May 3, 2005

Day 3 – looking for something cool to do….

Category: I-70 — queenkv @ 9:15 pm

day3_lunch

So by day 3, Mark and I agreed to do more touristy things. We were prepared to head off the road at the next cool sign for some historic or other place.

We found this Applebee in Kansas. One of our first stops for food.

day3_question

Louie’s trying to be helpful. He can’t wait to get into Colorado. He wants to see the snowfall.

day3_kansas

We saw a sign off the highway for “Custard’s House.” We got off and ran into Fort Riley, instead. We drove on base and turned around. I wanted a cooler picture of this water tower – so I made Mark drive around the border of the base. We were both a bit nervous. We didn’t know what the folks at “America’s Warfighting” center would do to people who shouldn’t be there. So, I took some quick pix and we were back on the road again.

Good-bye to Kansas

We also saw signs for a Wizard of Oz museum and Dorothy’s House. We got off the freeway and asked for directions to Dorothy’s House. The cashier at the gas station said it was 200 miles south of the highway. That’s a bit far for a tourist detour.

Mark and I got really excited about a sign for a praire dog farm. We found the exit and saw the farm was closed down.

So we left Kansas on a sour note.

day3_hico

Hello Colorado! Here’s where the speed limit got bumped up to 75 mph. So, I did what the locals did – and bumped up to 90 mph, or so.

day3_ticket
One lesson for road traveling – DON’T DO WHAT THE LOCALS ARE DOING…..’cause it don’t mean shit to the state’s highway patrol.
My California plates stuck out like a sore thumb. I got pulled over. I’d also like to note that all the other out-of-state plates got pulled over on I-70 and I didn’t see one CO plate pulled over. Talk about discrimination.

Mark snuck this picture in as the officer went back to his cop car to write me up.

When he came back – he tried to smooth things over with some BS charm.

“You have to be careful out here. The closest hospital is quite some way. Now what would happen if you got hurt?” he asked.

A good thing he didn’t call me little lady. I would have been tempted to back my Corolla into his cop car.

When you think about it – in retrospect – it’s kinda impressive that I got my car up to those speeds. We had backed my little black Corolla with all our worldly possessions from DC – and I got hear her working hard to make it up the hills and mountains.

Grr…at that moment – I hated Colorado.

day3_denver

I took a gas break after breaking the traffic laws of that state. I insisted on driving on to Denver. No stupid cop was going to scare me off the road.
I kept it at 75 mph – up to the mile high city.

day3_dinner1
We ate at the Hard Rock Cafe. In the middle of dinner, it started to snow.

day3_dinner
The Hard Rock Cafe is a nice international chain. You always know what you’re ordering ’cause the menu is pretty much the same, no matter where you go.

This night, we were pleased with the drinks and the main meals. However, we found some plastic pieces inside Mark’s pasta dish. OK – this was not on the level of finding a finger inside some chilli. Mark said he already took several bites and he didn’t plan on asking for a free meal. Besides, he wanted to keep eating it because he liked the tasted of the non-plastic pasta pieces. I told him we should probably let our server know about the pasta. So we did – telling her that we already ate most of it already.

Ten minutes later – she told us she talked to her manager and took our entrees off the tab. The manager came by and said the plastic was from some some other food containers.

We ordered some dessert and left a huge tip.

Casa Bonita in the Snow
The snowfall got heavier after dinner. As we carefully drove through the streets to get back on to the freeway – I found Mark’s favorite Mexican restaurant.
day3_casa1

On our first cross-country trip – we tried looking for Casa Bonita in Texas…and failed. But we were happier to find the one in Denver. The South Park folks made Casa Bonita the site of one of the silliest Cartman episodes….When we stepped out of the car, we kept chanting in our best dreamy Cartman voice: “Casa Boniiiiittttaaa….”

day3_casa2
In the South Park episode – Cartman’s not invited to Kyle’s birthday party. Cartman’s crushed because he had such fond memories of the food, the games and the divers. So – he convinces Butters, who has an invite to Kyle’s party, that the world is ending. I was tickled by how desparate Cartman was to go to this party and to see Casa Bonita. We figured it had to be a kickass place.

day3_casa3
We went inside. I wanted to order a Corona and soak in the experience. Sadly, you could only get into the dining area by ordering dinner. Phooy. I told the hostess that we were South Park fans and that we’ve always wanted to check this place out. She said she remembered when the South Park creators visited Casa Bonita and asked if they could use it in their cartoons.

I told Mark we could come back here for one of our wedding anniversaries.

day3_beer
We made into the Rocky Mountains on our third day of traveling. But the snow was really bad and it was hard to drive. We were also worried about the exits being closed off if they had too much snowfall. So we pulled into another Super 8.

It was only 9 at night – so we figured we could drink some cheap booze and watch TV in our hotel room. We found a gas station that sold beer. Crappy Coors beer. I am so spolied with my taste for California microbrew. I asked the cashier why everything closed and she bitched about how things were in that part of the state…everything closed down.

“Good ole 3.5!” she crowed. When we got back to the hotel – we realized she was cracking-wise about the alcohol content of one of our Coors cans. 3.5 percent alcohol. Which meant we had to guzzle more cans of that foul liquid to work up a decent buzz.

Louie figure he could help us out with the booze.

Three Bears and Beer
Mark and I watched some “Myth Busters” on the Discovery Channel. I just realized that the Myth Busters now have chicks on the team. Mark’s tummy hurt – the beer tasted so bad.

My bears didn’t mind. They enjoyed chatting with a new member of my menagerie. Mark picked him from the Hard Rock Cafe….he’s my “Sorry you got a ticket from the mean highway patrol” present.
A close-up of a bear and beer

Mark named my new Hard Rock bear, “Speedy.”

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