Midwest Road Tripping

Greetings from Kansas City, Missouri!

Didn’t think Kansas City would look this nice, did you?

Kansas City gets such a bum wrap, but there are definitely nice parts of it…..like where my aunt lives in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. It’s chock a block full of trees and lakes and huge houses.

Not too shabby, Kansas City. Not too shabby.

The past two days of driving have been loooooong. The first day, my dad and I journeyed from Hartford to Dayton, Ohio….and it took us nearly 13 hours to complete the drive!

We departed Connecticut around 9:00 AM or so and said our last goodbyes to beautiful New England. Even though we’ve had our ups and downs (especially with your mercurial winter weather), you’ve generally been quite good to me over the past five years, New England. Thanks for the memories….

For a long stretch of I-80 through Pennsylvania, we encountered roadwork about every 10 miles, and we think that it delayed our arrival time in Dayton by at least an hour. It became so frustrating at points that I resorted to taking strange pictures just to keep myself from attacking the road workers. WHY were they doing so much roadwork on such an isolated and altogether random part of Pennsylvania? It confused me. I think they were doing it just to annoy me and my dad….and it worked. Mission accomplished, Pennsylvania roadworkers.

We saw a lot of this type of view yesterday. Lots of cars and trucks. Sitting still. Like a parking lot. Boring!

I decided that taking self-portraits would be a good idea at this point. Boredom can make you do funny things.

Head shot.

Feetsies.

Knees + feet.

As far as food goes, I’ve been subsisting primarily on the following items:

  • Souped-up Starbucks oatmeal (who honestly thinks that the toppings they give you can last you more than a couple hours? Please…my appetite needs MORE than that!): Oatmeal + banana + chia seeds + Barney Butter blob

  • Coffee: need I say more? It soothes my savage soul before spending a bazillion hours locked up in a car makes it savage again.

  • Subway’s Veggie Delite on Wheat bread + apples: I’ve had it for lunch the past two days and will try to convince my dad to eat it again tomorrow, if he’s up for it. It’s the only fast food place I can tolerate. I always get “the works” on my subs including the jalapenos and banana peppers. I like it spicy! I tried some guac on sub today, and it was especially delicious. Highly recommended for veggie delite fans!

  • Homemade trail mix + stash of Bora Bora granola bars: I’ve been snacking on these items in between stops. I love my trail mix, and the Bora Bora bars are pretty tasty too! Not to mention made with all organic ingredients….my fav flavor thus far is the Tiki Blueberry Flax. It has the right amount of crunch and sweetness to satisfy my snacking needs.

Exercise

In the exercise department, I took a 45 minute walk before the infinite car ride to Dayton, which was a pleasant way to start the day and say goodbye to the West Hartford Reservoir one last time. While I walked, my dad took a run. It worked out pretty well.

This morning, I somehow dragged my butt out of a very comfortable hotel bed and ran a painful 6 miles in 59:40 among the concrete-clad suburbs of Dayton. Even though I kept up a good pace, my legs just felt so heavy and tired. Maybe spending 13 hours cramped up in a vehicle isn’t a good idea? It didn’t help matters that I ran without music….I had never realized before how much music motivates me during my runs and helps the time go by faster. Each mile seemed ENDLESS, but I got it done. I have a rest day tomorrow for the final leg of the trip, so my next run will be in Colorado, where I know it will be beautiful and awesome! Hooray!

After the run, my dad and I made the considerably less lengthy drive from Dayton to Kansas City (only 9 hours versus 13 hrs from Hartford to Dayton).

We saw fields. Lots and lots and lots of fields.

We also passed through St. Louis, Missouri and saw the famous arch!

Gateway to the West, indeed.

Busch Stadium where the St. Louis Cardinals play baseball also popped up along the drive.

We made great time to Kansas City, so my dad and I were able to take a nice stroll before dinner in this beautiful area. It felt great to give the old legs some breathing room.

The old man….

This was his “studly model” pose.

We then ventured to a restaurant called Mongolian BBQ. It’s a place where you can build your own stir-fries using whatever meats, veggies, and sauces you like, and then the chefs will make your stir-fry for you right in front of you. It’s a cool concept, and I liked how it was executed!

I loaded up my bowl with all sorts of veggies+teriyaki sauce + a seafood medley which included salmon, crab, scallops, and shrimp.

It was awesome. Just what my body was craving….

I also had a little bit of brown rice to alongside of it. I liked that the restaurant even gave the option of having brown rice. Some places don’t even bother with it.

Blue Moon + stir-fry= a great way to end a long day of driving.

Tomorrow, we’re heading across Kansas (oh joy of joys) and FINALLY into Colorado! I can’t wait!!!!!!!!

My mountains are beckoning….

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8 responses to “Midwest Road Tripping

  1. props on the souped up starbucks oatmeal! good luck with the last leg of your drive west:)

    ps- do you buy your chia seeds online or at a natural foods store? usually i go to a store in central sq., but i’m thinking online may be a cheaper option.

  2. Is this Gordonyo’s blog debut? If so it’s pretty stellar. Good luck on the last leg of the drive and say hello to the West for me!

  3. Glad you made it!

    And I LOVE Mongolian BBQ! Me and my dad used to go all the time and it is perfect for me because I am so picky!

  4. Long car rides can be so tough – sounds like you’re hangin’ pretty well. Impressive! The veggie delight is my go-to fast-food option, too. Hope today’s journey is smooth.

  5. The ‘Bucks food is always begging to me meddled with. I’m ALL about the chia 😉

  6. Your road trip looks awesome! I’m so jealous!!

    Oh and I’m actually from PA – we have no idea why there is construction going on ALL the freaking time. It’s an annoying part of PA living lol

  7. Sounds like you’re having a great time – I like reading your update.

    I used to go to a Mongolia restaurant when I lived in Vermont – it was one of the places my family would take me to when they’d visit me.

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