Day one of vacation: it does not get any more middle-America than this.

We drove up the Mississippi from Galena, IL to Prairie du Chien, WI.

But the day started with: frantic packing with a crabby 2 year old; a harried stop to vote early (but not often…we aren’t THOSE kind of Chicago people); 2 or 3 errands that we forgot about yesterday.

And then, finally, we were on the road. Very little freeway driving, rolling hills, farms (which Zora can identify), and the big river.

In Galena, we ate a very late lunch of overpriced, disappointing looking, but suprisingly tasty chicken salad sandwiches. In Prairie du Chien we ate fantastic “family restaurant” fried catfish and potatoes and vegetable beef soup and white rolls. The local country music station was playing there, mostly political ads,a few songs, and a notice for folks to sign up for the fan bus going to see the local football team play in the state finals next week.

Erik drove all day. I finished some socks for Zora, knit a slipper for my Grandma, and started a hat to stave off the boredome of slipper number 2. We talked about how smart our kid is, how crabby she was, how fabulous she is; we talked about the election; we talked about a friend who died this week; we wondered how we had never thought of it to take this route to Minnesota before.

Now, Zora is “sleeping” in a hotel room closet space that fits her portacrib perfectly, and Erik and I are about to tuck into huge slices of homemade pie from the supper place (caramel apple and wildberry).

Tomorrow, we  do leg two of the trip: more Mississippi, and finally to Minneapolis for a wedding on Saturday.