|Janey and Michelle at the Toledo Zoo!|
We drove out at a slow pace. Although the total trip would have been about 12 hours if we drove straight, we knew we couldn't do that with Janey. I split the trip into thirds, and we stopped at 2 different hotels on the way out and the way back. We stayed 3 nights near Toledo in the middle.
|Janey happy at a hotel breakfast|
Overall, Janey did remarkably well on the trip---better than I had even hoped. She loves car rides, so that was a plus. She also loves "hotel houses" and swimming, so I was hopeful, but warily so. But we found that as long as we kept Janey happy, she kept us happy. We listened to only music she liked, and switched songs on CDs right away if she wanted us to. I love hearing local radio stations, but that was not to be! Once we were in a hotel for the night, we set up her iPad (wi-fi was a must) and she was able to snuggle her special pillow and watch her YouTube videos just like at home. We swam at every hotel we could (one had a pool that wasn't open---NOT a good scene!) and we stopped whenever she asked us to. That made for long days driving, as at points she asked to stop at almost every exit---she learned quickly that saying she needed to use the potty would get us to stop---but we like seeing what's off the exits, so we didn't mind that much!
|The amazing Lindsey!|
Getting to talk to Michelle and spend time with her was a dream come true for me. Having girls with autism is what brought us together, but I know that if we had met any other way, we would have been drawn to each other just as much. We have so much in common, and I felt like I was with a friend I've known all my life. And having someone to talk to about our lives, lives affected by our girls in so many ways, while at the same time being able to laugh and talk books and about our other great kids and anything at all---that was incredible. We both had a very hard time saying goodbye. It makes me think about how wonderful it would be to live near so many of you, to be surrounded in "real" life by the great people I've met through this blog. But I am so lucky to live in today's world, where I can be with you all virtually.
|Happy we've stopped at yet another fast food place!|
Janey starts summer school on Monday. It's a little tough coming back to reality here, but knowing we can travel, and having met my long-lost second "sister"---that was a vacation of a lifetime.