This blog will take a little more of a personal turn than the last one did. Since Dallas Comic Con is a huge thing, I wanted to give that recap its own space. However, there were other parts of the trip that happened, and I wanted to give them a little bit of air time too.
We left after work on Thursday with the plan to stop halfway and stay the night somewhere. The drive was nice. We listened to Welcome to Nightvale, which is weird and random enough to be enjoyable for both of us. We also got to use our fancy new K-Tag through the tolls. Up until recently, you had to buy the K-Tag and then buy the tolls as well, but since we didn’t travel enough to actually warrant a tag, we never got one. At the Kansas Sampler Fest, they had a booth. As it so happens, K-Tags are now free! When you sign up, they take your debit information and take a monthly payment based on how many tolls you use. If you don’t use at least $10 in a month, it rolls over to the next month. Since that was definitely more our speed, we signed up.
We stopped in Oklahoma for some Braum’s (because I love Braum’s and we don’t have one here), then kept on until we found a hotel. We had no luck in Guthrie and then we almost had no luck in Edmond. I’d wanted to use some of my Wyndham points for a free night, but it didn’t happen because there were no Wyndham hotels where we stopped. Yes, I know I failed to plan, but I wasn’t entirely sure when we’d be ready to get off the road. We stopped later than I wanted to anyway, and most hotels were booked. We found one empty room at a Hampton Inn and paid way more money than we wanted for it. But now we’re Hilton rewards members, so we might be able to use that to our advantage at some point in the future.
The room was comfortable and we were back on the road earlier than we’d anticipated. In fact, the second part of our drive was a lot shorter than we’d planned for. Besides the fact that road construction wasn’t horrible, we were also driving during a low traffic time. There was only one place in Fort Worth where traffic slowed to a crawl and it didn’t last long.
Our first day was spent visiting with family, eating at local restaurants, and grabbing a couple geocaches in the area (which meant we scored our Texas souvenir…whoo!). Our second day was Dallas Comic Con and a trip to Whataburger.
We left early Sunday morning and made the long trek back to Kansas. However, we got in a couple roadside stops. In Davis, Oklahoma, we stopped at a place that makes fried pies. Think hostess snack pies, but better. I got a cherry pie and Jon got pecan. We passed another one up near Tonkawa. In hindsight, I kind of wished we’d stopped again. They were so good! We also stopped at a local diner in Blackwell, OK to have lunch. The regular fast food joints get old after awhile, and we usually find great food at good prices at the local places.
We actually made good time getting back home, but I was tired and sore for a few days after from walking around the convention and from sitting for so many hours driving. It was a blast though, and I’m glad we made it down. Road trip season has started, and this was a great way to kick things off.
The weekend before last, Jon and I took a mini road trip to Texas for Dallas Comic Con. My brother-in-law invited us a couple months ago and scored passes for us, so we couldn’t resist. The drive is a longish one…eight hours to Burleson, where we stayed with family, and then another hour to Dallas for the con. It was well worth it!
We made sure to get there early to try to avoid long lines. We didn’t avoid them entirely, but it was okay. In fact, we waited in three lines. This first line was the one to get into the ticket pick-up area. It wound around and down the convention hallway. It moved fast, though, which was nice.
The second line was just as quick. The convention staff had this down to a science. We picked up our orange bracelets (one of the staff called them “fun shackles,” and yes, we giggled like 12 year old boys) before heading down to our third line, where we ended up having to hang for awhile until they opened the exhibitor hall doors. We stood behind Batman and Catwoman, and the cosplayers were nice enough to let me take a picture.
The exhibitor hall was huge. Jon and I started by browsing the booths and taking some pictures of the vehicle models they had on the floor. The Winchesters’ Impala (from Supernatural) was the highlight of the vehicles. I made sure to get some pictures for my mom, who’s a huge fan of the show (yes..my mom is a fangirl).
Sadly, I started tiring out quickly, though I don’t know if it was because I didn’t pace myself or because I didn’t sleep well the night before. The floors of the exhibitor hall were brutal, so it wasn’t long before my legs started hurting. Still, I wasn’t giving up. I stopped by a few vendors I’d wanted to see, then went down to the autograph hall.
