The road trip is reaching it's end, but there's still more to squeeze in. We are going to a cabin in the woods to recharge batteries again, where we meet up with Bron's mum. We stop off at 'The Spam Museum' which does what exactly what it says on the tin. An entire building devoted to the everlasting spiced ham wonder-meat. The is a short film of the history of Spam, a giant wall of spam, a spam exam on what you have learned, they have a girl band called the spammette's and the set of the Monty Python sketch is recreated. It's bizarre but interesting and I find myself totally absorbed by the history of the tins opening mechanism.
Onwards to the cabin in Black River Falls. The insects here are massive but they don't deter us from swimming in the lake, despite the green algae,then later eating meat on the big fire pit BBQ. The pace of seeing stuff slows down and two days in the middle of nowhere slip by almost unnoticed.
Friday/Saturday. We head down to Milwaukee meet up with Darryl, Rachel and Michelle and pay another visit to the Cheesecake Factory. The comedysportz tournament begins in Chicago in a few days. We staying at Dick Chudnow's house. Dick is great fun and the perfect host. A bottle of engine oil in his bathroom and I guess it's there for guests to notice and question, a test of character thingy to bring up in conversation. I do. It is. CSZ Milwaukee have four shows on a Friday including a matinee. It's a long day and by Midnight, their final show, my brain is already fried.
The sun is baking hot and the car display tells us its hitting 99 degrees farenheit outside.We need to cool offand head out to Wisconsin Dells, which is like Blackpool without a coastline, and the Kalahari indoor theme park and water park. They have a new vertical drop water slide where you stand in a colourful tube/coffin and the floor gives way and you drop into a big slope. The water hits you really hard and if you don't adopt the proper position on the way down the water blasts up your nose and bruises your elbows. It's awesome.
Mon/Tues. We rock up in Chicago and drop the rental car off, which less fuss than we imaginged, and check in to our apartment in Roscoe village. I've been to downtown Chicago once before and it was all a bit skyscraper intense, but here in the suburbs it's really pleasant, like a big Chorlton or Jesmond. The apartment is big and it's warm until Bron's tweaks the air-con. It's hard to sleep in all the heat.
The tournament teams slowly arrive in town from the 19 other cites competing. This is my third and it's great to see faces I met a couple of years back. A big posse forms and we head for Cesars Mexican restaurant where I order one of their trademark 'killer margaritas'and a gigantic burrito. I really shouldn't. I'm beginning to feel the weight I've put on during our trip, I'll be hitting the diet hard upon return.