Jul. 9th, 2012

innocent_man: (Default)
(I actually posted this over on my blog a couple of days ago, because DW was being stupid and wasn't letting me post. But I've fixed some typos and added a funnier title, so you can read it here, you lucky so-n-so.)

So, it was a sound enough plan. We (Michelle and I) leave on Thursday, hit Davenport, IA the first night, drive to Des Moines Friday (today), get lunch at Zombie Burger, head to Kansas City, crash with her aunt, drive to Oklahoma City on Friday, get her kiddos at the airport, stay with her folks a couple of days in Middle-of-Fucking-Nowhere, OK, drive to St. Louis, stay in a hotel, drive home. Whole thing takes a week. Lots of driving, but no real killer days of driving, and plenty of time for wineries and strange and beautiful things.

And then fuckery happened.

Let me back up. (Only a few photos this time, sorry.)

We left yesterday, stopping first at Heather's house to visit my kiddos (they just got back from their own trip):


Cale using a freeze ray on me.




Teagan being adorable.



 We drove forever, and we found a winery in Indiana that, apart from having two godawful red wines (smelled like tomato sauce, tasted like soy sauce) also had a Traminette and a blueberry wine that were just lovely. Other low point of the detour - the signs are for shit. We wound overshooting it, heading too far north, and we wound up in...Michigan?



Nice bench, innit?



So we bought some wine, and kept heading west. We initially thought about stopping through Chicago and hitting the Shedd Aquarium, but it's only open until 6 and we didn't figure we'd have time. Above all, we joked, we want avoid Gary. There are vampires there.

But somewhere in Indiana, our A/C quit. Now, you gotta know, it's a billion fucking degrees out. Staying in the car is fatal. We kept going, got as far as Gary (fuck) and stopped at a Jiffy Lube to get the A/C recharged. Hell, my car has a quarter-million miles on it. That'll need to happen, right?

Well, Jiffy Lube said, "nope, totally not a recharge issue. A leak in the line." OK, then. We drove down the road to a repair place, and the dude said, "Yep, can totally do that. Tomorrow."

Michelle and I talked it over, and figured fuck it, we'll get to Davenport tonight (we weren't too far away) and get the car repaired in the morning. We arrived in Davenport smelling like GenCon, but this morning I got up at crack o'clock and took the car to Firestone. And the very nice, tall man at Firestone said...

...my compressor exploded (note to those who, like me, don't speak car - the word "exploded" shares a prefix with "expensive," and that's not a coincidence, baby). Yes, they can fix it. No, it's not cheap, but I sure as balls don't want to drive to Oklahoma and back to Cleveland with no A/C. There's not enough deodorant in the world.

So I am now at the Starbucks in the Barnes & Noble in the mall in Davenport in the log in the hole at the bottom of the sea, waiting on the car to be fixed.


My car, in surgery.



The rest of the plan continues as scripted. I am getting a Zombie Burger today.

Further details and photos as we go on.
innocent_man: (abyssal)

Woof. Eventful trip. Finally started to get good for a while there, and then the second car-splosion. Let me back up. So, when we last left our protagonists (that'd be Michelle and me), we were in Davenport, IA, getting my car fixed. That took all day, but it did get done ("Air compressor exploded. Needs new coolant fan. Dinglehoppers need re-bloofered."). Fortunately there was a mall nearby, where Michelle and I spent much of Friday.

 

That's a tattoo parlor on the left and a Build-a-Bear on the right. Odd mall.

    

 

 

 

 

But eventually we got the car done, and drove to Des Moines. Now, the whole point of taking this route to Oklahoma (going through Indiana, Illinois and Iowa rather than down through Missouri) was going to Zombie Burger.

 

Zombie Burger is, as you may have guessed, a zombie-themed burger joint. Their food is really awesome, and all their burgers are named after various zombie things (the one I ordered was called "They're Coming to Get You Barbara", and the bun was two grilled-cheese sandwiches because FUCK MY ARTERIES ANYWAY). Some pictures from the place:

Shamble to the restroom.

 

Wait times for tables can be murder.

 

Yes, you can order a Bloody Brain.

 

Michelle, about to be eaten by a wall.

The initial plan was to go to Kansas City and crash with Michelle's aunt, but it was late before we got to Des Moines so we just got a hotel. Next morning, then, we got up and started heading to Kansas City so we could at least have lunch with her.

En route, we stopped at another winery. This one (Two Saints) had a number of really lovely wines. And was very pretty. Check it.

 

Vineyards.

 

A moment later, the plant ate her.

 So we tasted some wines, and bought a bunch, and then back on the road! We made to Kansas City, and had a lovely lunch with Michelle's aunt Ann, and then got back on the road. Ann mentioned that there was a winery nearby that had, at one point, been a sanitarium or something like that. Odd Fellows? Hell yeah, gotta see that.

 

 

 

 

We bought some more wine, and on we went! We drove through Kansas, and OMG, Kansas is like Iowa except somehow more boring. We did find this kind of cool fence thing, though:

 

Not pictured: Michelle.

 

So we finally made it to Oklahoma City, got the boys (after some fuckery from United Airlines), checked into the hotel, and went the hell to bed.

 

Next day (Sunday) we all got up and had breakfast in the hotel, then had lunch at Dave & Buster's (the food was surprisingly good), and then went to the Oklahoma Science Museum. Oh, yeah, we got pictures.

 

Lyons.

 

The skeletal dinosaur surveying his domain.

 

I AM THE PILOT.

 

Yoshimi, they don't believe me.

 

Michelle and also boxes.

 

A little miniature village.

 

CSI Pompeii?

 

"Snakes for hair, you say?"

 

I have no idea why she took the picture while I was yawning.

 

Al is really tall.

 

Will is training to be a mall cop.

 

The boys as astronauts. We're not sure why the robot needs a helmet.

 

And then off to Ted's Escondido Cafe for dinner, then back to Temple in a complete uneventful evening...OH SHIT CARSPLOSION.

Yeah, the A/C is out. AGAIN. The good news is that we left it at Firestone (because they "fixed" it the first time, it's under warranty) and went back to Temple (aka, "nowhere") for the night.

Further adventures today.

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