what's the only state more boring than ohio?

Did you guess… Indiana?? Ding, ding, ding! Oh, I know I shouldn’t hate on my home state (Ohio) and its lovely neighbor to the west, but if you spent hours and hours and hours driving with your five-year-old on flat, boring interstates for two days in a row, you, too, might stoop that low.

I spent all day Monday scurrying around, getting books ready, packing for an over-nighter, printing out directions, buying snacks for those left behind. Nina and I pulled out at 5:30pm with me choking back tears because Gabe had been shocked/appalled that I didn’t even know how to turn on the navigation feature on my phone. let alone work it.

Directions are not my forte. I will prove this here in just a moment.

After three long hours and thirty long minutes of driving on Route 70 West and then around the bustling metropolis of Indianapolis (which is under all manner of construction), we arrived at my cousin Brian’s… subdivision. And I would have been pulling into their driveway if I’d listened to the voice on my phone when she said “turn right in 600 feet” instead of turning right immediately. I got all turned around and Phone Lady was no help at all. “You have arrived at your destination,” she said haughtily, as I sat on some lonely road in the middle of nowhere.

“You lie!” I told her and called Brian who got me to his house in a minute or two.

Brian and Christy and Nina and I (well, Nina fell asleep on my lap around 10:30) stayed up until almost midnight chatting about all kinds of wonderful things–our grandparents, happy memories of family get-togethers, s-e-x, Christy’s pregnancy (they have 2 adorable little boys with a baby on the way). We don’t get to chat all that often without countless interruptions from kiddos or a million other (loud, but fabulous) relatives around.

It was good. And we could’ve stayed up longer, but I had a 2.5 hour drive in the morning. Thankfully, I got to sleep in until 6:15 instead of 5:15, because apparently, certain parts of Indiana are rebellious and like to be in their own time zone. If Brian hadn’t told me that Crown Point was an hour earlier than Indy, I would’ve shown up to my speaking thing while all the moms were still in bed.

As I was leaving, Brian told me to go a different way than Ms. Phone was sure to tell me. It’d be quicker, he insisted. He told me which road to take after I got out of their neighborhood, but unfortunately, I lost him after the first left. “Could you draw me a map?” He did.

And then he came outside in a t-shirt and jeans and scraped all the ice off my van. What a guy. Thank you, Cuz.

And then I looked at his map and in less than 45 seconds somehow got turned around, exited the subdivision at the wrong place and promptly got completely lost. As I saw it, I had three choices. Call Brian and Christy and admit that I couldn’t follow the simple map and ask for help. Call Gabe and admit that I was lost again. Or speak, “Bethel Church, Crown Point, Indiana” into my phone and see what happened.

I tried the latter, but evidently, Phone Lady wasn’t up yet. Or maybe there just wasn’t any satellite that reaches to Podunk, Indiana.

I called Gabe, close to tears. I don’t think he believed me that my navigation feature “wasn’t working.” I was actually right (it started working an hour later), but my track record is pretty lame. Eventually, he figured out where I was and got me headed in the right direction. It took almost 20 minutes. I was going to be late.

Except I wasn’t. I got to the church, was greeted warmly, Nina went to her class, and I set up my books and stuff.

My talk went great because 1.) God is awesome and 2.) these gals were fabulous. They bought lots of books and went shopping at my girls’ “Coins for Cambodia” sale and had all kinds of sweet things to say. It was just too cool all the way around.

And then Nina and I settled in for our 6-hour drive home. Lots of windmills, a stop at McDonald’s and the gas station and another gas station and stopped traffic in Indy and a loooooooong stretch of Route 70 (I’ve driven that bad boy 4 times in the past 2 weeks–ugh.).

It’s a huge blessing that Nina can read. She read a whole chapter book-and-a-half on the trip. And when she got tired of reading, I gave her my phone so she could text Daddy. And Pam and Britt and Megan and another Megan and Elizabeth and Daniel and Amy and Ali and Morgan. She even texted Joanne. Everybody texted her back, and she was beside herself with glee. She asked me how to spell several words and did the rest on her own.

I was grinning the whole time at how cute she was. She totally kept me awake when I wanted to just close my eyes for 10 little seconds. When I looked at my phone after we got home, I chuckled at the periods she put after each word. Hi. Joanne. This. Is. Nina.

Well. That’s. Pretty. Much. It. A huge thank-you to Brian and Christy and to the gals from Bethel Church and GOD. And tomorrow I’ve got another little story that may or may not be more exciting than this one (if you can even imagine).

Question for you: What’s the most boring stretch of the U.S. you’ve ever traveled?


38 thoughts on “what's the only state more boring than ohio?

  1. Kathi Lipp

    When Roger bought me a nav system I said, “Oh how sweet.” He said, “Not really. I’m just tired of guiding you in like an air traffic controller every time you heave our block…”

  2. lisa

    I70 IS boring!! i agree!! we’ve lived in kansas for 3 years and have never driven west of KC because that’s all people ever say of how terribly long and boring the drive is! the stretch between here and OH does have some larger cities in between but indiana is definitely boring! and i can only take so much country music 🙂
    we’re making the trip next month to visit the fams in NE OH so thank goodness for angry birds and words with friends! 🙂

  3. Leigh

    Any state in the Midwest is a candidate for most boring drive but given that I’m from Illinois, I’ll go with I-88 or I-80. Both highways took me from home to college and it could be difficult at times to stay awake. Driving from the Chicago suburbs to visit my best friend when she was in grad school in St. Louis was another toughie- Illinois just doesn’t have much to look at outside of Chicago.

