September 21, 2010

Jane Austen-like trip Part II: Travel and visiting

A friend commented that my trip was like travel back in Jane Austen's day except for the fact that I traveled on smooth roads in an air-conditioned vehicle with shock absorbers that went much faster than a coach-and-four, and we could be entertained by more than conversation/staring out the window and with the added convenience of stores/rest stops with indoor plumbing. By the way, did anyone realize that Jane Austen grew up during the reign of King George III, which should be known by everyone as the king who was SO arrogant,pig headed and insane that he lost the American colonies when they rebelled? It puts the interclass romance theme in a different light, doesn't it?

It was great to see my folks. We took in a AAA baseball game, went to the library, played at the park and the kids tried catching the hundreds of frogs that live in my folk’s backyard thanks to a pond in the neighbor’s property. My family and I were able to talk about a lot of things. The kids helped with "quality control" by tasting my dad's frosting before it went on the cake to make sure it tasted good. Because my folks get up really early for work, we went all went to bed pretty early. It was very relaxing.

The trip to Chicago was a little more stressful. I was caught by a policeman just after crossing the Illinois border traveling the Missouri speed limit of 70 mph, which was 15 mph over the Illinois speed limit. I was actually traveling about 75. To make matters worse, I was traveling at those speeds in a “construction zone.” I use quotation marks because there was no evidence of any actual work being done on the road—no construction vehicles, no lane closures, not a single individual in orange walking along the median. There was just the signs warning of a construction zone that wasn’t. I was suspecting that those signs were the latest method in speed traps until someone mentioned that construction workers were on strike. Still, I believe that the devil is basing his roads in hell on the Illinois road system—half completed construction, full of potholes, speed traps and tolls.

I spent three days seeing old friends, which was wonderful. Unfortunately, a lot of the ones I wanted to see at church were on vacation. It was good to see my old church, Trinity Community Church in Libertyville, worship with old friends and listen to an awesome sermon. I hugged and spoke with as many people as I could. I had little get togethers with the different groups of people each day. The kids have had a blast playing with old friends. I have been a little tired from staying up late talking and laughing with friends and some family. We also had an emergency orthodontis appointment due to a wire getting loose. That cut into time I would have liked to spend visiting my old neighborhood. I spent a day cleaning clothes, cleaning up the van, and re-packing. It was a great time, but for my next Chicago visit, I think I will allocate five days so that I can see all family and more friends and still get some rest. By this time, however, I was also really starting to miss my husband and looking forward to our time together.

Next Installment: "Mystery of love, at last I've found you..."


AquaJane said...

Haha, navigating Illinois roads can be rather hellish. I laughed at your supposition the devil admires and copies our system.

I hope I get to see you on your next visit.

tandemingtroll said...

You know, AquaJane, when you live there, you don't realize how bad the roads there are until you leave for a while and then return.

While the Northeast has crazy traffic and crazy traffic patterns, at least the roads are in decent condition, except that stretch in Camden, NJ, which was scary for different reasons. Even Arizona has issues with seeming to re-do roads that seem to be in perfectly good condition for reasons that are not intuitively obvious to the casual observer.

I missed seeing you during my visit. Maybe your hubby can make a trip, smell the orange trees in March and experience warmer weather and the cute, little mountains that surround Phoenix.