Thursday, August 25, 2016

Wednesday 8/24 - Valparaiso, IN to Youngstown, OH

Tree at Mary and Jamey's
Wow. Long freaking day. Everyone did pretty well until just before dinner time when the wheels came off, metaphorically.

I was up early and took Kona out to run. She's been as cooped up as the rest of us and it is hard for me to get her out without waking up the boys. I took this opportunity to get a few miles in with her. We ran through rural Indiana, which happens to look quite similar to parts of eastern Nebraska.

Corn Fields - right at home


We packed up and left Mary and Jamey's about 9:15a. It was a rainy morning but nothing too severe. We drove all morning and time warped into Eastern Standard Time about 1030/1130 am. More construction and the state patrol seemed to be out in full force.

We stopped for lunch at a rest area and the boys ate while I fed Jonah.

Lunch at the rest area, Hunkered down behind the wall due to wind.
We were back on the road with a cookie monster DVD as a special treat. The boys also had new little race cars. One was a Mario cart and one was a Luigi cart. M asked to trade back and forth with E so many times I lost count (or maybe I lost my mind or was it my patience? Anywho...)

I looked back at E at one point and did a double take. I asked him, "is your loose tooth still in your mouth?!" He nodded and showed me. It was just so loose and pulled back that I couldn't see it. Yikes. In the meantime, J has two bottom front teeth that are trying to make an appearance. Nothing like traversing the country with all sorts of dentition excitement.

I also managed to pick up M's dropped items, J's dropped items, fix the DVD player behind my seat, and hand back snack cups over 12,623 times. I lost count after that. I have scrapes on both arms from reaching into all of the crevices of the van behind my seat and a "rope" burn on my neck where my seat belt rubbed from turning around so many times. Patrick is our driver. I've offered, but really, I think he doesn't want to be in the shotgun position, or he couldn't hack it. Wink wink.

M reading Vegetarian Times - a rare smile from him today

At one point, I looked up at the sun visor in the van and noticed that Patrick's St Christopher medallion was clipped up there. After a little researching, I read that it is unclear whether Christopher actually existed. Christopher means "Christ-bearer" and it unknown if the name was based on a specific person or was a general title. The most famous story, tells that he carried a child, whom  he did not know, across a river. The child revealed himself as Christ and because of this, he is the patron saint of travelers.
St Christopher Medal

We let the boys watch an extra half of a DVD (the are currently digging the Snail Racing (not sure that is what it is actually called). It is a catch 22 though. It buys us a bit of time while we are in the car but their behavior following the screen time is unbearable. They lost the privilege of movie time tomorrow, Thursday. Does this happen to anyone else? They don't really get to watch much at home but we do notice the pattern there as well.

We tried to watch a bit of toy story but it was "too scary".
This problem mostly manifested at dinner. Everyone was tired and grumpy and hungry. I had been looking forward to eating at a vegan restaurant in Boardman, OH called The Flaming Ice Cube. We went in and J was fussy, E and M were grumpy and antsy from being in the car and Patrick and I were alternating on running low on patience for whining, arguing, and not so great choices related to behavior.

On the bathroom bulletin board at The Flaming Ice Cube
The cafe/shop was great. Smoothies, coffee, salads, bowls, soups, burgers, sandwiches... all vegan. The other half of the store was a knitting shop. I would have loved to look around but that was just not going to happen. If we go back through that way, I would definitely stop again. This particular dining experience was not one of our more enjoyable ones as people with tired little kids can relate to.
The other side of the restaurant

We took the boys back to the hotel to get settled. I am fairly certain that we didn't hear a word out of M that wasn't whinny or screechy from 6:00p on. I blew bubbles in the parking lot to burn off some steam until M had a final meltdown and it was just time to be done with the day.

This was the longest day at 365 miles. We drove from 9:15a-6p with the 45 minute stop for lunch and short bathroom breaks between.

Tomorrow is supposed to be 4 hrs and 40 minutes of drive time. We will see, I suppose.

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