We planned to spend Thursday night with a friend who lives just south of Youngstown, Ohio. Thursday morning we were still debating just what route to take to get there, until I heard the weather report on the radio! Lake-effect snow flurries were forecasted for Wyoming County, New York. The snow wasn’t supposed to stick, just flurries. A flurry was more than I wanted to see, so we headed south on 15 into Pennsylvania, taking 220 west and picking up I-80 across to Youngstown. The area around Lock Haven and further west as you join onto I-80 was real pretty. I’ve often thought Pennsylvania was a pretty place to visit, in the summertime or early fall, but not somewhere I’d like to live. As we got closer to Youngstown, we ran into some brief snow flurries. Ack!

As for the “non-sticking lake-effect snow” in western New York? Seven days later they are still talking about it on the national news, reporting that there are still large populations without power. My aunt said that the Thruway was closed for over 24 hours on Thursday / Friday. It seems some places west of Leroy received up to 24 inches. That’s a lot of snow for early October and a lot of sticking!

Our stay with our friend’s in Youngstown was very pleasant. She has a beautiful house and certainly pleased Charles with her mashed potatoes and gravy! We met several members of her family and just had a nice visit. Friday morning we were on our way bright and early (7:30 a.m. Central), as we had a long day of traveling ahead of us if we were to get all the way to Evansville, Indiana, by nightfall. By two in the afternoon it seemed like we were making good time, so we decided to take the scenic route across Indiana rather than staying on the Interstates. Wrong decision. Lovely countryside, but a bit longer trip than necessary, especially when we hit a traffic jam the first few miles and only drove about 10 miles in 45 minutes! It was 7:30 p.m. (Central) when we rolled into Evansville, meaning we spent twelve hours on the road.

Poor Miss Munchkin, she was getting so tired of her car seat (as were we all!). After darkness fell, she really began to fuss. She would only be quiet if Kat learned over and stroked her or talked to her. Finally the kids turned on the DVD player and she quieted down. We don’t think it was the DVD, just the light from it enabling her to see people around her again. She did the same thing Saturday night after it got dark, fussing until Kat turned on one of the inside back lights. Then Miss Munchkin seemed happier.

Friday night we picked up David and his friend Ashley and all went out to supper. It was nice to visit with David, although I think he was more interested in food than seeing us! Miss Munchkin seemed to remember him, even though it had been about two months since she’d seen him. At least she didn’t fuss any when David held her.

Saturday morning David gave Kat (and the rest of us) a tour of the campus. He needs a bit more practice with that! “Here’s a building. I think they do art classes in here. I never come to this building, so I don’t really know.” Very informative! After lunch and winter coat shopping for David, we loaded up and headed for home. We dropped Kat off at the mall so she could ride home with Shawn when he got off from work. Then we dropped Charles off at karate so he could be a part of the last bit of graduation. And we got home about 8 p.m., in time to watch the last half of the Nextel race and see Gordon suffer another late race DNF.

Nine days of vacation, six of them on the road, traveling 2370 miles. Are we crazy or what? Everyone did really well until Friday. By then we’d had enough togetherness. It’s a good thing Charles was able to sleep at David’s dorm Friday night. Another night of sharing a motel room with Charles and there’s no telling what Kat might have done to him with the TV remote as he channel surfed!