Walking Downtown Honolulu and Meeting Old Friends Pt. 1

Today has been an incredibly long day, but its definitely one of those days I won’t want to forget. Today I woke up early around 7:00 A.M and got dressed before going down to eat breakfast with my mom. Today’s breakfast was especially good since there was Portuguese sausage and Korean rice soup called Juk. I got my fair share of coffee and orange juice as well. After eating we went back to the room to get whatever we needed for the day. For today I was going to meet some of my old friends I haven’t seen for a while. My mom was going to go see her old friends as well in Waipahu. I believe we left the hotel just around 8:00 A.M. We first headed out to downtown Honolulu since I needed to go to the school bookstore that opened at 8:30 A.M. When we got downtown my mom parked at the Long’s drugs that was next to the Safeway. We first went around the Long’s Drugs since it was still pretty early and the bookstore wasn’t going to open for a few more minutes. When I went inside Long’s for some reason I had some idea to look for a Frisbee as a way to spend time with my buddies. I asked one of the workers and they pointed out the aisle. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any Frisbees in store. While I was inside though the smell of Long’s was oddly nostalgic since Long’s has this odd unique smell in it. Kind of like a Walgreens smell mixed with that wet A/C smell, a bit hard to explain but that’s how it smelled like. I also looked around at all the snacks, mostly to survey the prices on them since I was looking for the best deal on those. I also got to see the coffee section and it blew my mind. The real legit Kona blend coffee was on sale for $3.50 per pound! If only they had it at the same price here in the states. I believe my mom got a few pounds of coffee here.

After looking around a bit more I walked out towards the HPU bookstore since it should be open by then. It was an interesting and very nostalgic walk. On my way there I passed by the apartment place where some of my foreign exchange student friends lived in. It’s the apartment place next to the shuttle stop. When I got to HPU at Fort Street a lot of memories came back of hanging out with my friends those many years ago. It was an off day so there wasn’t much people on campus. It was weird seeing the campus empty like this since I was used to always seeing a lot of people there. From the MP building to the Sea Warriors Center it was weird but cool seeing it all again. I then headed into the building where the bookstore should have been, I forgot the official name of the building. When I got inside I saw an empty room where the bookstore should have been. It hit me in many ways seeing the empty room. I remembered a lot of memories of chilling with friends inside that room. Seeing it empty was really weird. I kind of wondered where the new bookstore was but I quickly remembered that HPU was making the Aloha Tower place the new central location for HPU. I then headed out that way. On my way there I made a quick stop at the LB building to ask the security guard where the bookstore was. He confirmed my guess that the bookstore was at the Aloha Tower Marketplace. I then proceeded in that direction. The whole walk that way was nostalgic on its own right. I then got to the Aloha Tower Marketplace. When I got inside the bookstore I noticed that it looked very nice inside. It was much more spacious than the previous bookstore. Inside, I was then greeted by Marianne, I was like “Hey are you Marianne?” and she responded positively and she remembered that I was on the guy on the phone the other day asking about my cap and gown. She went to the back room and looked for my cap and gown. Out came her and her supervisor who showed me the cap and gown. It was kind of funny because they misspelled my name pretty bad, something like Levy Galubon. It was weird, but I was just glad that they had one for me. I didn’t check out right away, I still looked around at all the stuff they had. There was a lot of interesting HPU memorabilia. I wished they had HPU postcards though. I ended up getting two HPU t-shirts, one for me and a medium sized one for my sister. Actually that medium sized shirt will give me some problems later on, more on that in another post. At the check out I got to talk to Marianne a bit. She was a Junior and from Philadelphia. She said she didn’t live in the city of Philadelphia but a small town near it. I can’t remember which town exactly though. At the checkout Marianne also gave me the graduation tickets, which are important so your friends and family can get inside to watch the graduation ceremony.

After checking out I still had some extra time before meeting up with my friends so I walked around a little bit. I saw that the new student center was open. Interestingly, it still required the use of a student ID. Luckily, my student ID still worked and opened the door. It took me two tries since I wasn’t sure how the door would open lol Inside was actually a very modern student center. If I was going to this school at the time I would be chilling here for the most part. After checking out the student center for a bit I checked my phone and I got texts from AJ and he said he got stuck in the UB building staircase since it was locked on both ends, due to it being summer time. I gave him a call to clarify it and it was pretty funny. After three years, the first time seeing AJ would be to help him out of a sticky situation; I wouldn’t of had it any other way. I let my mom know that I was done and ready to get picked up at the Aloha Tower Marketplace. After she picked me up I dropped off the things I didn’t need in the car and my mom dropped me off on Alakea street. I walked quickly to the UB building and it probably took me about 10 minutes after the phone call with AJ to get there. As I suspected the staircase to go up was locked, actually, how did AJ get in there the first place? Oh well, I then took the elevator to go up to the second floor and I immediately checked the first fire escape, no one there. I then checked the other fire escape and there was AJ lol It was cool to meet up again. We then quickly caught up on old times and then headed to the FS building. I wanted to meet Professor Hart to talk about my Thesis. When we got there I went to where Hart’s office was before and talked to the secretary. The secretary said that Hart should be in but his office moved down the hall. I then thanked her and went on my way. Unfortunately, Hart was not there in his office. I then met up with AJ and he said that David was gonna be at HPU in a few minutes. In the mean time AJ and I got some breakfast at Jojo’s Café in front of the Sea Warrior Center. While I was going to HPU Jojo’s Café was the spot to get breakfast for cheap. I got a Portuguese sausage meal with two eggs for $3.25! It’s such a good deal and I’m glad to see that its still cheap. Aj and I then ate our food in front of Fort Street Café. We talked about how some things were the same and how some things changed. The Chinese place where we would always get food before is now a Korean place. Kind of funny how that changed out. It didn’t take too long before David showed up and we also quickly got caught up on old times. After we finished eating we then headed out to the MP building. I wanted to talk to both Asselin and Bratton about my thesis as well. We walked up the fire escape and the smell inside that fire escape and just being in there was nostalgic as well. We walked that fire escape to the fourth floor. I instinctively walked to where Asselin’s office used to be. Now its just an empty room, actually they cleared it out and tore down a wall because the room is a lot wider than it used to be back in the day. Back in the day it was about as big as a small storage room, now it was big enough to be a classroom! I then checked my notes to as where Asselin’s office should have been and we couldn’t find it. We then walked around to the office. On the way to the office we passed by Professor Kubota’s classroom where AJ and I took our foreign language classes. AJ had Kubota for Japanese and I had Kubota for Korean. AJ and David filled me in that Professor Kubota actually retired recently. It was really weird but it made sense, Professor Kubota was an amazing professor and taught those foreign languages very well. I actually had a lot of great memories in her classroom due to all the friends I made and the information I learned. We then got to the student office and asked where Asselin’s office was. They informed us that it was in a certain room on the third floor along with Bratton’s. Aj, David, and I then headed down to the third floor. We went to where Asselin’s office was and unfortunately he wasn’t there. We then checked out where Bratton’s office was as well. Bratton’s office was inside a long corridor in a section of the third floor where only Professor’s offices were. I went into this long corridor section by myself. It was a bit weird since I saw familiar professors, namely Professors Marek and Juarez. I didn’t say hi anymore since I don’t think they recognized me anyways, three years for them is like a lifetime since they saw hundreds of students in the interim. I then got to Bratton’s office and unfortunately he was not there either. I headed out and met up with AJ and David. We then headed out to the Aloha Tower Marketplace (AT) again since I had more business to finish there. When we got to the AT we actually explored the area a bit. We actually got to check out the dorm area and to be honest it was very nice. The students going to HPU now got it good, the old dorms at the Loa campus looked very old. These new dorms at the AT looked so modern and clean it was ridiculous. I actually went through this area before these dorms were made and HPU did a very good job in renovating the area. While we were walking the area we saw a Keurig machine outside of a dorm and automatically you could tell that they had a roach problem with it. Hawaii has a problem with roaches and Keurigs have a problem with being roach dens. Seeing this Keurig machine outside meant that it was either broken, unwanted, or that the owners were trying to flush out the roaches by drying out the Keurig outside. Actually, AJ and I shared stories about how our Keurigs got roaches too. We then checked out the rest of the dorm area before heading downstairs. When we went downstairs we then found the Student Life Office or something like that, I needed to pick up my honors certificate. Inside was a nice small room. We were greeted by the office people and they helped me get my certificate quickly. I read the list of people and the dates on their signatures were way back in March. I was just glad to be able to pick mine up. After this we decided to check out the actual Aloha Tower. We went through the motions of the security guard checking out bags and then we headed up the elevator. When we got to the top we got to check out all of the views. Its worth mentioning that in one of our conversations we brought up Kubota’s retirement again and how it affected HPU. Apparently, since Kubota retired HPU doesn’t offer Korean as a language anymore, which is highly unfortunate and must have been a blow to the school. We also poked fun at the idea that HPU hired an instructor to take over for Japanese.

