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Well, we made it and I can finally blog about it.  We left at about 4:45PM on Monday and got into town at 11AM on Tuesday.  Even though I feel like we left at the perfect time, that was still the absolute worst drive EVER!  18+ hours!!!  I can’t even believe it.  It rained, I mean poured, for at least 3 hours through Arkansas.  We hit a dear that was already dead in the middle of the road, but it didn’t make it any less sad.  I almost threw up afterward.  While I was driving and Wade was napping, I hit a huge tire from a semi trailer.  I can tell you that’s not a fun way to wake up.  The dogs slept (were sedated) the whole way and they were perfect angles.  When we were about 10 minutes from Wauseon, Archie puked.  The poor guy…he almost made it all they way!

I got a kick out of some of the places we passed along the way.  Braggadocia and Dongolia were just a couple.  We drove through Hope, Arkansas, Bill Clinton’s birthplace and the birthplace of Garfield (the cat) and James Dean.  Who knew that they were from the same city?  We had to drive the last hour on a tollway and all we had was a $20 bill.  We used that to pay our $2.30 toll and got all our change in COINS.  That was quite an experience as well.

When we got to Wauseon, we called Wade’s grandparents and they came to meet us at the house and to let us in.  From there, Wade’s grandpa, Lloyd, called Neal to tell him that the garage door was broken and that he needed to come home and take a look at it.  So, we disabled the garage door opener and Wade, the dogs and I got into the garage, cameras ready.  We thought that Neal might try to lift the door manually from the outside so Wade held it down and sure enough, he gave it a try!  Finally, Neal came around to the front door and Lloyd led him to the garage.  When he opened the door, we yelled “surprise!!!”

I have video and will post it once we get home.

Neal was truly shocked.  In fact, he was so shocked that he missed the fact that our car was in the garage.  After things settled down a bit, I said, “that was a terrible drive!”

Neal said, “from Detroit?  I know.”

I was a bit confused and said, “from Arlington.”

He goes, “you drove?  I thought you flew with the dogs!”

It was pretty funny!

After that, Wade and I took a nap on the floor in the middle of the living room and Neal went back to work to finish the day out.  Our dogs ran around with Beanie, Neal and Carolyn’s yorkie.  It was so funny to see them play.  When we woke up there were toys strewn all around us.  If a stranger walked in, he would think that we were dead bodies and the dogs had substituted a toy outline for the typical chalk outline.  In any case, we napped for about 3 hours and it was certainly needed!  Eventually, Neal came home from work and we prepared to surprise Carolyn.

We quickly picked up all the toys and our blankets and put Archie into the sunroom by himself.  Mack, Wade and I hid in the laundry room and Carolyn came through the front door “because the garage was still broken.”

Neal told her that he found a stray and brought it into the house because his back leg was bleeding.  Carolyn came over to look at the stray dog in the sunroom and all she could say was “that looks like…that looks like…”

Neal kept saying that he thought it was a pitbull and Carolyn finally said, “that looks like Archie.  That’s a puggle bull.”

At that point, we let Mack out of the closest and Carolyn said, “there here?!?”

It was so great!  She was so happy to see us.

Wade and I showered and changed into fresh clothes to head to dinner.  We went to Sullivan’s, a little family owned restaurant in “downtown” Wauseon.  Wade and I got a kick out of the fact that you could get a steak for only $18.  The food was delicious and a huge step up from McDonald’s and gas station snacks that we had become accustomed to over the past 24 hours.  I have to say, I didn’t even think to update on this, I am holding off on being a true vegetarian until I get a job.  It’s expensive and I need to save the money right now.

After dinner, Lloyd and Shirley came back over and Wade’s other grandma, Darlene, joined us as well.  We sat around and chatted for a while and then it was off to bed for the best sleep EVER.

Okay, that’s all I have for now.  I’ll have pictures and video posted once we get back home.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!


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