So I left off with the trip to my parent's house. It is about a 4hr drive from our house, if we take the back way. I would love to say I like taking the back way, but really, I would much rather take Freeway, major highways, and only drive for 3.5 hours. Yes, that 30 minutes truly makes a difference. However, Mr. Wizard & I have been taking this route for quite sometime now, since we learned how to shorten it a bit. We pass by and through several small towns along the way, with sights to see the whole time. I find it actually occupies my kids a tad better than a freeway through forest, pasture, and field. We occasionally get to see an Amish horse-drawn buggy, old bridges, old covered bridges, and the heart of small communities.
This trip was going rather well. We stopped at the local town to get gas. Bear in mind, I was nearly empty... $91 to fill it up. Thank goodness, that will last the whole trip and some into the week. We hit the highway, headed for the next town. I have always wanted to go to their Strawberry Festival, but never know quite for sure when it is. It was going on this weekend... looks like we missed it this year too since we have no time to stop!
Kids are doing great, we keep motoring on. Down towards our favorite campgrounds and the neighboring town. Past the lake and through the next State Park campgrounds. Turning onto another highway to head South, we see it.... a road closed sign. GREAT! Would have been nice if we had prior warning. I had even checked the DOT website for road closings since I knew we were headed to a flooded area. Construction closings maybe would have been a good thing for them to ADD to that list. Mr. W was right on, the detour set in place was taking us back to our camping area's neighboring town.
Forty minutes later, we are back on track. Just as we get out of this quaint town, Miss Independant starts screaming "Stinky Butt!!" over and over almost in a screaming chant. No, she still isn't potty-trained, so I figured either she had gone in her diaper, or needed to and didn't want to be sitting while doing it. Somewhat of a good sign though! Already delayed, and halfway between towns. We try calming her down and telling her we were almost there... the whole way... never-ending screaming. When finally reaching the outer limits of the town, I pulled into an ice-cream shop. To say it was the first and only thing, would only be a lie. I saw it, I knew where I was going, I now needed chocolate. This would also provide some standing time for my NON-stinky child.
Ice cream cones eaten... we are on the road again. The rest of the way going smoothly and full of kid's songs (purposely scanning over the Chipmunks). As we neared Mr. W's hometown, I got out the camera and got warmed up. Up to this point there had been little to no standing water. We had called his mom to inform her of the impromptu trip and made plans to visit with her for a bit.
Turning off onto a familiar exit, things became very clear and very real. The one road we thought we would take towards the river... shut off at the beginning. Venturing further into town, I had Mr.W turn off onto my grandfather's street. He lives only a block from the levee and I wanted to check on him. Since he had no warning of a visit, I decided we better not just stop in. No need to see him in undies today. We followed the road to the first park, climbed over the wall (flood gates were down) and headed in with camera equipment primed.
We left there and headed for the Memorial Bridge, his mom and her husband are coming by Harley to meet us there. I couldn't believe it. I have seen flooding in that area before, but NOTHING like this. I leave this blog now, to let the pictures in their own post, speak for themselves. I only shot pictures from 3 areas, but I will tell you, there is MILES and MILES of water to be seen.
Product rave: Soft serve ice cream from small town shops.
Go find a local shop today!