Road Trip 2012 – Raleigh | Ohio | Chicago | Milwaukee

sun on windshield
I have a lifelong dream of packing up the car, and taking off on a cross-country, months long road trip. Maybe it’s the fact that on family vacations, we traveled almost exclusively by car, or just the romantic notion of hitting the open road, but the idea is always in the back of my mind.

That’s why it was surprising that my mother was the one to suggest  the South > Midwest > East Coast road trip that I just got back from. I was telling her how I had all these big dreams, but it was frustrating to want to do things, but not feel like it was the right time, or like I had the resources to actually do them. She suggested I start small, and make the most of what I did have. What we had was a family reunion in Milwaukee, and almost two weeks of David’s vacation time available, so we decided to go for it.

labradoodle puppy

Highlights:

+ Meeting Lambeau, their brand new puppy! He could not have been cuter.
+ Getting to stop at the Dairy Shed, my favorite ice cream place in the world
+ The delicious meals my aunt made. She is one of the best hostesses in the world (right up there with my other aunts, and Martha Stewart.)
+ Seeing my family again.

chicago tourist collage

Highlights:

+ Visiting the aquarium. It was David’s idea, and it was super cool. Bonus highlight within a highlight! BELUGA WHALES. I wanted to climb into the tank and swim with them.
+ Having breakfast with David’s cousin and his girlfriend. Even though I dumped a cup of coffee all over the table, it was fun to just wake up and eat, and not feel the big vacation rush to do a bunch of stuff like I normally do.
+ Walking around downtown Chicago, during Lollapalooza. Even though it was roughly 100,000 degrees outside.
+ Watching the Olympic all-round gymnastics competition with David’s cousins and siblings.

milwaukee tourist collage

Highlights:

+ Seeing all of David’s family again
+ Jumping on the hotel beds with Jason and Kellsie. We are all adults, but in that moment, we were Olympians. Trampoline Olympians to be exact.
+ Getting my windshield wipers fixed, after I discovered in Chicago that they were not working. Lowlight: How much that little repair cost me.
+ Going on a boat tour of the Milwaukee Harbor.
+ David’s parents 40th wedding anniversary!

BONUS:

+ Getting to stay with David’s family in Chicago again the night before we headed off to Niagara Falls. They were so welcoming, and gave us some great advice about stuff to do on the rest of our trip!

I’ll be back tomorrow with part two of our road trip: Heading east.