I spent more time in a car then not this weekend. That’s what happens when you decide to drive to central Illinois for Father’s Day, leaving Friday and returning Sunday. Luckily, Saturday was a fantastic day spent on Lake Bloomington tooling around on a pontoon and lazily drifting back and forth on a hammock in the shade. That made up for a long drive where I learned a few important lessons about road trips:

1. Drunk passengers are worse than children: They have to stop at the bathroom often and you’re only given about three minutes of warning about this upcoming, necessary stop. Plus they have some rather ridiculous demands (“Let’s stop at a bar, I need some more Zing Zang!”). That was actually the last thing he needed.

2. Wind farms are big business in Central Illinois: As we made our way through that region of the state late Friday night, the amount of red blinking lights was alarming. It honestly looked like a creepy alien landing pad. The lights filled the horizon and if you don’t know there are wind farms (which we did not) it is eerie enough to make you start creating conspiracy theories for what is going on.

3. Snakes are not afraid to party: We chose an unfortunate place to try and dock the pontoon, literally hitting a rather large, black snake. Apparently it didn’t like being struck by a large boat and squirmed enough to end up ON the boat. Not okay! There was a brief moment of extreme terror where I planned my escape. Was it to the highest point of the boat or into the water. Luckily I didn’t immediately make a decision and the snake found its way off the boat and into the water.

4. Careful what you purchase: One of the passengers found something he simply couldn’t walk away from; a carbon kayak paddle. He got a great deal. The rest of us did not. This paddle did NOT fit comfortably in the already packed car. Instead it was awkwardly placed down the middle of the vehicle. If you were in the back, it acted as a roll cage, keeping you from being able to stretch out. In the front seat, it monopolized the center console. Next time, I’ll fight harder to bury the thing on the way there and memorize the mile marker so we can pick it up on the way home. Problem solved.

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