Wednesday was the big day. My alarm went off at 5:30 am, and about 1 minute later, the kids were up, full of energy and ready to go. You have to love the enthusiasm.

It made me realize that I don’t think there is anything on Earth that could make me excited to be up at 5:30 in the morning. I don’t care what it is: alien first contact, Publisher’s Clearing House van dropping off an oversized novelty check, Beatles reunion concert, complete with reanimated John and George, and special appearance by Pete Best and the still-alive Elvis…no matter what, I’d be wanting to hit that snooze button one more time.

But we got the car loaded up and got ready to hit the great American highway. We got out just a few minutes later than we planned to (an impressive achievement, any parent will tell you), and made a quick stop at Erin’s parents’ place to drop off Asta.

And then we were on the road, destination: Omaha. It’s about the halfway point between Denver and Chilton, so we made plans to stay the night there.

We’ve done this trip a few times, so the kids are old pros. They are remarkably good travelers. We got a few hours in before our first rest stop near the Nebraska border.

While it takes a few hours to get to Nebraska, it is amazing how quickly Colorado basically turns into Nebraska as soon as you get east of Denver. The mountains vanish and it is the start of a long, long, long, long flat stretch.

A little over halfway through the journey, we stopped off at a rest stop for a nice picnic lunch. It was pretty steamy out, but we found a nice shady spot and we all had a fun lunch together.


After a quick fill up with gas, we were back on the road, and a few hours later pulled into our hotel just outside of Omaha. We were all pretty exhausted, and happy to reach our mid-trip oasis.

It is certainly something to be in Nebraska. Or, as I will now be calling it, “Nobody-Wears-a-Mask-a.” Like seriously, nobody. Not at the hotel, not the Grubhub guy who brought our dinner delivery, nobody. We stopped for gas and I got a crook-eyed look from the cashier for wearing one. Sorry, I live in another state and am actually trying to extend my life.

But, we did mask up and fortunately there weren’t many others at the hotel, so it was easy to keep our distance. We disinfected everything the moment we got into the room, and then finally were able to relax a little.

The kids were very excited to see “our new hotel,” and spent a good hour exclaiming how awesome our room at the Fairfield Inn is. A room, I should note, that looks like every standard issue Marriott 2-queen studio on Earth. But hey, they love it, so I do, too. They enjoyed dinner in bed and Amelia got some good chair spins in.


We watched a movie, had some laughs, and then it was bedtime. We have another 8-hour trek ahead of us tomorrow. Destination: Wisconsin. Eastbound and down.