One of my favorite movie villains of all time is Freddy Kruger. I was watching the Nightmare on Elm Street films long before I was what most parents would deem age appropriate, but none of the gore and horror struck me as a major thing when I was young. When I found out that Robert Englund and other cast members were going to be there, I was cautiously hopeful about getting to meet him.
The line wasn’t super long when I got in, but it filled up quickly. Not only did I get his autograph and get to meet him, but I also got a selfie with him as well.
In the interest of full disclosure, I will say that yes, I did pay for both the autograph and the selfie. While I don’t normally spend money for celebrity encounters at fan cons, for me, this was worth it. I’ve heard horror stories of celebs taking your money and giving you a quick autograph with little to no interaction, so I knew I was taking a chance. But Englund didn’t disappoint. He was very nice and we even talked for a bit about the movie and the mythos around it.
As part of the combo, I also got the autograph of Amanda Wyss who played Tina in the movie. Once again, another celebrity who was nice, who chatted, and who seemed genuinely grateful to her fans.
And as a bonus, while I was standing in line, I got to see Brent Spiner, who walked through the curtain to get to his booth and gave us all a wave and a “hello.”
I found Jon and we went and grabbed some lunch before heading to the Q&A panel with Christopher Lloyd. He talked about the Back to the Future movies and some of his other work.
Later, we went back to the panel hall for the Nightmare on Elm Street reunion Q&A. It was interesting to hear them talk about the film and their experiences making it. As a bonus, it also got Jon interested in doing a NoES movie marathon with me…which is awesome since he doesn’t normally like horror movies.
We ended the day playing some board games. DCC had a whole area dedicated to gaming…which is one of our things…so we played a new game called Loonacy, a round of Fluxx, and two rounds of Ticket to Ride.
It was a fun day, but I crashed hard that night. There were a lot of people there. Luckily, my social anxiety stayed down for the most part. It was so worth going, and I’m hoping we can make it again next year!
We made the trek home today from St. Louis, and though I always get a case of the post-vacation blues, I’m also glad to be getting back into a routine again.
We took our time on the drive back. We wanted to be home in time to get things ready for the week, but we also wanted to make sure we stopped regularly to stretch our legs. Keeping watch of the time, we made it a point to find a geocache every half hour to forty five minutes, but we made sure to keep them short and simple, and we pretty much got off the road and then right back on. This also allowed us to take bathroom breaks, which was needed because today was a major hydrating day for me.
Our plans changed a bit when we saw on FB that a friend was stranded at the KC airport. Due to so many people traveling for the holidays, the shuttle bus from KC to MHK was full, so he would have possibly had to wait several hours to get a ride home. Since we were coming through that way anyway, Jon got ahold of him via FB and text and told him we’d give him a ride. We couldn’t have planned it better. This gave us some extra time to geocache, and just as we were getting there, he was grabbing his luggage and heading out the doors.
On the way back to MHK, we stopped at Lawrence and had dinner at The Burger Stand. I tried a bacon cheeseburger that had gouda and a chipotle-cocoa ketchup. It was definitely different, but it was pretty tasty.
We made decent time back to MHK to drop our friend off, then we headed home with just one stop to get gas so we can make it back to town tomorrow for work. I’m pretty sleepy tonight, but I managed to get everything unpacked and my clothes laid out for tomorrow. Going to finish the day off with a shower and some sleep in my own bed, which is always nice to come home to.
Now, just need to hope my brain is well rested and ready to go for work tomorrow.
When today started, we figured it would be our least active day of the week, considering we were taking a side road trip to Peoria. We ended up being really wrong about that. We got up, ate breakfast, and started our trip a couple hours past what I’d originally planned. The first time I woke up, I had a horrible headache. Had that headache stuck around, we would have stayed in the hotel room all day, but a couple ibuprofen and some more sleep got rid of it, so we were Illinois-bound.
