Westward across the USA, late August-early Sept 2015

Friends, you maybe wondering how did the Fantastic 6 get around after the Car Fail of Mid-August 2015? Well, after extensive research by yours truly, we considered train, bus, rental car, buying a car, driveaway car, hitchhiking, planes, and teleport. What manifested was an incredibly lucky driveaway car that was going to San Francisco. We submitted 3-year driving records, placed a $500 deposit (returned to us when we deliver the car), and got behind the wheel of a 2014 Honda CRV with 3800 miles on it! A little small for us, yes, but what a great ride and what a boon to our adventure. I keep marveling that this worked out! Here are the kids & car outside a Detroit thrift store:  

Day 1 This day was several days later than anticipated. We withstood extra days of work, more sleepovers and couch surfing with friends, and people commenting ” I thought you left already”- often multiple times before breakfast! By the time we pulled out of our hometown, minutes after signing some loan papers that had been a big reason for delays, it was after 2pm. We drove uneventfully to my parents’ place in northeast Ohio and arrived around 11pm. Here’s us traveling and homeschooling in the car!  

  

  

  

Day 2 Ohio. Didn’t feel like a big trip yet, since we go to my parents place every few months. We spent a day in Painesville, Ohio hanging out with family. I didn’t take many pictures, but here is a cute one of the twins on the town square of Chardon, Ohio near a restaurant where we had dinner with my parents & brother: 

 Day 3 We went to Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Chicago. We had a short visit with a friend and his adorable kids in Grand Rapids, and Mr. Fantastic has uncles in the other two cities. We did this same trip in spring of 2014, only this time it was all in one day! Chicago has an amazing new playground downtown. Here’s Detroit Uncle and some shots of Chicago:   

   
    
 We had to bail on camping this night since it was so late and we were just outside of Chicago when we stopped for the night. 

 full moon over budget motel!

Day 4 Arguably, and I believe we did argue about this, it was out of our way a bit. Without a doubt, however, St. Louis was worth it! We came in on this awesome bridge:  

We went up The Gateway Arch, which is celebrating its 50th birthday. It is not an experience for the claustrophobic or those afraid of heights, but it is thrilling and beautiful. You ride in egg-shaped, 5-seat pods the the top where you can look out small windows and hope the structure is sturdy!

      
   Next was the place we had been hearing about for years. Mr. Fantastic, in his extensive knowledge of this kind of thing, has been talking about The City Museum for years. We had actually discussed taking a trip just to St. Louis for the purpose of visiting this place. And as Junie B. Jones (a favorite of the twins) would say”wowie wow wow!!” The City Museum was an enchanted creation. 

    
    
   

  

  Is that a Ferris wheel on the roof, you may be wondering? Why, yes, it is, and there is a schoolbus partly hanging off the roof up there, too! And a giant praying mantis! The rest of the place is an interactive sculpture park with a tiled grotto full of mermaids and fish and caves, metal cage tunnels that allow you to climb everywhere along the walls, a ten-story slide, yes, ten stories!! And there are other places I did not see, it is so big. The building used to be a shoe factory so it has an industrial feel to go along with the wacky playground environment. There is no map, so you just wander around the mysterious spaces. “People get lost in the caves” remarked a staff member. Experienced parents wear knee pads to experience the labyrinthine tunnels more comfortably. I’ve never explored anything like it; the kids were blissed out, we all were! We stayed until closing then hit back on the westbound interstate.

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3 thoughts on “Westward across the USA, late August-early Sept 2015

  1. Pingback: Budget, August- November 2015 | Tripping Fantastic

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