See what I did there? Not just Adventures IN Odyssey, but in OUR Odyssey. That's clever only to those of you whose young children are entertained by Focus on the Family's Adventures in Odyssey series, and even then maybe only a small percentage of you. I thought of it though because it was one of the ways we passed the time in our Odyssey during the 4 day journey to our new home.
On paper, driving a total of 29 hours with two mini-vans, seven adults, two children, three dogs and a trailer sounds like a National Lampoon's vacation. In reality, it wasn't bad at all.
I'll confess, learning to navigate the interstate at reduced speeds with a larger, crazy heavy load because of the trailer was a little hairy. I wasn't even driving, but within 15 minutes I was having thoughts about turning back. I took the wheel halfway across Wisconsin. The last 45 minutes or so through Milwaukee in the dark with heavy traffic managed to squeeze some fairly inhuman squeals from me. I'd rather drive in China any day.
We went to Milwaukee to pick up two of the aforementioned adults and one of the dogs. As we looked ahead to what was a planned two more days of driving, we realized that it seemed a bit infeasible without driving 15 hours the first day and leaving our transmission somewhere in the hills of Tennessee. We decided to stretch it to three which only required finding new hotels to accomodate three dogs. It was an excellent decision.
Ethan was busy making decisions of his own. We'd told them that the whole way could not be spent staring at their 7" TV screens or iPads, so he developed a schedule which went something like, "First hour, we rest. Then we watch a movie for two hours. Then we read for an hour. Then we listen to Adventures in Odyssey . . . " We didn't realize how serious he was until he asked to put in a movie. Erik told him, "We're going to stop soon buddy," and Ethan replied, "But we have to stay on schedule!" That wasn't the only time that happened.
I have to say I'm surprised at how diverse the US geography isn't, at least the way we took. Illinois and Missouri were incredibly flat and Mississippi had some beautiful rolling hills through the woods, but for the most part if you'd told me I was in Minnesota at any given time, I wouldn't have doubted you. Our only stop of interest was Graceland, and that was because in our quest to find the cheapest gas around ($3.04!) we happened onto Elvis Presley Blvd and figured why not? So we took a picture from the fence and called it good.
I swear the minute we crossed the state line into Florida the skies cleared, like this state is hogging all the sunshine. We pulled into our house around 6:30 pm last night. Now the real adventure begins!