We did some geocaching along the way, and one of our first stops was at the Pink Elephant Antique Store. Several months ago when I was planning our Michigan trip, I’d seen this roadside attraction on the Roadtrippers site, but we never ended up stopping there. We made it today to grab the cache and take some pictures of the fun statues on the lawn.
I loved the pink elephant. There was one in my hometown, so I think it’s kind of cool to find another one in another part of the country.
When we finally got to the exit we were looking for, we wanted to grab something to eat. I love eating at little roadside diners, but the one that was there didn’t take credit cards. I know it’s a silly thing to be annoyed by, but come on…it’s almost 2014…how can you not take credit cards?? We ended up going across the street to the Subway, which was kind of dirty and super slow. My sandwich tasted okay, despite the fact that the kid adding the ingredients didn’t change his nasty plastic gloves after handling Jon’s sandwich, so I got a wrapper covered in Sriracha sauce. I don’t like Sriracha.
At that point, I was in a bit of a crabby mood anyway, but food helped, and I was ready to tackle the geocache we’d gone to look for.
A little background on this geocache: we read about it shortly after we started geocaching and thought it was pretty cool. It’s a difficulty of five (the highest difficulty there is), and it’s only had one logged find. The other two hundred eighty something logs have been DNFs (did not finds). We knew we wanted to give it a shot, and since we were relatively close (way closer than we are in Kansas), we wanted to give it a try.
When traveling or geocaching, we often rely a little too heavily on our auto GPS, but in most cases, we question it and double check where it takes us. I don’t know why we didn’t do that today, but we didn’t. When he got to where the GPS took us, there were gates up, so we couldn’t drive into the park. It didn’t even occur to us that there might be a different entrance. We were just miffed that we’d made the drive and now couldn’t even get into the park.
At the same time we were there, there were two other groups of people going on. Both groups parked in the same area and started walking down the hill, past the closed gate. I almost think that’s why we did it…monkey see, monkey do…even though our phone GPS showed were still a mile away from the geocache. Normally, a mile doesn’t scare me (not anymore). When we walk the rec center, a mile is pretty standard. This mile, though, wasn’t the rec center. It was paved, which was good. It was up and down steep hills. That wasn’t so good. On the way down the first hill, we knew it was going to be a beast coming back up. At first we thought maybe we’d go down and have flat walking until we got back, but just a short way into the walk, we were confronted with a hill.
Jon kept trying to find the silver lining in the walk, but I was feeling highly annoyed. I knew the silver linings were there. The first was that we were getting our exercise for the day, even though we hadn’t planned for it. The second was that as tough as it was, we were able to take that walk and scale those hills. I eventually got over my mood and tried to enjoy the walk.
After trying two false alarm areas, we finally found the shelter. It was around that time we saw vehicles parked there and realized that there had to in fact be another way in. Duh…it’s a state park. Of course there was. We felt like doofuses, but by then we were just rolling with it. We finally found the search area and spent about two hours poking around, trying to find that darn geocache. As expected, we never did, and so added our names to the almost three hundred other cachers who had no luck.
We were a little nervous on the return walk that we wouldn’t make it back to the car before dark. We also kept hearing noises in the woods. Sometimes they sounded like hunters. Other times they sounded like animals. For awhile, we talked about our game plan if we got attacked by a puma. Luckily, that didn’t happen (our game plane wasn’t great). As expected, that last hill was a challenge. I had to stop a few times, but I didn’t sit down. I just stood to catch my breath and let my legs rest a second from fighting gravity.
The funny thing is, I can see why people run marathons. Once you achieve something you didn’t think you could do, you get a rush and a sense of satisfaction that you want to recreate. I’m not comparing our hike to a marathon, but as a personal achievement, it was pretty huge. We talked about how that walk would have gone three months ago (not as well), six months ago (a lot of crying on my part), and a year ago (it wouldn’t have even happened). The fact that we did the whole hike with minimal rest stops and very quick breathing recovery (I had my breath back within about ten seconds of being on flat ground) was awesome.
Our biggest mistake may have been to follow up that walk with a long drive back without any rest stops. It was late and we wanted to get back to the hotel, but we both knew it was going to catch up with us. Sure enough, when we got out to grab something to eat (just down the road from our hotel), our muscles were stiff and sore, and some of them seized up, making walking tough for a short while.
