We actually both arose promptly at 5 am this morning, threw our remaining few belongings into bags, finished loading the car, ate a small breakfast, and snuggled the kids into the backseat with their pillows and sleeping bags all in 40 minutes. A very efficient start to the day considering the early hour.
A perk of getting on the road so early and driving east was the beautiful sunrise. I honestly don't remember the last time I'd been up for a sunrise (thanks, kids, for being late risers!), so it was actually quite a treat. The sky looked like it was about to burst into flame and then the glowing orange orb of the sun peeked over the horizon. A spectacular sight.
We packed a bunch of snacks for the ride and just let the kids eat whatever their little hearts desired. After about 7-8 hours in the car, we arrived in Manhattan, KS where we had a late lunch with a former student of mine, Maura. Maura is a doctoral candidate in I/O Psychology at Kansas State and was able to take a break from prepping her dissertation proposal orals to have a late lunch with us. It was a short, but fun, visit. Hopefully, it won't be another four years before our next one (but maybe not in Kansas).
It felt like Kansas was never going to end, but after 424 miles, we finally crossed the border into Missouri. Another few hours and we arrived at Dave and Catherine's house. We all went to college together and hadn't seen each other in a LONG time. We were a little bleary eyed and exhausted when we got there (860 mile drives tend to do that to you), but we rallied enough to visit for a couple of hours before collapsing into bed. Only one more marathon drive to go!