Mishawaka, Indiana.

The Vacation Is Complete.

Originally uploaded by macwarriorny.

I should put a podcast on my blog sometime. I really like saying Mishawaka. Say it with me: Mishawaka. It’s a really cool word to say.

Earl and I have installed ourselves for the night in, say it with me, Mishawaka, Indiana (just outside of South Bend). We were hoping to get as far as Toledo or perhaps Cleveland tonight, but “Holy Toledo” the traffic between Joliet and Chicago sucks the big one. I really don’t understand why the Illinois Tollway Commission decided to rip up the _entire_ roadway AND put in new toll booths all at the same time. Too many consecutive miles of construction congestion leads to huge amounts of road rage. As an avid driving enthusiast, I must say that my patience was wearing quite thin when we reached the Illinois-Indiana state line.

Earl and I left Minnesota this morning around 9:00 a.m. Central and headed south through Iowa. And Iowa. And more Iowa. And even more Iowa.

Iowa doesn’t look that big on our map.

Nevertheless, I fell in love with the “howdy neighbor” feeling prevalent in Iowa back in 2004 and was delighted to find more of the same on our infrequent stops across the state today. We made a pit stop in Cedar Rapids at their local mall, which had more stores empty then full (kind of sad) and had some lunch at my favorite fast food outlet, Chick-Fil-A. I never can have enough Chick-Fil-A.

I just love the friendly people anywhere west of Cleveland, Ohio. I don’t know if it goes hand in hand with “pop” versus “soda”, but I find “soda” people to be crankier than the “pop” people. Earl and I have been to the midwest and the west several times, and I’ve always noticed this, people are just nicer when you get out in these parts. Tonight Earl and I ate at Famous Dave’s BBQ here in Mishawaka, and the sever actually stopped, engaged in some conversation and smiled while she was taking our order tonight. At home we’re grateful if the server doesn’t dump a drink our lap, snap her gum between the words “whadda want” and spit on my head.

Anyways, tomorrow we jump back on the Interstate 80/90 duet, hoping to get back home by tomorrow evening.

I might have to find one more Chick-Fil-A on the way.