Finally getting around to writing a trip report:-). Thank you to everyone on this forum for being so helpful. We had a great time! It was myself, my husband, and our three kids ages 9,9,8.
Day 1 (Tuesday, May 22)
The plan was to leave home (northern Iowa, almost at the Minnesota border) as soon as Dh got home from work around 3 p.m. He suprised us and pulled into the driveway at lunchtime instead; we loaded up and were on the road shortly after 1. This was a really boring driving day. We drove through south Iowa and into Illinois. It all looked exactly like it does where we live, so nothing to get excited about. We stopped for dinner at Arby's somewhere in Illinois. We drove until 7, then stopped for the night so the kids would have time to swim a bit. Spent the night in a Holiday Inn express somewhere in Illinois or Indiana--honestly, I'm not even sure which state we were in. The hotel was fine, and the kids loved the pool. We got to bed fairly early so we could get up really early the next day.