Well...we ended up not getting to go to the St. Louis zoo this morning. Rob and David hit the hotel pool after they got up and took Sydney to the bathroom. I'm so thankful that Rob let me sleep in a bit this morning. It really helped me not feel so tired today on our journey from O'Fallon, Illinois (in the greater St. Louis area) to Bowling Green, Kentucky.
For those of you wondering what states we have driven through so far: we began in Oregon, then drove through Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, back into Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and are currently sitting in Bowling Green Kentucky at the home of Rob's former adviser at the University of Idaho, Dr. Jeff Butterfield and his family. Lauren and A.J. (Jeff and Wendy's 2 kids) have been angels with our 2 boys. They've played on the trampoline, Lauren took David to play on their "playground" equipment, played with action figures, the x-box and some other things. Glad to have that boy of mine burn some of that pent-up energy--he should sleep well tonight. Poor Sydney though, she isn't sure what to think of the Butterfields' Boston terrier, Pepper, so she barks most times when she sees him. Currently, she's sleeping in her kennel in the garage so she won't be keeping all the neighbors up this evening with her fairly constant barking. She LOVES the woods on the property though. The house is in a wooded lot, and there are lots of sticks that she can play with. There are actually houses all around Jeff and Wendy's home; however, the trees hide them, so you feel like you're out in the middle of nowhere.
The drive today was pretty. Lots of corn and soybean fields in Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky. We also got to see the pretty yellow leaves of the tobacco plants growing out in the fields after getting into Kentucky. One thing we found as a surprise was the sight of oil rigs in Illinois and southern Indiana--who knew that oil was found there (we sure didn't!). :) We actually drove into some rain again once we were in Kentucky. Rob took David in for a potty stop, and I saw lightning flash two or 3 times while I sat in the Tahoe feeding Aidan.
Today's drive was fairly uneventful though. Had our first experience with a toll highway driving from Evansville, Indiana to Bowling Green, Kentucky. It wasn't too bad--too bad that each of the stops didn't make you pay an even toll charge. One toll booth required us to pay 60 cents to pass, 2 required us to pay 50 cents and then another one had us pay 40 cents. It wasn't so bad as long as you had exact change (no lines at those lanes), but if you didn't have exact change, the line to get through was longer. Bowling Green was definitely a welcome sight though. The boys were definitely ready to be done driving for the day. I'm so proud of them. They have really been so good on our trip. Tomorrow will be so nice when we get to Blacksburg--no more long days of driving in the car for awhile. Yeah!!!
We got to try a southern appetizer this evening when we went out for dinner at Toots! restaurant--fried dill pickle chips. They were so yummy, especially dipped in ranch dressing. I'm salivating right now thinking of them. :) They don't sound that great, but they really are good. That restaurant was good though. The kids got free meals: hot dogs, curly fries and a cup of ice cream, and I had a wonderful chicken caesar salad. I think Rob enjoyed his hot wings--it looked as if he polished them off.
The houses here are beautiful. Most of the homes' exteriors are either constructed of brick or stone and are just amazing. I'd love to be able to go through a tour of homes here just to catch a glimpse of the insides. Maybe I'll get to see similar homes when we get to Virginia. Guess I'll just have to wait and see.
Yikes...I just looked at the clock and noticed that it's almost 10 p.m. I had better get to bed since Rob was kind of hoping to get an early start in the morning. Blacksburg is having some sort of festival this weekend that we'd like to go to, and we've got a bit of a drive to take to get there. We're driving down to Nashville, then to Knoxville and up to Blacksburg tomorrow. We're even driving through Bristol--might have to take pictures of the speedway if I can see it so I can send them to Grandpa Stan and Dad. ;)