Road Trip, Summer 2016

As a pediatric dentist, summer is always very busy.  But, it’s still nice to have some time away from the office. This year, my time off came in the form of a road trip to NYC.  My third son, Ben, will be attending Pratt Institute this fall to study Architecture.  So, we loaded up his college stuff and hit the road.

Day One: Minneapolis to Milwaukee
Beautiful sunset over a Wisonsin farm.

Our first stop was a visit to see my mother-in-law in Milwaukee.  After working until noon, we finished loading and headed out. Unfortunately, I had a horrible migraine that even Rizatriptan could not stop. Thankfully, my son could drive.

Sunrise over Lake Michigan.
Photo courtesy of my son, Dan.
Day Two: Milwaukee to Niagara
An early morning wake up was in order to take the 6am ferry from Milwaukee to Muskegon. Very relaxing start to our day (nap included) prior to driving across Michigan and part of Ontario.
The view from our hotel window.
Day Three: Niagara Falls
The Falls are always amazing to see and are a good reminder of God’s immense power.
If you visit Niagara, I would recommend dinner at Kasbah Mediterranean Qsine restaurant. Starting at 3pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, they offer a prix fixe option for $21 Canadian ($16.15 USD) per person.  The meal included an appetizer plate, soup or salad options, four entrees and desert.  Great food, great value!
Brooklyn Brownstone
Day Four: Niagara to Brooklyn
We set out in the morning to drive across the state of New York. Along the way we made a stop in Corning to have lunch with my sister-in-law, niece and her husband.
When we arrived in Brooklyn at 8pm, the outdoor temperature was 95 degrees. My son’s room, on the fourth floor of one of the historic Brooklyn brownstones, was even hotter!  After numerous trips up and down the stairs, we finally had everything unloaded. I was happy to head to an air conditioned hotel.  My son, however, spent his first night in Brooklyn in his really hot apartment.
Day Five: Brooklyn, Manhattan, NY
Morning shopping at Ikea, Target and a grocery store.
Lunch at Luigi’s.
Dinner at Juice Press.
Evening Harbor Lights Cruise.

Statue of Liberty
Manhattan Skyline
Pratt Institute entrance.
Photo was taken during our visit in April.
Jacket was definitely not needed this time.

Day Six:

Brooklyn to Pittsburg

With orientation starting in a few days and classes starting in a week, Ben, has some time to check out the city and get settled in to his apartment. Kinda makes his mom want to be young again so that she can have the same experience!

But, my youngest son, Dan, and I had a long drive back to Minnesota. So, time to say good bye and head west.

To break up the drive, we planned a few stops along the way.

Liberty Bell

Our first stop was in Philadelphia for a self guided Constitution Walking Tour. Dan has been fascinated by history since he was really young. So, this was an enjoyable stop.

Constitution Hall
Chocolate Overload!

The drive through central Pennsylvania was beautiful. I especially liked the old split stone farm houses that I saw along the way.

For our second stop, I was debating between Lancaster, PA or Hershey, PA. I thought my son would prefer Hershey, so that was where we headed.
Bad decision – way too commercial and far too many people!  I should have investigated this decision a bit more.


Day Seven: Pittsburgh to Chicago

Eight hours of driving and toll road, after toll road. I think this trip cost over $200 in tolls.  I wish I had known that the E-ZPass – probably would have saved a lot of $.

The Ledge

Rain storms off and on throughout the day, from showers to heavy downpours.  We finally made it to Chicago.

Not wanting to do too much, we settled on a ride up to the SkyDeck of the Willis Building. The Ledge is a glass balcony that extends four feet outside of the building on the 103rd floor.  That’s 1353 feet above the ground.  When you look down, you see the city below!

Day Eight: Chicago to Minneapolis

Our day started with a visit to the Museum of Science and Industry. Some of the exhibits we saw:
Coal Mine – history and technology of mining
U-505 Submarine – a German submarine that was captured during WWII
The Great Train Story – a massive model train display that includes Chicago and Seattle
Numbers in Nature – Mirror Maze – this was really fun!
Transportation Gallery – a flight simulator ride with Dan as the pilot and me as the gunner.  I only hit three targets.  But, it’s a bit hard aiming when you are flying upside down.  Dan will need a bit more practice before he joins that Air Force.

After a late afternoon stop in Madison for ice cream with my son, Sam, we arrived home at 10 pm. Happy to sleep in my own bed again.

Accomplishments:
2650 miles driven,
$223.10 in tolls paid,
Nine states and one Canadian province visited,
A few tense moments driving in unknown areas,
One son settled,
History experienced, and
Lots of photos and fun memories.

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