Idaho and Oregon

Sunday, March 20th, 2005: We all went to some fancy restaurant in Couer D’Alene to eat lunch.

Saturday, March 26th, 2005: Went to Fred Meyer to buy eggs and donuts. The kids dyed eggs and we hid them around the house for them a few times. Went to Applebee’s for supper.

Sunday, March 27th, 2005: Took the kids back to Oregon today. Left around 10am and drove until about 6:30pm. The drive sucked since it was raining and there were a lot of wrecks. After I dropped the kids off at Colleen’s, I went to Taco Bell for some supper and then started driving back to Idaho again. Got really tired around midnight and stopped at a motel in Kennewick, WA.

Heading to Oregon

Wednesday, March 16th, 2005: Got up at 7am and was on the road by 8am. I’m heading to Oregon to see Emily and Payton for Spring Break. Drove all day and stopped in Cheyanne, Wyoming for the night. I slept in a truckstop parking lot in the back seat/trunk.

Thursday, March 17th, 2005: Got up around 6am CST and started driving. Nothing interesting happened except for a car wreck in Ontario, Oregon. When I passed it, a car was upsidedown and completely black because it had apparently been burning. About a mile later, some lady almost skidded into a truck because she was tailgating. She slid onto the side of the road. I stopped for the night in Pendleton, Oregon at the Pilar Motel. Only $27 total for the night! Tomorrow I’ll have to drive another 4 hours to Albany. Luckily there’s a motel across the street that offers free wireless and I’m able to tap into that for free internet.

Friday, March 18th, 2005: Went to breakfast at some local restaurant since I couldn’t find a McDonald’s anywhere. I had pancakes, eggs, bacon and milk. Did some work for a few hours from the hotel room and then headed for Albany. Got there around 2:30pm. Stopped by Target, then went to the downtown mall to sit at a table and catch up on work. Stopped by the Tot Shop and said hello to Lonnie. Went to Colleen’s around 6pm and picked up the kids. We went to the theater to see Robots and then spent the night at the Value Inn motel.

Home Again

I think I got maybe a total of 2 hours of sleep. And Saturday night I got maybe 4 hours. So I was pretty tired all day. My 10:30 flight arrived 30 or 40 minutes late. It took me to Wisconsin, where I had to get on another flight (one of those tiny planes). By the time I got there, I only had about 5 minutes to find my flight. Luckily, it was late too. By about 20 or 30 minutes. Got home, sat on the couch and watched TV/slept for a couple of hours. I didn’t have the energy to make it upstairs until later in the evening. I think I ended up going to bed at around 8 or 9pm. Slept good.

Stranded in an airport

Got up at 5:15am, got the kids up and we left for the airport. We got there to find that our flight had been canceled because of weather. Luckily, we got on a flight leaving just 30 minutes later than planned. But for whatever reason, they ended up putting us in first class which was nice. We had a layover in Denver and our 2nd plane was also in first class. Emily cried when we got to Oregon because she didn’t want to go. I got on a flight and was in Minneapolis by about 7:30pm. Once again my flight got canceled but this time I was stuck in the airport until 10:30 the next morning.

So I spent the night in the airport. I slept a little, watched some TV, played on the internet and IMed friends with my phone. Anyway, I was hungry and all the food places are closing so I looked at some vending machines and decided on Animal Crackers. But all I’ve got is a $10 bill and they don’t take those! So I move to the stamp machine and I OMG HAX it. I buy a 37 cent stamp and get back 9 gold dollar coins and 63 cents.

Then I use one of the dollar coins to buy Animal Crackers, hoping the machine will take dollar coins. It does. And I expect to get my animal crackers and 25 cents back. Instead I get my animal crackers and 4 quarters back! OMG! So I do the same thing and it happens again – a bag of animal crackers and 4 quarters. I do it again, same thing. I do it again, only with Fritos but I only get a quarter back for that. So I’ve got an unlimited supply of animal crackers tonight! I bought 3 more bags just because I could.

I can take all these quarters, load them into the stamp machine and I’ll probably get a bunch of gold dollars back as change. I went to an identical food machine and the animal crackers were in the same slot in the machine (C-0) so I tried it on that one but it didn’t work.