After dinner, I told Jon I wanted to do some active recovery, and we walked across the street to get some Gatorade and a banana. Part of my whole active recovery thing was that I wanted to hit 15,000 steps for the day on my Fitbit. Though I’ve had one for several years, I’ve never gotten that badge, so I decided that with just over 13,000 steps for the day, I was closer to that goal than I normally get. When we got back to the hotel room, I was about 700 steps shy, so I went for a walk around the hotel parking lot.
I got my badge!
In hindsight, the hike was worth it. I’ll be taking a warm shower, and tomorrow we’ll have to make a few stops on the way back to Kansas so my muscles can stay loose. Tomorrow will likely be a legitimate rest day, but Monday we’ll be back in the gym and at the rec center, because if this past week has taught us anything, it’s that the almost daily exercise has paid off big time!
On that note, I’d better start getting ready for the shower. I’m really sleepy. I didn’t work on my Nanowrimo any further. I ended up finishing my second story, but only clocked in with that one at about 40,000 words. I was trying to make a go of winning Marissa Meyer’s contest, but I don’t think I did. I didn’t even make 100,000 words. Oh well….I can’t be too upset. I won Nanowrimo and finished two novels. That’s a pretty huge accomplishment.
It’s back to Kansas tomorrow and then back to work on Monday! I’m going to miss vacation, but I’m also really looking forward to getting back into my routine.
We were up early, ready to tackle our itinerary, but the day ended up being quite a bit different than planned, which ended up being mostly a good thing.
Our first stop was unplanned until this morning when I did a Google search of things we could do while we waited for the museums to open. In my searching, I found Bellefontaine Cemetery. Though they offer tours, we just drove through it and looked at the pretty structures and scenery. It was huge, and we got a little bit lost in there, but we managed to find our way out after finding a geocache that had been hidden at one of the trees on the property.
Once we were done there, we headed towards St. Louis Art Museum near the zoo. We weren’t prepared for how huge it was.
After we’d only covered about two big sections, I started feeling hungry, which was kind of a bummer since I’d made sure to eat a big breakfast to fuel up. It was making me tired and cranky, and even though they had a cafe on site, I wasn’t feeling the menu or the prices. We ended up leaving to go find some food, figuring if we felt up to it, we’d go back. It didn’t happen that way. We didn’t finish out the art museum, nor did we go back to the zoo as planned, so I was a little bit unhappy about that.
As a side note, we found a cache near the museum, and Jon was able to drop his zombie travel bug off. Now his is in the wild. I’m hoping I can find a good place to drop mine off tomorrow.
Even though I was a little bummed about leaving the museum, the detour made for a good time because we found The Loop, a cool artsy area that had been recommended to me. Our first stop was for food, and we ate at a small bar called the Market Pub House. They made an awesome burger, and the re-fuel gave us the energy to do some more walking.
We walked down the street and browsed the shops and art along the way. We made two stops, one at a game store and one at Ben & Jerry’s. I’ve never actually eaten at a Ben & Jerry’s shop, but it’s one of my fave ice creams. I opted for a small bowl of half peanut butter and banana frozen greek yogurt and half chocolate peanut butter swirl. So good!
We picked up a geocache in the area and then headed back to the hotel for some rest time. My legs are a little sore tonight from all the walking, but I’m kind of loving the feeling. The fact that I can now do all this walking is reminding me that staying in motion and getting daily exercise has been completely worth it.
Tomorrow is our geocache day! We have our route mapped out and will be getting up super early to head to Peoria, grabbing some geocaches along the way and attempting to find a tough one that only one other person has ever found. We’d love to be the second to find on this, but I think it’ll be fun just to add our name to the list of people who couldn’t. Hoping to find some cool scenery and places to visit along the way as well.
Ours was a bit non-traditional, but it was a ton of fun. It was our day to visit the St. Louis Zoo, and we made sure we were there early so we could maximize our time. We ended up getting there before the park opened, and since they parking attendants weren’t set up yet, the woman let us park for free.
