9 hours to spend

There were 9 hours to spend in the car. We had tons of activities like sketching,reading,talking, playing games, and looking out the window. We didn’t have movies.  I read 56 pages in my book, slept for half an hour, made a comic in my sketch book had a cereal bar and then got bored so I asked my sister if she wanted to play harry potter hangman with me. She replied yes. So I thought up a harry potter related word, made the spaces and she started to guess. Tuns out I spelt the word wrong and it was near end of the 543 mile car drive, so she got mad at me. We eventually settled the problem and got to the hotel, it was an exciting drive but we all just wanted to get there!



543 miles

B bus locked and loaded

GHB and LHB so excited this morning; they popped out of bed on time and ready for our 6 AM departure.  Of course I had many last-minute details and tasks swirling about, so it was about 6:20 when we actually pulled out.  Who wants to come home to an unmade bed? Still, an excellent early start!

Breakfast stop in NY farm country

We drove 543 miles from Arlington today, to Erie, PA, which is a little over halfway to Chicago.  Certainly the longest day’s driving I think I have ever spent behind the wheel.  Most of it was traveling the width of the Empire State.  Truthfully, I loved it.  GHB and LHB only had one significant argument (it was a disputed word-spelling in their Harry Potter version of Hangman) and we were in the car close to 9 hours, plus all the stops for food and bathroom breaks.  Rest stops on the NY State Thruway were unexpectedly devoid of Dunkin’ Donuts but we found breakfast at the Pattersonville Rest Area Starbucks.  Something sort of wrong about having Starbucks (“Fresh Grounds: Free For Your Garden!”) on a road trip.  Felt more authentic having Roy Rogers lunch somewhere west of Syracuse.

Skirted around Buffalo (we hope to stop in nearby East Aurora on our return trip), and finally hit Pennsylvania where it touches Lake Erie between NY and Ohio.


Apparently this is Wine Country. Huge vineyards all around the Rest Area/Welcome Center.

Lake Erie visible beyond the vines

We are not seeing much of Erie beyond the hotel pool. Check out GHB and LHB practicing for 2016.  Time for a good night’s sleep and about 450 miles tomorrow to get us to Evanston, where we understand there is enough food to Feed an Army.  That’s good – we will be hungry!



early bird

We have to get up at 5:00 in the morning  to leave for our trip. I’m the early bird in the family and usually get up at 6:00 in the morning but 5:00 is a tad to early for even me!sooooooo early!!

My mom says that we (me and my sister) will just get in the car and sleep but once I wake up I can’t go back to bed so I’ll probably just read. GHB will almost definitely sleep, and PHB has to drive. I feel bad for PHB, driving early in the morning must be hard. It’s going to be super fun but all 3 of us are going to be super tired!


packing the bags

The two big duffel bags on the floor. We need to fill them with clothes and other stuff we’ll need on our road trip. We check the list to make sure we have everything. Then we haul them out to the porch and into the car so we can be ready to go in the morning.

They are really heavy. PHB is the only one who can lift them out to the B bus. But I could roll it out if I wanted to. This road trip is going to be a blast!!!


The B Bus needs a new B

The Red Sox ‘B’ magnet on the back of the Odyssey has been there since 2008 or so, I’m guessing.  It definitely dates back to a happier time in Red Sox Nation.  I started putting the B on the back of the car in the heady days of 2004 and 2007.  Over the past few years we’ve been less fervent — not exactly fickle, but I just don’t know the new team all that well and we have a lot less time to watch baseball.  Still, we like the B that says we’re from Boston and also stands for our family name!  It helps us find our ride in the sea of minivans at the Market Basket parking lot and we enjoy carpooling friends around Arlington in the car we’ve christened the B Bus.

Sadly, the current magnet (B 3.0 — my third magnet) is in rough shape.  No longer Sox red, it is a faded crusty charcoal gray, the plastic magnetic material fused to the paint on the car, and no longer all that easy to spot from afar.

We’re getting ready to hit the road for our first  Really Big road trip, and we have been looking for a shiny new B.  The sports swag store at the mall didn’t have one, but best neighbor Krissie gave us some awesome window decals, including a B that will approximate the location and look of the bus number spot on the back of the car.  She rocks!  Plus, I won’t have to squeeze in 45 minutes alternately pouring boiling water over it and using non-scratching implements to coax and scrape the fused magnet away in pieces.  I don’t have time to do that in the two days left before we hit the road for Chicago… but we’re doing lots of other things to make the car ready for two driving days there and two days back.

It’s so exciting – the first big driving trip AND a big end-of-summer visit with the cousins in Evanston!  Can’t wait!