The only problem with this whole thing is that I don’t really LIKE animal crackers that much. I ate 2 bags and I’m full. I could buy out the entire supply of them from that machine but what the hell can I do with them? All I can think of is to sell them but that hardly seems worth the effort. What do I do?? I would post a picture of all these animal cracker bags comically spilling out of my backpack, but that’s too much effort for me.

Emily and Payton, enjoying 1st class

Nov/Dec 2004 – Picking up the kids from Oregon

Friday, 11-5-2004: After work went to the Galleria for the 2600 meeting but nobody was there. I didn’t feel like waiting so I walked around the mall for awhile and then left. On the way home stopped by Barnes & Noble and Home Depot.

Saturday, 11-6-2004: Tami came over and helped me paint the apartment next door. We did 2 bedrooms and the living room. Later I went to her house and we went bowling. Her friend Denise met us at the bowling alley. After that we went to Roper’s Regal Beagle for a few hours, then I came home.

Wednesday, 11/10/2004: Painted the kitchen in the apartment next door this evening.

Thursday, 11-11-2004: At 1:30pm my parents and brother picked me up and we went to Longhorn Steakhouse to eat. Randy came over this afternoon to fix my furnace but we didn’t get anywhere with it. Still broken.

Saturday, 11-13-2004: Finished doing a bunch of painting on the apartment. Went to Jamestown Mall and did some clothes shopping. Got new pants, a shirt, belt and some hooded sweatshirt things.

Sunday, 11-14-2004: Did a little work on the apartment next door in the morning. Then went to Hazelwood to meet Caerie and go rollerblading. Did that for a couple of hours and then headed home. Stopped by Jamestown Mall on the way home to exchange a belt I bought and went to see the movie Shall We Dance.

Wednesday, 11-17-2004: After work I went out with Jodi. She just moved here from California so I gave her a tour of Alton. We went to the Piasa Bird, downtown, the smallpox memorial, Lovejoy cemetary and her house. Also went to Applebees to have supper.

Saturday, 11-20-2004: Worked on the apartment a lot during the day. In the evening me and Tami went to Jamestown to see National Treasure. Then came to my house and watched some TV and Serendipity.

Thursday, 11-25-2004: Thanksgiving. Read a book of mine all morning. Went to my parents house for Thanksgiving lunch. Came home at about 2 or 3pm and spent my entire day/evening reading my book. Finished it at 11pm, playing on the internet for awhile and went to sleep.

Friday, 11-26-2004: Worked on my bathroom. Got a light and switch wired in there finally. And put up a few studs for a wall which will be a closet. Actually I think I did some of this yesterday too. This week is a blur.

Saturday, 11-27-2004: Did nothing all day. Slept until 9 or 10. Visited my parents. Went to Lowes. Ate at Wood River Subway.

Sunday, 11-28-2004: Worked on the bathroom a lot today. Got the closet door up in it and a bunch of drywalling done, including the ceiling.

Thursday, 12-2-2004: Went out with Tami and her kids. Went to Godfrey McDonalds, Rock Springs Park to look at the lights and then to my house for awhile.

Friday, 12-3-2004: Worked on the bathroom drywalling for awhile. Went to the Galleria for 2600 but nobody was there.

Saturday, 12-4-2004: Went to Caerie’s house. We watched part of Star Wars Episode 1, then all of Episode 2. I forgot to mention to her how gay I think Star Wars is. Okay, I don’t hate Star Wars that much. I’d never seen Episode 2 before and it was interesting to watch. Afterwards we went to Applebees to have supper.

Monday, 12-6-2004: Suzanne picked me up around 7:00 and we went to eat at Steak N Shake. Walked to Patty’s house cause I was supposed to help Mark fix his computer but they weren’t home. On the way there I saw Debbie and she told me that Karen Banghart died today.

Tuesday, 12-7-2004: Went to lunch with Tami, then to Target and to my parents house to let their dog out. After work I went to her house and me, her and her kids went to see Christmas with the Kranks.

Saturday, 12-11-2004: Went with Tami and her kids to a mall in St. Louis for ice skating, go-cart racing, miniature golfing and video games.

Monday, 12-12-2004: Went to Jerseyville theater to see the Spongebob movie. Met Tami, Amy and all their kids.

