Heading East – Day 5

Today we made it to Illinois. Again, a lot of driving. I’m pretty tired from the whole trip so I’ll just try to recount the events of the day and call this done. Now that we’re in Illinois the next phase of getting our stuff set up and unpacked will begin. That _may_ be the subject of subsequent entries to this blog. Or not.

Today we slept in a bit compared to yesterday. We knew that we didn’t have to drive as much on the final day. Still, going from Sioux Falls, South Dakota to Chicagoland in a day is a fair bit of driving. After our normal ritual of filling the gas tank, cleaning the bugs off the windshield, eating breakfast at MacDonald’s plus one more thing – getting coffee at Starbuck’s – we were finally under way at around 10:00am.

Before moving on from our hotel stay, I should mention that the newer Hilton hotels are equipping their rooms with sleep number memory foam beds. They are interesting but I don’t think that I’d buy one for myself. Last night I discovered that you could adjust the firmness via a dial on the side of the mattress and I dialed my side of the bed up to extra firm. Not a bad night’s sleep but I think a firm, quality, normal mattress is in our future.

On to the drive. Pretty uneventful until we got to Illinois. Some observations:

  • States with primarily cattle vs. farming states seemed to have a higher density of bugs smash against the window
  • South Dakota was the last “primarily cattle” state on our trip. Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois had much fewer cattle, at least along I90.
  • Minnesota is the land of wind farms. We saw an amazing amount of wind farms from one end of Minnesota to the other. Very few in the other states we passed through.
  • The quality of food at MacDonald’s positively correlates with population density.
  • Some gas stations along the way had very cheap prices – as low as $3.419 per gallon.
  • Free breakfasts at Hilton hotels don’t have enough protein, specifically eggs.
  • Sioux Falls, South Dakota is a surprisingly nice town from what we’ve seen
  • Do not drive on I90 from Rockford to Elgin – the longest work zone that we’ve ever seen.

Once we got into town we grabbed some pizza. Although I enjoyed it, I don’t think of pizza as something that great anymore. I’ll be fine not eating it in the future. After Pizza we drove by the house and noticed that they didn’t put the grass in yet. That and a whole lot of other things will start to happen now that we’re in town and our stuff will be showing up on Monday morning.

All in all it was an enjoyable trip. One that we’re happy we went on but we’re also happy to complete it. Now the work of building our new life can begin.

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About Ron Pihlgren

Former member of the Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services team Former member of the Microsoft Visual C++ team Former manufacturing engineer at Advance Transformer Former programmer at Dell Electronics Labs Ltd. Former systems analyst on the Encyclopaedia Britannica editing and typesetting team Former electronic technician at Data Specialties (Later Zebra Technologies) Former technician at Wico Corp. Former material handler at Acco International And some other stuff before that... View all posts by Ron Pihlgren

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