The first big city we drove through on Day 3 was Nashville! The CMAs filled up hotels within a 15-20 mile radius, pushing us farther out of town than we planned. From the highway, it looks fairly nice:
We were all super excited to drive into Kentucky! Our little hour-long stint in the state was my first visit. I can report that it has a very nice Welcome Center rest stop, brilliant green fields, cows, and horses.
And apparently, Princeton.
One side effect of driving 2000 miles with my cat that I did not fully appreciate beforehand was The Shedding. My car has NEVER needed such a good vacuuming.
The major tourist stop of our day was Cahokia Mounds State Park in Collinsville, Illinois. Cahokia was home to a pre-Columbian city of native peoples that was larger than London at the time. It boasts many large, man-made mounds of dirt, upon which rulers lived and lorded over the people. While Mom and Dad climbed the largest--Monks Mound--Faraday and I chilled on a bench with his water and litter box.
Another site in Cahokia is Woodhenge. It is similar to Stonehenge, only wooden. Yes.
Leaving Illinois, we crossed into another new state for me, Missouri! The Arch is quite impressive from the road. Due to cat restrictions, we opted not to stop, but I'd like to visit it in the future!
Finally, after leaving the fast highway for slower, windier, farmland-ier roads, we arrived in Warrensburg, MO, at the home of my best, oldest friend, Laura.
Last time I visited, they were in NC and she and her husband, Dustin, only had two kids. NOW THERE ARE THREE!
Hannah, Luke, and Mary Anna are just adorable. Hannah immediately showed me her new room, which is quite swanky, and the quieter Luke warmed up to me soon and gave me the tour as well.
Mary was the real test. After momentary shyness, she came to me! I got to hold her for so long! This baby whom I've gotten to know via her frequent appearance on my Facebook feed liked (or tolerated) me! Yay!
Faraday, now, has never really met children. Small, hyper people are apparently not his thing. The kids were sooo eager to be his friend, though. Maybe I can find children in NM with whom to socialize him.
Laura is such a wonderful hostess. She fed us a delicious dinner and set us up with such comfortable accommodations. Dustin and Laura seem like great parents, too--it's fun to watch friends with kids!
After dinner, Mom, Dad, Hannah, and Luke hunted for fireflies. Mom's never really seen them, so it was a treat. They caught the glowing bugs, Laura put them into a water bottle, and Mary chewed on the bottle.
Finally, we all went off to bed, got up early, said goodbye to our friends, and hit the road again!