Tag Archives: road trip

Sallie Mae Needs a New Pair of Shoes!


We spent the weekend in the Queen City.  We left the house pretty late and I kept dosing off on the way there.  It was well past my bedtime but I refused to go to sleep.  My husband, a.k.a. the king of the road, has created his own rules for driving.  He joked that if he would have allowed me to drive that we might have ended up in Germany.  I quipped better Germany than the hospital!

Our first stop was at a popular casino.  My husband was itching to get on the Craps table.  The place was crowded, lively, and smoky.  I must have missed the memo that read “Must have cigarette in hand to enter.”  Almost everyone had a cigarette in one hand and a drink in the other.  The only saving grace was the size of the casino.  Therefore I wasn’t totally engulfed by smoke.

Out of courtesy my husband played a few slot machines with me.  He quickly won $100 and was ready to move on to bigger and better things.  He headed upstairs where apparently the “real” players play. 

I stayed in the lowly basement and decided to concentrate on playing the penny, nickel, and dime slots.  Plus, it was one of the designated smoke-free areas.  Feeling adventurous I played a few rounds on the dollar machines.  You can probably tell that I am not a high roller by any means.  I promised myself that any jackpots I won would go straight to Sallie Mae. 

$50 and a case of carpel tunnel later, I was ready to go.  I checked the time and was shocked that we had already been there for three hours!  I made my way to the Craps table and waited semi-patiently for my husband to finish up.  I had no idea what was going on and really was not interested in knowing either. 

I was a bit annoyed because everyone at the table was smoking–my husband included.  But knowing how I detest smoke, he put out his cigarette when he saw me approaching.  One while it was so unbearable that I had to move.  The guy next to him, who I’ll call Smokey the Bandit, kept lighting forest fires immediately after distinguishing one.

An hour later I played a game of shooting poisonous darts at my husband’s back.  Every so often he would turn around and say that he was almost ready.  Then he would give me money to keep me occupied.  Eventually I started pocketing his bribes.

Tired of standing I finally took a seat, wishing that I had charged my Ipod or stuffed a book in my purse.  Some weird, seedy man kept giving me the once over—-twice.  I was so ready to go!

Thirty minutes later my husband was satisfied with his winnings.  At 4:35am he cashed in and we headed out.

We grabbed a bite to eat before checking into the hotel.  The rest of the weekend was spent shopping and relaxing.  Our final stop was at Pappadeux’s for dinner.

Sadly, Sallie Mae still needs a new pair of shoes.

The Dells


Our trip was a blast!  I am so glad that we had the opportunity to go.  The weather was awesome.  It took us 8 hours to get there, but the kids handled it well.  They passed the time eating, sleeping, studying the landscape, listening to their ipods, and playing ISpy with me.  My husband even joined in to help us find as many different license plates as we could. We ended up spotting 24 states and 1 country. 

Much to Nicholas’ dismay, once we arrived in Wisconsin, we began our trip by shopping at the the Tanger Outlet Mall.  We found some real bargains. It wasn’t like a typical mall because of the open air design. Next we spent some time walking around the downtown area and got the kids a bite to eat at Houlihan’s.  I wanted more local fare, so my husband and I ate at Moosejaw’s.  I had a delicious cheese, beer-n-brat soup as well as an elk burger. While we ate dinner, the kids enjoyed dessert.  We ended the night by taking the kids swimming at the resort pool which was full of bells and whistles.

We spent the next day at the “World’s Largest Waterpark,” Noah’s Ark.  It was the ideal time to go, because we did not have to wait in any lines since school was still in session.  If you can believe it, I even rode more rides than Ethan! We rode water rides with names like “Dark Voyage,” “Black Anaconda,” “Flash Flood,” “Point of No Return,” and “Bahamas Falls.”   I rode about 12 rides that day.  It was like nothing I’ve ever done before–but wait, I haven’t!  Usually I am too prissy for those kind of things, but I was determined to have a great time and really let my hair down.  Most of the time I was scared to death–but I loved it!  The remainder of the day we spentsightseeing and ate dinner at “Famous Dave’s.” For dessert, the kids made their own candy at a candy shoppe.  We also took a nature walk along the Wisconsin River trail.  As if they did not spend enough time in the water earlier, when we returned to the resort, they wanted to go swimming again!  While my husband monitored them , I sat in the hot tub and read.  It was so relaxing!

Saturday morning we ate breakfast and then got ready to take a tour on the “Ducks.”  We spent an hour touring the Dells via land and water.  We had two “splashdowns” in Lake Delton and the Wisconsin River.  The kids loved it!  Ethan was especially spellbound. I think this was his “real” first vacation.  After the Ducks, we had lunch at a McDonald’s that looked like a log cabin.  It was really neat and fascinated Ethan. Our final bang was going to another waterpark, “The Wilderness.”  It featured a large variety of wild rides.  My husband and I opted to sit and watch while enjoying cool drinks in the comfort of the shade.  We left just as Wisconsin was issued a tornado watch.

Our trip home took two hours longer, thanks to the traffic in Chicago.  But again, the kids were real troopers.  We stopped for dinner in a little town of all places called “Morocco!”  I see the signs often when we drive to Michigan, but this was our first time stopping in “my’ town! Once we finally arrived home, I had my husband stop at Taco Bell so that we could try the new “Fruitista” and cool down a bit.  The weather was really muggy and sticky. 

The only thing missing was Evan.  I really wished he would have been able to go.  However, if he earns and keeps a weekend pass before summer is out, we plan to take a mini-trip to the Dunes.  But this time was well spent in my efforts to bond with Ethan.  I took over 150 pictures and made sure to take some with just him and I.  Also when certain rides required two people, I often paired up with him.  His excitement was really heartwarming and he seemed so much more relaxed than normal.  When I mentioned that I couldn’t wait to get the pictures developed so that I could begin a scrapbook, he agreed.  He told us that he has looked through our family vacation photo albums many times , but that this time, he would be in the pictures as well.  Wow! That statement spoke volumes and caused me to think about some things.

It was a real blessing that we were able to go, have fun, and arrive home safely. Thank God!