After checking out the views of the Aloha Tower we actually went to the Computer Room/Aloha Tower Sea Warrior Center. It was cool seeing the new computer center, it was super spacious compared to the old one near the MP building. It’s interesting that they put a game room/Sea Warrior Center in the computer center. The only thing separating the Sea Warrior Center (SWC) from the computer room was literally just a door. Inside the SWC there were two ping pong tables, a pool table, lots of lounge chairs, and a TV on the wall. AJ and I hit up the ping pong tables first, it was pretty cool and we played for a bit, actually at one point we combined the two ping pong tables and tried it out. It didn’t really work out too well of course but it was fun trying it though lol After playing pingpong AJ wanted to hit up the pool table before heading out. As we were leaving the game room/SWC I noticed that the computer room was pretty empty. I also wondered if they heard all the noise we were making in the SWC because of how quiet it was in the computer room.

Afterwards we then headed down to check out Nashville Waikiki and the Palama Express Market. We first saw Nashville Waikiki and it was a bit underwhelming. It was a largely open room with a pool table, bar, and I think tables. The décor was very scant and hardly resembled a honky-tonk in Nashville. The honky-tonks in Nashville were all compact, grimy, full of décor/character, and loud. I can’t blame these guys for trying though. I was talking to my friends and poked fun at Nashville Waikiki, saying that they should hire a group of chain-smokers to fill the room with cigarette smoke to make it more authentic lol Afterwards, we checked out Palama Express. It was interesting to be inside Palama Express, I remember going to the original store up in Pearl City so many years ago. At Palama Express I was looking for things I couldn’t get back in Michigan. For the most part, I could find just about everything back in Michigan, which kind of shows that we do get a lot of imports here. The only thing that really stuck out was this gum called Grenade gum or something like that. AJ and David really hyped it up and convinced me to want to try it out. AJ said it was cheaper at Long’s so I decided to put it off for later. Unfortunately, that later never happened since I kind of forgot about these Grenade gums after we left Palama Express. When we left

Palama Market we actually headed out to Chinatown. At Chinatown we talked a lot about our old memories there. Like how we used to hang out with Vicky at Downbeat Diner. Or that Pho place where Vietnamese Kevin and AJ had to run out on because they forgot to bring money lol While we were walking to the marketplace in Chinatown we actually ran into Volcano Shakes, which was a new place in Chinatown. Before we walked in I quipped that the shakes would be 1 million dollars. I wasn’t far from the mark lol Volcano Shakes was actually a small hole in the wall right next to a lot of other merchants in Chinatown. Actually, it was a very cramped space. They had a lot on their menu but their centerpieces were the Volcano Shakes, which were about $15 a pop. The catch about these shakes was that they were huge and ridiculous. I forgot most of them but their was Smores themed shake and a coffee themed shake as well. We went for the coffee shake and AJ treated, thanks bro! They told us that the wait for the shake was 12 minutes. In the mean time we walked towards the marketplace and it was crowded during the whole walk there. The marketplace itself changed a bit since the last time I was there. My favorite noodle place and shake place were no more. My favorite shake place was this $2 boba place and it got replaced with two other stores. At the marketplace we then got seating and it was about twelve minutes so David got a spot and AJ and I went out to get the shake. When we got there they were actually still making the shake. A cool thing about Volcano Shake is that all the ice cream was made in store. Also, while we were waiting there I told AJ about how we could still eat dessert after a big meal. While I was saying that the guy at the counter was like “that’s interesting I’m listening in”. He was actually a pretty cool guy and easy to converse with. I said that we could eat dessert after a big meal because our bodies take in sugar differently than all the carbs and proteins, because of this we could intake more sugar after we got a fill of food. Afterwards, this Australian couple came in and the counter guy told them about the long wait and the Australian couple were cool about it. Actually, they were about to make an order for a Volcano Shake as well. Interestingly, the counter guy at Volcano Shake said that they were still working out a system for their waiting customers. He said that today he was trying a line system to see if it could generate interest. I wonder how that played out. Afterwards, we eventually got our Volcano Shake, I think the whole wait was probably around the twenty minute mark. The shake itself was pretty big and ridiculous, there were donuts in it, biscotti bread, lots of cream, lots of ice cream, and coffee as well (espresso to be exact). To be honest, it was worth the wait and cost. The Australian couple were also amazed and took pictures of it too lol Seriously, if you are in the area of Chinatown you must check out Volcano Shake! We then got the shake and met up with David at the marketplace. When we got there we tried out the shake and it was amazing. Actually, at the time I wasn’t thinking about the caffeine in it but looking back at it, the caffeine in the shake was pretty potent. Overall the shake was amazing and enough for three people to dive in on.

