Feels Like Friday
For many years now, we have left for our annual Minnesota vacation on Friday morning. So this year, leaving on a Thursday, I've felt a bit off all day. Why the change in routine? This year we intend to squeeze in two college visits for Chloe on our way through Minnesota…it beats making a separate trip all the way up north at some other time.
We did stick to some parts of our routine however. We stopped at Cracker Barrel in Merrillville (IN) for breakfast so we could drop off our dog Jolie with Grandma H (Beth and Kelleigh came along with her). We also met my parents there so we could ride/drive with them this year. Since Mom K is struggling with early Alzheimer’s and Dad K just had some recent surgeries, we wanted to be there to support them in the long drive.
I rode as co-pilot in Dad’s truck, while he pulled his boat through Chicago traffic. Then Tom drove their truck while Mom and I joined the girls in our car. Stopping at Culver’s in Wisconsin for lunch is another one of our traditions, and we did so in a big way this year, finding the "World’s Largest Culver’s!" Pretty much like every other Culver’s…just about three times the normal size…Woooowww!
We split from Mom & Dad K around Tomah (WI) so they could go on to their hotel in Eau Claire. We had reserved a room at the Comfort Inn in Owatonna (MN), just north of Rochester. Entering Minnesota along this different route was a real treat with the beautiful hills and scenery along the Mississippi River and Lake Onalaska.
Owatonna is home to Ann J, a friend from my childhood vacation days in Battle Lake (MN). Her parents owned Sand Bay Resort, where we vacationed for two weeks almost every summer of my growing-up years. I decided to reach out to Ann and see if she was available for a visit, and was happy when she said she was! Ann and I had a great time catching up. Although we’ve reconnected through Facebook recently, we hadn’t seen each other in person in a long, long time!
We had left home at 8:00 a.m (ET) and arrived in Owatonna around 7:00 p.m. (CT), making our trip in 12 hours (definitely didn’t break any records today!). After a long day in the car and knowing we needed to rise early the next morning, we all turned in at a decent time.