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.