Saturday, 12-18-2004: Got up at 7:30am and drove to Jerseyville to help Tami move her parents furniture. Ate breakfast at McDonald’s before I got there. Her parents took us to eat at Pizza Hut afterwards. Came home and cleaned up the house. Went by my parents house for awhile to pick up a disc from my dad. They got a new dog. Came home and cleaned some more. Gina stopped by and picked up her computer and paid me $20 for fixing it. Tomorrow I get to fly to Oregon and pick up the kids for Christmas break.

Sunday, 12-19-2004: Got up at 5:30am and started driving to the airport by 6am. All the flying was pretty uneventful. I had a layover in Minneapolis and the temperature was negative 8. I got to the Portland airport at 1pm. Colleen and the kids were there when I got there. Had to hang around the airport with them for almost 4 hours before it was time to leave. They were pretty good on the plane. We had a 1 hour layover in Denver and then got to St. Louis at midnight. Then home at 1am.

Monday, 12-20-2004: Worked throughout the day. Bonnie came over with Brianna and Christian and left them. Then I took them back to Bonnie’s awhile later. Took the kids to my parents house for a few hours. Had some Little Ceasars for supper there, went to the grocery store and then came home.

Tuesday, 12-21-2004: Took Casey, Emily and Payton to see the Lemony Snicket movie at Jamestown. Got a Sidekick II phone while I was there.

Thursday, 12-23-2004: Tami and her kids came over today. Tami baked cookies that the kids made from cookie cutters.

Saturday, 12-25-2004: I got up at 8am and woke up the kids for Christmas. This year they got radio control 4×4 trucks, a Mighty Beans race track, an art set, random stuffed animals, Boggle, Simpson’s Clue, Don’t Break The Ice and a few other board games and puzzles. They also got a few DVDs and Xbox games. After a couple hours, we went to my parents house for Christmas. They got even more toys and games there. Came home after awhile and just hung out at the house all day. I think I actually napped on the couch for awhile.

Sunday, 12-26-2004: Didn’t leave the house all day. Just hung around the house with the kids.

Tuesday, 12-28-2004: Picked up Emily’s friend Shelby and she hung out at our house all day and spent the night. Took them to Rock Springs Park to see the Christmas lights and feed the animals.

Wednesday, 12-29-2004: Took Shelby home around noon, then took the kids to my parents house to spend the day so I could get some work done. Emily ended up spending the night there. Payton came home and played video games with Casey.

September 2004 – Home from Oregon, Suzanne,

Sunday, 9-5-2004: Drove all weekend and got home at 3:30am Sunday. Cleaned up the kitchen and went to bed.

Wednesday, 9-8-2004: Worked all day. Went to Applebee’s with Suzanne for dinner. Went for a 3 hour walk after she left. Let Josh & Lori borrow my car earlier to get to church.

Thursday, September 9th, 2004: Journals are stupid. I quit.

Saturday, 9-11-2004: I spent all day today cleaning up the basement. I built shelves along one wall to put all my computers and monitors on. Then a desk in the same room (the old wine cellar room) and set up my old TRS-80 on and got it working. Around 8pm I had quit and was playing on the net when Tami IMed me and wanted to know if I wanted to meet her and a friend in downtown to hang out. I said sure, got ready and walked to downtown Alton. It was an hour and 15 minutes walk. I met them at Catdaddy’s at 10pm and we went bar hopping until 1:30am or so. I finally got to see Alton’s gay bar which was about the most entertaining part of the night. They took me home around 2am and I didn’t fall asleep until about 4am.

Sunday, 9-12-2004: Slept in until almost 11am. Worked on the basement for a few hours, then Suzanne came over for awhile. We went to Applebees for supper. After she left, I continued on the basement. Gathered up a bunch of scrap wood, brought it to the yard and set it all on fire. Bo, Mack and Ryan ended up coming over and roasting hot dogs over it while I sat on the deck and played on the net.

August 2004 – Cal, Spessa, driving back to Oregon

Sunday, August 1st, 2004: My kids are going camping for a few days. Cal and Anita are visiting me so we found a theater playing Napolean Dynamite and went to see it. We all agreed that it ruled. After that we went to downtown Saint Louis to take Anita to the Arch. We didn’t end up going into the Arch since the wait was too long, but we did a lot of nothing instead. That was fun. Then we went to the Alton Belle Casino for supper and gambling.

