Road Trip Part 1: Florida to Minnesota

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

So I'm a week late but I'm finally making my first entry about the road trip. Either my phone's been dead or we've been too busy to write. So about the greyhound, nothing crazy happened on the first leg of the trip... So I moved to the back of the bus (sorry Mom!) because that's apparently "where all the drama is" according to a guy that could've been Morgan Freeman. I took your "sit at the front of the bus" advice for the first round! But the back of the bus didn't have anymore excitement either. I'm not sure what exactly I was expecting... Fights? Crazy people? I dunno... But everyone was pretty normal. Made one friend with a girl that was on a lot of the ride with me. But other than that, it was all pretty tame. I went from 4:30pm on the 18th to 10:30am on the 19th! When I arrived in Bristol, I was surprisingly really well rested and would've been down to head out on the trip right away but we stayed in Bristol the first night, planned out our tentative route, ate dinner with the family Stephanie was staying with, and worked out.

So the first day of our (un air conditioned) travels, on Wednesday, we went through Knoxville and checked out a school Steph is looking at, then Nashville and walked around downtown checking out the bands, bars, and boots! Nashville was the first place to exceed my expectations. Here we stayed with Steph's friend, Kelsey, from King.

Thursday, day we drove around downtown in Louisville, then headed to Chicago where I instantly fell in love. We walked along the riverwalk which was absolutely gorgeous, went to the Navy Pier briefly, explored downtown, and got our deep dish Chicago pizza at Pizzeria Uno. Sadly, we only had three hours in Chicago due to CRAZY expensive parking and more driving to get to Madison, Wisconsin. On the drives, we saw super cool windmills through Indiana and an awesome sunset from Chicago to Madison. In Madison, we stayed with the first of Stephanie's aunts, Aunt Laurie.

The next day, we went to the Madison zoo! The orangutans were definitely our favorite. That night, we went to a little picnic her family's work had, where we had some awesome ribs and piƱata entertainment. After the picnic, we had a bonfire with Sandy Gorsky, a family friend of Stephanie's that moved here from Alaska. This was a really great time and such great people.

On Saturday, we were planning on going to the farmers' market in Madison then driving to Minnesota, but changed our plans to go to the Cedarburg Strawberry Festival. We did still make It to the farmers' market which was awesome... Cool jewelry, veggies, flowers... And it was HUGE!
Then we met up with Stephanie's friend, Ashley (Sandy's daughter), at the festival and had strawberry everything (had to!): strawberries, strawberry brats, ice cream, beer... You name it. Not to mention corn and deep fried cheese curds! That night, we had another bonfire with their family, meeting Sandy's husband and son. We got to try out Steph and Sandy's fancy bonfire fishing poles they got at the festival and drank some more strawberry wine (didn't think we had our fill of strawberries yet) and apple pie moonshine! We were up until 4am, then up by 9 for breakfast and gettin on the road! It was such an awesome time seeing this family. I'm so glad we changed around our plans so we could do that. Wonderful family!

So here we are on the 7th day of our extravaganza, just leaving Stillwater, MN after visiting her aunt Karen in Northfield and staying with her Uncle Mike and family last night, who were super nice. Now we're on our way to the Mall of America and Pipestone where we'll stay with another aunt and uncle! (She's got a lot of those, conveniently for us, all across the states!) It's been really awesome so far. And one thing I've learned is that if you're too focused on getting to your destination you can miss out on awesome relationships with people. Like when we changed our Minnesota plans so we could visit with the the Gorsky's more, we got so much out of that. It was especially worth it when Sandy told us how that was the most fun and the most she's laughed in a long time.
Over and out.

Oh, and in the pictures, the story of the random one in the strawberry festival collage is a totally random girl we passed was apparently fascinated by my dress and kept hiding in it and wrapping herself in it. Haha



Nashville!
Windmill through Indiana/Illinois 
Chicago!



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