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7 days, 5 states, 1,429 miles

We are finally back from our week-long road trip across the Midwest. It was a long journey, and not particularly relaxing, but we had a great time! For those of you who don't know, we went on a 1,429 mile road trip over Thanksgiving. We went to see Morgan's brother graduate from boot-camp in Missouri, and then to Chicago for my family's Thanksgiving. It was pretty interesting with a pregnant woman and two dogs! Here is a recap of our trip:

Minnesota to Ottumwa, Iowa: Our trip to Ottumwa, Iowa was a long trip, about 6 hours. We ended up leaving later in the day on Sunday then we wanted to, since it was super icy here and we needed to wait for the roads to clear. The ride ended up being alright, the roads were just wet but it was super foggy. We made it to our hotel by 8:30 that night, and introduced the dogs to the hotel.

Ottumwa, Iowa to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri: We left early the next morning (Monday) for Missouri to try to beat the big storms that were moving through the area. We ended up driving in on and off rain, but nothing to terrible. When we made it to Ft. Leonard Wood it was 70 degrees out!!! It was glorious. Morgan, the dogs, and I went on a nice long walk and soaked up all the sun we could. Tuesday we met up with Morgan's parents and his brother Calvin and his wife Renee. We all went and met Cory (Morgan's younger brother) for family day. It was the last day of boot-camp for him. We were able to hang out with Cory and enjoyed just chatting and hanging out. Wednesday was Cory's graduation from boot-camp. It was a great ceremony and Morgan and I were so glad we went down. We are all so proud of Cory! 
PVT Cory Kavanaugh

The dogs still managed to play with each other with their seat-belts on.

Morgan driving, the capital building of Missouri is in the background.
Enjoying the 70 degrees when we arrived in Missouri.
Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri to Gurnee, Illinois: Right after the graduation was over we had to leave for Illinois. We had to drive right into a massive storm, but thankfully it stayed warm enough to just be rain and not the ice/snow we were expecting. This was the longest drive of our trip. It took us almost 9 hours to make it, and everyone, including the dogs, was sore from the journey. The next day was Thanksgiving, and we went over to my aunt Jennifer's house. All of my immediate family was there and so was most of my mom's siblings and their kids. It was great! It had been a couple years since I had been there and it was really nice to see everyone. On Friday, I got up at 3:50 am and headed out to the stores with my mom, sister, aunts, and grandma. I ended up shopping until 5:30 pm that day! It was a super long day, but really fun, plus we all got some great deals. I probably over did it a little bit though, when I got back I immediately fell asleep for an hour and a half, got up ate dinner, and then went back to sleep for the rest of the night. 
Dad and Morgan on Thanksgiving.

Hanging out at the Thanksgiving party.

Max, Jeff, and Alex.
Sleeping after a long day of shopping.

Gurnee, Illinois to Eau Claire, Wisconsin: We left for Eau Claire at 8:00 am the next morning (Saturday). We got up there about lunch time and spent the day with Cory, Morgan's mom, and Morgan's sister Angie and her husband Adam. It was one of the last times we will get to see Cory for awhile, since he is going to be stationed in Germany! Also while in Eau Claire I got to meet up with some friends from my old girl scout troop, and it was very nice to catch up with those ladies.

Eau Claire, Wisconsin to Home: On Sunday we hung out in Eau Claire until mid-afternoon and finally made our way back home. It was the quickest drive but still felt like it took forever. Morgan, Nettie, Lexi, and I were all soooo sick of the car at that point that it was hard to sit even for the hour it takes to get back to our house.

Overall, the trip was busy but great. The dogs did really well. Nettie wasn't great in the car, but Lexi was a pro! I ended up doing alright in the car, although I'm very sore from all the sitting. Morgan and I estimated that we spent about 26 hours in the car over those 7 days, so we are all looking forward to not having to sit in the car for awhile!


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