August 8, 2013

Day 8: Bentonville, Ark.-Louisville, Kentucky.

So every year around the holidays I have teased Earl a little bit about the fact that he gets so excited about the holidays that when it finally arrives, he finds himself with a little bit of a head cold. It’s like his body breaks down a little bit from all of the excitement.

This morning I woke up with a stuffy nose and some sneezing action. I was so excited about this trip that apparently when the awesomeness ensued, my body relaxed and finally said, “you need a break, bud”.

The only thing on the agenda today was driving.

The plan was originally to take a ride along the northern part of Arkansas through some pretty nifty scenery (and a bunch of Mayberry like towns), but that route was all flooded out from the frivolity of last night’s thunderstorms. So Plan B it was and we ended up driving the entire route via Interstate. (For those keeping Interstate BINGO, we rode Interstates 540, 49, 44, 55, 64, 264 and 65).

Once we hopped onto I-44 in Joplin, Mo., we were retracing a ride we had taken years ago in the first Jeep. In fact, I pointed out to Earl the Hampton Inn that we stayed at in Lebanon, Mo. He said I was crazy. I told him that I am absolutely crazy, but I knew that we had stayed at the Hampton Inn on a foggy night. Then I refrained from saying “neener neener” when I confirmed it via this blog entry.

We did a very small bit of exploring on old US 66 and found ourselves at the Route 66 Diner. They have a clock there that looked very familiar.

Apparently we were near Fort Leonard Wood, as we found ourselves surrounded by men and women in their ACUs. I have to admit, a man in his ACUs will always get my attention.

Since we were at a diner that featured homemade soup, I ordered chicken soup for my soul (but not the book) and to help my sniffles. It was delicious.

We drove quickly through St. Louis (waving to cousin Julie and internet buddy Richard in the process) and then drove across the endless prairies of southern Illinois and Indiana. I finally found a place to use the restroom, where the bathroom doors were only chest high.

People could glance in while one was doing their business. I would just wave back because I didn’t know the proper etiquette of how to respond when you’re sitting on the toilet. Do I stand? Do I shake something? Wipe something? Do I make a territorial “ahem” noise? So many choices.

When all was said and done we were situated in Louisville, Kentucky, where we are just getting back from dinner at an Irish pub that had a darlin’ server named Michelle who was kind enough to remind me what “Irish Baked Beans” were. I had them for breakfast on toast when we were in Ireland a few years ago. She wasn’t there but she said that would be proper.

If the blog entry seems slightly rambly, it’s because I supplemented lots of Airborne chewable tablets and Halls Vitamin C drops with a Guinness. Or two. But not three.

Because three would have just been too much.

I’m going to sleep in in the morning.

Stormy Weather.


In four hours I will be awoken by the sound of an iPhone alarm that is desperately trying to be cheerful. We have a long drive to our next destination ahead of us and since I am a control freak, I will be doing all the driving.

But it is storming like crazy right now and I want to be out driving in it.

I know, I’m crazy.

My dreams thus far tonight have had thunder in the background regardless of the scene I’m dreaming about. The rain hitting the hotel window has awoken me a couple of times. Not wanting to wake up my husbear nor wanting to put on any clothes, I am typing this blog entry on my iPhone whilst sitting on the floor of the bathroom. Yay for the familiar Hampton Inn room layout.

I’m going to try to sleep again in just a moment but I’ll probably still be mesmerized by the strobe light like lightning.

All we need is a disco ball.

Blog entries written in the middle of the night on an iPhone can be strange at times.

Day 7: Bentonville-Rogers-Pea Ridge, Ark.

Sometimes you just have a feeling that things are going to be awesome on vacation. You know this to be a fact before the event even happens so you don’t really worry about these things, but in the end it’s always good to have a validation that what you know to be true is actually true.

Today was a good day.

Last night we met up with Erik & Robert and Dwayne, and Mark and Ben, who were visiting from Denver. I’ve followed Mark’s blog for a while now and I’ve been following Erik’s blog for a longer amount of time. So when we sat down and had drinks and dinner last night, I started chatting up a storm. I don’t know if this takes some people by surprise, but I’m the type of person that is either going to jump into a conversation and/or experience with both feet or I’m going to just sit back on the sidelines and watch. There’s no halfway for me, I’m all in or I’m all out.

All in was a good thing.

Today we continued sharing some good times with our new friends In Real Life and ended up going to the Crystal Bridges Museum of Art. This was very cool. Earl and I are not huge art fans, but we certainly appreciate talent when it is displayed, so we had a good time enjoying the various pieces of art that were on display through this wicked cool complex of buildings.

Can you see why I enjoy this particular painting of a clock shop?

Here we are with Mark and Ben. I let Erik touch my phone. I don’t let just anyone touch the Phone of iMachias.

Mark and Ben needed to head back to Denver, so we said our farewells (and we look forward to our paths crossing again!). Earl mentioned something about Loose Meat, and once I figured out that he was talking about lunch, Erik introduced us to a place near his tattoo shop where we had loose meat and loose talk. I believe the eatery was called Maid-Rite.

This evening we went to Erik and Robert’s house for a visit. We chatted for quite a few hours like we had known each other In Real Life for years and years. There’s something wonderful about that “click” sound that happens when you meet good people. Erik and Robert are doing some fabulous things to their farm and we look forward to visiting again to see how things are progressing.

This has been a fantastic visit with good people. We are looking forward to meeting up with Erik and Robert again soon.

Earl and I are now doing what all crazy Jeep road trip people do. We’re doing laundry.