We spent the better part of the day driving on I-57 from Mount Vernon to Chicago. I-57 is not exactly the most exciting stretch of road in the United States, although there are more than a few people (mostly residents of Florida at this moment) who would argue that boring is good every once in a while. After breakfast at Bob Evans (everyone with me: down on the faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarm), we started our 200+ mile trek northward toward the Windy City.
We stopped a couple of times at rest stops along the way for the usual biological reasons and at least once to get a cup of coffee (or whatever it is that they sell in those machines at state-operated rest stops). The machine from which I purchased was more than happy to inform me that it was brewing drink #6147 just for me! Black coffee, extra crayon has a new designation! 6147! Who knew?
Fifty miles or so later, it was time to get rid of the residuals from 6147, so we pulled into another rest stop to discover that the chemistry students from the University of Illinois were serving free coffee at that rest stop. I said, "Look, Mary, free coffee!" She wasn't all that enthused, and when I considered the juxtaposition of the terms "free coffee" and "chemistry student", I wasn't all that enthused either.
We made the trip from Mt. Vernon to I-80 (just south of Chicago) in just about three hours, owing to the fact that I drove at 0.1 Mach most of the way (for you nautical types, that's 77 knots; for you metric freaks, approximately 144 km/hr). Which is approximately 20 mph over the speed limit. Oddly enough, we weren't stopped; in fact, cars were PASSING ME at that speed. Of course, you have the occasional yutz who has forgotten that the left lane is the passing lane and is not where you should be driving if you're going the speed limit or, in one famous case, LESS THAN THE SPEED LIMIT. It could have been worse. Yesterday's drive was nearly spoiled by a woman doing her aggressive best to block the passing lane by driving at txactly the same speed as the car beside her, who promptly blew her horn and gave me the finger when I was at last able to get around her. I don't quite know what her problem was, but clearly she wasn't having a good day and was going to share it with as many people as she could.
Anyway, we're here at the Courtyard near Midway Airport for a couple of days. We're heading back on Tuesday and should be home on Wednesday. This hotel has rather dependable broadband. The one we stayed in yesterday didn't. Their Ethernet connection was slow and dropping packets left and right, while their wi-fi (I found out this AM that it was the hotel's wi-fi and not some neighbor's) kept coming in and out. The little balloon that Windows XP puts at the bottom of the screen to let you know these things came on about every thirty seconds, alternating between "one or more wireless connections is available" and "wireless network not available". I must try to remember how to turn off those damn balloons.
Think I'll take it easy the rest of the day. We'll be cleaning and doing chores around the building tomorrow.