We left after 7pm, the first part of the journey wasn’t so bad at all, by the time we got to Dallas, we felt like we’d only done an hour or two on the road. We got as far as we could, which, as it turned out was in Oklahoma (I was very sad that there was no State line sign – or at least none lit up cause we both kept our eye out for it, cause I wanted to have my picture taken with it!). We pulled in to a Comfort Inn, paid too much for a room and passed out cold.
Got up, had breakfast and hit the road around 10am, excitement was well and truly kicking in now and true to all predictions, we were delayed all over the place (I hate how when you have somewhere to be you always end up getting delayed somehow!). Col, himself, made great time driving and we barely slowed to hit 70 unless we had to – however there were large sections of the motorway that were undergoing pretty major roadworks and the 2 lanes were reduced to 1 lane and the speed was slow, the traffic was mustard and we’d have gotten there a heck of a lot faster if we weren’t stuck at a standstill for ages and then stuck crawling along at a dumb speed for ages more.
The Iowa state line came in to view just before dinner time. It was a welcome sight, cause we were both fed up being stuck in stupid traffic! Although trying to find the welcome centre was somewhat of a challenge cause it was poorly sign posted. We decided to have dinner while we were there and I discovered an interesting fact, when a menu says pork tenderloin, they don’t mean pork tenderloin, they mean some strange looking slice of meat deep fat fried in a batter…gah! Col thought it was his chicken burger and had half of it gone before we realised the mistake – questionable food much? lol!
Anyways, more traffic on the way to Amber’s house made us even later than we’d expected to be but we eventually got there and much to our surprise Miss Averie was still up running around. She was a little shy or strange for all of about 30 seconds until she realised that she had new people to play with, new people who hadn’t seen any of her toys. Within 5 minutes she’d given just about everything she owned to Col, took it off him, gave it to me, took it off me and gave it back to Col. It was adorable!
We went to bed pretty late given that we’d been up and driving all day but it was worth it. It was amazing to see just how much Averie has changed since we last saw her in May for her first birthday. She’s full of chat (just like her mother!!) and her vocabulary for such a young little girl is impressive, as is her diction, most of her words are crystal clear and those that aren’t you can make an educated guess and figure it out!
Saturday morning was an early(ish) one, we got up and had a quick bite before we loaded everyone into two cars (reason for this will be clear in a moment) and we headed out to the German colonies ‘Amana’. It was here Col and I had our Engagement pictures taken, where Averie had her 1 year pictures taken and where the wine lives.
So, I’m well aware that to most people an 18 hour drive for a few bottles of wine is verging on sheer lunacy, however, for me, it’s not just about the wine (although, I wouldn’t drive 18 hours – or, rather, subject Col to that kind of drive if the wine wasn’t worth it!), it’s about the journey across an unknown country, taking in the differences from one state to another – and, not to mention the fact that I don’t really need an excuse to go and see Amber (who, in all reality I’d probably drive twice that to go visit once I get my license sorted!).
Anyways, yes, the Amana wine is worth the drive, at least to me. For most of you wine-y’s out there, it’s probably not. It’s not ‘proper’ wine. But, thing is, I don’t DRINK ‘proper’ wine. Not white, not red, not rose – none. Never. Nada.
THIS wine is fruity, sweet and delicious, it comes in all kinds of flavours, cherry, strawberry, even dandilion flavour, and rhubarb flavour. It’s tasty – so much so that my tea-total hubby will even indulge in a half glass when we have it in the house. Yes, it’s magic wine that makes my hubby drink alcohol! lol!
We came away with 36 bottles, 12 for us, a few as gifts for vendors for the wedding and Christmas presents and the rest for various wedding-esque activities or if we have a shindig in the house. Amber also bought a bunch of bottles for the bachelorette party which we put in the boot as well. All in all a successful trip to the Amanas!
When we were done with the wine shopping, the boys took one car and went home and us ladies took another and headed in to town where we met Emily at the tanning salon. We all partook in a spray tan session (to try it out ahead of the wedding to see how it’d look!) and then headed to Pancheros for a nice lunch.
After lunch we went to find more alcohol. We went to the ‘liquor store’ and picked up 4 litres of liquor (apple pucker, cherry pucker, vanilla schnapps and Jagermeister) and went home very happy people! LOL!
That night, we got goofy (we didn’t even drink a drop of our boot-full of alcohol!). Aaron made these things called cream cheese mints which are essentially pure sugar – and taste addictive. Oooooh they were goooood!
It was great fun, our time was way too short and as much as I want to kidnap Averie every time I visit Iowa – this time it was multiplied by a billion! She’s such a cutie!
As always, I can’t wait to go back!
Our trip home – (of course cause we weren’t in a rush to get home!) held no delays and went pretty smoothly. We drove all day until we crossed the Texas border around 1am that night/Monday morning and fell into a La Quinta.
We crossed 5 states in one day and on the way down through them, I made Col stop at petrol stations – both for postcards (for my friend Billi) and the Sunday paper to collect different coupons through out the States. I missed Missouri because Kansas City is partly in Missouri and partly in Kansas and we only got one paper in the city, that and we missed TX! D’oh!
I did manage to stay awake the whole round trip roadtrip – with the exception of the very last 20 minutes before we crossed the Texas border, I just couldn’t keep my eyes open! All in all it was a great weekend, I loved the time in the car with Col, we had plenty of ‘bad’ 80’s music, a cooler full of water (we needed to stock up on the occassional caffeine fix as we went) and a bunch of snacks so we could just keep on truckin’.
As for the rest of the week it’s been pretty busy and I’m still working on checking off a number of things from my ever-dwindling to-do list!
Today, Col is working from home. He’s pretty swamped and I’m not sure we’re going to be able to get as much done this weekend as I’ve got planned to do, cause I sense he may have to work some over the weekend. I do have a hair trial and another dress fitting this weekend though so at least a few things will be struck off our lists!
I can only say I’m glad we weren’t stopped by the cops on the way home, a boot full of alcohol and a bag of plastic penises – we’d have a hard time explaining that one to any State’s police force! lol!
In other news – Col has just bought tickets for us to check out the Bold Fresh, O’Reilly/Beck tour in December in Dallas! As Col has said on his facebook, bring on the de-friending 😉
But for now I’m catching up on ANTM and watching the season premier of Bones! yay!