I hate to say it, but the visit started out with some disappointment. We’d wanted to see the penguins, but come to find out, the zoo is remodeling for a new polar bear display, and the penguins and puffins were not available for public viewing (they won’t be back on until 2015, in fact). We pressed on to the sea lions, figuring they’d make up for the lack of penguins. We got to see them through the window and at the surface of the water, but the underground viewing tunnels were closed. We also failed to see any chimps in either the indoor or outdoor viewing areas. No idea where those guys were hiding.
We finally met a gorilla who was sitting and munching on some food. At one point, he threw his big tray and ran to a different part of his enclosure. He was kind of a drama llama. But he was pretty cool and fun to watch.
After that, things picked up. Most of the other animals were out and active, and the other indoor viewing areas were open. We went into the bird, reptile, and primate houses, and saw some of the zoo’s big cat population.
Even though we’d rested yesterday in an attempt to pace ourselves, walking around the zoo and tackling the hills and stairs wore us out. We started out okay, but after about three hours, we were tired and sore. We knew lunch would help, but the cafe was super expensive. We ended up leaving without seeing two of the areas. However, since it’s free, we’re planning on going back tomorrow. One of the museums on our itinerary is right near the zoo, so we’ll hit both places in the morning.
Though we’d talked about going somewhere with a big turkey dinner, we re-routed and went to…wait for it…Steak ‘N’ Shake! It was so good too. I love their burgers. We even splurged and shared a peppermint milkshake for dessert. Since we were tired and full, we went back to the hotel room to chill. Jon napped and I chatted with family. Later, we took a walk to the convenience store for sandwiches for dinner.
I know it’s not the traditional big meal type of holiday one usually spends at Thanksgiving, but I loved it! It was definitely more our speed for a holiday. I’m spending the evening doing some reading and writing and watching Adventure Time because there’s a Cartoon Network marathon and I love AT. Tomorrow is museums and the zoo again and whatever else strikes our fancy.
We were up early to take advantage of the hotel’s breakfast. While I knew there would be hot food on the buffet, I was thinking it was just going to be biscuits and gravy, but there were eggs and sausage too. There was also fruit, bagels, juice, cereal, and danishes. I made sure to eat a full breakfast since I knew we were going to be doing a lot of walking.
We made it to the St. Louis Science Center shortly after they opened and walked around for a couple hours. There were some great displays, including an energy contraption that stretched along the whole ceiling of the entrance lobby. Colored balls followed the loops from one side to the other.
As cool as this was, my favorite was the animatronic dinosaurs.
There were a lot of kids there and a lot of cool things geared towards kids, but we still had fun walking through the museum and looking at things. We wandered over the planetarium to look around as well, but we didn’t do any of the shows. It was a good visit though, and gave us another chance to use our ASTC membership that we got through the Flint Hills Discovery Center.
Our second stop of the day was at the Anheuser-Busch Tour Center for a tour of the St. Louis brewery.
The tour was a lot of fun. It was a seven block walking tour, all down hill, though we did have to navigate down three flights of stairs. This gave me a little anxiety since my knees do better with going up stairs than they do down, but I managed with hardly any problems. We got to see the areas where they brew, age, and package the beer. We also got to see some of the Budweiser clydesdales.
At the end of the tour, we took trolleys back up the hill to the hospitality room where we were given two free samples. I tried the Black Crown beer and the Straw-ber-ita flavored drink (is that even considered a beer?). Both were good, though the fruity drink was more pleasing to my taste buds. The drinks made me a little giggly, so we hung out for awhile, just to make sure I could drive safely.
We came back to the hotel and made a pit stop at the Hardee’s down the street for a late lunch. Their credit card system wasn’t working, but instead of turning us away, they gave us a free meal. It was tasty too. Our last couple Hardee’s experiences weren’t great, so it was nice to finally have a good charbroil flavored burger.
Though we talked about doing something else this afternoon and evening, we ended up just relaxing in the hotel room and ordering in. We have a lot of walking planned for the next couple of days and wanted to pace ourselves so as not to burn out all in the first day. It was good to just chill.
