We woke up in the morning around 10:00 AM or 11:00 AM, I went downstairs to grab us some hot water, and the free breakfast time was pretty much over, but I did manage to snag some orange juice from the kitchen dispenser.
We walked the dogs, insulined Charlie, loaded the cat cages on the cart and this time there were lots of people and kids in the halls and elevator, going to and from the pool, and they were staring at the cats in cages. One little boy in particular, with his parents, was just amazed, would not stop staring at the cats, asked their names, and looked very interested.
In the elevator I noticed there was yellow pee on the floor -- apparently someone else's dogs did not behave as well as ours.
And then I saw more people walking dogs outside the lobby.
One lady, seeing the cat cages, asked me if this was some kind of animal show or convention, there were so many animals! I said it was probably a pet friendly hotel, that's all. We loaded everything back into the jeep, (skipping the tedious details). Then I checked out at the front desk right at noon, with maybe five minutes after.
Then I filled up on gasoline right next to the hotel, got us some iced tea, and we headed back on the road. I think it was highway 80.
For some reason I have the foggiest memories of this particular day. Maybe because it was not particularly stressful or outstanding in any way compared to the harrowing excitement of the days before… Or maybe the exhaustion of the trip was really getting to me at this point and I was just generally numb. But overall, Iowa was a blur except I was thinking that I was driving in the home state of friends Tom and Jan Hise, and I think at some point there was Indiana, and this is where the toll roads started popping up. Mom and I joked how this was like medieval toll bridges with knights or evil trolls sitting at the entry and making us pay up or else we get robbed.
Because they sure robbed us! It was like $9.00 dollar toll at one point and the first time around I didn’t know how to pay or what that ticket was I got at the entryway, and the toll worker had to slowly explain while I panicked and change went flying every which way in the car, then there was $7.50 toll, $3.50 bucks, $0.95 cents, etc, yowww!
Anyway, we were in some large city, and were driving on a multiple lane freeway or highway whatsit, and there were exit signs for Purdue University, and I thought, HEY, That's where my friend Lisa Silverthorne works! HOLY SHIT! I am right next to Lisa! Maybe she is at work right now! I was sorely tempted to use my cell phone to call Lisa as we were driving by Purdue, but was worried I’d get distracted and lost, and besides the GPS was giving instructions often and I didn’t want to miss the correct lanes.
At some point I got off to get gas and another usual Subway (in retrospect, the only "formal" meal stops we had on the road were Subway, once a day). Again we walked the dogs, watered the dogs, ate in the car, then got back on the road.
After a few more troll toll roads, it was getting dark eventually, and we were headed toward Cleveland Ohio, I think or somewhere else in Ohio, Mentor, Ohio, where our fourth and final hotel was before the last leg of the journey to our new home.
I remembered how this was the home state of my friend Amy Sheldon.
At some point before or after Cleveland (at this point, the recall blurriness is pretty major and memory is failing me), we got off to gas up, being close to empty, and then we got back on, and soon it was time to drive on a weird offshoot highway and then get off at Mentor, and drive on surface streets to the small hotel, another Best Western I think.
We made it after midnight, and I parked, then went to the lobby of this older traditional building where a very sweet older lady was in charge, and she checked me in, helped me to the room down the hall on the first floor, then held doors and was otherwise very helpful and accommodating. She even handed me two kitty toys and some doggie treats, as part of check-in.
Then I went to the car, we walked the dogs on the pet friendly lawn area, and then started the now very familiar and annoying process of unloading cat cages onto a luggage rolling cart (again there was no way to just carry the cats, it was too far), then the rest of our stuff. She also invited us to the complimentary breakfast.
Mom and I made it to the nice old-fashioned style hotel room, spread the bedding on the floor, put out the food and water dishes, then liberated the cats, and Johnny immediately jumped up on top of the very tall dresser and we were terrified he would misbehave, so we shooed him off it. But no harm done, everyone behaved, and ate and then went to sleep soon enough, and mom and I had a bit to eat from our cooler, I gave insulin to Charlie, and we collapsed like dazed zombies.
And thus we rested in Mentor, Ohio.
... Continued in next post ...