TO BE CONTINUED

Around The Island of Oahu And Then Some

Today has been a very long day. I woke up very early to start my first day in Hawaii. I was probably up by 7:10 A.M to get ready to eat breakfast around 7:30 A.M. I quickly got ready and headed downstairs with my mom to the breakfast area. At around 7:30 A.M it was pretty crowded at the breakfast area. I have not been here in Hawaii for a while so it was cool to see Asian people everywhere, no joke. After being in the states for so many years I was a bit surprised in a good way. Today Uncle Lito was going to join us for breakfast. He would stop by a little later. In the mean time my mom and I got to eat a lot of breakfast. I got some scrambled eggs, sausage, and pancakes. I also got guava juice to drink alongside my coffee. After eating my plate of food Uncle Lito came by around 8:00 A.M. He was supposed to come earlier but he had work related business to attend to at the office. Uncle also brought some baked goods for the hotel staff. It’s interesting that Uncle Lito is a regular at the hotel and breakfast place. The staff actually had an omelet made to his specifications without him asking. After eating breakfast Uncle Lito brought us over to the airport where we could pick up our rental car. It was a bit confusing to get there because you had to go through the departures of the airport to get there.

When we got to the car rental place we bid farewell to Uncle Lito. We rented with Advantage car rentals, which actually was pretty good despite its negative online reviews. Apparently, people were mostly complaining about the policy to gas up the car after you rent it. There are two options concerning this manner, first you could buy a gas tank insurance, which means that you do not need to put any gas in the tank when you return it. This option is like a flat $45 insurance so you do not need to worry about gassing the vehicle on return. The other option is to fill up the tank yourself and then return it. This option has got people angry because they would fill up the tank at a gas station outside the airport from, say $60, and then upon return they would be charged a penalty of $9.00 due to the gas used to drive to the airport. In other words, just buy that gas insurance.


Oh well, that was a detour in writing, the lady in the front desk of Advantage was cool, we were talking about how nice it was to live in Hawaii and all of the things she did not miss in the states, such as mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, etc. We then got the key and headed up to get the rental car. It was a nice car actually. After we got the car our trip around the island began. Our trip began with a drive towards the West side of Oahu from Honolulu to Wahiawa to get to the Dole Plantation. The drive there was very pleasant and we got to see a lot of familiar sights. It was very nostalgic. When we got to the Dole Plantation it was very odd to be there again after so many years. Throughout the whole time my mom was getting a lot of pictures and so was I. We went inside into the gift shop and looked at all the random souvenirs. Then we headed to the small restaurant where they sold their famous Dole Whip Ice Cream, which was basically pineapple flavored soft serve ice cream. It’s definitely good and well worth its price; you’re probably not going to be able to try it anywhere else in the world. We got a waffle cone of the stuff and it was around $6 I think. We then walked through the back area of the plantation where you could see a small pineapple garden with different varieties of pineapples. We also got to see the koi fish pond, unfortunately at the time there was no koi fish to see. We then got more pictures around the vicinity. We eventually went back inside the gift shop before we headed out. In the gift shop I saw a small pink pineapple doll that my little sister would like and I also got some pineapple hard candy that looked pretty unique. Here’s an interesting part, I then started to think about getting some postcards. I asked the nearest worker on where I can find the postcards and she surprisingly asked “Are you Iglesia?” That question came out of left field and surprised me to the max. It was Wiedelyn! I felt bad I didn’t recognize her instantly; it was mostly because I was in a mindset where I was thinking that I would not bump into anyone I knew. We then quickly caught up on old times. It was surprising and awesome to see her! After catching up we had to head out. I then paid for my things before heading out.

Our next stop was to Waimea Beach, which was actually pretty close. I was thinking that the waters would be calm and that I could just jump off the infamous Jump Rock. When we got to Waimea Beach they actually had the main parking lot closed due to re-pavement or something. So my mom dropped me off across the street and she went to a place up the road where they shot movies, while I went off to the beach. It was probably a ¼-1/2 mile walk away. When I got there, there was barely anyone on the beach and the waves were probably 10-15 feet high. The waves looked very intimidating actually. I had to hype myself up for a while before jumping in because there’s a sort of technique to doing so. I eventually went into the water, it wasn’t too cold but the waves were aggressive. It was fun going in them and brought back some memories, those waves were definitely something you wouldn’t see stateside. I wanted to go on the jump rock but no one else was on it and those warnings about death signs were a bit too intimidating for me to tackle on alone. I probably swam for 20-30 minutes before fatigue started settling in. It was a bit intimidating when I got tired because to get out of those waves took some energy and effort and if you got tired you were done for. If you plan on going into high waves make sure you have enough energy to get back on land or call a lifeguard. Do not cramp up on those big waves.

After some time I met up with my mom back on the other side of the street. From there we drove to Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck, which is my personal favorite garlic shrimp in Kahoku. Today at Giovanni’s the line wasn’t too bad. It may seem long but it always goes by very fast. While I was getting the shrimp my mom got a coconut and a table. I think the whole time I waited in line and waited to get the shrimp was actually 15 minutes, very fast for the line. When you look at the price it may seem a bit pricey but its well worth the price, also a tip is to get extra garlic rice since it only costs a cool $1 for an extra two scoops of rice and lots of garlic flavor. The garlic shrimp from Giovanni’s was amazing, I ate it all up and wished I had more as I write this right now lol Well, afterwards, the place where my mom got the coconut actually cut it open so we could eat the meat inside, which was cool.

Afterwards, we drove more towards the Eastern side of the island. From here we passed a lot of green scenery. We passed by the Polynesian Cultural Center and other beaches as well. While on the road we stopped by the park near China Man’s Hat island to get some pictures. It was fairly packed with fishermen and tourists but it was cool. Then we went down to the Macadamia Nut Farm or whatever it was. It was this little side store that specialized in macadamia nut products. What’s cool about this place is that they always have lots of samples to try out. While here I tried a lot of the macadamia, out of all of them the Kona glazed macadamia nuts stood out as my favorite. I also got to try the macadamia nut Kona coffee, which was amazing, think hazelnut coffee but with a stronger nuttier flavor due to the macadamia. While here there was also a local artist selling his glasswork and necklaces. I actually got a necklace to give to a friend from this local artist. We then eventually left the macadamia place.

Our next stop would be in the Kaneohe area, which was Valley of the Temples. This place is actually a graveyard but also a tourist spot as well due to the Buddhist temple in the back. We actually went to this tourist area to get some pictures. While we were here we looked at all the sights in the temple area. I also got to check out the gift shop, which had some interesting things in it. I ended up getting some postcards here.

Afterwards, we had to head back to the hotel to get ready to meet up with Uncle Lito and one of his workers who was graduating named Jarissa. Uncle also wanted me to talk to her about the online program for Master’s that I did. At the hotel we got ready quickly before heading to the Sheraton hotel to meet up at 5:30 P.M. We got there pretty early and got to take some pictures around. By 5:30 P.M everyone started showing up. We then ate at the buffet place at the Sheraton, which was amazing. I remember meeting Jarissa and a few of her relatives. I feel bad for not remembering their names but they were cool kids. The food on the buffet was very good. It was super good actually. I remember there being ahi poke on the buffet line! Also for dessert there was Ted’s Bakery Pies, which is also a specialty in Hawaii. After eating we all went on our separate ways. When my mom and I got back to the hotel we actually went to walk through Waikiki and checked out the tourist trap ally where you can find just about any kind of souvenir. The catch here is that you are probably going to barter if you want a better price. While we were here I remember getting one of those Hawaiian helmets people put on their car mirrors for decorations. Other than that, I decided to get other souvenirs at another time. I then went back to the hotel with my mom.

