Got a pretty early start this morning after (once again) staying up most of the night. Not sure what's up with this insomnia. We were out of the house right after 7:30 a.m. and started south with both vehicles but, after going only a few miles, Mom realized that she had left her glasses back at my house. So, back we went but really only lost about 20 minutes. Hit Steve's house before 10:00 and spent some time catching up and having a hot beverage. The GPS lady was pretty unhappy with me when we left to head south and I went via Beloit instead of through Chicago. But she eventually calmed down and allowed us to choose our route!
I haven't been on this route for years (maybe since helping Steve move to Oklahoma so many years ago), so I was really surprised at how nice the roads are -- and how incredibly boring the drive is between Rockford and towns to the south. There are a lot of wind turbines, but essentially nothing but open land as far as the eye can see. I thought we were in Nebraska. Because we were traveling so close to Chenoa, we decided to take a quick run over to see Aunt Ethel but she wasn't home. We left a note, but I guess maybe a phone call would have been smarter than going for the surprise visit!
During the day, I got a text from Susie advising that the snow and sleet was moving into western Wisconsin and was moving toward our part of the state -- so I'm really glad we got out of there this morning! It was still sunny and relatively warm (mid-50s) during our drive but, by the time we got to Springfield, the temperature was already dropping and it was rainy. The weather forecast indicates that snow is expected for this area starting tomorrow morning.
We're staying in a Drury Inn tonight. Steve and Stacy have been recommending it for a long time since they allow dogs and provide both a free hot breakfast as well as hot snacks and free drinks at night. Recently, Hollie mentioned it as well and we needed a place since Sandy is traveling with us. Turns out that this is the same one that Steve & Stacy stay at when traveling to Oklahoma! It's really a nice place: clean, large room, free wifi, refrigerator in the room, no additional charge for the dog, and the hot snacks tonight were really good (nachos, baked potatoes, salad, hot dogs, hot wings). You also get 3 free drinks per person. Unbelievable! Looking forward to the hot breakfast tomorrow morning.
Not sure what our itinerary will be tomorrow. I wanted to stay in Springfield this first night with the intention of visiting the Lincoln home and Lincoln tomb while here. Now, with the snow on the way, I'm not sure if we'll do that or move on to avoid the storm. I suppose it will depend on how things look in the morning. I'll be disappointed if we have to miss those attractions, but it will probably end up getting us into Florida sooner -- so maybe that will be a plus. We'll see.
Note: Sandy is really a good traveler. She lays down and just relaxes during the drive and sits quietly in the van whenever we stop. When we left the hotel room briefly this evening to get our snacks, she didn't make any noise -- just went over and laid down 'til we came back.