Sunday, August 12, 2007

Aug. 7 - 13th, Joliet, Illinois.

There are two things we do not want to do with our RV - drive at night or drive in a rain storm. As you can see by the pictures to the right, we got caught in a real bad rain storm just as we entered Illinois. It was along a very long stretch of highway without any off ramps. In short, we could not pull over and let it pass. Traffic slowed to about 25 miles per hour as thunder, lightning and extremely high winds blew us all over the road. When tree branches are blown off trees onto the highway it is not easy to keep this big rig in a straight line. Our poor dog almost had a heart attack. The poor thing is sitting on Mary's lap when a bright burst of lightning followed by the loudest boom just put her right up into the air. Now I am trying to control the RV in this storm and we have a dog going bonkers -- "are we having fun yet?"

We ended up in Joliet, Ill for the week and the home base for my first set of workshops for ISS in Schaumberg, Ill. about 45 min. away for which I rented a car to get there. My workshops had the second highest attendance of all 17 workshops on building a small business (I'll take it).

In Ill, they have Tollways (not Freeways). I don't really have anything against paying a Toll to travel a road, but between the Toll booths they don't have any off ramps. Four different times there was a bad accident involving 3 - 7 cars and each time traffic just came to a complete stop until they clear it. Getting the tow trucks there to clear it presented another problem. I'll take the California FREEWAYS anytime over this system - they need help.

We had a couple of interesting things happen at the grocery store. First, we have a new appreciation for the FOSTER FARM chicken commercials (with the out of state chickens that want to become Foster Farm chickens.) Would you believe that here in ILL, one whole raw chicken cost $8.65. Even worse, they only had about 6 whole chickens in the plastic bag in the bin. As for meats, that went for the entire length of the whole store. I guess the Atkins diet is alive and well in Ill.

As we checked out of this very large store, a young man was bagging the groceries. I went to take the cart and he picked up the bag with a carton of eggs in it and said "you may want to replace these eggs." I said, "Oh, are some of the shells broken?" To which he said - "No, I breathed on the carton." I made a split second decision and said "the eggs are in a shell, I'll take my chances."

If you have been following the news, then you know the heat wave is still following us. Record breaking heat and a few more thunder storms. From here we go to Ann Arbor, Michigan to see some friends that left California in the 80's that we have stayed in touch with. Then to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. From there we will be in Pennsylvania at Mary's sister's (and Bob) place for the weekend. Then it will be off to Boston, Mass.

More next week.