A Trip to the Zoo

The second day of the Tour de Rempe (the first not spent entirely on the road) began with a trip to the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.  The kids had a great time watching the animals in their natural habitats (kinda’), and were only slightly concerned when I tried to convince them that “children’s zoo” meant it was a zoo where kids were kept for display.  (I think Caleb was actually a little disappointed when he realized this wasn’t the case.)

Aunt Mary and Uncle Stan were the perfect tour guides, steering us toward the best path for optimal animal viewing for the short amount of time we had available to us.  Afterward, we retreated back to their house for a nice lunch (a/k/a, the dinner we didn’t get to the night before), and spent a fair amount of time exploring the myriad of sounds that could be produced on Aunt Mary’s organ.  Grace in particular has inherited dad’s love of music.  Whether she has mom’s actual musical talent or not remains to be seen.

All in all, our brief stay in Fort Wayne was very enjoyable.  I’m sure we could have spent more time exploring all there is to see and do in northeast Indiana, but the road beckoned, and soon we were back on the road, headed north to introduce the kids to their great grandfather.

Next up: a trip to Grand Rapids, and a step back in time.

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On the Road (or “The Tao of Travel”)

It has been said that the longest journey begins with a single step.  (I believe it was either Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu or the dad from the ’80s sitcom “Growing Pains,” I can’t remember which.)  In the case of the Rempe tour of the Midwest, it started with a few steps to the car, followed by nearly 12 hours of driving across six states (seven, if you count the two separate incursions into West Virginia).

The Rempe clan (sans photographer father) preparing to embark upon our journey.
The Rempe clan (sans photographer father) preparing to embark upon our journey.

There is a travel axiom that goes something like this: it is precisely at the psychological “point of no return” that you remember all the things you meant to pack, but didn’t.  For us, that point was somewhere around Rockville, Maryland; and the missing items were Caleb’s toilet seat, jackets for the boys, bibs, and a number of other small items meant to make the long drive a little more pleasant.  Fortunately, all of those things were either replaceable or insignificant, so we continued forward, hoping to land in our first destination (Fort Wayne, Indiana) at a reasonable time.

Continue reading “On the Road (or “The Tao of Travel”)”

Road Trippin’

Ah, the family vacation.  Who doesn’t have fond memories of packing up the family truckster and heading out on the open road to see the all the sights and sounds one can see.  (Well, at least as many sights and sounds that one can see in the immediate half-mile or so one either side of the interstate while zooming past them at 75 miles an hour.)

Family_Truckster_300pxFor me, the very mention of the words “road trip” brings to mind thoughts of station wagons  with car-top carriers and a seat in the back that faced the wrong way, license plate games and “20 questions,” and cheap hotels with 25 cent magic massage units (or if we were really lucky, waterbeds).

Yes, the Rempe family is heading out on a two-week road trip that will take us through nine states (spending at least a night in four of those).  There will be fun, frivolity, and lots and lots of cousins.  I will be playing the role of Clark Griswold in this expedition, ferrying this family (both literally and figuratively) across our nation’s great midsection.  And while there won’t be a large anthropomorphic moose to meet us at our journey’s end, there will be a large group of gregarious (and possibly well-lubricated) Swedes there, which is pretty much the same thing.

My goal is to provide some narration to this trek, offering some thoughts from the road, perhaps a few pictures, and a little flavor of vacation, Rempe style.  It’ll be like you’re travelling with us, but without the 3:00 AM feedings, potty breaks, and a car that smells like dirty diapers and Twizzlers.  (Plus, think how much you’re going to save on gas!)

The stories might come a little sporadically (case in point, this short intro blog is actually being completed on day three of the trip, in the bathroom of our hotel room while wife and kids sleep, well after midnight Eastern time, although I still have a few minutes before vacation day four starts here in the Central time zone).

So thanks for joining us!  Just be sure to keep your hands to yourself, don’t spill anything, and don’t annoy your sibling, because I can always turn this blog around and go home if you don’t behave.

More from the road later. …