What the heck, I’ll give you another, since it’s only travel.
I didn’t wake up until about 0930, and only then because we were getting ready to roll. That bed I slept on didn’t turn out to be too bad. I had a nice breakfast of a slice of bacon and two eggs. Then we all started slowly getting ready to leave. I stood around some. I was standing around looking through my wallet, making sure Micah hadn’t stolen anything from me during the night, and Aunt Ellen saw me and asked what was up. “Just lookin’ to see what’s there,” I said.
“Do you need some money?” She asked. I had $70. “Not… really,” I said. “…Why, were you going to give me some?”
It turned out she was. She gave me $2o for no particular reason, just as a parting gift, and another $20 to give to Micah (he was traveling in Grandma and Grandpa’s van, not in the car with us), and I thanked her. Around then we said goodbye and piled into the car.
Dad drove us into Wisconsin. It was a nice green day in the Dairy State. The trees were green and so were the farms. And that’s what we passed through for most of the day. Just outside of Pittsville or something I drove for about an hour; then Dad took over again at a Cenex station and we kept going.
Around 1920 we started coming up on Duluth, where we were going to meet Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle Joe. As we approached the town, a creeping fog settled over the road. Once we got in view of Lake Superior, we could see a stiff wind blowing in off the dark blue water. It really got to buffeting the car around, and we could tell it was going to be cold when we got out of the car.
We were scheduled to meet them at an Applebee’s. It was in a big mall. We parked and, preparatorily, looked out at the rolling sky, the same color as Lake Superior. Then we got out. And yes, it was cold, boy was it ever. It felt like a brisk February day, not like June 29th. I stuck my hands in my pockets and hurried on across the parking lot into the Applebee’s. I was just about to ask where the Troxel party was sitting when Micah yelled to me from a table right next to the door. Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle Joe were there sitting with him, and the table looked full, but of course I made room. In a minute Mom and Dad joined–Dad had to sit at the end of the table on a chair–and we were served by a perky waitress with an accent that reminded us we were in Minnesota now. I had a great steak and made light chit-chat, but then I peeled off to a Barnes & Noble next door.
Looking around I found another Bill Bryson book. Might as well, I figured. This one’s called Neither Here Nor There and it’s about him traveling in Europe. So far it’s really funny. I especially like the part where he said, “We were awakened early for another rest stop, this one in Where the F-ck, Finland.” I shelled out $14 for it and joined up with everyone else. I showed Micah a big moth I found at a restaurant in Wisconsin, and then we drove a little ways to our EconoLodge motel.
I was going to sit and read my new book, but Dad commandeered it so I went off to the pool. It was a lot like the Y’s pool, which sucks, but for some reason it didn’t suck. Same chlorinated, soggy air, same chemically stinging water, but it didn’t suck. As much. I think it still did to a certain extent. While we were there, strangely enough, we found out that the other kids there with us (three boys who liked to do cannonballs) were also from Cincinnati. Small world.
I came back, did read some of my book, and then washed the chlorine off in a shower and got to writing. It’s still foggy and damp out, and I kinda like it. I’m going to wear my flannel tomorrow.