Tomorrow is zoo day! I hope the weather doesn’t freeze us out from visiting the animals.
The first day of our vacation was pretty darn good.
We were on the road by 8:05 this morning, which is only five minutes later than we’d planned. Our first stop was, of course, Dunkin’ Donuts, though I was a little disappointed with them this morning. The coffee was delicious, but I tried one of their Big ‘N’ Toasty sandwiches and was not impressed. Live and learn. On the bright side, it was a good amount of protein to get me through the morning.
We stopped in Bonner Springs to visit the Moon Marble Company. At first glance, it’s a toy and marble store with a lot of kitschy games and toys. In the back of the store, however, are display cases filled with beautiful handmade marbles and blown glass ornaments, some imported, some made by local artists.
The best part was the demonstration. We watched one of the artists make a marble and show us the process of how it’s done.
It was such a cool thing to see. The stop was well worth it. Before we left, we bought a tube of marbles to leave at geocaches. Speaking of geocaches, right before we left, I checked to see if there were any nearby, and there was one right there near the building. We grabbed it and got back on the road.
We found another geocache later, a quick park and grab off the highway. At one of our bathroom stops, we found a truck stop diner called Ma’z Kettle, so we decided to have lunch there. I love finding those small diners that aren’t part of a chain. Many times, the food is better than it is at a franchise restaurant. This one was no exception. I had a burger and fries, and it was delicious. Jon ordered a steak sandwich. Not only was it literally a steak on a bun, but it was huge, and the steak was cooked perfectly for him (he likes it rare). The service was also really friendly. The place was getting ready to close (they were only open until 2pm), but they were still very welcoming and didn’t rush us, though we made sure we were done by closing.
We made one more geocache stop later and finally made it into St. Louis. Our hotel was a pleasant surprise! When I booked our room, I chose one of the cheaper ones in the area under the Wyndham name (I do Wyndham points, so we always stay at hotels under that heading). We’ve had pretty low quality experiences at other Days Inns , so I figured this one wouldn’t be anything great, just a place to rest our head.
However, the hotel is really nice. The lobby and dining room is large and has a fireplace. The room is huge, and has a big bed, a couch, and a huge closet. They have free wi-fi and warm food on the breakfast line. I haven’t taken a shower yet, but Jon says it’s great. My only disappointment is the workout room. There’s only three machines, a low recumbent bike, an elliptical machine, and a treadmill. The elliptical machine didn’t seem to be too sturdy and the treadmill is out of order. Still, the hotel is large enough that I could take a walk around it if I want. I think I’ll consider today a rest day, then make sure I get plenty of walking in over the next few days. That should be easy…we have a ton of stuff planned for this vacation.
Before settling in, we shopped the Circle K down the road for dinner sandwiches. I managed to upload pictures, check email, and even kicked out about 2000 words on my second novel before tackling this blog post. Tonight will be a shower and then relaxation. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow (our first full day in St. Louis) brings.
I’m behind a couple days, but I will get everything posted. Tonight we’re chilling with movies at the house, and we’re currently watching Cabin in the Woods, one of my favorites. Mom hasn’t seen it, so she’s getting her first viewing in exchange for her showing us the movie Frankie Go Boom. It was hilarious. If you’re a fan of Sons of Anarchy, this will either make you laugh or deeply disturb you. But now, since I’ve seen CitW, I’m going to get the Saturday post up while it’s on.
The drive to Oklahoma was long, as expected, and geocaching made it longer. I welcome the stops to stretch my legs and keep my tailbone from hurting, but sometimes it just makes the day longer. We started with a DNF, then recovered with 2 finds in Tonkawa.
Later, after getting on the turnpike, we attempted to find another one (it turned into another DNF). We thought it would take us back to the turnpike, but instead, it took us through a series of small Oklahoma towns. I was a little cranky about this at first, but the random change in route lead is through some great scenery and an impromptu stop for some peanuts at a roadside stand.
We tried coated Israeli peanuts that were delicious. We also picked up some buffalo flavored and Japanese peanuts. I’m not a fan of buffalo flavored anything, but I helped put a hurt on those other two.
