Thursday, March 3, 2011

Road trip

I'm going on a road trip with the Queenager in a couple of hours. I'll be driving from Chicago down to St. Louis (pronounced Lewis by the way) to stay with a friend overnight, before driving a couple of hours next morning to see a university campus. It's about three hundred miles all in, and driving is probably quicker (not to say cheaper) than flying these days, with the ridiculous check-in and security rules.

The amazing thing is that I will be on one highway the entire time. I leave my house, drive five minutes down Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, get onto I-55 (Interstate 55) and don't get off until two streets away from my friend's house. I'm sure these roads were really built by the Romans.

The non-amazing thing is that a lot of this drive will be on flat terrain. We are in the mid-west of the country, also known as the Plains, so pretty much any driving you do out of Chicago is on very flat, boring terrain. Makes for some tedious driving, although I will be passing very close to the famous Normal, Illinois, which is actually a real place. It's name has French origins, don't you know.You can read about it here, if you want.

Anyway, should be an interesting trip. University life these days (especially over here) is a world away from my experience decades ago. I will report back.

In the mean time I'd like to leave you with some words of wisdom from the 7 year old:

7 y/o - (Reading a book about Apollo landings): "Why was this guy called "Buzz" Aldrin? That's a strange name?"

Me: (Opening mouth to explain about nicknames) - "It's because......"

7 y/o - "Oh, I've got it. It's because his spacesuit is the same as Buzz Light Year's".



  1. Sounds like an awfully boring drive. Like driving 35 thru Texas. Drinks lots of coffee.

  2. love it! kids know everything

  3. HA. I'm originally from the flatlands of Chicago, and the drives are quite boring. Watch out for OTHERS falling asleep at the wheel. Also watch out for those midwestern colleges, not much to do in the cornfields means lots of trouble.
    Good luck!

  4. Love the Buzz Lightyear comment!! Enjoy the trip with the 'Queenager' (also genius!)

  5. What's the real answer to the Buzz question?

  6. Enjoy the trip! Hopefully it'll be warmer down South anyway....

  7. Hope you've got a good stereo system in the car! And yes what is the answer to Buzz....

  8. First: That Buzz explanation was definitely a Laugh Out Loud moment for me.

    Next: playlists! Thats what you need for the drive--either CD mixes or iPod genius shuffles or whatever.

    Finally: when i moved with my parents from Oklahoma to Minnesota we could drive from door of old house to door of new house almost completely on I-35. And when I visit my bother and sister in Dallas in April, then drive to northern Oklahoma to visit my mother, it will all be on (you guessed it) I-35 again. Its the artery of my American Life, my Route 66. We drove up and down that road for many years when I was growing up. I can tell you there are lots and lots and lots and lots of corn fields, wheat fields and prairie in between Oklahoma and Minnesota!

  9. I didn't realise there were so many ex-pat bloggers out there! I am very new to this game!

  10. Hi expat mum from an expat dad(SAHD) in Russia !!

  11. I actually enjoy the straight-line driving out west. It's a nice break from twisty-turny constipated highways here in New England. :-)

    Have fun!

  12. i've driven from Georgia to California across the southern states. Texas took 3 days. Happy driving.

  13. Urgh, sounds like the kind of drive where you are likely to fall asleep. Take good care of yourselves! And please do report back from the campus, I'd be more than curious to hear.

  14. Buzz Lightyear!!!!! Love that.
    Sounds like a tedious journey. Hope it goes well.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  15. Hate driving on the Interstate here. High speed boredom at its finest!

    The University thing IS a world away from our experience. Long live UCCA I say! Good luck.

  16. Hi to all my new visitors, and Jane - you're back!

    The Buzz nickname apparently came about when one of his older brothers said "buzzer" instead of "brother"; it was then shortened to Buzz. I'm assuming this was when they were little.

    And yes, the I-Tunes playlists were utilized; I am now completely au fait with all the latest groups with strange sounding names like Finger Eleven.

    Five hour drives with a 15 minute potty break are a pain though. I'm still a complete light weight compared to most Americans though.

  17. Missing home in CaliforniaSaturday, 19 March, 2011

    I grew up in Normal, IL! You'll have seen Normal Community West High School from the interstate - the one that looks like a prison? My senior class was the first graduating class of the new building so we got to choose the name of the mascot. I'm sorry to say that it is: Norm L. West. Next time you're down that way stop in and have a Chunky Shake at Karl's and a gondola at Avantis.


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