SATURDAY 7/14: The dickie is loaded!
Who knew you could fit so much stuff into the trunk (or if you’re my husband, “boot”) of a car. How many people call it a boot? I’d never even heard the term until I met him. Apparently he’s British because that’s where the term is most widely used. I guess I’m lucky. He could be from South Asia and call it a dickie.
Road trip Day 1 is underway. We’re all trying to carve out our own little habitat in each corner of the car. Our first planned stop is at Giordano’s in Chicago for some authentic stuffed pizza. He’s raved about it since a trip a couple of years ago. I’m excited for pizza, but Chicago, not so much. I don’t have anything against the town, but it’s not on my bucket list. We roll into the area at 1:30ish in the afternoon, belly tanks on E. As is the custom on any Kirkland Road Trip, Mother Nature welcomes us into the large metropolitan area with a torrential downpour. Bad weather, mixed with bad traffic equals grumpiness. The only thing keeping us from going all Donner party is knowing that the sweet salvation of a stuffed pizza pie is a mile up the road.
Then, the clouds part and we see the Rose Water Tower beckoning us into the parking lot of Giordano’s. I swear I heard a celestial “Ahhhhh!”. My first Giordano’s is well worth the wait. It’s even worth suffering through my boys’ game of “Extreme Rock, Paper, Scissors” at the table. Yes, I said suffer. My youngest pulls out all the stops and yells “Banana Hammock” to the completely packed dining room. As you can guess, he won that round. What in the world could possibly beat a banana hammock?
With bellies once again full, we’re back on the road aiming for Wisconsin. What’s there to see and/or do in Wisconsin? Well, there’s cheese. And the Beast of Bray Road, of course. Doesn’t everyone come to Wisconsin to find the beast? You see, we love finding local legends and reportedly haunted locations to check out on our way. With the aid of our Weird USA book and the every-ready Garmin, we head for Bray Road just outside of Elkhorn, WI. Yes, it’s at least 45 minutes “out of our way”, but when will we ever have the opportunity to search for an elusive werewolf-like creature that hasn’t been spotted since sometime in the 1990’s?
The excursion is unsuccessful in that we catch no glimpse of The Beast. However, we do see some very pretty Wisconsin countryside with only two wrong turns. All in all, it’s a nice diversion. We spend the rest of Day 1 trekking all the way across Wisconsin for a stopover in Hudson.