After we got there I remembered how much food I consumed and decided that I had to exercise. I then changed into my running outfit and started running Waikiki. I actually got pretty far. I went from the hotel all the way passed the Ala Moana Center. The run itself was pretty fun and not too difficult. The only difficult part was this area where they were doing construction on the sidewalk so you had to step on this metal pallets with weird high raised bumps on them, I was using vibrams so I really felt those. Also, doing my run it was pretty depressing running by the Ala Moana Center, at night the Center turns into a de facto homeless shelter due to all the homeless people just congregating there after hours and setting up their canopies and make shift tents and make shift sleeping bags. I then also ran down Kalakaua Blvd towards the event center. I thought I could swing around the event center to get to the Ala Wai Promenade but it actually led me to this residential apartment area that was pretty intimidating at night. I then made my way eventually back to Ala Moana Blvd and headed back to the hotel. I think my whole run was a little over an hour. By the time I got back to the room I took a shower and headed to sleep.

Travel Log: From Oklahoma City, OK to Colorado Springs, CO

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At the Unity Games in Oklahoma City University

Today I woke up fairly early to get ready for the day’s event. After I got ready I headed downstairs to get some breakfast. There were quite a bit of people in the breakfast area. I remember meeting Sis. Risa or atleast I think that’s her name. She was pretty cool. Afterwards, I got some biscuits with gravy and sausage and also a cup of black coffee as well. After eating we then headed out to go to Oklahoma University at Oklahoma City for the Unity Games. The actual University was pretty far from the hotel, perhaps a twenty-thirty minute drive I believe. Before we got to the University I remember that we stopped at a gas station for ice for the cooler. After getting the ice we headed to the University. The campus itself was pretty big, it had a wide area with pretty tall buildings. It reminded me a bit of Colorado College but with more tall buildings. After getting parking I got my camera equipment and headed inside. I remember running into Bro Glenn and Sis Gene again near the entrance. After saying hi to them I already started getting some pictures. At this point there were a lot of brethren coming inside. When I went inside the gym there were a bunch of people everywhere. I remember meeting up with Jared and Pierre, which really surprised me to see them there in Oklahoma. I also remember meeting some other people as well. Later on it was time for the opening prayer and then everyone started gathering up in their locales. The first activity was a small parade march around the gym. It was pretty cool actually, during this march I was able to take a couple of good shots. After this parade the games started, at this point it was getting pretty hectic with everything going on all at once. It was mostly getting hectic because everyone was everywhere and I was trying to get some shots. I remember at one point I helped out Kristen in looking for a spot to set up the INCTV office. I asked one of the gym personnel if we could use one of the rooms as an office and they looked around for us as well but said they couldn’t let us use it. They did offer a suggestion, which was to use the hallway area in the middle of the gym. Instead, we ended up using the hallway area on the side of the gym and it worked pretty well. It was a bit funny since we were sitting on the floor lol.

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Afterwards, I was pretty hungry, I heard about food being outside so I checked that out. It was pretty cool, they set up these canopy tent things and had tables set up with a bunch of food on it. I remember there being sandwiches, hot dogs, and a lot of those bagged chips. I got a sandwich, hot dog, and chips. It didn’t really make me full but it really got me going. At this point I remember bumping into Bro John and Sis Laura, which was cool. We were talking about the board games and she told me that she played Scrabble. I forgot how she did but I think she did good. I said later to both of them and I headed inside. I then remembered that I had a chess game to play as well. I was wondering when it would start and when it did it caught me with my pants down. When they told me it started I ran there and then asked if I could play. They then told me that I had to find an opponent, which I subsequently did. I actually asked a bit of people including PJ and Curtis. Thankfully, Darrell was down to play a game of chess. We then headed to the chess room and got to play a game of chess. Prior to this point I practiced a lot with Neil and even learned a few moves as well. I also learned the mentality you should have if you want a chance to win in a game of chess at the tournament level. Thanks Neil, Neil himself went against a very tough chess player and couldn’t best him at the game. Myself though, I was able to beat Darrell in the game, which was a hard thing to do. I remember seeing Kristen while I was playing my game, she looked pretty as always. Afterwards, while we were waiting for the next game to begin I was taking some shots around the gym. I remember seeing bro Richie and catching up with him there. He asked me how to get upstairs and I showed him the way. At this point he said, whoa this place is awesome, you could get good shots here. I agreed with him, which I remember taking a lot of shots up here earlier. Afterwards, I found out from my sister that we were actually about to head out soon. She then found out that the road was being blocked because of an ambulance, then I was like “an ambulance?” Actually, there was a person who passed out, or at least I heard. I checked out the commotion and saw a lot of people around this kid and I saw some paramedics there too or some sort of emergency officials. I didn’t get to see what happened in the end but I hope the kid was alright. Afterwards, the roads cleared up and it was time to head out. I let Kristen know that we were headed out and then we were on our way.

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The other day I remember telling my parents about a local BBQ place Called Leo’s Barbecue, which was featured on Diners Drive-Ins and Dives (DDD). From the episode it looked very good so we decided to check it out as we left from the Unity Games. My parents thought it was going to be in the downtown area but judging from the episode, I thought it was going to be in the suburbs area. It ended up being in the suburbs area about a fifteen-minute drive from the University. From the outside, it looked super small, the DDD episode made it looked pretty big. The parking was pretty small too and odd, its hard to explain but since it was small it felt smaller since the parking was set up a bit weird, when you see it you’ll know what I mean. However, when you get inside it actually looked a lot bigger than it did from the outside, albeit a bit smaller than how it looked on DDD. The cameramen on DDD should get an award for doing a good job in filming Leo’s Barbecue. When we got inside we were greeted by the very nice workers, they said we could sit anywhere. We choose to sit in the back area, which felt more spacious than the front area. I remember getting the sweet tea, which tasted very good. I liked the ice they used as well, the ice were like small pellets of ice, I even ate a few of them since they soaked up the sweet tea flavor lol. We ordered something called the four slugger meal which consisted of a super hefty portion of pulled pork, sausage, ribs, and surprisingly bologna. This meal fed a family of six and there was still a lot left over as well. The bologna surprised me the most since the only bologna I had before was Oscar Mayer bologna which we all know as cheap luncheon meat. However, Leo’s bologna was more like a blend between hot dog meat and ham, it tasted very good and I wished I could get this kind of bologna anywhere. Everything that was served was very good and the sauce was just amazing too. After the main course they also gave us slices of their super famous strawberry banana cake. This cake was amazing, I remember they made a big deal out of it in the DDD episode and for good reason. I’m not saying this just for the sake of hyping it up but this cake was seriously the best I had of this variety. It was super soft and there was some sort of syrup on it that made it juicy as well. I kind of wished we got a full cake to go but the cake was actually pretty pricey. Afterwards, we headed out and got back on the road to Colorado.

