June 13, 1999

Today was the first day Katie got up and said "I wish it was over". I think partly because she misses friends and we are finally going south toward home. I must agree, it has been a great trip but it is time to get home to a wonderful King-size waterbed (at least for one night, before I go on the road again to work). She wanted to drive straight home (750 miles).

Chicago was the hardest to drive in of anywhere on our trip. We had a hard time finding the hotel last night, even though we could see it, we just could not drive to it. Then this morning we left the hotel with directions from the Bellhop, and got on I-290 then turned south on I-294 instead of north. We drove 68 miles to go 6, and were an hour later for the show:(

Today was the first and hopefully only bad weather day, we had rain almost all day. We went to the Bugfest in Villa Park and meet allot of bug people from the list. Pam & Kirk had a booth set up selling their stuff. We were able to park most of the NBs together in a row, there were probably about 10 NBs in a row and I guess 7 of them were NB list members. They asked whether they were the largest group on our trip, and I really don't know. We had 7 in Dallas and at least 6 in Oregon, I'm not sure what the count was today. Anyone?

We got there about noon and registered (hoping to win the longest drive (7693 miles from Roswell to Chicago the long way:)  The judges (were there any?) must have been wondering what was up, Blue eyes had not been washed since Helena, Montana, but it was raining. Anyway the flyer for the show listed a longest drive award, but they did not give one out :-( We still had a great time and I already harassed Kirk about my non-trophy. We took multiple group pictures, with 7 different cameras, the rest of the VW people must have thought we were really nuts.

Then I talked to the guy with the really big sunroof. It looked great from the outside, unfortunately it did not have the inside liner in it, so you could not see the finished product. But I think it will be a add-on in the future, I would like to wait until they go into production and we also talked about a glass roof. He said they are testing some different things, but have problems with the heat.  This roof is about 3 feet wide and 4 feet long, so the whole roof would be glass.

I really enjoyed the NB group and all the older bugs / vans, but because of the rain I did not get to see everything. Then it really started raining, so everyone went inside. I got everyone to sign the book Pam & Kirk gave us, which had a story from them in it. Bought some misc. stuff and ate too many hot dogs.

The dealer's part department had a great NB golf shirt, which was white on top, blue on the left bottom quarter, and black on the right bottom quarter with logos and "Driver wanted" on the sleeve, but the parts guy said I did not want it, $55. He stated VW lists many of the items real high and they had a hard time selling the stuff. I agree, I liked the shirt and would pay $25-35 for it, but not over fifty.

Thanks, Chicago NB people it was great, even with the rain.

Then we started driving south. I was tired and was not paying attention, when we got to I-65 south around exit 10 in Indiana!!!! We violated a trip rule, crossing a state line without a picture. We were unable to turn around until exit 15, then went back, took a picture of the Illinois Welcome sign, then turned around again and got a picture of the Indiana sign. This added another 32 miles to the trip, but another hour, since traffic came to a stop about 3 miles from the border heading toward Chicago. Then we headed south and refueled in Indiana, going over 700 miles for the second time. There must have been some super fuel this time, because we drove fast most of the way, around 70-75.

We stopped to meet Stephanie & Phoebe at a Bob Evan's in Columbus, Indiana. She was waiting for us, I thought we were real late, but she claimed we had planned for 9 PM. We tried to take a few pictures, but it was dark, funny the difference from Banff to Indiana. In Banff we still had some light at 10 PM and the sun started coming up before 5 am. We chatted, had diner, traded Herbies and French bread, etc. Stephanie is the last of the NB people on the trip.

Tomorrow we head home, we may stop in Nashville or may just go home.

Just woke up, it is 10:30, the first time I sleep past 6:10am the whole trip. We did not set an alarm because we knew we had a short drive home and we got in at 1 am w/ time change.

Most of the Chicago people
Chicago NBs...
Under the hood of a NB
9:06:36 AM
old bugs

back of the bugs

Stacey's family
Pam autographing the book she gave me-bad look :-)
the book she
gave me (good
look :-)
Almost all the Chicago NB owners & friends
and then again (who was manning the camera?)
Illinois, going back to Chicago?
Indiana, what we forgot the first time
Phoebe (black car in the dark?)
Blue Eyes in the dark, hope they behaved when we went inside to eat
12:32:58 Kentucky state line, on a bridge after midnight