Sunday, January 7, 2024

Tesla Road Trip - Leaving St Louis, Driving through Kansas, and Getting to Colorado - 2023/11/15

Time for our final push to get to Colorado! We left our hotel at the St Louis Arch and started our journey westward. 

Pushing into Kansas. It's a getting dark, but we're getting hungry. Since we're near Topeka Kansas, what should we eat? Everyone say it together with me... 

All-You-Can-Eat Chinese! For some reason, it just sounded really good. Everyone was able to get something they liked, including crab rangoon, sweet and sour chicken, chicken skewers, broccoli and more. 

And as a special surprise, they even had ice cream! Not even soft-serve, but hard scooped ice cream! We were pleasantly surprised! 
Time to go find our hotel for the night. 

Uh... This is where the GPS is taking us. Are we sure we're in the right place? Construction equipment, signage that has been removed, an awning that's missing, and looking in the windows, many of the rooms are under construction. 

Walking inside, this guy welcomed us to the Happiness Hotel.
"How are you guys fixin to pay?" 
A. Credit Card    
B. Cash    
C. Sneak out in the middle of the night

Okay, so maybe not quite that bad. But our room was pretty spartan, missing dressers, kitchenette counters, and such. A lone mini-fridge sat by itself.  

When we left the next morning, it didn't look a whole lot better. 

Pushing through Kansas. Going up in elevation, into the wind, it's interesting that the Tesla tells you where the battery power is going. 

Stopping to charge, a convenience store has dressed up their taxidermied animals for the holidays. 

Alli liked that little santa hat on the turkey. We sent a picture to our friend Henry in Florida. Maybe his turkey could use a hat like that. 

Just across from the charging stations was a playground that the kids could burn a little energy at. 

One of the sites that my mother has suggested we visit during our travels through Kansas is in Goodland, to see the World's Largest Easel

Now that we're not pulling the RV behind us, it's a lot easier to stop off to see these road-side attractions. 

This 80 foot tall structure is a reproduction of Van Gogh's "Three Sunflowers In A Vase". It's southern facing which makes sure the sun illuminates it, as Ian can tell you. 

Yes, you can go run to it. 

Once you get up close to it, you can really appreciate the scale. 

The back side, because how often do you get to see that. 

We're getting closer! Welcome to Colorful Colorado! The sky certainly is. 

And after 4 days and 2000 miles, we have arrived! One Tesla delivered! It was a fun adventure, being able to see some things we wouldn't normally. 

The next morning, cuddling under the blankets. It's chilly here in Colorado. 

Getting out to the playground to play with their cousin Avery. 

We played a new to us game called Tic-Tac-Toe that we learned about from my mom, who learned it from Jessica's mom. It's a fun one, but Theresa had some ridiculous luck. Jokers are wild, we're playing with 2 decks, and somehow she's managed to find 3 of the 4! 

We've been on the road for a little bit, so we thought it would be appropriate to celebrate Ian's birthday once we arrived. He asked for a Village Inn French Silk pie instead of cake. Good boy!

10 already. Wow. 

It's so good! 

He had a list of things he wanted for his birthday. Uncle Patrick and Aunt Megan got him his favorite Mountain Dew Major Melon. 

And Pokemon cards from the Michigan family! 

The kids brought out a few Pokemon cards for their cousin to have and trade too. 

The three cousins have been down in the basement making secret plans of some sort. We've had to keep out while they worked on things. Now that we've had dinner and everyone is together it's time to announce it! 
Welcome to the Snow Festival! 

What sorts of surprises await us! 

There's games! Like the Snowball Toss and Peppermint Candy Mix-Up!

Uncle Patrick threw a snowball (crumpled white paper) and knocked over the cups! 

Find the peppermint candy! 

Can you hang the ornament on the tree? 

You're throwing an ornament dart and seeing where it lands. Clever. 

And if you "win" a game, Alli will bring you a peppermint candy! 

Ooh, here's a nice addition to the snow festival! Warm drinks! Hot cocoa and Peppermint Tea! 

A little bit of Peppermint Tea for mommy please Alli. 

And I'd love a hot chocolate please Avery. 

There's another game the kids have us doing while all this is going on. 

Hidden around the basement are 4 different snowflakes. Find them all and win a prize!

The more observant might notice that Ian has a snowflake taped to his back. 

You have to be really observant to find a snowflake on the inside of one of the Peppermint Mix-Up cups. 

If you miss your ornament toss, you might find this blue snowflake. 

This was the most difficult to find, but eventually we got there! 

Great festival kids! Some very creative ideas here!

Alli and I made gingerbread cookies, plus some salted caramel and buttercream to make our favorite Epcot cookies

One evening, Gram and Pop Pop offered to watch the kids and give Theresa and me a night out! I took her to our favorite Korean restaurant. I've been taking Theresa here since we were in high school! They still have my favorite spicy chicken and wontons. 

Theresa loves the different side dishes. She got a kimchi-jjigae and can normally handle a bit of spice. Now usually Korean spicy isn't anything like Thai or Indian spicy. The cook must have been feeling it because it was quite spicy. I had some broth and while there was some good flavor, the spice made it uncomfortable. 

Afterwards, we found a Starbucks with chairs by a fireplace! Score! 

While we've had a fun evening out, the kids have been busy in the sewing room with Gram. 

Working those patterns through the sewing machine. 

Adding a couple eyes. 

And a bow. 

And there you have it! Two homemade Christmas presents for their cousins! 

I think they turned out great! Good job kids! 
We're happily enjoying our time in Colorado! 

1 comment:

  1. Lots of good family time with the Colorado family! Hard to believe that Ian is already 10!!! The Snow Festival put on by the 3 kids had some great ideas...a crumpled white ball of paper makes a great snowball...those snowflakes were hidden pretty well (needed eagle eyes for those small flakes) that "hang the ornament on the tree" game w/ the dart idea!...Patrick definitely kept his eye on the peppermint candy :-) Awwww...such good memories to return to the Korean restaurant you and Theresa frequented since high school days...amazing it's still there, considering how many small restaurants didn't fare well during/after the covid shutdowns. Henry must have gotten a good chuckle with the "turkey wearing a Santa hat" photo :-) Alli seems to be liking her green broccoli these cream at a Chinese restaurant???? The "backside of the World's Largest Easel" made me think of the famous "backside of the waterfalls in the Jungle Cruise" :-) Hmmmm...that Happiness Hotel reminded me of something from the Twilight Zone...surprised it was open (partially) for business in its current state of construction...glad you all survived that overnight stay! Nice sewing jobs Ian, Alli, and Gram. EOM