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A shot of Leo’s BBQ from the outside, a lot bigger in the inside
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The slugger meal, incredibly good
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A shot of Leo’s BBQ from the inside, this is the front area
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A signed DDD poster inside Leo’s BBQ

After we left Leo’s we got back on the interstate. I was pretty tired so I took a nap on the road. We then stopped by this small town where the only thing I saw was tall grass a gas station and a few other shops on the same side of the road as the gas station. Inside I remember getting an energy drink, the card reader in that gas station gave me a harder time than necessary. I also remembered that the cashier girl was not proficient in English at all. Afterwards, I drove us up through Oklahoma into Kansas. We then made a stop at Braum’s in Wichita, KS for some ice cream. To be honest, Braum’s is pretty awesome, I kind of wished it was everywhere but unfortunately you could only find Braum’s in the Texas/Oklahoma/Kansas/Missouri area. I’ll tell you why Braum’s is awesome. Braum’s has awesome ice cream and not only that but it’s super cheap. Like a huge two scoop on a cone for $2, which is unheard of. Usually at Baskin Robbins it would be $5 with the cone costing extra! Geez, not only that but Braum’s also serves burgers and fries as well. They had this crazy menu item called “Bag of Burgers”, which as you can imagine is literally a bag full of burgers, five to be exact. The bag of jr. cheeseburgers was $5. My sister was actually so surprised about that she ordered one of them just to see how it was like. Seriously, for a jr cheeseburger it was pretty darn big. After eating our food we checked out the little grocery section to the side of Braum’s. That part was interesting, it’s a pretty small section about the size of a grocery you would see in an airport or something like that. Everything they sold was essentially a Braum’s product or Braum’s related product. I liked the packaging of their products it was vintage looking. Afterwards, we then headed out.

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A shot of the grocery section of Braum’s, this is probably about half of the whole grocery.

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After leaving Braum’s we then headed north through Kansas and then out West towards Colorado. On our way back to Colorado we actually stopped by Hays, KS that is probably one of my favorite small towns in Kansas. It really brought back memories of my previous travel here. Interestingly, we took a different route going into Hays then I took before. This route took us through the suburbs of Hays, which was really cool. I was mostly glad that we got to drive on that brick laid road that was super bumpy. Driving on that brick road really brought back memories. We then went to Gella’s Diner, which was real cool. I even saw that cute blonde girl in the front again. We then got our seats inside, I remember asking the waitress if Samantha was working today but she was off. The waitress said “Is Samantha your usual waitress?” I said “yup”. This waitress, her name is Holly or at least I think so from memory. She was cool too. We got our food and it was very good. We then headed out on the long road back to Colorado. It didn’t feel too long on our drive back though. We got home some time early in the morning, probably around 2 or 3 A.M. It was a very fun time in Oklahoma and the travel back home.

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A shot of Hays, KS, good to be back here again

A Look Back At 2015

Happy New Year to all! This year has been the busiest year on this blog. There has been a multitude of travel logs as well as other kinds of posts as well! This is thanks to all of your support in reading the blog and keeping me going. It always brings a smile to my face knowing that you are all taking your time in reading through the blogs and liking them as well. I will continue to write more blogs throughout 2016! In the meantime let’s look back at a few photos from the past year!

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Post Public Library

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Full House!
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Perfectly Frank’s: Cajun Fries BLT Frank Coleslaw Frank
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A Swing Bench at Wannamaker Park
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Printers Alley
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Main Street, Nashville
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Fifteen or twenty foot statue of Superman at Metropolis, IL!
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The Arch
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Outside of Boggart’s
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Outside of Clinton’s Soda Fountain
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Inside of Clinton’s Soda Fountain. From left to right: Shayna and Jessica
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Close up picture of the Truman house. That steel fence ruins the picture!
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A shot of Eisenhower’s statue, right after taking this shot I meet Dianne and Kaite
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The Vegas Stip in the daytime
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Pretty iconic shot right here of the Experience
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A typical scene in Mission Beach
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A fairly iconic site in Reno
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I wonder what that utility pole is doing there for?
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Neal Wilson The Docent/Director of The Museum of Bottle Water http://www.facebook.com/Museum-of-Bottled-Water-964195506973333
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From Left: Jessica and the other girl from Clinton’s. I could never get a good shot of Jessica.
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At the travel center near Wichita, KS.

Travel Log: From Colorado Springs, CO to Oklahoma City, OK.

The Long Drive Through The Southwest

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At the travel center near Wichita, KS.
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The Oasis Gas Station in Colby, KS. Almost a traditional stop on the way through Kansas.

We started this drive pretty late at night. We started driving about 10:00 P.M from Colorado Springs, CO to Oklahoma City, OK. It was interesting, never did I think I would drive with my family again on I-70 through Kansas. Especially, after all the adventures I had on it by myself on the way to Independence, MO. I got the first shift in driving. I got us pretty far. I drove from Colorado Springs, CO all the way to the first travel center in Kansas. On the way we also made a stop at Limon, CO. From there, it was my mom’s turn to drive and she got us all the way to Salina, KS. When we got there, there we got some gas, donuts, and coffee. We got to make some small talk with the cashier lady there. We told her about the church activity we were going to and she said “On your way back, make sure you come on by and tell me about it.” She was cool, she also told us the way to head out to Oklahoma City. She told us to watch out for a part in the interstate where the road splits and you could accidently go the wrong way. We thanked her as we went on our way. I then got to drive again. It was nice driving this part of the interstate. Surprisingly, it was pretty busy. I was expecting it to not be so busy since it was in Southern Kansas. I also thought that it was still too early for it to be busy. It was just about 7:00 A.M at the time. We then got to the part in the interstate where it splits and thankfully the lady gave us a heads up about it. It’s a very abrupt split, so if your headed by the area just make sure to slow down and read the signs carefully. This part of Kansas was very green with lots of trees. It wasn’t as hilly or full of plains like in the middle portion of Kansas. I then drove us all the way to the visitor’s center near Wichita, KS. It was a nice visitor’s center with tourist information and a gift shop. The interesting thing about this visitor’s center is that it was full of Wizard of Oz memorabilia and information. With all of this Wizard of Oz things around, I kind of guessed that Wizard of Oz was shot in the area, especially considering that Wizard of Oz is based in Kansas. I then asked the guy at the information booth if they shot Wizard of Oz in the area and he said “no”. I then said “oh really, I thought it was based here in Kansas” It was a bit awkward and he said “It is but, it was actually shot in a studio in California somewhere”. He also told me to “ask the lady at the gift shop, she might know more about that”. I thanked him before going on my way. We then headed out of the visitor’s center back into the road.

