So here we are with another Watching Our Way Across America post. As of right now, we are hovering around 100 days until our trip. Which is like….not that long. But the good news is we have officially booked all our hotels, booked our rental car, got our plane tickets and bought a good amount of our “entertainment” already. So I mean, we are ready?

I think?



I can’t believe we are getting this close to the trip. It’s Spring. We are going next season. I mean, I only have 1 more oil change before we go. Am I the only one that does that? Count down to big events in oil changes?

ok then maybe not.jpg

Anyways, with us being so close and me being so lazy, we are going to have to forego some of the “getting there” movies we had planned and focusing only on the “destination” movies. And yeah, I know, this means no Smokey and the Bandit OR Canonball Run. Womp. This blog series just lost so much Burt Reynolds.


All of a sudden? This blog series sucks.

All of a sudden?

Very funny, ME.

Cross-country Road Trip: Day 6 (Continued)

So I had left off with us driving to Missouri from Chicago in the last post down Route 66. Before hitting our final destination in Missouri, we will be stopping for lunch most likely in Springfield, Illinois. The plan is to hit the Cozy Dog Drive-In for some corn dogs and then go pay our respects to Honest Abe.

Also, we will be driving by the Arch as I mentioned in the last post and I will most definitely be telling my kids how big it is and then telling them we can’t go up.

And finally, we will reach Cuba!


Missouri. Cuba, Missouri.

There, we will be staying at the Wagon Wheel motel, which is a Route 66 staple. And also this will be said multiple times…

wagon wheel

We are also planning on seeing Cars 3 at a nearby drive-in that night. I liked Cars (LIKED!) and despised Cars 2. So really looking forward to this one.

larry the cable guy
The best of Larry the Cable Guy remains the worst of humanity.

So since we are in Missouri Day 6, we decided we should watch some version of Tom Sawyer. We landed on Tom and Huck (1995) – an ACTUAL Disney movie – because of how great Jonathan Taylor-Thomas was in Home Improvement.

And I bet THAT is a sentence no one has ever uttered in the history of anything.

The theme night

We were really strapped for time this day. I went to see Logan earlier in the day (awesome, by the way) and then we had a birthday party to go to in the afternoon. So we just did dinner sans activity for this one.

For dinner, we wanted some cuisine with a down-home cooking feel. So we bought a five dollar thing of fried chicken at Market Basket. And we coupled that with some macaroni and cheese and lemonade.

Sorry for the blurry photos. Ansel Adams I ain’t.

And for dessert, of course we had strawberry shortcake. Because doy. Of course.

Thankfully, the Purple Pieman was nowhere to be found.

The movie


So yeah, there are tons of versions of Twain out there, right? And the weird thing is that, for how great Mark Twain’s stories of Hannibal are, they hardly ever transfer well to film. Huck and Finn was Myles’ choice. He said he saw it in school after reading Tom Sawyer and it wasn’t that bad. And that’s probably a pretty good assessment of the movie as a whole. It wasn’t that bad.

So obviously, the source material is great. It’s Mark Twain so duh. As a book, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for that matter) is pretty close to perfect. On its surface, the book offers its reader healthy doses of adventure, comedy and some legit scares delivered via some vivid storytelling. Part coming-of-age novel, part road novel, part crime novel, part courtroom drama, part small town….well, there are a lot of parts. And on a subtext level, the book offers commentary on hypocrisy and conformity, among other things. Basically, it’s great stuff.

Now the movie. It isn’t quite…that. That’s not to say it isn’t entertaining. I mean, you still have most of the surface level stuff mentioned (plus some definitely non-PC Native American stereotypes. I think the cast does a pretty good job. Jonathan Taylor-Thomas plays a natural and true-to-spirit Tom and Rachel Leigh Cooke has a good turn here as Becky. Huck, though. Brad Renfro’s Huck just feels a bit off to me. I always kind of saw Huck as Tom Sawyer without the privilege. He had all the charm and natural inclination towards adventure and mischief that Tom had but through no fault of his own, was seen as less than Tom by the community. For me, because of this, Huck was always the character I found most likable. But in this movie, Huck felt like a totally different character. He felt more like a, I don’t know, a criminal? I just didn’t really connect with the portrayal here.

But again, the movie was still entertaining. It still retains the book’s sense of adventure and humor. And I can get behind the restlessness of Tom as he is always looking for some new adventure. I mean, that’s why we are taking this trip in the first place. Adventure is out there. And it will be such an experience for the four of us to be making our way from coast to coast together. While Nickie and I have made a similar trip before for our honeymoon, we are both so excited to show the boys so many things they have never seen before. Every day will be a new adventure. A new experience. A new destination. And at the end of the trip and years to come, I really do hope we look back on this trip as one of our greatest adventures.


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