RoadTripping: Day 1

RoadtripD1 1 Loved-One says he hates road trips.  His long legs, cramped into a Prius?  Not good.  My short legs dangling from the high seats of a mini-van? Less than ideal.  So how are we ever going to make that Route 66 trip I long for?

Make the trip the vacation.  We’re going to Utah!  Why?  Hey, why not?  We’ve never been there before.

I have a new app:  RoadTripper.  I’m pumped.  RoadTripper tells me the journey is 1373 miles, it will take 20 hours 30 minutes and we’ll spend about $236 in gas.

RoadTripper has a lot to learn about us.

I plug in the types of places we like to visit:  historical sites, hiking, quirky road stops.  I let RoadTripper know that we want to stay pretty close to our route.  I pick out some sites estimated to be about 2 hours down the road.

This is going to be fun.  Really.

In the meantime, Loved-One consults the old-fashioned way, Atlas, and the almost old-fashioned way, internet, to map out a route and find lodging.  He prints everything out and puts it in a manilla folder.
We planned to leave at 11:00 AM, but due to many last-minute tasks, like getting the net on the pond, we ended up leaving at 2 PM.  Loved-One and I have a problem.  Neither of us like to wait.  So while I’m finishing up my task that will take 20 minutes, he starts one that will take 25 minutes.  I see he’s still busy, so I start something that will take 15 minutes.  He sees I’m busy, so he starts something that will take 10 minutes.  Now it’s lunchtime.  I fix lunch, while he remembers one more thing that we should pack.

At 2 o’clock one of us backs the Prius out of the garage and sits there while the other one of us remembers one last thing.

What an easy route. Straight down I-80. Drive, get gas. Drive some more.

RoadTripper identified “Hamburg Inn No. 2” in Iowa City as one of Iowa’s most famous restaurants, featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” and Washington Post‘s “Great American Hamburger Debate.

Unfortunately, we never thought to check the college football schedule.   Moms on the Move are everywhere.  Loved-One’s latest paranoia.  Moms with strollers walking fast and determined, sometimes two abreast with elbows in football blocker position.  Iowa’s playing Indiana, holy hamburgers, not a parking place in site. I haven’t seen this much traffic since I tried to park during Chicago’s Taste of Chicago.  We get the heck out of there without even getting a picture of the famed hamburger joint.  That’s okay, we can always look back and RoadTripper and see what we missed.

Onward to Ankeny.  I call ahead for a reservation thanks to Loved-One’s manilla folder of print-outs.  We stayed at Hampton Inn at a reasonable price (senior discount.) We eat at a family diner attached to a gas station, right across the street.  The host at the Hampton recommended it. Better than we expected.

RoadtripD1 2

Oh I love those Hampton Inn crisp sheets and duvet covers.  So glad they decided to stop posting signs that they change the sheets after every guest.  That gave me the creeps.Clean Sheets1