We don't need water...
Now you've gone too far...

I wanna get away...

The level of creativity and detail of which the human brain is capable both astounds and terrifies me. This morning, I was convinced that I had missed out on a fantastic photo opportunity to share with all of you via my blog, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Flickr. I wanted to kick myself.

Then I realized it was all a dream. A very vivid, detailed, graphic dream. And it all happened in the span of 10 reality-based minutes.

I was flying home from the vacation that Katie and I took this past weekend. She was asleep next to me and I had gotten up to look out the window when I discovered that we were flying low enough that I could make out on-the-ground details very clearly.

We were flying north over marshy land on the east coast (I knew because I could see the Atlantic Ocean off further to the east of where I was looking) and I saw the forward end of the fuselage of a jumbo jet stuck in the ground. It was lying at a very low angle as though the whole plane was sitting there and the back end had sunk down in. So, no, it wasn't sticking straight up in the air. It was an old United Airlines jumbo jet as I could see the old United logo on the side of the fuselage, that's how close to the ground we were flying.

Instead of grabbing my camera to take a picture, I grabbed my iPad to look up information on the plane. I Googled "United Airlines crashes east coast" and it took me directly to a Wikipedia entry on UA crashes and the first one listed was about a crash in Maryland of flight 334 in 1933 that killed all passengers and crew aboard. The Wikipedia entry even gave details on the cause of the crash (pilot was drunk) and a picture of the pilot. What made this one stand out was that the NTSB and the FAA had left the plane where it had crashed as a memorial to all those who died.

When I went back to take a picture, we were past the crash site. And I was really ticked at myself for not getting this photo as it would've made for a great post.

How do I know it was a dream? Well...

  • While Katie and I did go on vacation this past weekend, we drove. And we were nowhere near the east coast. We were actually in Wisconsin.
  • One thing I didn't say above was that Katie was asleep next to me in a bed. Definite sign. Oh, and I had "gotten up to look out the window"? How's that work in a modern passenger jet? Actually, as I think about it more, the interior of where we were on this "plane" was much more akin to a passenger compartment in a cruise ship. One that only had a porthole window with no balcony, though.
  • How low would our plane have needed to be flying for me to be able to read "United Airlines" on the side of a jet on the ground?
  • While UA, unlike I had originally suspected, did exist in 1933, it did not operate jumbo jets then. "Turbojet" flight didn't happen until 1939. Everything was still prop-based back then. In fact, 1933 marked the addition of the then-modern Boeing 247 to the UA fleet. The jet I saw in the ground was definitely at least the size of a 767.
  • Me grab my iPad before a camera? Are you kidding me?

But despite these signs that it was a dream, there was more than enough going on in there to really unnerve me when I did wake up. For example...

  • All this happened during a snooze on my alarm clock. 10 minutes, nothing more.
  • United Airlines 334 is an actual flight number. It flies from Chicago/O'Hare (ORD) to Orlando (MCO). Katie and I have flown that route many times. No, I do not memorize flight numbers, but considering my grandmother lives outside Orlando and we live outside Chicago and have flown to see her via United (with its hub here in Chicago) several times, the odds are pretty good we've been on this route number. I think we're flying into Tampa from now on.
  • Also discovered on Google this morning, while United does not have an accident on record for a flight 334, there was an in-air explosion in 1933 of a Boeing 247 with tail number NC13304. Okay, I may be reading a bit much into that detail, but still spooky, no?

This dream was just so damn detailed. It was really frightening.

What is the Universe trying to tell me?

Couldn't it have picked on someone else?

Yes, we did go on a mini-Babymoon this past weekend. Considering all we've had going on in our lives the last couple months and all that is still scheduled right up to Katie's delivery, we only had a few days to get away and not a whole heckuva lot of money on which to do it.

So what did we do? We drove to Wisconsin!

Sure, some of you may think that it doesn't sound like all that great a trip, but you'd be wrong. Wisconsin is a truly beautiful state. I catch myself looking in awe at my surroundings anytime we go up there which is not nearly often enough.

On Thursday afternoon, we went to Sheboygan to just hang out at the lakefront and check out some of the shops. It's a cute town with some cool places to go. We only wish there was a bit more shopping. Clearly it has been hit by the recession as several shops in the main drag sat empty, but the downtown area is very well maintained. Also found a cool comic/toy shop (Freaktoyz) and music store (Music Boxx) where I had a little fun.

Bufala MozzarellaThat night was highlighted by a fantastic brick oven pizza dinner at Il Ritrovo. Katie had a classico pizza and I had a bufala (as in "water buffalo milk cheese") mozzarella pizza. Ohmydearsweetbabyjeebus.

On Friday, we went back to Lake Michigan and walked around a bit before the rain began to dump on us. We were about a quarter mile from our car and couldn't run because Katie is so far along in the pregnancy. So we just walked and laughed and let it rain. We were drenched by the time we got back to the car, but we didn't let it dampen our spirits. Instead we just got in the car and left Sheboygan for Port Washington.

Although it was still very lightly sprinkling when we got to "Port," as they call it, we walked around a bit and had a great TexMex lunch at Beanies. They had some of the best restaurant salsa Katie and I have ever had. Wow.

We walked off our lunch in town a bit and were impressed by what a cute portside town it was. Quaint in the downtown area but building up closer to the highway with many of the modern retail and service necessities. Nice neighborhood up the hill from the downtown, too. Only downside is that Upper Lake Park's view of Lake Michigan is obstructed by a wastewater treatment facility. Ick.

Brewers vs. Nationals, July 27, 2012We continued down to Milwaukee and checked in to our hotel and then headed to Miller Park for a Brewers' game against the Washington Nationals. The Brew cleaned up 6-0! Good game.

The next day, we checked out and began to head home, only to stop at the Jelly Belly manufacturing plant in Pleasant Prairie on the way. Cheesy tour during which you don't see much other than the warehouse and some videos of the creation process, but the shop was quite nice. I'm telling you all, Belly Flops are the way to go. They are the mutant outcasts of the Jelly Belly production process and they cost half as much as the real thing. Gotta love it!

Then we came home.

It was a casual and relaxing weekend. Can't have too much excitement when Katie is 33 weeks into the pregnancy, right? We'll save the madness for when the kiddo arrives. *smile*

Got some additional photos up on Flickr for you. More to come once I find a reliable wifi connection for my iPad, so keep checking back.