  4. wanda

    I’m so sad to see you’re (sorta hatin) on Indiana. I think it’s a beautiful state. I live just south of Indy and think it’s a cool place.
    I’m from Florida and have lived here for 12 years! So, I feel a little warm & fuzzy about it.

    The most miserable state to travel in for me has been MISSOURI! Or as my family and I call it, Misery!
    It’s yucky and desolate and totally booooooring!
    Glad you had a great visit!

    1. Marla Taviano

      Here’s the thing, Wanda. Southern Indiana is a whole new world compared to Northern/Eastern Indiana. Take a little drive on 65 North of Indy or 70 E of Indy, and I think you might agree with me. 🙂

  5. Jen Hanson

    Most boring stretch – pretty much the whole entire 17 hour drive between Tucson, AZ and Dallas, Texas. New Mexico and West Texas are especially killer. We used to drive it EVERY YEAR to visit my Dallas family at Christmas time.

    This post made me laugh because I SO GET YOU. I am beyond horrible with directions and can not even count the times that I’ve called a friend or my husband in tears and asked, “Can you google search me?? I don’t know where I am….::sob:: ”

    It must be genetic. Maybe not, but I’ll tell myself that to make myself feel better about it.

  6. Sheree

    I would say, I-20/I-10 from Midland/Odessa to El Paso. I’m not the continental traveler, but did make that trip numerous times when I had family out there. I live on the complete opposite side of Texas. It is almost scary to go that far for that long with not even a gas station.

  7. Elizabeth

    This explains so much-no wonder Nina was keeping herself busy on your phone. I couldn’t believe how attentive she was. Every time I wrote back, she did too! Isabelle was doing the texting for me because I was driving and she and I were both having the most fun! I love that kid of yours (all of them)!

    West Texas is the most boring, ever. There is nothing for miles and miles except those giant windmill things. They are pretty amazing, actually. But that drive makes me want to cry. I do not like West Texas.

    I don’t have gps on my phone either, but if I did I wouldn’t use it. Me and maps DO NOT get along. My brain just doesn’t get them. Explains so much about why I hated social studies (and geometry) my entire life. I’m blaming my brain!

  8. Betsy

    Kansas in the summer—-corn fields! To tell you the truth, Ohio-Indiana–and Illinois in the summer all look exactly the same when you drive from Springfield, Ohio to Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, so that’s also a big boring drive.

  9. Greg

    I have to agree with Kristi – Nebraska is the worst. If you thought we had cornfields here in OH….you haven’t seen nothing til you’ve gone 30 miles at a stretch and seen nothing in NE, not even an exit.

    There are some other pockets that I know of that are rough (Western PA, some of IN and IL) but Nebraska takes the cake for me.

  10. Megan@SortaCrunchy

    1) My dear friend, as one who has traversed this state by car, surely you must remember that OKLAHOMA is the most boring state.

    2) i get lost easily, too, and I don’t have anything on my phone to get me back on track. Kyle gets frustrated with me; he has an internal compass and just can’t understand how I get turned around so easily.

    3) I know I’ve said it before, but the Nina texts made my day. She is INCREDIBLY advanced. I’m sure you know this. “I. Like. Your. Little. Shower.” heeeeeeeeeeee!

    4) Most boring stretch of highway I’ve ever driven – from Dallas to Houson on I-45. It takes FOREVER and though I love Texas, that particular stretch is endless and boring.

    1. Marla Taviano

      1. I had never been to Oklahoma before, so it had that mystique going for it. 🙂

      2. I’m going to have Kyle talk to Gabe so he doesn’t think I’m such a loser.

      3. “Who’s Megan _____?” Nina asked me. She actually pronounced your last name wrong, and I had to chuckle. 😉 I told her you were the one with the little shower. “Oh, yeah!!” she said and started typing.

      4. Yeah, Texas is big and long.

  11. Kristi

    We live in eastern Iowa. To cross the state to the western border is 5 LONG hours of corn & bean fields. Then you hit Nebraska – aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!! That’s a shriek of boredom, not delight. But then 74 east to Indianapolis is SO not exciting either. Got to love the midwest!

    1. Marla Taviano

      Yeah, I see what you’re saying, Kristi. We drove to Omaha on our Zoo Trip. Painfully boring, but I’d never been to Nebraska before, so that part was a little exciting (for about 10 minutes).

  12. Addie

    That would be the delta in Mississippi – Im from Central MS, but we went down (“the hill”) to the delta to see what its like…. boring and flat… with no trees.

    Im like you – I have no sense of direction and get so lost… so I make my husband drive me everywhere…. 🙂

    Cant wait for your next exciting story!

  13. ali

    Morgan and I drove to Los Angeles once. Actually, I think I drove all but two hours of the 3-day trip. It was hardly boring. Did I mention that Morgan was with me?

    And not only can Nina spell, but she used proper punctuation and she capitalized words. She is not a lazy text-er, that’s for sure!

  14. Shannon Wheeler

    95 North for the 3 hours it takes us to get back to our part of Maine from Portland. Oodles of trees. No lights. No billboards. Often no other cars (at night). And “Moose Crossing” signs to remind you of the impending doom one might face should one run into these tall, leggy creatures who are hard to see at night and tend to fall on one’s vehicle, crushing it. It’s a boring and also anxiety-provoking drive every time. (Who thought moose could be so scary!?)

    1. Marla Taviano

      Okay, I see your point, Shannon. But trees are awesome! Indiana doesn’t even have any of those!! And I would give ANYTHING to see a moose in the wild! But I guess I don’t really want to die 3 seconds later. 😉 Maine is on my Bucket List.

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