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Bricktown in Oklahoma City, OK.
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A shot of the riverwalk in Oklahoma City, OK. This seriously looks like the riverwalk in San Antonio, TX.
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Inside Knuck’s Wheelhouse
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Inside Knuck’s Wheelhouse
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Half Pepperoni and Half Crawfish!
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The candy store in Oklahoma City, OK
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A small gift shop right across the candy shop
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They turned on the fountain today!

At this point my dad started to drive next. He got us all the way into Oklahoma about twenty or so miles out of Oklahoma City. At this particular gas station I got some postcards. On one of the postcards it had a picture of a part of downtown Oklahoma City called Brick Town. It looked really nice from the post card so I asked my parents if we could go there. Thankfully they agreed and we headed towards Brick Town in Oklahoma City. When we first got there, I only saw the stadium and a sign that said “Welcome to Brick Town” or something like that. I was a bit disappointed since I thought there was more. But thankfully, we saw the rest of Brick Town and it was real nice. The other town most resembling Brick Town would be downtown San Antonio, TX. It actually looked almost identical to downtown San Antonio, TX complete with brick buildings and a river walk with tour boats going through the murky waters. When we first got there we were wondering if parking was free or if we had to pay for it. We asked a tour guide and he said it was free for the day. After parking we got to walk around. It was incredibly nice and it seemed like there was so much to see and do in town. While walking around we walked around the river walk area. It was nice, and felt like walking through a mini downtown San Antonio. We stopped near an area that looked like a Chuck-E-Cheese. From here we walked around a bit more. Eventually we got to a park area with a fountain in the middle. Near it, was a Sonic where we got some drinks. We then started to look for somewhere to eat. We decided to go to a pizza place called Knuck’s Wheelhouse. It was interesting and very divey. It was kind of odd because it looked a bit run down but at the same time it looked very nice and clean. Interestingly, it looks like if you had chalk you could write on the blackboard type walls inside. We ended up ordering a crawfish pizza and a half-pepperoni and half-cheese pizza. What’s cool about Knuck’s is that they make their dough fresh in store. They were also pretty fast in making the pizzas. Out of both of the pizzas, the crawfish pizza really stuck out. I was expecting only a few crawfish pieces but they gave quite a lot. The crawfish also flavored the pizza real good. Afterwards, my siblings and I checked out the candy store across the riverfront. It was an old fashioned candy store with board games and a lot of retro candies and sodas. Interestingly, if you got a root beer float, you could get one of the bottled root beer sodas and they would use it for the float. They would then let you keep whatever was left in the soda bottle as well. I never had my root beer float that way. We also got some candy cigarettes, which were real good. There was an orange flavored one and also a regular flavored one. Afterwards, we got to relax for a bit before heading out. After leaving the downtown area we headed for the hotel.

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At the bowling place
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A shot at some of the brethren. Actually Bobbie is that girl to the left in the blue plaid shirt and jeans

When we got to the hotel we noticed that there were already brethren heading inside. It surprised me a bit to see the brethren. I actually was not expecting them at all. I said hi to Anjel and AJ as soon as I saw them there. When I got inside I saw Jel who was one of the CWS teachers. I said yo sup before heading out. We then promptly got to our room. After getting ready we headed out to the bowling alley. At the hallway of the hotel leading to the elevator there was a bunch of brethren. I said “is this the line to the elevator?” and Bobbie said “Oh no, we’re just hanging around here.” I then said “Oh hey Bobbie” and she said “nice to meet you”. It was a bit sad since we met earlier the year at Corpus Christi. Oh well, we then headed out of the hotel and towards the bowling alley. It was still pretty hot outside. When we got to the bowling alley I saw Glenn from Kansas City, KS. It was very cool to see him there. We then headed inside and I got to see all the other brethren. I didn’t really meet anyone since at this point I pretty much met everyone at one point or another. I remember seeing Julia there and her mom with some of the other brethren from Denver. It was real cool to see them all there. Rion, PJ, Kiara, and the other Colorado Springs peeps didn’t come by till a little bit later. When they came it really blew my mind. While I was here at the bowling alley, Julia convinced me to play in their lane. It was cool and I didn’t mind. I played pretty good the first game but like a slippery slope my second and third game wasn’t that great. Throughout this time I noticed that Bobbie and her family was there. Bobbie introduced me to her dad but I can’t remember his name. Bobbie said that he liked how I bowled, which was cool. It’s interesting, Bobbie’s from Galveston, TX and attends in Sugarland, TX locale. She’s very pretty and seems interesting. She told me that she was going to be playing volleyball the next day. Afterwards, I then walked around doing some INCTV stuff. It was cool too since Kristen pulled through and got us official INCTV badges. I have been waiting years to get one of those badges. To be honest I have probably waited five or six years to get it. It was cool, I then said hi to Faye and Anne who were also doing INCTV stuff too. I then went around to get some shots. While I was going around I remember seeing the binhi bros doing arm wrestling and playing pool. It was interesting to see them all gathered together like that making lots of loud noises. It kind of reminded me of when I was younger doing the same things. Also, while I was getting my shots I ran into Aldrin and Jen. It surprised me since it was probably the first time when someone knew my name and remembered where we first met and on top of that I was completely drawing blanks. I did remember where we first met but I unfortunately forgot their names. I wouldn’t make the same mistake the next time I saw them. I then went around getting more shots and I was getting tired. So tired I wanted to get a brake and just get some air outside. When I did I met one of the SCAN brothers who was patrolling the outside area. His name is John Taylor and he came from the locale of Tulsa, OK. John was a cool and interesting dude. He was an Operation Iraqi freedom veteran and told me of one of his injuries. While John was in Iraq his convoy hit an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). When his convoy hit the IED John said “the explosion sent me rag dolling out of the truck”. I forgot the extent of his injuries but I’m sure it knocked him pretty hard. John told me that the night has been quiet and not much strange things really happened. He did tell me of a few low riders that have circled around a bit. I said “hopefully it’s nothing”. John said “I hope so too because I got six good reasons why”. Immediately I got what he said, John was packing a revolver or some sort of firearm with six bullets. It was cool and it was good to know that someone watching our back in case the worst comes to worst. After hearing out John for a bit I headed back in. When I got back inside it was just about over. I just took a few more shots and then the games finished and we headed out. On the way out I remember taking a few more shots and meeting Sis. Rose who was the mom of Sis. Aika from Little Rock, AR. Afterwards, I retired to the car and we headed back to the hotel. Back at the hotel I headed down to hit up the gym, at the elevator it was a bit awkward because Bobbie was there with some of the other Sugarland sisters who were heading down to the pool area. To be honest the pool area was supposed to be closed but they went anyways. As for me I hit up the gym and ran for a while. When all was said and done I was dead tired and went back to the room for some rest.

Travel Log: Independence, MO to Colorado Springs, CO and side tracks to Kansas City and Hays, KS.