Monday, August 2nd, 2004: Me, Cal and Anita drove to Fairview Heights to attempt some more Dash For Cash fun. It was a lot of fun but we didn’t get any really great footage. Instead of making people run, we tried to get them to dig through a trashcan to look for a secret code on a soda can. We also had some lunch, looked around Slackers for awhile and drove around town for awhile. Later that night, we finally got around to putting the new McDonald’s prank sign up. My neighbor drove us there and I installed the sign. Then we drove around the building and took a picture of it on our way out.

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2004: I woke up at 6:30, quickly got dressed and ran downstairs so I could go to McDonald’s and check on the sign’s status. Anita was downstairs and told me that she just got back from there and it’s still up. We drove there again so I could snap a picture of it. An hour later my neighbor calls me and tells me that it’s still there. Another hour later, Cal and Anita go there for breakfast and give me a call to let me know that it’s still up. I think it’s 9:00am by this point. Then at 11:00 we stop by there on my way to the post office and it’s gone! At least it lasted longer than I expected. Both the posterboard and the wooden sign are gone, leaving the original sign showing again. But the really weird part was around 6pm, my neighbor calls me and tells me that the entire sign is gone! It’s just 2 posts sticking out of the ground now. Either they’re sick of the fake signs being put up so they’re just going to take it down forever or they’re putting a new sign up.

We went to Applebees for lunch today and then to Jamestown Mall. Fun fun.

Sunday, August 8th, 2004: Today I was gonna take the kids to the zoo but they outvoted me and we ended up going to the Magic House instead. We took Braden with us and stayed there until about 5 or 6pm.

emily and braedon at the magic house

Monday, August 9th, 2004: Finished up work by noon and took the kids to the swimming pool for the day. Stayed there until almost closing. Then stopped by Blockbuster for some movies. Mowed most of the yard this evening while they watched movies.

Saturday, August 14th, 2004: Ryan and Allison were over all day and then they ended up spending the night. Ryan and Payton were quiet when I put them to bed but Emily and Allison kept me up until 1:30am with their giggling and talking. They claim they stayed up until 4am but I doubt that. Around 5pm, I left them all at Ryan’s house and drove to Hamel to pick up some bed matresses for the guest room. We’ve got company coming this week and I thought it’d be nice for them to have something other than a futon to sleep on.

Sunday, August 15th, 2004: Today I was tired all day. Besides staying up until about 2am, I woke up a lot during the night. Then my brother called me at 8:30am with a pointless phone call. I put the kids to bed early tonight. I used the excuse that they were fighting too much so they needed to get some sleep. I’ve been letting them stay up until 11:30 just about every night this summer to watch Family Guy, Futurama and Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Those are some great shows. Overall I really hate TV, but cartoons just get better and better every year. I can’t believe I didn’t watch Futurama when it used to be on Fox. And I never saw an episode of Family Guy in my life until just 2 months ago.

Friday, 8-20-2004: Took all the kids to the city museum today. We stayed there from about noon until 5 or 6.

Saturday, 8-21-2004: We went to see the Robert Wadlow statue and chair today. Then to the cemetary to look for a Geocache. Then to the smallpox memorial.

Sunday, August 22nd, 2004: Me, the kids and the Spessas drove to Evansville, Indiana for the day. We visited some science & art museum, then went to Kentucky for supper. It’s been a busy week and I haven’t had much time to write about anything we’ve done. Probably on Wednesday I’m taking the kids back to Oregon.

Wednesday, August 25th, 2004: Got up early, got everything ready to leave and was on the road by 10am. Drove all day, stopped for awhile to eat at Taco Bell, drove some more and then stopped in a South Dakota Motel 6. I forget which town, but it was a few hours before Wall, SD. We had planned to make it all the way to Wall, but wimped out around 9:30pm because of the heavy rain.

Thursday, August 26th, 2004: Got up at 6am and managed to get back on the road by 7:30am. Drove a few hours to Wall Drug and had breakfast there. We stayed there for another 2 hours, just looking at all their shops and kids stuff. Drove the rest of the day, stopping only for gas. I’ve got the TV and Xbox hooked up in the car again so that’s helping keep the kids entertained. Drove until 11:30pm and stopped in a motel in Butte, SD. I got separated from the Spessas a few hours ago so I assume they’re still driving. I should get there before noon tomorrow if we don’t sleep in too late.

