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.

Travel Tunes: All Hail West Texas by The Mountain Goats

All Hail West Texas by The Mountain Goats
All Hail West Texas by The Mountain Goats

Travel Tunes

Listening to music on the road is a part of the experience of traveling far distances. Heck even in short drives we all listen to music on the way to work, school, church, etc. There are certain albums that just go well with a road trip. All Hail West Texas is one of those albums.

All Hail West Texas

If you love acoustic, folk, indie, or even country music you will definitely love this album. It’s a collection of songs written by John Darnielle that all are related to Texas in one form or another. Each song is self contained story: there’s a song about two kids starting a death metal band in Denton, TX (The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton), there’s a song about a guy who really loves his motorcycle and loves riding it across Texas at high speeds (Jenny). The songs could range from warmhearted fun songs like those I mentioned above to more serious but still fun songs; like a song about a guy who wants to go back home to New Mexico but is stuck in Texas due to his parole (Jeff Davis County Blues). There’s a bit of dark humor too, such as in another song about a couple who loves traveling but they travel to escape their miserable lives at home (The Mess Inside).

Where You Want To Listen To This

Certainly if you are traveling through Texas this album is a must! It’s incredibly surreal to listen to these songs while traveling through the places they are based on. For example, every time I cross the New Mexico border into Texas I think back to Jeff Davis County Blues. Another standout tune to listen to while traveling through Texas is Blues In Dallas. Trust me, when you drive ten or so hours into Texas and you hit Dallas at 1:00 A.M and you listen to Blues In Dallas it’s just incredibly cathartic and fourth wall breaking in a way.

You do not have to have be traveling through Texas to listen to this though, any time you are on the road in the South or even Midwest traveling a long distance this album will definitely hit home.

Standout Song

Color In Your Cheeks is one of the standout songs on the album. It’s also a good indicator on how the rest of the album sounds. If you like it, definitely check the rest of the album out!

UPDATE: Thanks, New Travel Topics, and New Site URL?

Hey Thanks!

Thanks to all the readers and visitors for making this year the most viewed year I had on wordpress! Initially, I started this wordpress for personal reasons. I didn’t think that anyone would ever read the various travel logs and blogs I post up. So thanks again for stopping by and checking out my different posts. All of your support definitely keeps me going!

2015-08-18 20.26.14

New Travel Topics!

To be honest this is my favorite update to the site and something I have been wanting to do for a long time. At the beginning of this wordpress I have focused on just writing personal blogs and then some random other posts (including political articles too lol). But I then started traveling a bit. I don’t travel extensively at all as my site makes it out to be. I just happen to get around enough to be able to write these travel logs at a fairly regular basis. Because of this, I started to shift my focus away from writing about day-to-day activities to writing about my different travel stories. I personally found the travel stories more interesting and you did too! That marked the paradigm shift to switch from the original title of this blog “Daily Life and Works of Levie” to the current title “1000 Travels of Levie”.

The current focus of the blog is almost exclusively on travel logs. These travel logs will continue to be the main attraction to this site. But, to add to the fun I will be expanding the site into other topics regarding travel. Here are a few other topics I have in mind.

1: Travel Advice

This is not a totally new topic on my site. I written about it only one time in the past in the post Road Regrets. However, I have more travel advice that I have in mind and I will definitely take time to share them with all of you.

https://leviegalapon.wordpress.com/2015/06/01/road-regrets/

2: Artist Spotlight

Whenever you travel you meet some interesting people. Some of the most interesting people I met on my travels happen to be artists. They could range from classical painters to photographers to even museum directors. In the past I would just incorporate these artists into the travel log. Doing these Artists Spotlight posts will allow the reader to get a more in depth look at these artists I meet while also getting a look into the work of the artists. The first few Artist Spotlights that I will touch upon are artists that actually appeared in past travel logs. I never felt like I did them justice so I hope that these Artist Spotlights could actually help out the artists get more coverage.

3: City/Town Spotlight

This is a tentative title for posts regarding specific cities and towns. If you have a suggestion for this go ahead and post it in the comments. Essentially, the title of these posts would look something like this “City Spotlight: Oklahoma City, OK”. The focus of these posts is to not be a pure travel guide of the city/town. But, to give you an inside look of how the atmosphere is in the city/town and how I could compare/contrast them to other cities/towns. Just like with the Artist Spotlight posts these Cities/Towns Spotlight posts will initially be on cities/towns I have covered in past logs but a more in depth look at each of them.

4: Travel Tunes

There are two things I’m sure everybody loves, first is traveling and the second is music. Go and ask anyone and both of these things will be somewhere in their hobbies list. I know it’s on my list for sure. Because of this, Travel Tunes will be a sort of album review/recommendation post where I will be recommending different albums. The albums I will be recommending will be albums that I personally believe sound good on a road trip for whatever reason I will write in each of the posts. These will be a lot of fun, if you have any suggestions for these Travel Tunes posts go ahead and post them in the comment section.

5: Twilight Zone Travel Tips

It’s no secret, Twilight Zone is one of my favorite TV series ever. I find myself referencing Twilight Zone episodes in real life and even in my travel logs too! Twilight Zone is an anthology style sci-fi TV series that aired a long time ago. Such a long time ago that the episodes are all in black and white. I’m sure that all of us are familiar with the eerie intro to Twilight Zone right? The cool thing about Twilight Zone is that each of the episodes try to teach a lesson that we could learn from. Without spoiling too much about the episodes themselves, I will be drawing lessons from episodes that could be used when you travel. This is definitely similar to the Travel Advice posts, but these Twilight Zone Travel Tips will be more fun in that they will be taken from different Twilight Zone episodes.

New Site URL?

With all of these new topics and focus I thought about changing the current URL, which is, leviegalapon.wordpress.com Currently, its just an idea to change the URL. However, if I could think of a good URL to replace it with then I will probably do that. If I do so I will make a new post about it. But don’t fret the current title “1000 Travels of Levie” is here to stay! Perhaps 1000travelsoflevie.wordpress.com should be the new URL.