Today I woke up around 8:30 A.M. I got ready and went out to get breakfast. I got the usual. I went back to my room and got ready. When I left the hotel I actually headed out to Krispy Kreme that was real close to the hotel. When I got there I noticed that they had two limited edition donuts, which were birthday cake and double chocolate. I got four of the birthday cake and two of the double chocolate and a bunch of others to complete a dozen. I then headed out to the library as usual. When I got there it was oddly and sadly empty since it was a Saturday. Usually, they would be closed on Saturdays unless someone requests and appointment, such as the case of myself. When I got to the door to the archives room it was locked. I then pressed on that button where you could talk to the people inside. I did so and told them that I was there because of an appointment. It didn’t take too long before a security guard came out and let me in. I then headed inside and the only archivist working today was Randy. By the time I got inside it was probably around 9:30 A.M, possibly the latest time I got here since Monday. I then quickly got to work on the last few boxes I had left. Since I was on a time crunch today I mostly took photos of all the documents I needed. I wanted to do this since the beginning but my camera phone had limited memory so I waited until this last day. Also, I personally liked taking notes instead of just picturing everything. I probably spent a good two hours here today. I thanked Randy and I got the names of all the other archivists so I could thank them later on my thesis. When I headed out, it was just about 11:30 – 11:45 A.M. I still had the left overs from Smokin Guns BBQ in my car. I decided to get the leftovers and eat it at the table and bench near the parking lot. The leftovers were still good, albeit a bit cold. After I ate it I went inside the Truman museum for the first time for a long time. I asked if I could go in for free since I was a researcher and they let me in. For the most part they had the same exhibits that they had from last time. It was a blast to see everything again. It still felt like I was going back in time to the 1950s due to the music and vintage exhibits on display. I looked through everything again and since I felt like I had more time I spent a little longer to appreciate all of the exhibits. Afterwards, I headed back to downtown Independence for one last hurrah at Clinton’s before I had to go. I parked on the side of this building, the same location where I parked the other day to get the water bottle. I then walked to Clinton’s and I finally got Jessica’s name right. It was cool to see her again. Today I got two scoops of birthday cake ice cream, which was my favorite at Clinton’s. I remember two people from the museum came in and I said “hey, you were both at the museum right?” and they said “yup, and now were looking around town as well”. It was cool to see them at Clinton’s. I then bid farewell to Jessica before I left.

Inside Krispy Kreme. Its always interesting when they show you how its made
Inside Krispy Kreme. Its always interesting when they show you how its made
Down the main street in Independence, MO
Down the main street in Independence, MO
Down the main street in Independence, MO
Down the main street in Independence, MO
Down the main street in Independence, MO
Down the main street in Independence, MO

It was weird leaving Independence the second time. Even though I was here for only about a week, I felt like I lived here forever. One of these days I will definitely return to Independence, MO. The people here are just amazing. After leaving Independence I headed out to Kansas City to see if I could get the water bottle to Neal at the Museum of Bottled Water. Thankfully, I kept the address of a nearby store and so I was able to park near the Museum of Bottled Water. When I got there, unfortunately it was closed. I concluded that Neal was probably on a break of some sort. I then went to the store right next door. It was this very colorful clothing store. Inside was an equally flamboyant cashier dude. He was the coolest dude ever too. His name is Brock and he knew Neal also. I decided to leave the water bottle with Brock, to this day I wonder if Brock did give the water bottle, though I’m sure he did. Brock told me that he worked for an artist who designed clothes for many pop icons including the infamous Miley Cyrus. He also told me that his boss was painting the skittles logo on his car outside. I thanked Brock before heading out. When I got outside I said hi to Brock’s boss and told her how awesome her store and art was. I kind of feel bad for not getting her name. She looked busy so I didn’t want to hold her up with random banter. Afterwards, I got back to my car and decided to go to PT’s, which was Jessica’s favorite café in Kansas City. I was like, PT’s is close by so I might as well go there before I head out. The drive to PT’s from the Museum of Bottled Water was real short. It was probably about a half mile or so away. If your going to PT’s they have customer parking available off to the side. Thankfully, I was able to park at the customer parking area. There’s plenty of parking in the area so it wasn’t that bad. I then headed inside. It was very nice inside and characteristically hip. It also had a slightly rustic feel too, which was neat. The first worker I met was this guy with a beard and I sort of feel bad for not getting his name. I actually ended up asking him if he “knew a Jessica from Independence”. He said he might have met her but forgot. I ended up getting a drip coffee. It was very good and fairly inexpensive. Unfortunately, I don’t remember what their refill policy was. I sat down on a long table with people on the other end and a girl to my left across the table. There seemed to be a lot of outlets available so this place was definitely good for students. There were a bit of students doing there work today too. I chilled for a while before heading out. On my way out I asked the second worker I met if I could get a refill. My cup was half –full so she filled it up for free. Thanks! For some reason I also asked her if she “knew Jessica from Independence”. Unfortunately I got the same response. I told her that it was Jessica who suggested this place. I found out that the worker’s name is Molly. Molly’s a very excitable girl and nice too. I then thanked her before heading out. This time I headed out all the way back to Colorado.

Inside the store Brock worked at.
Inside the store Brock worked at.
Inside the store Brock worked at. Its actually a bit small inside.
Inside the store Brock worked at. Its actually a bit small inside.
Brock's boss painting on Brock's car. Its actually really well done.
Brock’s boss painting on Brock’s car. Its actually really well done.
Outside in Kansas City.
Outside in Kansas City.
Inside PT's Cafe
Inside PT’s Cafe

When I got back into my car I headed straight for the interstate. It wasn’t too difficult, I remember missing an exit but it didn’t affect me too much. I then proceeded out of Kansas City proper. My first stop was at a rest area just a few miles out of Topeka, KS. It was that rest area with a hiking trail I went on in the past. It was pretty empty when I got there. I used the bathroom and then got an MRE to eat. It was pretty good and filling. I even got to eat it in a shaded area with a bench and table. The only unfortunate part is that I remember there being a bunch of flies in the area. It didn’t bother me too much. Afterwards, I went on that trail again. It was nice to go back on that trail, I would never had thought I would be able to check it out again. It was nice, as last time. There were a bunch more random bugs this time though, from moths to butterflies and then some. When I got to the top it was very tranquil. I spent some time resting up there. Afterwards, I headed back down the trail. On the way down I noticed a caterpillar on one of the leaves. It was pretty big and colorful. I’m pretty sure that it meant that the caterpillar was poisonous. I then headed back down to the car and got back on the road. I wouldn’t stop again until I needed gas. I think my next stop would be around Junction City just to get gas. Afterwards, I got back on the road. Nothing too much happened while I was driving back to Colorado Springs. On the road, I was thinking of where would be a good place to get dinner. I remembered that Russell wasn’t that great of a place. I then saw a billboard advertising Hays, KS stating Hays has a Small Town Charm but with Big Time Fun or something like that. That stuck out to me so I didn’t make a stop again until I got to Hays.

