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Florida or Bust: A Stop at Meadow's Grandparents and a Rural Tennessee Stay

Day 1
I had to work the night before we left. Scott wanted to leave as soon as I got home, but Blake and I convinced him to wait until morning. We had plans to get up early and go, of course we didn't leave until 9, which is still early for us. So long snow.

So long cold.

Already almost 3 hours in we had to make our first stop so I could feed Meadow in Foster, Wisconsin.

Blake and I went on a little adventure since Brooke had to feed little bear. This became a regular occurrence. 

After perusing Foster Cheese Haus' selection we meandered through town. We found this old storefront on the way back to the car.

czx Zv crvvdz 

Said Meadow.
Our next destination was Milwaukee. We had plans to take US Highway 41 the whole way down. Even though it starts in upper Michigan we jumped on when we could.

If it was up to Blake and I, and we had a few extra days, we totally would've started at the tip the UP's Keweenaw Peninsula.

As always we can't go to Milwaukee and not get frozen custard.

We also got burgers while Blake chose the trusty grilled cheese.

While Brooke fed Meadow once again, Blake and I pondered this strange slab of concrete next to Kopp's Frozen Custard.

We then stopped by my parents home in Cudahy to make a quick visit.

My mom had gifts for her little grandbaby.

It worked out perfectly that she got new toys in the beginning of her trip. She's so bored with the ones she has at home. Hopefully these will keep her occupied. 

It was nice to see my mom since they don't get to hang with Meadow as much.

Meanwhile we figured out where we would stay while we were in Florida. We went with two hotels and one airbnb. 

Right before we had to leave my pops came home. Not to much later onward we went.

I thought we would stay the night at Scott's parents, but he wanted to keep going. Next stop: Chicago. For dinner.

I figured Greektown would be an easy in and out. Mr. Greek fit the bill.

I was worried I hadn't locked the car. I went back to make sure. The car was locked and the tower formerly known as Sears still stood tall.

We all got way more food then we needed.

Meadow was being antsy. We ate fast and got back on the freeway.

We had hoped to make it to the Hoosier National Forest. We decided to only camp at National Forests since you don't need a pass to enter. It was getting too late so we settled on Turkey Run State Park in Indiana.

It was pretty late and I was surprised at how busy the park was this time of year seeing as it was in the 40's at night. We tried to pick a spot away from other people since we knew Meadow would be loud. And loud she was. She did not want to go to sleep. 

Day 2

Time to get up guys.

When we rolled out of bed at 10am or maybe 11 most people had already left. 

Blake and I had some trouble packing away our new tent.

I found a Cadbury Cream Egg that I was going to eat the night before while packing. Breakfast of champions.

Scott was whining that his eyes were too dry. We made a pitstop at Shopko for eyedrops.

I must have been allergic to some Indianan vegetation.

I carefully ate my baklava from Mr Greek Gyros.

Baklava wasn't enough for breakfast and we wanted to check out Terre Haute. Scott found a decent restaurant on his phone. Cackleberries

I think we were all happy with an All-American breakfast. Well, except I had lunch.

We went for a walk down the street to check out this theatre. Then I fed Meadow in the car while the boys walked on further. 

I was surprised by the great architecture in Terre Haute.

Not bad Indiana. Not bad.

Onward to Kentucky.

Brooke had big plans in Bowling Green.

Meadow has been a champ at road trips. I guess it helped that we have been traveling long distances with her since she was 5 weeks old.

I'd recommend you make a habit of it. If you never travel with your babe, they aren't going to like it.

Meadow was hungs again.

Blake and I made many a wisecrack about southerners now that we were in Kentucky.

We couldn't help talking in southern accents or like stereotypical Minnesotans. 

Last month my sister had emailed me telling me about how my Grandma had received popcorn from my Grandpa's cousins that own a popcorn company in Kentucky. I had no idea I had relatives from Kentucky.

I looked up where their products were sold in the state and the nearest one to our route was in Bowling Green. It was about an hour out of our way so I called ahead of time to make sure they had some in stock. She checked their computer and sure enough they had a few varieties. 

We finally made it to the Liquor Barn. Scott and Blake went in while I waited with Meadow. They were gone forever.

When we came out we relayed the bad news. They didn't have any. 

What!? I was so disappointed that we drove out of our way and cheated on US 41 to go to a large liquor chain. None the less Scott got beer for our hosts.

Beer is always good consolation prize.

When my parents bought their land for our cottage we made friends with our neighbors who were all the same age as my siblings and I. Over the years we lost touch and they sold their cottage.

Thanks to Facebook I was able to reconnect with them. Paul who is the closest to my age moved to Nashville a few years ago. I mentioned to him that we would be driving through and he offered us a place to stay. 

They have a son a few months older then Meadow. Lots of new toys for her to play with!

We didn't get dinner and Paul offered to grill some meat. Mr Veganopolis (As we called Blake on the trip. He's actually a vegatarian.) would have nothing to eat.

Instead Paul's wife made a meal with all the hodge podge things they had in their kitchen. Cheese from a recent trip to Wisconsin, nuts, crackers, mac and cheese, breaded shrimp and beer.

It was perfect.

While they prepped their makeshift feast, Paul and I checked out his man cave.

His collection of radios and hi-fi gadgets was amazing.

He even had a ham radio.

We discussed cameras and our respective jobs. 

Cool light Paul.

Due to the one hour time change Meadow was staying up late. Plus she was excited to be somewhere new.

We stayed up chatting until it was time to go to bed. As it was a Thursday night Paul had to work the next morning. 


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