Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Departure from the Windy City

Originally the plans were to leave Chicago on Saturday. We cut our trip short and left on Thursday after having completed our primary task: see relatives.

On our way back from Madison on Wednesday I wanted to stop and buy cheese. During our drives we'd passed Cheese Chalets and Cheese Castles, but once I decided "OK, we'll stop at the next one" they were no longer to be found. Wisconsin may be the Dairy State but it's not the only place with cheese, so we wrapped up our Chicago time on Thursday morning and headed south to Indianapolis.

Hello Fair Oaks Farm in Indiana, with it's dairy barn and birthing barn, all manner of kid fun stuff, and apparently a Colts fair going on. Cheese was on my mind.

7/14/11: Fair Oaks Farm, Indiana

7/14/11: Fair Oaks Farm, Indiana

What you can't see is the container of cheddar cheese curds at the bottom. There were cheese curds in Madison at a gas station stop, but they were mixed with various dried meats and if there's anything I like best it's having pure, untainted curds.

7/14/11: Fair Oaks Farm, Indiana

The farm charged $10/adult for the tour of the milking barn plus an additional fee to tour the birthing barn, so we stuck with our cheese purchase safely tucked in the electric cooler in the car and returned to the highway.

Isn't it weird to see these photos with just 3 kids in them?

With our stopover far off in Wheeling, WV there was no way we would get there direct. After a lovely tour through abandoned downtown Dayton (it looked abandoned) thanks to road work and a GPS that once again proved it needs updating, we arrived at the National Museum of the Air Force/Wright Patterson AFB an hour before closing.

An hour isn't enough to see a portion of one exhibit, but we made do and got in some exercise.

7/14/11: Air Force Museum, Dayton

7/14/11: Air Force Museum, Dayton

There are So. Many. Planes. On the ground. Hung from the ceiling. On blocks. None of us are true aerophiles aside from Ian, but even so the museum is fascinating. One exhibit caught Katherine's attention, the portion on WWII AF POWs and concentration camps. It brought up an abbreviated history lesson to the boys as well. Did you know that the AF Museum has an actual "40 and 8" rail car? And the cases about the POWs and their creations (photo 4 especially) caught everyone's attention. In the lower left corner of photo 4 is a mousetrap both awesome and horrifying.

Our plan was to eat at the museum cafeteria but our delay prevented it. So we made do with another mid-West icon.

7/14/11: White Castle sliders, Ohio.

It was just as bad as the last time I ate there 17 years ago. For an establishment built in the design of a castle you'd think there would be some charm to the place. Not so. And the food... oh my.

I guess it was fitting that we rounded out that meal with the epitome of ick desserts.

7/14/11: Nothing better than freeze dried ice cream.

I truly believe it's a ruse that astronauts have eaten these styrofoam foods anytime within the past 30 years. But who cares. There are still people who buy it (yep, that's us) and eat it (us again) and take photos of it (um, yeah, me).

We pulled into Wheeling around 9 p.m. There is nothing there. Well there is a college around in the hills somewhere, and the midnight showing of HP 7.2 seemed to prove that with the throngs of apparent college kids filling the seats. But aside from the college we didn't see there is nothing in Wheeling.

No wait. There are deer in the road. And live ones at that.

7/15/11: Wheeling, West Virginia is quiet.

And they have Tim Horton's. A Canadian chain that is making it's way through the U.S. (but not to our part of Virginia yet), they are compared to Krispy Kreme. Or Dunkin' Donuts. Or some such doughnut place. People rave about them.

We started our last day with a box of timbits (aka doughnut holes), coffee and juice.

7/15/11: Tim Horton's timbits for the ride home. Wheeling.

And ended our day at home. The cats were alive. The gerbil was still with grandma. Now we wait until Rebecca comes home to finally feel like the trip is done.


  1. Oh no! Not Tim Horton's! We avoid them like the plague - they are awful and EVERY Canadian loves the place.

  2. Oh it was fine. Nothing special, but fine.