Last Saturday, my oldest daughter and I embarked on a cross-country road trip to Nashville. She is officially moving down south to go to school with the added benefit of living with her sister. Lots of feels around another daughter leaving the state and being over a thousand miles away, but I’ll save that for another day. Instead, let’s be grateful for a safe trip cross-country and all of the amazing sights we encountered and fabulous people we met along the way.
Let’s start at the beginning. Our first interesting attraction as we were waiting to cross the Colorado/Kansas border was the city of Kanorado. I know, right? Could they not just put a sign up that says, “come visit us again in Colorful Colorado and welcome to Kansas?” Kanorado hails as the highest city in Kansas and was voted “Top City of Kansas” in 2016 based solely on its altitude. Apparently, It’s always been there, but I’ve clearly been sleeping my way through the border on other road trips. Just in case you want to visit, there is a museum, a Methodist church, a fire department, a senior center and a whopping 153 residents.
Apparently, my magnetic personality does not just thrive on airplanes, but also gas stations and convenience marts. I know it’s a gift and I am extremely thankful. Somewhere still in Kansas I got gas while Alex ran inside to use the restroom. Once I was finished I pulled up to the front to park and wait for her. As she jumped back in the car an older gentleman who was hunched over passed in front of us while clearly staring. He was so interested in us that I sat still before going inside. It didn’t work. He did another double take and came around to the driver’s side to chat with me. I put my window down just enough to hear him and he wanted to know where we were from in Colorado because his granddaughter lived in Lone Elm…Lone Elm? I said, Oh sure while quietly wondering where the heck Lone Elm was when it occurred to me he was talking about Lone TREE! Elm is a tree so he almost had it right. Five minutes later I knew about his entire family, his grandson who was picked to be on a soccer team that traveled to Barcelona and where everyone worked in Colorado just in case I wanted to make new friends. He finally decided he should let us do our thing and excused himself. We smiled and went into the convenient mart to use the restroom and get a drink. As we came back out to leave we heard honking. It was just our new friend honking, waving and telling us to have a safe trip.
Fast forward to Missouri where we found ourselves at another gas station. As we both got out of the car we heard someone singing along to the rock song that was playing over the sound system. Alex and I made eye contact as we searched for the source of the tone-deaf individual. Bingo. We found a bleach blonde with long, curly hair singing her heart out to what appeared to be a gas station attendant…but wait, no…she was now making out with the gas station attendant! Oh, and they were actually traveling together which was a surprise. I guess he wasn’t a gas station attendant or this was a full-service gas station! The young 60-somethings got back into their giant Escalade and drove away, obviously in search of a hotel, leaving us standing there with our mouths hanging open. We decided we might want to get out of dodge before any attendants thought we might need some fun service attention as well.
That evening we made it to our hotel in St. Louis in search of some gluten-free dinner (daughter is allergic to gluten). Now, I am sure there are gluten-free choices everywhere now, but dining along the highway turned out to be next to impossible. We did inquire at the hotel and we were told they had gluten-free options available: vegetables. We took a pass and decided to eat what we had in our cooler. Gluten-free sandwiches, apples, oranges and baked chips are what hotel bed picnics are made of. If you haven’t tried it you really should.
The next morning we made the rest of our journey without incident. Although, we did keep our heads down and avoid eye contact with everyone so that may have had something to do with it. Overall, we had a safe, entertaining road trip and for that we are truly grateful. Oh, and Alex made a 7 hour playlist that spanned everything from the 70’s to current day hits that was the icing on the cake. Although, we are still confused by Trace Adkins large age gap with his kids in “You’re Gonna Miss This.” Twenty three and thirty-six? Maybe there is a back story or maybe it just sounded better to the writer. Some things we may just never know.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G