The wildlife was out that day. We saw a coyote, a deer, and a road runner. I’d never seen one before, and he was adorable. My mom had seen one that day too, and my grandma said they’d been more social lately. I would have got a picture, but he took us by surprise and was pretty quick.
We relaxed at my grandma’s for a little bit and had some dinner before heading out to see my aunt and uncle on “the farm.” The farm isn’t a family farm anymore, but I have really good memories of visiting there when I was a young kid, of spending time with my great grandparents, helping my grandma collect eggs from the chicken house, and playing with the farm cats that ran around the property. I remember a mean rooster than attacked me and my grandpa’s cattle dog who didn’t like me very much (though older family members say I wasn’t nice to her as a child, so I think that was probably understandable).
The farm house and several of the buildings are still standing, so we took a walk around to look at everything and take some time with the memories.
One of the local farmer’s still farms cows in the fields, and we were able to walk right out into the field with them to take some pictures. Whenever we’d turn around, there was a group of them keeping an eye on us, like they were just daring us to make a sudden move. They were cute.
We also visited with my aunt and uncle for a long time. Visiting the farm is always bittersweet. There are so many good memories, but they’re of lost loved ones, so with the reminiscing always comes sadness.
After we were done there, we decided to try to find a nearby cache, but like some of the other caches in Oklahoma, it wasn’t as “nearby” as we would have liked. We didn’t end up finding it. It got dark, so we headed back to grandma’s to get some sleep before the drive back the next day.
Yesterday involved a lot of driving, but it was worth it since I got to see my mom.
We had a little misunderstanding of the time I needed to pick her up, so I thought I had more time than I did. I used the little bit of extra to hit the gym before heading to the airport. The drive there wasn’t so bad. However, the plane ended up getting there at the originally scheduled time, so Mom had to actually wait for me to get there.
I couldn’t find a parking space and by the time I got there, I really had to use the restroom. I ended up parking in the fire lane, locking the car with the flashers on, and running in to find a bathroom. I expected to come back to find an airport cop giving me a ticket. Not going to lie…I was going to gladly pay if it meant not peeing my pants. But I got lucky, and there was no ticket and no tow.
I finally found Mom and we headed out, stopping at BK for lunch. I got a little lost in Coffeyville because we didn’t have a planned meeting address, and the GPS took me 12 miles out of the way for some reason. We finally found my grandma and uncle and I sent Mom on her way to visit with them for the next few days. Jon and I are going to be there on Saturday night and Mom is coming back with us on Sunday.
The drive home was long and boring. I like driving, but I’m used to having Jon with me or having something mentally stimulating to listen to. All I had was music, and I ended up talking to myself a lot and making up new lyrics to the songs on the radio. Most of the lyrics had to do with the drive and being bored. I made a few bathroom stops and did some boredom munching. I considered stopping for a few quick geocaches, but it didn’t feel right doing it by myself.
I finally got into Manhattan to pick Jon up and head home. I was exhausted, but still managed to do a couple UfYH challenges and get a shower before crashing out.
This morning I was up extra early so we could stop and pick up juice and milk for a work breakfast spread. Work stress for the day was about a 3.
I took a walk on lunch, so Jon and I decided to do some geocaching for our evening activity. I found a cluster of caches along a nice walking trail at one of the local parks. It was breezy out, but we were able to get our walk and make some finds at the same time.
One cache we found had been tore up by something, so we logged a “Needs Maintenance” on it. The other one took us down a birding trail. I think the trail would have been pretty had the day been sunny, but since it was overcast and getting dark, it was a little creepy. Jon ended up finding the one in the woods, and while he was doing so, he found a creepy hole in the ground. He took this video of both finds.
I was tired before the week, and the weird terrain and tromping around in the tall grasses kicked my butt. After finding four caches, we headed home, grabbed some dinner, and watched a couple episodes of Parks and Recreation. My hip is bothering me tonight, so I think the rest of the evening is going to be spent with some ibuprofen, some Biofreeze, and some Paranormal Activity 4 which is now on Netflix.