Jason and I finished getting the last few things in the car, made some coffee, packed the coolers, and loaded dogs and children (still in pajamas) into the car.
What? You don't wear sunglasses in the dark at 5am?
The route we took to get to the interstate was not particularly direct, and it involved some travel on some winding back road. Unfortunately, one of the things we learned the morning was that Kaia gets car sick. Gross. After the second episode of vomiting, and the second change of clothes, we moved Kaia's car seat from the back next to Sierra to the empty captain's chair behind the driver's seat. There was one more small pukage incident, but after that, she was fine.
We planned our early departure so that we would have a little time to explore the national park near our overnight stop in Hudson, Ohio.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park covers the distance on either side of the Cuyahoga River between Cleveland and Akron. Jason and I stumbled upon it by accident, the last time we took that route to my parents' house, not even realizing there was a National Park there. This time, our stop was on purpose. We wanted to make sure had some time to get out and stretch our legs a little before spending a second day on the road to Illinois. It was already mid afternoon by the time we arrived, but we had time for a short hike that took us past Brandywine Falls.
Then we went to the Visitors Center, which sat right next to the river.
This area used to have a ship building industry, so there was an exhibit that spoke to that.
Then it was back to the hotel for the evening and another early start the following day.