May 4, 2020

Adiós. Kirksville, Missouri

Our first long distance Tesla road trip!

Adiós.                                           Kirksville, Missouri

(Prelude:  A few months ago I told Damon it was important to me to ask Sydney if I could  help her move to St. Louis.   I know she doesn't really need my help, but sometimes I just miss physically helping my children.   Plus....It's kind of exciting to set up a new house!  I know moving is not Damon's thing.   But he does love to drive his Tesla (or should I say, have the Tesla drive him).  And he loves living in a hotel. And I love his traveling companionship. Pretty much a triple WIN!)

The day before our trip to Missouri, Maddy baked these delicious Magnolia Press Chocolate Cakes – homemade Ding Dongs :) Mmmmmmm.  Delicious send off!

Just as we turned the corner off Pebble Dr, "We're off on another adventure!"

We stopped in Beaver, UT to charge the Tesla. We both envisioned a nice pancake breakfast and hot chocolate at Timberline, something we'd done several times before. As we pulled up and saw it completely deserted it dawned on our brain fogged widow minds – no restaurants are seating people in them and many are closed completely! Duh! We got a really good laugh at ourselves.

As we drove toward the Colorado border we stopped at a beautiful rest stop in Orangeville, UT to take a bathroom break.

Then we stopped to charge in Green River, UT. There was a huge watermelon on a trailer, probably used for parades?

And here's Mitzi and our lone Tesla at the charger. Hardly anyone is out and about on this trip. Kinda nice! But strange.

We pulled into Grand Junction, CO and found a high rated Thai restaurant. Restaurants that are still serving are doing curb pickup only. As we pulled up to Thai Smile and saw a big poster saying "No face mask, no entry policy" – that actually made us smile, so yay for the name and the sign!

Their food was delicious. Mitzi enjoyed stir fry vegetables and Damon enjoyed one of the best red curry's he's ever had.

And the Grand Finale for Desert: Sticky Mango Rice!

After eating we let the car charge for a while in preparation for the next day's driving. Damon had been working on Lifestyles Podium all day, and some Quest and BasilBooks support tickets had come in. HE HATES DOING SUPPORT! So he was a little annoyed and frustrated and Mitzi was laughing at him and snapped this picture. Later at the hotel he did a 30 minute elliptical workout for some good feel endorphins. It worked!

As we drove from Grand Junction to Denver we passed some beautiful landscapes. And a formidable looking tunnel entrance. Although this tunnel was chump change compared to the 5 mile tunnels we drove through in Iceland.

In Denver we stayed in the DTC, Denver Technology Center. NOBODY was working there. Everyone is working from home. Usually this would be a hustle bustle place. In the evening we took a walk, saw a beautiful sunset, and a couple geese at the water fountains.

For breakfast we found a little coffee shop a bit down the road and we enjoyed a nice bowl of oatmeal.

We stopped at a truck stop in Colby, KS. It was windy. We took a walk, a common activity while the Tesla charges. We are finding it enjoyable to drive an hour or two then stop to charge and take a walk, refresh, etc.

Then we stopped at a charger in Salina, KS. Nobody was at the hotel or the charger. So common this whole trip so far, nobody is out!

We took a walk and found an interesting farm museum and a John Deere dealer.

Damon's not much of a farm boy but as the song says, "She thinks my tractor's sexy!"

Mitzi is feeling the feels of rural life and cute little churches.

We arrived in Kansas City after about 12 hours on the road. Mitzi drove almost the whole way so Damon could work on Podium. She's the best supporter in the world.

For dinner we found Naree Kitchen Thai & Sushi. Mitzi loved the vegetable stir fry and rolls.

Damon loved the salmon roll.

We stayed in a Homewood Suites in Kansas City. It was a pleasant place.

The Hampton Inn we stayed at the night before in Denver was an unpleasant experience. There was a dark negative vibe there. We considered going somewhere else but settled on staying as it was just one night.

Our stay in Kansas City was 100% better. Damon got some good Podium work done, cleaning out the cobwebs in his mind and tidying up the code that was a little chaotic from a week of intense work. Happy days are here again!

The next day we had a great lunch and purchased a fun book in Chillicothe, Missouri.  A few hours later we arrived in Kirksville!  Time to pack up and say goodbye to this great little blue house and head south east to St. Louis.

The new house looks a bit like the old one..... but it's more than twice as big and has been redone nicely.  Logan got right to work planting flowers and stringing lights in the backyard.

We had a delicious dinner from "Sauce on the Side," a restaurant that specializes in Calzones.  Oh my...... do they ever specialize!

Damon was up to his neck in Podium work.... the 4 am - to sometimes- 1 am days. With a few breaks for delicious food, naps, and walks....... and he took time out to massage my shoulders too!

Mitzi and Logan took on the task of completely disassembling the Quilting Bernina and then putting it back together in a 1930's basement.  The task was complicated by a super steep and tight staircase, but remedied by a tiny window.  Would you believe almost all of the frame was broke down and threaded through this 8 inch window?  They were amazed when they assembled the last screw, plugged it in, and it still quilted!

On our last day together we headed downtown to the Arch. It was a beautiful day!

Damon climbed down to the Mississippi River to take in the view...... we are the tiny silhouettes.....

........and then powered back up the stairs at Full Speed!

Next stop Logan's dental campus and some delicious ice cream at Clementines.

And then it was time to turn the Tesla towards home.  Mitzi finally gained enough confidence in Tesla's self driving capabilities to enjoy it throughout the 24+ hours home.

Highlights from Kansas:  The photos on the bathroom wall inside of Bass Pro's. A delightful spaghetti picnic dinner in an empty town park.

A long walk to discover a long ago deserted playground.  How did we ever survive this type of "play" equipment? ;). We laughed about the scalding hot slide, and the spine smashing jolt of a premature teeter-totter exit.

The beautiful rural Kansas prairie.   Damon is exceptional at photography!

Colorado Highlights:  A much better Denver hotel experience that even included a delicious pulled pork sandwich.  And the most wonderful discovery in Vail! Glazed croissant, CBD Ginger Ale,  Fresh Sourdough Loaf, and the most Amazing Ruben!

For the record, Damon is not undressed. Just bare-chested. He popped a pimple on his abs and it was bleeding and he didn't want to get blood on his shirt. So it was a shirtless meal.

Good thing we walk 20 min every 2 hours ;). We are so impressed how many charging stations there are across the country.  The Tesla charging infrastructure has been well thought out!

We drove about 48 hours to get to Missouri and back home. Mitzi did most of the driving, about 93% of it. Damon was working on Podium like a mad-man. Mitzi was so supportive to do so much driving. She is such a wonderful traveling companion. Here is Damon's view from the passenger seat.

We stopped at the Watermelon charger location on the way back. Found a little shade and had some quiet reflection time while the car charged and we prepared to transition back into our life on Pebble Dr.

Figuring out how to feel like life has meaning after a tragedy, or during a reaction to a virus, or while dealing with physical and mental illness can seem overwhelming and impossible.

Realizing that "meaning" comes from participating in everyday moments has helped us feel joy and purpose.  When we recognize and record the simple moments, life feels meaningful again.