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  • Day13

    Salina ks

    April 24 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    Weather: 70s and beautiful

    States: Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas

    Cities: Williams, Albuquerque, Dodge city, Las Vegas (?)

    Miles: 995 miles

    Hours: 14 hrs 45 min

    Restaurant:

    Hotel/Home: Fairfield

    Audible: Resisting Happiness (a couple chapters at a time), Adrift

    We packed up early and hit the road at 6:30 AM. We had a long day ahead of us. It always seems so impossible to drive these 14 hour jaunts. It is daunting. We just keep ticking off the miles and hours. It is actually pretty cool to pass through towns and down roads across the country that you may have never know existed. The landscape keeps changing. The people keep changing. When you hear about a storm or an event on the news, you can say you’ve been there. You have left a footprint there.

    Our weather has been fabulous the whole trip. No rain, mostly blue skies and beautiful spring like weather. Warmer in California and Las Vegas. Our trips have been charmed. I will admit that we are all ready to get home and give each other some space but that is expected, right? We have been within 5 feet of each other for 15 days. We all have our own personalities (which are much different with teenagers) which often conflict. I will say that our kids don’t dread being on these trips though. They never complain about doing any of it and never have. Thank God. They truly enjoy seeing different places,eating different foods from different places in the country and even meeting people from those places. This trip has been great because we have been able to see family and friends along the way and see where they live. We saw my sister, Heather in San Francisco, the McCormicks in Santa Cruz, my nephew Cody in LA, the Lanstra’s in Pasadena, Paul’s brother, Dave in Vegas and our niece Emily in Missouri. They are all part of our blog of trips and our blog books. A part of our history. Life is good.

    We have spent a lot of driving time listening to books as well. This Resisting Happiness book is a good one. It is a Catholic based book that makes you dig deeper into your faith and even more, creating a better version of yourself. It really got all of us thinking and wanting to be more active in that pursuit. We listen to a couple of chapters a day because it is a thinking and processing book. The kids have been listening, too. We don’t expect them to get everything we do out of it but they will pick up things here and there. Its about being a good person, using faith as a guide, helping others, how you present yourself and more. It is funny that a lot of the topics hit on things we were already talking to the kids about like how you present yourself to others. We all need to process what we learn in different ways. Paul likes to talk about it. I like to internalize myself. No way is better as long as we are all willing to look at ourselves and want to create a better version of ourselves. Break bad habits and create new and positive ones. It is a great book and the author reads it on audible.

    For most of the 14 hour drive, we listened to the book, Adrift. A true story that was made into a movie. I have not seen the movie but Elizabeth had and said it was totally different than the book. It is a good driving book because it takes you on a sailing journey where the detail emerges you in the experience but at the same time, it’s not all critical to the story. At one point, I fell asleep and didn’t seem to miss anything and later Paul did the same. Not to say that it was unimportant to the story but not so important if you missed something, you missed the point of the story. It really passed time. Nothing terribly exciting or as engaging as Lion (A Long Journey HOme which we LOVED).

    As night fell, we ended up on these smaller highways that got up to 70 miles an hour and down to 35 miles per hour as they led us through one little town America after another. Each having corn or wheat fields flanking each end and giant grain silos and factories in the towns. We know that if you live there, chances are you will work there like your father or mother did and as your grandparents may have. Each town no longer than a mile stretch. In and out for hours. We finally reached Dodge City, yes the city where the cowboy phrase, “Get outta Dodge,” came from. I can see why. It smelled like poop all through the town. It is actually a fairly nice town until you get out of the car.Cow poop smell everywhere. I suppose you get used to it. Maybe the wind changes. I don’t know. We grabbed our Pizza Hut Pizza and got outta Dodge.
    We arrived in Salina around 11PM. We hit the sheets for our 4.5 hour drive to Columbia, MO to see our niece Emily at Mizzou. I will tell you that the Fairfield that we stayed in was one of the nicest that we’ve stayed in across the country. Marriott, Bonvoy, is revamping their hotels again and their image. I like it. I love Marriott. They are so consistent across the country. They never feel dirty, the people are nice and the rooms are comfy. I am creeped out by hotels but never a Marriott. We have stayed in close to 40+ different ones across the country. Different levels from Renaissance to Courtyard to Fairfield. We are now Platinum Elite with three night short of Lifetime Platinum Elite. We get some perks from that. Just know that Marriotts are consistent across the country, Fairfield’s and Springhilll Suites have suite rooms accommodating up to 6 people and they have free breakfast, they have clean rooms with clean white bedding and are never in bad neighborhoods. Important when traveling with a car full of stuff. They really take pride in their brand.

    Tomorrow to Columbia.
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