Road Trip, Summer 2014, Week One: Goodbye, Midwest

Real road-trip updates!! (Apologies to anyone I may have worried by not updating too recently!)

Last night saw my arrival to Lawrence, KS, after spending a weekend in Chicago. Before that, I spent two days at my dad’s in the Toledo area. I’m counting the Thursday I left for Chicago (June 5) as Day One because Toledo is kind of my hometown, so it seemed more appropriate to consider it one of my “jumping-off” points rather than a stop on the road trip itself.

I took the long way to Chicago, which goes against all INTJ tendencies toward efficiency, but I did it mainly to avoid tolls. Although the traffic going into Chicago was horrendous and added an unexpected 30-60 minutes to the first leg of my journey, I was not in a big hurry, and it was definitely the scenic route, especially through Indiana Amish country. Alas, I was not not in a hurry enough to stop and take pictures, a thing I now kind of regret. All I got are a couple shots I took from…well, let’s say it wasn’t from a stop.

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Having grown up in Ohio, I am not unfamiliar with the occasional sight of Amish individuals or their modes of transportation, but I never spent much time in actual Amish country, so the sight of horse-drawn plows and houses with row after row of fluttering clotheslines is still a novelty. Since I’m not familiar with the nuances of Amish religion and rules, I was surprised to see a woman in Amish garb pushing a gas-powered mower and thought, “Is that even allowed?”

Chicago was fun, but I didn’t take many pictures. I love Chicago and have been there multiple times, so it had less novelty than Amish country. Half the time Tessa and I were watching YouTube videos and “classic” favorites like Beverly Hills 90210 and the BBC’s most recent version of Robin Hood.

We thrift-shopped and book-shopped on Friday with Thor and Loki…

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I got bummed out after trying on three dresses that didn’t fit. So I took comfort in our celebrations of National Doughnut Day.

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The boys enjoy a beignet

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My blueberry-lemon glazed doughnut from “Glazed and Infused.” Possibly the best doughnut I’ve ever had.

 

On Saturday, we went to the Printers Row Lit Fest. My dad, the book collector, had mentioned it was going on this weekend, so I passed the news to Tessa and we agreed it was worth checking out. We found some gems, but did not actually buy anything. I took some pictures for future reference, so I can look for them later, perhaps.

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Movie poster for the 1932 “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” one of my favorite movies of all time. Tessa was amused that I was annoyed they gave Fredric March blue eyes on the poster, when he had brown eyes in real life.

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If you haven’t seen the 1927 silent film “Metropolis” and you enjoy either sci-fi or art deco, WATCH IT. It’s amazing.

 

On Sunday, Tessa had to work early, and I was considering going to this lovely little church down the street. But the service didn’t start until 10:45, and I was showered, dressed, and packed up by 9:30, and I had a long drive ahead of me, so I decided to just start for Kansas earlier.

The drive from Chicago to Lawrence was looong (8.5 hours, not counting stops), but fortunately it was uneventful. I think that is going to end up being my longest one-day drive of the whole trip. The most interesting part was about an hour long stretch in Illinois where I was driving behind a guy who was absolutely rocking out to whatever music he was listening to. Singing, head-bobbing, bouncing in his seat, gesturing/conducting in time to the music—it was freaking adorable. I stuck close to him, but once we crossed the Mississippi River into Missouri, he pulled off an exit and I had to say goodbye.

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Crossing the Mississippi

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During my trip planning, I had hoped to be able to stop and take more *attractive* photos of the Mississippi when I crossed it, because I was looking forward to that moment, but it kind of snuck up on me.

 

At this point, Lawrence, KS, is the furthest west I have ever driven on my own. Right now, though, it doesn’t feel like it. I’m only just now coming out of the Midwest, and the landscape hasn’t changed all that much, especially when driving along interstates. Eastern Kansas looks a lot like Missouri, which looks a lot like Illinois, which looks a lot like Indiana, which looks a lot like Ohio. Lots of farms, occasional rivers, and the trees change slightly, but there are still a lot of them. Once I leave here and start on what was the Oregon Trail, though, things are bound to change.