered we had our friend, Tara’s, GPS!
We whipped it out, plugged it into the charger, and were told there was a gas station only 3.3 kms away. This would have been great if it wasn’t a lie. We started to follow the route and suddenly were told to “proceed south for 26km”. At that point, we pulled into the nearest little restaurant and asked directions. Turns out gas was back the way we came only 7 miles. We made it!
I didn’t last for very long before I was fast asleep in the passenger seat. The 6:30am PST start was killing me. I woke up a couple hours later to a winter wonderland. Okay, interior Provinces in Canada and States in the US – WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?! Facebook confirmed the center of Canada had a similar weather pattern this morning. It’s a very good thing I packed both for sunny California, but also for cold. I did NOT bring boots, though!
As we headed eastward out of Minnesota and into Illinois, the snow dissipated. We also left the intense flat lands for at least a few more trees here and there.
Well… mostly a few more trees. Still lots of flat, though.
We pulled into the outskirts of Chicago (aka Wheaton, IL) shortly after 5:00pm and I let my friends know I was almost there. That is… until we passed a Hobby Lobby! Now, I have never been to a Hobby Lobby before, but I have heard wondrous tails about this place from my friend, Tara. Oh man… it’s like Michael’s on steroids! We only stayed long enough to look through half the store before quickly heading over to our friends for dinner, but there was so much neat stuff!
Yes, that last picture you just saw is an iPhone pic (obviously since Nick’s holding my.. I mean “our” camera). And yes, Nick is filming a map on the ground. He has a cool idea he wants to try with it apparently.
After we left Hobby Lobby, we were only a short 15-minute drive from our friends. They took us to a local pizza place so we could experience true Chicago deep-dish pizza. They make it upside-down! The cheese is on the bottom and the sauce is on the top! Nick could only manage two pieces, and I couldn’t even do that at 1.5 pieces. We have lots of left-overs for driving now.
Funny fact – we have never meet these friends in “real life”. I know my dad was concerned about me staying with “internet friends”, and I’ve been texting him every few States so he knows we’re alive and well. However, what we never thought of was US
being a safety concern for our internet friends! Good news. We didn’t kill them and they didn’t kill us. And we let both our respective check-in peoples know. Haha! Here’s a picture of us taken by my internet friend (and now real life friend), Margaret. My watermark is on it as she took it with my camera and I edited this particular version of it, but photo creds go to Margaret Henry Photography
It came up during dinner that today is Nick’s birthday, so when we got back to the house she was such a sweetheart and whipped up a little brownie cake for him and they all sung him happy birthday!
We realized too late in the evening that they were also board-gamers, but I thought I would throw that out there so y’all know how cool they are. Also, I should confess that I use “y’all” to sound more American, and I don’t talk like that in real life. That led to much chuckling tonight when I fessed up to doing that on the photography site I met Margaret on.
Okay and now, before I hit the hay, I have to show you what a sweet room they put us up in tonight! We’re in this huge loft room above their garage on the comfiest mattress, and it’s just so cozy.
And now we have reached the half-way point of our trip!
Tonight – Bed. Tomorrow – Ohio!