Day 6 Lincoln to Chicago

Iowa Fields

On Thursday I drove from Lincoln, NE to Chicago.  This was about a 500 miles drive.  I was rejuvenated in the morning with a good breakfast at a Staybridge Suites in Lincoln, NE.  I had a waffle, eggs, 2 sausages, and some coffee.  Usually I am not a coffee drinker but I needed a little something.  I also got into the Jacuzzi for a little while before getting on the road.  It felt relaxing on all my muscles.  I tried to stretch the night before and in the morning.  Overall Staybridge Suites are nice and I would recommend them.  However, I was a little upset when I was checking out of Staybridge as they had a “Arena Tax” and “Room/Occupancy Tax!”  Wtf is that?  Seems like a fee not a tax to me.

I mostly drove through Iowa all day on I-80 East.  Iowa is not as bad as one might assume.  They have Free Wi-Fi at a majority of the rest areas.  Over 30 minutes though, then you need to pay.  At least the rest areas are nice compared to a lot I have seen.  The nicest places it seems to stop for a bathroom break I have found is state Welcome Centers.  It makes sense since they want to encourage tourism.

I listened to a few things.  Pimmslers Learn & Read Russian program which I got for Free on cassette at the Bookthing.  Don't ask me why I want to learn Russian… you know… if it's Free it's for me!  Russians is hard but I sort of learned a few words.  I did need to do the first tape twice, but a little everyday.  I also listened to Guns N Roses.  Any Rock music is great for a roadtrip.  When I was heading into Chicago I listened to James Herriots Animals Stories from the book All Creatures Great and Small.

I almost had a bit of a heart attack at rest area.  When I opened the passenger car door to get out a drink… my nice camera, a Canon Rebel, fell out of the bag onto the pavement.  I thought I might have broken it!  Luckily I did not.  The damage was just small scuffs.

When I was coming into Chicago I got a little lost.  The GPS kept throwing me in weird directions then loosing the satellite signal.  It was late, dark, and I was in a bit of a bad neighborhood.  I thought I had gotten a map of Chicago before I left, so I pulled over and looked in my trunk… uh… oh … shit… no Chicago map!  Argh!  Well I called my relative and asked to GoogleMap it.  Should have had a map.  You can get Free ones through AAA or at Welcome Centers.  They are quite useful to still have when mapping out routes through states and figuring out faster routes when there is traffic.  Especially your GPS goes on the fritz!

I stayed up late the night before writing.  Until about 2am.  It's hard writing on the road and finding the energy.  If you are a traveling writer, you need to get used to writing when tired or find a good day to write.

More adventures to come!

 

Day 5 Driving through Nebraska

Sunset

Today was pretty uneventful unlike my day in the Rockies.  I was mostly driving along I-80 through Nebraska.  What do I know about Nebraska?  Nothing except the “Oracle of Omaha” is from this state, better known as Warren Buffett one of the richest men in the world.  I doubt he drives along I-80 though.

I made one long stop at a gift shop called Ford Cody in North Palatte.  It was a little tacky.  I did find what I thought was the only cool item in the store.  Belts!  They had some great handmade belts with Buffalo and Wolves on them.  They did not have the Wolf design in a 32, so I got the Buffalo one.  I thought I should have one cool thing to remember about Nebraska and my road trip.

I drove a little over 500 miles from Greeley, CO to Lincoln, NE.  Funny thing is I could have kept driving probably without a problem.  I am really not that tired from driving today.  I think I am used to it now and prepared for it.  I listened to “The Bourne Identity” and “The Bourne Supremacy” while driving.  It's was much better than listening to “Cover Her Face” which I still have no idea what the story is about.  The Bourne series had all background music and a good narrator to make the story exciting.  Tomorrow I will listen to the third installment in the series “The Bourne Ultimatum.”  I picked up these cassette tapes at a great place in Baltimore called the Bookthing.  They give out free books and sometimes old cassettes are there.  I did consider getting a better head unit to install in the Accord, but I don't mind using cassette taps.  It's nostalgic to use them.

I stopped and I am staying in Lincoln, NE at the Staybridge Suites here.  When I checked in I was talking with Sarah, the girl working the front desk, about my road trip.  She was said, “I am taking a trip soon from LA to Minneapolis.  I am looking for any tips.”  I was quite proud that someone had recognized and asked me a master road tripper for advice.  (Ok… that's a bit of a stretch.)  I said “I would recommend getting a cooler and putting ice and drinks in there.  That way you don't have to stop when you are thirsty.  You can also put food and snacks in the cooler.”  We also talked a little about… Warren Buffett.  I asked “I guess Warren Buffett is popular in Nebraska?”  Sarah, “Yeah we don't have many people to be proud of.”  He definitely is an amazing guy to have built up such an immense amount of wealth.  At least Baltimore has Micheal Phelps.

The rooms at Staybridge are very nice, comfortable, and well-appointed.  I like the suite concept where you have a kitchenette with a fridge, dishwaher, and microwave.  It's more inviting experience when you stay in a hotel.

Tomorrow it's another 500 miles to Chicago.