At the top of the hiking path.
At the top of the hiking path.
At the top of the hiking path.
At the top of the hiking path.
At the top of the hiking path.
At the top of the hiking path.
At the top of the hiking path.
At the top of the hiking path.
An interesting bridge near the start of the path.
An interesting bridge near the start of the path.

When I got to Hays I only saw that it looked like any other town by the interstate. Then I saw a sign that advertised Gella’s Diner. That looked very interesting and it was just a few miles off. I decided to check it out. As I drove out towards Gella’s Diner I got to see a bit of Hays. It definitely has a small town charm with a placed called “The Mall” with only a JC Penny and other small stores. Interestingly, they had a Hastings over here. I always wanted to check a Hastings since its supposed to be pretty good. Instead, I still headed down Hays towards Gella’s. I then noticed an eatery called Al’s Chickenette. I wondered what it was. At the next turn heading towards downtown Hays I saw another chicken place called JD’s Country Style Chicken. I wanted to find downtown Hays so I didn’t stop there either. When I got to downtown Hays I was surprised on how big it actually was. There seemed to be a bunch of different stores and buildings. What really surprised me were the brick stone streets. You could really feel the bricks as you drive over it. I took a scenic drive around the neighborhood to see what’s around. I noticed a chapel and other stores. On my way back I stumbled upon Gella’s Diner almost on accident. I actually forgot I was looking for it so when I saw Gella’s I remembered. I parked in their customer parking area up an ally. When I got inside it was actually surprisingly busy with a bunch of people inside. A lot of the people here were well dressed as well, meaning that they were local people eating here after a church service or other formal gathering. I actually remember seeing the prettiest girl in the waiting area. She had brown hair in a princess braid and she was tall and slim as well. I never did get her name, I thought that she was just waiting for her date or something. Turns out she was just waiting for her parents. I eventually got a seat, I probably only waited around ten or so minutes. My waitress was Samantha and she was very cool. I ended up ordering their Chicken Fried dinner. It was absolutely amazing. It was a chicken fried stake with gravy, mash potatoes, and creamed corn. The chicken was super crunchy on the outside but moist on the inside. The creamed corn was also amazing by being thick and tasty. Afterwards, I thanked Samantha and headed out. When I got out I actually walked a bit around the neighborhood. It looked very nice, I remember seeing the world’s largest working chainsaw around town. After looking around a bit I then got back in the car and headed out. I got back on the interstate headed West on I-25.

Inside Gella's Diner, near the lobby area.
Inside Gella’s Diner, near the lobby area.
Chicken Fried Dinner!
Chicken Fried Dinner!
View from my seat at Gella's Diner
View from my seat at Gella’s Diner
World's largest working chainsaw!
World’s largest working chainsaw!
The neighborhood of Hays
The neighborhood of Hays

I then noticed that it became super windy. It was so windy that the inside of the car sounded like airplanes on take off. I then stopped at Ellis to get gas. I talked to the old man next to me. I said “It sure is windy isn’t it?” He said “It sure is, where you headed?” I said “I’m headed back to Colorado, is the wind gonna get any better?” He said “No, It’s actually going to get worse out there, good luck!” I thanked him before we headed on our way. It worried me a bit that the wind would get worse. When I got back to my car, the wind was bad already. The wind was so strong in fact that you could feel the wheel turn from the wind. Imagine trying to keep your car on a straight path but an invisible person jerking your wheel in one direction violently and spasmodically. It was like this all the way into Colorado. To combat the wind I just drove slower to around 60 MPH to make sure that the wind won’t jerk the wheel. It was like this all the way. My next stop wouldn’t be until I got to a rest area. It was dark at this rest area. I believe it was the last rest area in Kansas leading to Colorado Springs. Inside the actually restroom there actually wasn’t any light. I had to use it in the dark and it was creepy because of how big and empty it was. All you could hear is the wind howling and the monotone radio speaker announcing weather conditions. It felt as if I was in an apocalypse or zombie movie. After this, my next stop wouldn’t be until Limon, CO. I got gas and took the opportunity to ask the cashier lady how to pronounce Limon. Usually you would think that it would be pronounced Lee-Moan or something like that. Actually you pronounce it as Lie-Men. I thanked the lady and headed out. From here on out it was the long, cold, and quiet road back to Colorado Springs. I didn’t get back home until 4:00 AM. When I got home I put all my things back inside and went to sleep.

Twilight Zone Travel Tips: Come Wander With Me

Story

Come Wander With Me is a stand out Twilight Zone episode for me. Its about a singer-songwriter named Floyd Burney. Floyd is traveling around in search of the next great American song. In his travels he comes across a small town, which he calls in the episode “Sticksville” most likely to make fun of the town. In this town he asks the local music man if he has any songs to sell. After a while, Floyd hears a melody and decides to follow it. Floyd follows the melody to a girl named Mary Rachel. Floyd then tries to get the song from the girl while also falling in love with her. Little to his knowledge Mary Rachel is engaged to another man in town. Humorously Floyd does not understand the meaning of “betrothed”. You could see where this would take a turn for the worst. I won’t spoil the ending, but it will leave you breathless.

Twilight Zone Travel Tips

From this episode of Twilight Zone there are a few Travel Tips we could learn from it. Just the title alone Come Wander With Me already brings to mind travels and adventure!

1: Be sympathetic to the local people.

Whenever we travel we sometimes like to think that our hometown is the best town. Furthermore, those small towns and the people in them are boring or of some lower status. Floyd Burney comes off as having these kinds of traits. Its shown on how he treats the people of “Sticksville”. We should remember that whenever we travel, even if its to small towns, that the people we meet are real people. Not only this, but these people we meet have grown up in their town and loved growing up there. Also, we should be aware on how we treat these people. Don’t you think it’s a bit off to be aggressive towards people we barely know? Especially, when these people are from small towns. You’d be surprise when you find the nicest people on earth are from these kinds of places.

2: Check out small towns when you get a chance

Another travel tip we could learn from Floyd’s interesting adventure is that small towns are full of surprises. Seriously, some of the nicest people on earth live in these small towns. There is also an interesting if even romantic atmosphere in these small towns where everyone knows everyone. Furthermore, these small towns have interesting aspects to them that make them stick out. It’s also a nice break away from the city and busy life to check out these small towns.

3: Explore the off beaten track

Floyd Burney probably got more than he bargained for after following the melody to Mary Rachel. However, this just goes to show how much adventure there is to going off the beaten track. There is a sense of adventure whenever you go off the beaten track. This sense of adventure also usually pays off when you find something cool at the end of it.

4: You could fall in love while traveling

This is an obvious travel tip from the episode. After traveling to a small town and wandering off the beaten track, Floyd Burney falls in love with the locale girl Mary Rachel. It’s the kind of story that people dream about. But its true, you never know what will happen when you go out to travel. Whenever you travel you run into new people and who knows one of these people you meet might just be the one.