Sunday, 8-29-2004: Got up early, packed the car, got the kids up and headed for Oregon. We started driving at 9am and got to Colleen’s house at 5pm. Me Colleen and the kids went out to eat at Red Robins, then I started driving to Portland. I went to Dignity Village to visit Jack but he wasn’t there. So now I’m in a Econo Lodge, watching 16 Candles and writing this.

Driving to Oregon to pick up the kids

Thursday, June 10th, 2004: Got up at 7am to leave again for Oregon. I’m picking up Emily and Payton and bringing them back to Illinois for the summer. It’s a 3 day drive back which is a pretty long drive for the kids so I’ve removed the passenger seat of my car and I’ve built a table and bolted it into it’s place. This table will hold a TV and Playstation 2 so the kids can play games and watch DVDs on the way home. Hopefully this will make the drive a little easier on them. They seemed to really hate the drive TO Oregon, but that one was 5 days long with no air conditioning so this one should be slightly better. We’re also going to make a pitstop in Montana for a few days which they should enjoy. Here’s a picture…

My drive didn’t get off to a very good start. I got about 90 minutes out of Alton and got a flat tire. Apparently I ran over something and it put a big gash in the side of the tire. This happened just 2 minutes before a Wal-Mart so I’m thinking that Wal-Mart is probably throwing spikes on the interstate in front of their store to help out with business. Curiously enough, Cal got a flat tire on his way to Texas last year and that was in front of a Wal-Mart as well! I pulled into Quiktrip and put the spare tire on and then drove to Wal-Mart. They told me it’d be more than a 2 hour wait to get a new tire. So I found a tire shop nearby and they had it done in just an hour. In the end, I lost about 2 hours of driving time and $70 for a tire.

Otherwise, the day was really boring, as expected. I ran into a lot of really bad thunderstorms. The radio kept warning of hail, tornados and damaging winds in Kansas but I managed to somehow miss all of it. I made it to about Cheyenne, Wyoming before stopping at a rest area for the night. I think that was at about 1am.

Friday, June 11th, 2004: It was cold last night! I wasn’t really expecting it to be cold since it’s June. The radio said it was in the 30’s so I had the heat on for a few hours. At least my car wasn’t covered with snow like last time, though. I got up at 5am and started driving again. Once again, a boring day. I’ve been listening to a lot of mp3s and a lot of talk radio. Before I left yesterday, I wrote on my back window with window paints which seems to be becoming a tradition with me. This time it says, “HAPPY NEW MONKEY!” and it’s causing nonstop stares as I drive. The stares are more of the “What in the hell…” variety this time. My window from last month simply confused people but I think the confusion this time is much more intense.

Happy New Monkey

While I was getting gas this morning I noticed a guy staring at my window. I said “hi” to him and he said “hi” back to me. I said, “Happy New Monkey.” He didn’t reply and avoided eye contact with me. Nobody has actually asked me what it means yet. They just stare and/or laugh as they drive past me. Right now I’m sitting in a truck stop diner outside of Boise, Idaho, eating waffles, bacon and writing all this. Maybe I’ll add something to the side window before I take off again. Or maybe not. I should reach Bend, Oregon by 8pm tonight which is where I plan to stop and spend the night. I don’t know what I’ll do all day tomorrow. Maybe visit the Saturday Market again or just play around on the net all day. My plan is to pick up the kids at some point and then leave early on Sunday morning. I think Kalispell, Montana is 10 hours away which is where we’re going.

Saturday, June 12th, 2004: I got to Bend last night. There were no rest stops that I could find and I didn’t feel like finding a good truck stop to sleep at so I just got a cheap motel for the night. I ended up waking up and leaving the motel at 6:00am or so. In the morning there was some kind of hot air balloon race happening. I sat outside of a Starbucks and played on the net for awhile, then started driving to Albany. I got there around 10 or 11am and picked up the kids. They wanted to get started on the drive so we ended up driving all day instead of hanging around Albany. We made it to Idaho before getting a motel for the night. The kids added some new drawings onto my windows – Payton put some Pac Man ghosts on each side window and Emily wrote “Beep Beep” hoping to make people honk at us. As I was driving through Portland, some guy honked and I looked over. He took his hands off the wheel to give me the peace sign which made his car just about swerve into the next lane. His wife grabbed the wheel to stop the car from going anywhere.

