So, we’ve been on the road a lot the past few days. I even have the taxi-driver sunburn to prove it: the left side of me is lobster red, the right side is winter-pale. Awesome (no pictures, please).
We left wherever we were last time I wrote, and headed westward. Ended up getting lunch at this place called MCL Cafeteria, in Richmond, IN. My mom read the description from her book, which said it had great fried chicken and jello salad. Needless to say, we were both a bit apprehensive, but it turned out to be a delicious meal! You basically go down a serving line where little old ladies ask you what you want and fill up your plates! I had salad, vinegar slaw, a fried chicken drumstick, mac ‘n cheese, and broccoli, with a lemonade chaser. It was deeeelish.
We continued on from there, driving across Illinois and heading for St. Louis. We stayed just outside the city at the Super 8 Motel. It was at least 8 times better than America’s Best Value Inn. Because we drove through the time change we had an extra hour to explore St. Louis. What did we do? Went directly to the Arch, obviously!
We took the tram up to the top, because, duh, we’re tourists. I was surprised Mom made the trip, since she’s afraid of heights (couldn’t stay up in the spires in La Sagrada Familia, in Barcelona), but she seemed to enjoy herself in the Arch. We were up 630 feet, and had great views of the city and the Mississippi River.
We had dinner at this awesome Italian place: Charlie Gitto’s On the Hill. It was too fancy to take pictures in there, so you’re safe from more food shots (for now). I went running the next morning around the office park before I ate my leftover veal parmesan and tiramisu for breakfast. That makes it ok, right? I did happen to take some decent pictures around the motel, despite it being a concrete jungle of Walmart, office parks, motels, and fast food restaurants.
We headed out and stopped in Kansas City (probably on the Missouri side, didn’t realize it spanned two states) for an amazing BBQ lunch. I’m not the biggest fan of BBQ, but I’ve seen enough specials on the Food Network, so that I know if you’re in Kansas City for one meal, you should try some BBQ brisket. We went to L C’s Bar-B-Q, and shared a ‘Burnt Ends’ sandwich. It’s like the crunchy, juicy, tender ends of a brisket, doused in sauce, and put in between two slices of white bread. Indescribably good. Seriously, the winner of the trip so far.
Drove from Kansas City to Salina, KS, where I am currently writing this post. Not much to do here, but somehow the Econolodge was sold out. We’re staying at a Quality Inn, which isn’t too bad. No fridge though. Our leftovers are hovering over the ice bucket. Heading off tomorrow for Denver to see Daphne, a college friend. Then we reach our westernmost destination of Crested Butte on Sunday! So close! Nelly had it right when he said it was getting hot in herrrr. Looking forward to a little respite from the heat (107 today, hopefully cooler up in those mountains). Did some walking around Salina despite the heat.
As for the license plate game we start fresh every day (otherwise it would get too boring. We’ve gotten further, but there are still some elusive states with people who never travel. Rhode Islanders? Hello? Where are you??!!