I live in Ohio, but my heart has always been in Colorado. It’s where I was born and what I love. I grew up on the eastern plains of Colorado, north of Denver and east of the mountains. The Rockies are only about a 40 minute drive from my hometown, and the vista they provide is amazing.
So, when I realized it was time for class reunions, we started considering a road trip from Ohio to Colorado. First we talked about flying, they we decided to take two weeks and drive. We got a new car in the spring, so we knew that we had a car that would make it across many states. The adventure began.
The day before we left I told my husband that I’d never been to a Great Lake. We’ve lived in Ohio for seven years and somehow I’ve never seen Lake Erie or Lake Michigan. It was ridiculous. So, when we woke up the day of the trip, he surprised me with a detour off our original route. We hit Lake Michigan via Gary, Indiana.
It was a cool morning, windy, and the beach was pretty much empty. Perfect for a quick look. A visit to a Great Lake for vacation may be in our future.
We then trekked to the outskirts of Chicago for a culinary treat my husband found: a gluten free pizza worth eating!!! Lou Malnati’s makes a ‘crustless’ pizza, with the crust made entirely of sausage! We had cheese, tomato sauce, mushroom and onions on top. It was wonderful, and one piece would normally fill me up (but I had two because how often am I going to get a pizza like that?!). It was a takeout only restaurant, so we sat down and ate on the median. We looked ridiculous, but it was worth it.
After that we drove onward. We crossed the Mississippi and landed in Iowa, another state I’ve never seen. We realized that LeClaire, Iowa was the home of Antique Archeology from the show American Pickers. Libby, my 11 year-old daughter, LOVES American Pickers. So, we had to do a quick detour. And, because it was next to the Mississippi, we had to get a quick pick (and the hubs had to spit in the river, a tradition. Don’t ask; I’m not really sure).
We then made our way to our hotel, with a quick stop at the craziest Costco ever. It was REALLY nice, with covered parking. Weather is not an issue at this Costco! We scoured hotel prices and reviews and ended up at a motel that I would never recommend. Thank goodness we got out of there without bedbugs.
So, day two took us to the oodest museum I’ve ever visited. For some reason, Ted believed that Kellogg, Iowa was the home of Kellogg’s cereals. Although I knew the actual homebase of Kelloggs was in Battle Creek, Michigan (I read many cereal boxes as a kid), I figured maybe he was born there or lived there at some point. No. Such. Luck. It was a musty storefront stock-full of antiques; some really cool, some odd, jammed into spaces and displayed in an order that made some sense, but everything was crammed into any and all nooks and crannies.
After that stop, he had to redeem himself, so he found a restaurant highlighted on man vs. food in Omaha. Starskey’s is a hole in the wall dive bar with wonderful wings and burgers, and something called Pig Wings–basically rib meat on a stick. It was all good, and we ate (really bad for you) Gluten Free.
We then hit the road, through Nebraska, spending the night in North Platte. A nice town off the highway with some highlights that we didn’t see; the girls were dying to swim that night and we wanted to hit the road semi-early the next day. We were all excited to get to Greeley, Colorado!
The next day we watched the plains of Nebraska fade away as we crossed into Colorful Colorado (which is pretty bland at the Nebraska border).
We made it to Greeley by about 1:00, after stopping for a wonderful Mexican meal in Ft. Morgan (complete with the necessary green chili). Family reunion, class reunion, and touristy things have followed since. More of all that to come!
And now, onto a little dark noir/supernatural suspense with K.A. Laity’s White Rabbit.
This was such a different book, taking elements of hardball detective fiction and supernatural fiction, throwing in a little screwy comedy. It works, though. Laity created characters that you care about while still making you want to uncover the whole mystery of the white rabbit.
James Draygo is a disgraced police detective who works as a fake psychic, doing this in order to keep his ability to see and help the dead at bay. He is addicted to something called dust that seems to help him in this endeavor. He’s approached by a woman divorcing her uber-rich industrialist husband; she wants to commune with his first wife to find out how she really died. While there, she is murdered: and Draygo is sucked in.
Draygo, with the help of plucky, attractive reporter, his manservant/henchman, and a plethora of spirit who gravitate to him, Draygo unravels the truth. It is a crime-noir mystery at it’s best, with elements of supernatural thrown in. It scores on both levels: everything makes sense and fits. All in all, White Rabbit is a
fun, quick read that is most enjoyable.