Road Trip Day 4: 5 states in a hazy blur of sunlight & Lisa Loeb

Hello weary travellers,

Oh, never mind, that's just me. I'm exhausted tonight! We covered 5 states today. Five! We started in South Dakota, drove straight across through Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois, and we are sleeping in a gross Ramada in Hampton, Indiana. Our room smells like incense and we both found random long black hairs in our beds. My favorite kind! Sick. But it was the cheapest room we could find at this late at night, and we just needed to stop driving. I think I'm starting to have that glazed over look that road trippers get when they've been staring at the road too long. Everything other than brake lights is not computing in my brain right now.

South Dakota was a pretty boring drive. I had heard a lot about the beautiful "Black Hills of Dakota," but to be honest, I did no research about them. I just sort of expected them to be there for my viewing pleasure as we drove east on 90. Whelp! It was all plains and farmland. Which is pretty, but not very spicy. It was a bland drive.

A few highlights from South Dakota:

1. Waking up and vowing to eat healthy!!! We both were determined to make this day fresh and light! We started off well at our continental breakfast. exactly 2 hours later when we pulled over to pee, we both left with candy, Pringles, soda, and more. Fuck it! We're on a road trip. I drank a 5 hour energy, and it was on. Also, the lady who sold us our 'stash' was on meth and had an amazing Dakotan accent. She thought it was really hip that we were from California and said we must be, "Going with the flow." Yes, meth lady, I guess we are. #lovedher!

2. About 15 minutes after said 5 hour energy was consumed, we had the most epic 2 hour 90s chic music singing sesh I have EVER experienced. I mean, we threw down! We turned on our Alanis Morrisette Pandora station, and it was one gem after the other! The goddesses of 90s chic angst: No Doubt, Alanis, Lisa Loeb, The Cranberries, Sarah Mclaughlin, Tracy Chapman, Jewel, etc. We went ape shit! And I know I'm dating us. But who could give a toss, when this video exists?

This is the best road trip moment that has ever happened in my car. I hope you enjoy.

3. Last best part of South Dakota. The smell of fresh cut grass! It hit me like a ton of bricks. I don't think I've smelled that in 3 years, LA.

Minnesota was a bit greener and a bit happier, a bit less methy. Although for the life of me, I can't remember that Minnesota is even a state. I kept calling it Wisconsin, and even had to re-type it just then. It's not that distinctive, folks. Sorry, Minnesota! A few Minnesota highlights:

1.We stopped at a rest stop and enjoyed the playground for a bit. I haven't seriously had a good ride on some swings in awhile, and we went for it! I was getting that little hop in my belly each time I swooped down! It was exhilarating!

A creepy guy with an accent took a picture of us and told us about a great landmark down the street.

2.That is how we discovered this: The Jolly Green Giant
Nope! He's not wearing any underwear. And nope! He doesn't have genitalia.

We made it to Wisconsin. Other than the cheese, I'm not quite sure what happens here. Highlights:

 1. We had some lunch at a place called the Amish Oven. Our waitress had tattoos all over her arms and about 15 ear piercings. I was concerned with the validity of this Amish experience... The food was delicious and I asked the lady after if it was an Amish owned restaurant. She laughed, "Do you think they'd hire ME if it was??" "Huh huh!" I scoffed "I just figured the Amish were getting a little more liberal these days." Nope.

2. We found these cheese hats.

Off to Illinois! Our destination was Chicago, and at this point, I had been driving for about 8 hours. I was toast. I handed the reigns over to Drea and became sort of grumpy and stressed in the passenger seat. I think I had reached my driving threshold for the day, but we forged ahead. As the traffic thickened, we could tell we were nearing the city and I got a pit in my stomach. I was almost scared! We have been surrounded by nothing but open land and nature for the past three days! The thought of a city was a little too much to bear. And we got overwhelmed! The closeness of the buildings, the cars, the aggressive drivers, the noise and lights! eeeeeekkkkkkkk. My senses shut down. The only thing that could revive them was...
Genuine Chicago Deep Dish Pizza from Lou Malnati's! Holy shit, this pizza was beyond delicious! It made our trek to Chicago completely worthwhile.

So that pretty much brings us up to now, at the Ramada, sniffing the pachuli and praying I'm going to be able to sleep tonight. We've got another epic day of driving tomorrow, but our destination is much more comforting and I can guarantee will not smell of hippie. We are sleeping at my parents house in State College, PA tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yay for home! I cannot wait for the familiar at this point. It can't come soon enough.

See you tomorrow!


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