Wednesday, June 16th, 2004: I haven’t written much this week because we’ve been busy. We got to Montana on Sunday around 2pm and have been here since then. It’s been cold this week so we haven’t done a whole lot of outdoor things. Yesterday we went on a Geocache in Hungry Horse which involved about an hour of rock climbing. We’ll probably be leaving for Illinois tomorrow morning. Today we went to Norm’s News for lunch, a pottery shop to paint pottery, another geocache in Whitefish that we failed to find and then swimming in the lake by the geocache.

Thursday, June 17th, 2004: Me and the kids left The Spessa’s house around noon and drove all day. Right now it’s 11:00pm and we’re in a motel in Hardin, Montana. I went into the office and asked how much a room was and the lady told me $48.00 but she didn’t take credit cards. So I checked my pocket and only had $43.00 in cash. The lady told me that would be enough – she said she would just take the cash and not claim it on her taxes so it’d be like free money. Good thing I’m not an IRS agent! This motel is the worst I’ve stayed in this year…there are extension cords tacked all over the walls instead of receptacles built in, there’s no thermostat on the electric heater and I have to turn it on by turning on the circuit breakers (it’ll probably get really hot tonight!), the paneling is different colors every few feet, the light switches are all in bizarre places and extension cords are running out of my porch light to power my air conditioner and all the other porch lights. At least it’s clean and has cable!

Today I drove about 10 or 11 hours which is 1/3 of the trip. Tomorrow I’m hoping to drive from early morning until late at night. I doubt I’ll actually make it to Illinois tomorrow night but I’m a little hopeful. It’s slightly more than 22 hours according to my Street Atlas program but I always seem to do it a little faster than the program suggests. Maybe I can get there at 3am or something. I’ll probably end up in a motel in Missouri though. The kids have been really good in the car today, mostly just watching Futurama DVDs. Let’s hope tomorrow goes well too.

Friday, June 18th, 2004: It’s 11:00pm and we’re sitting in a Motel 6 in Mitchell, South Dakota, watching Johnny Bravo. We’ve still got 12 hours to go so I guess I’ll get home around 10:00pm tomorrow night, hopefully a little earlier. I’m tired of driving. Today we got a late start and made a lot of stops. We stopped at a cool place called Wall Drugs in Wall, South Dakota and wasted about 2 hours there.

Saturday, June 19th, 2004: We made it home at exactly 8:00pm. The drive was much easier today than it was yesterday. Payton’s quote of the day: “Daddy, how much Pokemon can you read before your head explodes?”

Week in Montana, back in Illinois

Tuesday, May 4, 2004: Went geocaching today with Spessa & Co. Then after her kids got home from school we went to another geocache so the kids could participate, which they really enjoyed. Unfortunately there aren’t a lot of caches in this area. Maybe a total of 5 of them that are within an hour. Had some pizza for supper.

Wednesday, May 5, 2004: Went Geocaching again today, this time without the kids. Managed to find one but failed at another since the road ended up being blocked. Turns out we were supposed to take a completely different road but it was getting late so we just went home and decided to maybe try again tomorrow.

Thursday, May 6, 2004: At some point, we all decided that I’d be spending the rest of the week in Montana instead of just one night. So I’m thinking I’ll probably leave tomorrow morning before noon or so. It’s still another 30 hours from here to Alton, Illinois and I think I’d prefer to do all that driving over a weekend instead of during the week. Last night was fun – we stayed up until 1am making calls to various Motel 6’s, posing as the front desk by doing wakeup calls, making sure their clocks were set right and asking guests if they wanted some more towels. Getting woke up in the middle of the night for things like that doesn’t appear to set well with most guests. This will be useful information to have if I ever get a job as a hotel front desk clerk so it was a good learning experience.

Friday, May 7, 2004: Left Montana at about 9:30am and drove all day. Stopped somewhere past Casper, Wyoming and slept until 7am. Or 6am. Or maybe it was 8am. All of my clocks are set on different time zones so I’m all confused. Spessa wrote “Don’t cry for me Argentina” on my back window before I left. This entertained me for most of the drive because everyone who passed my car was staring at me, looking confused. As soon as I would look over, they would quickly look away.

don't cry for me, argentina

Saturday, May 8, 2004: Finished driving back to Illinois. Finally got home at 11:15pm.

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