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Rediscovering America On The Open Road [PHOTOS]

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I lived in Evansville, Indiana for five years back at the turn of the century, and drove home often to visit with friends and family.  I enjoyed the eight-hour drive, and found that there are several different ways to make the trip.

I became very fond of the stretch of I-75 that went through downtown Cincinnati.  I haven’t made that trip in a while, and this recent vacation gave me the opportunity to drive the stretch of 75 from Cincinnati to Florida for the first time.

I love to drive and my wife prefers not to, so we make a good team in the car.  She does tend to get a little car sick here and there, but not to the point where she gets physically sick.  With our kids however, it’s another story altogether.

As I mentioned in the start of this series of our family’s best and worst vacation ever, Ben and Parker both got sick in the car on the drive down, but that was when we were driving solo on our way to meet up with the rest of our group.  Barely an hour into the trip home, it was Hayli’s turn to get sick.  Three carloads of us left my uncle’s house on Spartan Ave and decided to caravan on the trip home, but we had to leave the pack and pull off the freeway to get her cleaned up.

To balance a little of the bad, we had some of the good as we passed my favorite car of all-time on the Interstate, a DeLorean  I thought to myself, “I wish we could travel 24 hours into the future when we’re already home!”  I wouldn’t have to stop every few hours to clean up puke, and I wouldn’t have to hear poor Parker whining about the sunburn he got on the beach on Sanibel Island.  Yet, we would have missed all the cool stuff I saw like that DeLorean, the beautiful scenery, and Hardee’s.  Yes, Hardee’s!  I thought they had all closed, but in fact they are thriving in the south.  I also had the chance to eat at Chick-fil-a!  It was one of my favorite places to eat when I lived in Indiana, but they are very hard to come by in these parts.

We finally met up with the group right around the Georgia state line.  After my sister’s boyfriend, Bill, got pulled over in Georgia on the way down, we all decided to take our time driving through on the way home.  The plan was to drive straight through to Flint, but around 4:30 in the morning, too many people were tired and we didn’t have enough drivers to operate the three vehicles.  We slept for a few hours after we made it just inside Kentucky.

Getting back on the road at 9:30 was rough, but I was able to keep going after that power nap.  The problem was my mom got really sick just after we got on the road, at which point my wife had to drive her car all the way home from Kentucky.  As we passed the water tower that boasts the southern dialect as it reads “Florence Y’all,” we made our approach into Cincinnati.  My wife hates bridges, but had to drive an unfamiliar vehicle over a good sized expanse between Kentucky and Ohio.

Luckily, my kids didn’t get sick at all on the second day of the drive home.  However, three hours after we got home, I ended up taking my turn in the sick club.  At this point everyone of the twelve that went with us except my brother and wife got sick.  Despite the unfortunate turns of fate like the weather, our ship hitting the pier, and everyone getting sick, we had a great time!  Honestly though, it was good to be home.  Unfortunately, my wife did end up getting sick and had to be home for three days this week to recover.

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