This weekend, we took a very quick trip to Oshkosh, Wisconsin for a friend’s wedding. I have known my friend and his family since I was born, because our dads went to college together. I am much closer to his sisters, but they were all like cousins growing up, so I wasn’t going to miss the wedding for anything!
We live in lower Michigan, pretty much dead center in the middle of the state, the part that looks like a mitten. We don’t really have good options for getting to Wisconsin. We could drive through the UP (which seems to take forever, and although it’s pretty, it can get pretty boring), we could drive through Chicago (more exciting, tall buildings and trains and different things to look at, but hideous traffic) or take a ferry across Lake Michigan (doesn’t save any time, and when we did the math, we found that gas would need to go up to about $6 per gallon to make it cost the same). Because the ferry would have been so expensive, we decided to drive there through Chicago, and drive home through the UP and through the Straits.
The drive there was very, very long. Including stops (because of the kids, who held out amazingly well), it took us 11 hours to get there. It took us 3 hours JUST to drive through Chicago. There is really no good way around Chicago at all. When you look at the map, you can see that they tried to make a bypass, but the inner suburbs seem to be just as busy if not worse than downtown so we decided to take the downtown route to get closer to the tall buildings. Will had never seen a big city and it was fun, he loved seeing all the trains too! But it just took SO long. Then, just as you get out of Chicago and feel like you can catch your breath, you are dealing with Milwaukee. Maybe on a normal day it wouldn’t be so bad, but they had miles of road down to two lanes and traffic was horribly backed up. We finally got through that and made it to Oshkosh. Oshkosh seems to be a nice town, lots of young professional people and interesting places to eat, etc.
The wedding was beautiful. Drew could not have chosen a sweeter girl to marry. We are all so excited for them and just so happy! The last time so many of the family was together was at his dad’s funeral a few years back. So it was wonderful, and a blessing, to have such a happy occasion finally. The kids held out very well, and of course since they love to be where the action is, they were the last kids standing at the party! They had a very simple wedding, but a really great celebration afterwards and I swear I have never seen two people so glowingly happy as my friend and his new bride. I cannot wait until they have children because they will be amazing parents, so loving. It’s wonderful!
So, we wound up leaving for home a lot later than we planned. This ALWAYS happens, and it ALWAYS stresses me out… why I ever expect to leave “on time” I have no idea. But when we finally checked out and got on the road, we found parts of Oshkosh were flooded. I drove the car through probably 10 inches of water and the wavelets were actually lapping up against people’s garage doors! It was only street flooding and a line of people were driving through it so I went through it too. I really, really hated how it felt though! If we’d stalled, the worst that would have happened was that we would have gotten pretty wet, so we wouldn’t have been swept away or anything, but it had been raining very steadily all night and morning and the drains just couldn’t handle it.
We went north to get home. As we approached Green Bay, the rain stopped and it was dry all the way home. It seemed to take forever, it was 7 pm when we got to the Mackinac bridge but we made it home around 10 pm, in one piece.
We are glad we did not try to take the ferry, because it might not have even run on time, or at all. When we left on Friday, the whole state was hit by such severe thunderstorms, that trees blew down on power lines and over 100,000 people statewide were without power. It would not have been fun to have been crossing Lake Michigan in that. And, on the way back, it would have been a wet, soggy trip, complete with more severe storms that went through again and took down more trees and power lines! It is not likely we will have to travel to Wisconsin again while we are living here, but if we do, we will go north through the UP. A little boring, lots of trees and stuff, but very little traffic and no huge cities to navigate around. It is farther to go that way, but it actually took an hour longer to go the “shorter” distance.
Sophie is going to get her first molar! I can see one of the points of it straining to get through the skin. No wonder she has been crabby. Thankfully a little Motrin helps her at night! And, Will thought he would pee on the potty as much as possible through this whole trip and he stayed dry through almost all of it… we used only a couple of diapers the whole time. Still won’t poop on the potty though. But that will come in time. 🙂