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Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Beloit, WI to Ida Grove, IA
Said our good-byes to Pat and Barb about 7:00 a.m. and hit the road by 7:30 a.m. by the time we gassed up.  Can’t thank either of them enough for their hospitality!!! 

Paid the small toll to drive Hwy 39/90 in Illinois.  In years previous we just dumped change into a big bowl type of thing and kept driving, this year there were toll takers to collect the money…..not any friendlier than the bridge toll collectors in California.  Look and act like they hate their jobs. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Today we took a drive to Matt (Pat’s grandson and Barb’s son) and Melissa’s house to see their new deck, drove by the new Starbuck’s that recently opened in Beloit, the new Wal-Mart (they are everywhere in the Midwest….California, too), and the unusual round house.  Ate sandwiches at a new franchise sandwich joint (haven’t seen them in California, yet), and then drove to Janesville to see where Dan (Pat’s son) and Carol live.  Couldn’t resist a stop at A&W for root beer freezes to cool off….91 degrees and humidity makes the air feel heavy.  Expecting hotter weather tomorrow. The grasses and trees are so abundant and so green compared to California’s golden hills this time of year.  Southern WI is in need of more rain but can’t tell by all the greenery. 

Learned that Barb’s son, Aaron, is getting married next year in England.  His fiancée’s father is a solicitor in England, their term for lawyer, and a judge.  Bill is enjoying Aaron’s room while he is in England for the summer.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Quiet today except for the beautiful red cardinal singing (sounds like, birdie, birdie, birdie). He enjoyed flying and hopping around in the trees and on our car top. Also, saw a beautiful robin investigating Pat's lawn … to work doing laundry, setting up wet tents to air dry as well as hanging out the sleeping bags and pads.  Thank you Pat for letting us sprawl our stuff all over…..looked like a squatter’s camp in her yard.

Clean-up out we may be coming to your house next.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Pat and Barb sure know how to feed a crowd.  Pat’s granddaughter Trish recently completed course work for medical assistant and her daughter, Alejandra, recently had a birthday and is eight, and Ed’s 61st birthday was last week….so Pat and Barb with the help of Pat’s son, Dan, and his wife Carol, bar-b-qued tri-tip (very hard to find in WI) and brats to help celebrate these special occasions.  Her grandson, Josh, made wonderful taquitos.  Lots of delicious salads, fruit, and desserts were served.  A continuation of the eating fest we enjoyed across Iowa, but the eating all we want will have to come to an end soon!  Saw Jamie and her friend from Arkansas (Arkansas?), Sheila and baby, Matt and wife Melissa and their little ones, Ryan and Caitlin, Trish’s fiancé, Raul (?) who is a phlebotomist and children, and Dan’s youngest, Damon.

Barb & Helen
Paw Paw
Dan cooking brats, steak, & salmon
Barb, up too early.
Paw-paw looking guilty after wee weeing on Helen's shoe
  Pat & Ryan

Alejandra and Great-great Uncle Ed celebrating number
8 and 61

Mom & Dad rode their bikes over with Ryan and little sister, Caitlin to great grandma Pat's house. Will they be doing RAGBRAI soon?.
Go go girl!! Caitlin is a sweetie!

Saturday, July 28, 2007
Bellevue, IA to Beloit, WI

Crossed the Mississippi River from Iowa into Illinois and arrived in Beloit, WI at Ed’s sister’s (Pat, or Poo as she is affectionately known) house about 5:30 p.m.  We thought it would be fun to show up at Pat's front door with a bag of laundry in one hand and a roll of toilet paper in the other but by the time we arrived to Pat's we were just ready to relax. Enjoyed sitting outdoors in the shade while visiting with Pat and her daugher, Barb.  Ate our first pizza of the trip from Prime Time Pizza. Danny and Carol, Pat's son and daughter-in-law drove over from Janesville, approx. 20 miles away, to visit. So nice to have real beds and toilets that flush. 

  Pat's home
Crossing Mississippi from Iowa to Illinois
Pat's house in Beloit, WI