Vacation Treasures

While I am away visiting Bill’s mom in Chicago for a few days, here is the first of a couple of posts previously written during another trip to Chicago. This post was first published in September 2014.

imgresThis year has been the year for summer road trips. For me, that’s a good thing. I do enjoy a trip down I-80.

We spent the past week in Chicago visiting Bill’s mom. We never mind the drive because, just like we do when we drive to Phoenix, we do it in two days instead of one. Denver to Council Bluffs, Iowa, and then on to Chicago the next day. By driving, we have access to our car and don’t have to deal with a rental car.

But best of all, we get to enjoy the interesting, and almost always funny, things that happen along the way.

Here is some of what we experienced this past week, both on the road and while in Chicago…..

The first day, we noticed an inordinate number of Corvettes. By time we had reached Kearney, Nebraska, we had probably seen something like 70 or 80 Corvettes. We began speculating as to why we saw so many. Clearly it couldn’t be accidental.

We stopped at a rest stop somewhere near York, Nebraska, and pulled up next to three Corvettes. I couldn’t resist, and asked one of the owners why we were seeing so many Corvettes on I-80.

He and his wife were more than happy to explain.

“We are all driving to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where these cars were manufactured,” they told us. “There will be somewhere around 7,000 Corvettes there this weekend to enjoy the festivities the plant is providing.”

They also told us that many of the drivers were going to stop in Lincoln, Nebraska, to spend the night. This information caused Bill McLain to exit at Lincoln in order to find the hotel at which many, many Corvettes would be parked. Though we gave it the ol’ college try, we were unable to find the hotel.

Still, here is a photo of the three cars at the rest stop….

corvette show

joseph great grandmaOur daughter and her family joined us in Chicago, and 5-year-grandma micahold Joseph and 2-year-old Micah spent quality time with their great grandmother….

micah scooter

One of the things Bill’s 97-year-old mom was eager to do during our visit was show me the new Meijer’s store near her house. Meijer’s is a midwestern grocery chain that offers enormous varieties of almost everything. So, if you’re looking for bacon, instead of four or five brands, you will find 20 or 30….

bacon counter meijers

The Meijer’s store we visited was even larger than the one at which we had shopped previously. I seriously am not sure I’ve ever visited a larger grocery store. I would call it a Super Walmart on steroids.

For example, the Hostess display offered many choices….

hostess counter meijers (1)

As you can imagine, Joseph was delighted with the Lego offerings….

legos

The sheer number of EVERYTHING made me laugh.

On our way back home, we stopped at what is literally the world’s largest truck stop — the Iowa 80 Truck Stop. It is seriously enormous. In addition to many fast food restaurants and an inordinate number of things that truckers simply can’t live without — which apparently includes All Things Chrome — there are at least three semi-trucks located INSIDE THE STORE. Now that’s a big truck stop. We stop almost every time.

This time, Bill pulled a Diet Coke from the refrigerated case, and this is what what he found on the bottle as part of their new advertising campaign….

diet coke bottle

What are the chances of that?