From Neal…

We made it to Chicago today, which feels like a hugely significant landmark. A week ago, when our Bustaride school bus died in Charleston, none of us felt all that confident about making it as far as the Midwest, let alone getting out of the South. Scoring one of the last 7-passenger SUV’s in the greater DC area felt like a huge coup. But now, being crammed into our rented Ford is starting to get old for everyone.

Tonight we had our first home-cooked meal since leaving DC. At the home of my wife’s aunt Gerry and her husband Ed (thanks guys!), we all sat around the dinner table downing pasta, salad and bread. The boys opened up about how they feel the trip’s been going so far. For the most part, the reviews were positive all around. The big complaint: we need a new vehicle. Regarding the so-called “situation with the car,” Niall said, “It’s a little too small for me.”

My favorite sentiment came from Nathan: “I’ve just had so much fun. I mean, I’ve lost count of days. It doesn’t even matter anymore. It’s just like, it’s gotten to a point where I don’t even care … I’m with my friends, doing something I enjoy more than anything. I love it, actually … I’ve had the greatest time so far.”

Tomorrow, the boys will skate a bit more in Chicago, then we’re headed to St. Louis to return the Ford, and then onto Columbia, MO, where we hope to get our new vehicle.

Stay tuned…

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