Illinois Trip, Part 1

It’s been four years since we made the trip out to Illinois, where both of my parents live. The last time we came Joe and I were engaged and Michael was only 13 and certainly didn’t have facial hair! So it was high time to make the trip.

We decided to leave on a Friday and take two days for the drive. We also decided to take the stick shift, which meant I had to brush up on my driving skills. I’m pretty sure it had been 15 years since I had driven a manual transmission. (It did come back to me for the most part, although I’m still not great at pulling out in first gear.)

The drive itself wasn’t too bad except for a few construction slowdowns and a fair amount of congestion around the Chicago area. It was long enough to make us start thinking of adding a budget category to save up for plane tickets for next time though!

We arrived in the Quad-Cities on Saturday and checked into our Airbnb. It was a cute upstairs apartment in an old house near the Mississippi River. The only problem was it had very few electrical outlets and we kept tripping the circuit in the living room. But it was nice to have a bedroom for me & Joe as well as a kitchen.

Saturday night we met my mom for dinner at the Iowa Machine Shed. Then Sunday we met my dad and his wife for lunch at the Village Inn. It was good to see everyone. I hadn’t seen my mom since that last trip in 2015. My dad and his wife had visited us in Pennsylvania in 2016 for our wedding reception, but that was still a while ago.

My Mom Kathy
My Dad Dean and his wife Carolyn

Sunday we also went to see Godzilla: King of the Monsters and then got ice cream at Whitey’s. The movie was better than I thought it would be, and the chocolate marshmallow malt was just as good as I remember it.

Monday we took a trip to the Amana Colonies and enjoyed walking around to the various shops they have there. We got treats at the chocolate shop as well as gifts for both our parents. I also got a new candle to burn while I’m working.

Monday night we saw my mom again and then we stopped by my dad’s Tuesday morning before leaving for the Chicago area. All in all, a good first leg.

Stay tuned for Part 2, the Chicago leg of the trip!

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