Thursday, June 13, 2013

An Adventure

Yesterday my 91-year old parents and I left on a two-week adventure together. We woke at 3:30 am for a 6 o'clock flight from Manchester to Midway in Chicago. At the time of booking, the non-stop flight and inexpensive airfare seemed like a good idea. Yesterday it seemed a little crazy to start our trip in the wee hours of the morning.

My mother reluctantly agreed to be transported by wheelchair from the airport curb to the plane on departure and arrival. She is a good sport and would have preferred to walk, but waiting in lines and trekking a long way to boarding gates would have been weary for her. The wonderful part of this free service (but for the tips that I gladly paid to the wheelchair drivers) provided by the airlines is that we scooted to the head of the security checkpoint (although we still had to empty our pockets, remove shoes and laptop, and any scrap of metal on our body). And we were able to board the plane first. It was a nice perk and I think Mom appreciated the ride, while Dad and I hustled along behind.

Our adventure together will take us to the Leopold Center and International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wisconsin, Effigy Mounds in Marquette, Iowa, Iowa State University in Ames where I attended graduate school and met Srini, southern Illinois to visit family, and many places in between. My brother Mark and his family live west of Chicago. Our midwest tour starts and ends with them, a nice bracket to the road trip that we start today.

The 6 am flight from Manchester to Midway was smooth and on-time. We flew through cloudy skies, but the air was calm. I like a smooth flight, although the tiny bag of peanuts or pretzels offered by the flight attendants was still not appetizing, especially as breakfast food. After we arrived and settled in for the day at my brother's house, the weather forecast called for heavy rain, severe winds, possible large hail, maybe a tornado. Around 5 pm the tornado sirens sounded and we all piled into the basement for 30 minutes or so. The storm passed uneventfully, but it added some excitement to the start of the trip and we were glad after-all to have arrived early in the calm morning air.

A Wisconsin sky

A fawn holds tight in the roadside grass as we drive by. 
Mill Pond Road, Beloit, Wisconsin


  1. An adventure indeed! I'm particularly able to relate to this report since I have a mother who is still very spry at age 90.

    Many years ago, Wisconsin was one of the places that I frequently visited on business trips. It's a beautiful State! I have hopes of returning there someday to enjoy the sights as a tourist, rather than as a businessman!

    Best wishes to you and your family for a delightful visit in Wisconsin!


  2. Thanks for the note John.

    We are having a great time. The cranes in Baraboo were amazing. Beautiful country to drive through.