Friday, June 25, 2010

that one time we sat on the road in michigan

On day 4 of our road tripping fun, we headed from northern ohio into michigan. while we had a BLAST seeing wonderful friends there, it wasn't so much a blast getting there, as we experienced the worst traffic of the entire almost 3000 mile trip.

Ann Arbor, Michigan... I'd never been there before, and always thought it sounded like such a wonderful place (my whole basis for this being the name of the city, which I think sounds cool). However, after the traffic backups and construction delays, I'm not so sure how high up on my "love this place" list, it is.

We sat (almost quite literally) on the interstate for 1.5 hours and moved 7 miles.

It was sooooo long.
And hot.
And long.
And hot.
You get the idea...

I also had this fear that our car would overheat. It may have been irrational, but I've once before been in a situation in downtown Chicago, in traffic, when our van overheated (I would just like to point out that I wasn't the driver) and I did not want that to happen again. I would really have no idea what to do... :)

So, I turned off our AC, and we rolled down our windows and opened our sun roof. It was SO hot! Did I mention that it was 2 in the afternoon? sun beating down on us. But better us overheating then the car, right?

We of course documented every moment.

At first, it was fun! What an adventure we thought.

GO TEAM USA!!!!! Carlos, we are so proud of you! :)

We took the windows down / wind blowing opportunity to air out our ice chest!
Note: We are still smiling!



The irony of this sign with the backed up traffic just about killed us.

the grass is always greener on the other side...
For you non-literary, more sciency people, "grass" here symbolizes the moving, flowing, traffic and "other side" symbolizes the other side of the interstate of course.

our view for 1.5 hours

The fun is starting to wear off...

Erika is taking pictures of random things...


1.5 hours later, we are not happy with Michigan traffic and...

... don't really know what to make of this sign anymore.





Friday, June 18, 2010

road tripping across the USA

little sister Erika and I left on a big road trip 3 days ago headed towards Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and back. We're currently in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio which is right next to Akron, Ohio in the northern part of the state. We've traveled about 1300 miles in the past 3 days.

Our goal was to blog about everyday of the trip, but that (obviously) hasn't worked as we just haven't had time.This morning however, we have a bit more time, so I'm going to give you a concise photo summary of the past 3 days of traveling bliss that we've had.

Departure Tuesday afternoon from Whitewater, Kansas. See how nicely our suitcases fit in the back of our car (remember, we're gone for 10 days, hence the big bags).


This was my entertainment for the first leg while erika was driving. I LOVE those magazines!


Made it to KC, had a wonderful dinner with cousin Cassie and her husband. Then Erika had an allergic reaction (but that's going to be it's own blog post at a later time)


Sophie!!!!


Erika's feelings after 7 hours in the car and 2 more to go.

Melissa's feelings after 7 hours in the car and 2 more to go.

We're of course playing the license plate game, and yesterday we saw ALASKA!! Those of you who have played this game, know the profound, thrilling, and exuberant joy that comes from finding that state! It was a party in the car when we saw that. Final count up until now: 33 states!

Erika's 2 responsibilities on the trip:
1. Entertainment
2. Snacks / Food

I will speak about the entertainment part later, but she has done a good job with snacks, namely these tasty peaches that we had at home and needed to bring along.

So we took a picture.
Erika: Melissa you're not looking at the camera.
Melissa: Erika, I'm driving, there's a lot of traffic, do you want to die whilst we take our peach picture?


Erika: ok ok, REALLY quickly. giggle giggle giggle.
This was after 8.5 hours... we were sooooo tired last night!

We'll try to keep you updated as we can! We'll be in Michigan the next couple of days.

USA plays today at 1:30 so be sure to cheer on Carlos Bocanegra #3!!! :)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

let this be your warning.

Our house is beautifully surrounded by my Uncle Gordon's corn field. Every time I mow the grass at our house (which is a long, tedious, push-mowing, yet fun experience), I try not to mow down any of his corn. There are always a few accidents, however; and our yard seems to be expanding a bit! :)

Several weeks ago when I was mowing, my dear younger cousin Denny was driving the tractor and spraying his corn in the field right next to our house. At the time, I thought to myself how wonderful it was to be in kansas -- back with my family, mowing the lawn with a push mower, seeing the tractor going in the field, having Denny and Casey (who was just riding along) wave at me almost every time they passed me, etc. What great memories. What friendly cousins.

Those wonderful moments turned into treasured memories that I tucked away in my "summer in kansas 2010" memory bank. And every time that I would drive by our yard and see the beautifully mowed grass, I would think upon those delightful moments of cousin bonding -- Denny in the tractor, and me pushing the lawn mower.

Then suddenly, those beautiful memories were shattered like glass when I saw this:
Do you see those tracks in the grass, in our yard??? And do you see the corn NEXT to the grass? The tractor spraying is supposed to kill the bad stuff IN the cornfield, not NEXT to the cornfield.

After I showed Erika (sister) the damage that had been done, she said, "just wait till you see what they did over here". Oh man. So we walked "over here" and saw this:

Perhaps it's harder to see in the picture, but do you see the two big roots that are in our grass? They're tracts from where the tractor went. They're deep. There are other ways in and out of the field -- ones which do not require uprooting our grass.
This grass is supposed to be planted there:


Now Denny: While I love being your cousin, and neighbor, and cherish all of our bonding moments, and while I love waving at you while you're working the field in your cool tractor, I also value the beauty of our yard and do not wish the grass to be killed or uprooted.

Consider this your friendly warning / threat, from your favorite neighbors and cousins Melissa and Erika. or things like this might happen to your corn:

After our grass and corn photo shoot, I made Erika sit by the barn for a picture. It felt so...Kansas-y :)