Wednesday, October 15, 2014

life in the FAST LANE

Today is day 3 of my (hopefully) 10 day adventure heading west... days 1 and 2 were a little rocky, as I should have expected. I have so much love for my family and dear friends at home that it hurts a lot to leave. 

Driving down to Des Moines with raindrops to match my tears.
On day 1 I drove through weather that perfectly reflected my weepy soul. Tears and excitement fueled the drive and once I got there my dear friend Tina helped me process and identify what was going on - she didn't realize it though because I told her I didn't want to talk about it. :) Time completely escaped me over coffee with an incredible friend, Tricia, at my very favorite cafe in Des Moines, La Mie. (Sidenote: La Mie is as French as you can get... outside of France, of course. The food and ambiance is out of this world and absolutely perfect, check it out on 42nd just off 235!) The fun continued downtown at Malo -- also an incredible dining experience! 

Tricia treated me to a cocktail at Malo's and I picked 'El Jefe'
in honor of my dad as that's what we have called him for the past decade or so.
Tricia got a 'Templeton Mule', which was surprisingly subtle and refreshing!
It was made of Templeton Rye whiskey, brandy, lemon juice, and ginger beer.

I remember sitting there trying to take the evening in... my two best friends from growing up were sitting kitty-corner from each other; one to my right, the other across the table from me to my left, sweet Tina was on my left, my old roommate and her fiance were across from me, and my wonderful Cody was the head of the table to the right. I can't fully explain how full and content I was during this meal. The location was something to be appreciated, most certainly, and the food was perfect as well... but there's just something to be said (that I'm clearly struggling to put words to) for having a full day week of being surrounded by people you love and who love you and who you know so well and who know you so well... on my way down to Des Moines, I was feeling guilty for not being content at home, for always having this longing to go and explore and experience things. At dinner I had countless moments where I was second-guessing whether or not I was making the right decision in leaving such a great place with so many people that I not only love, but so enjoy as well. 

If you're wondering, I still feel a bit guilty for leaving such a good thing... but I'm confident I'm heading in the right direction. :)

I do have to confess that it's my hope and prayer that I can find a community out west where I can know and love people like I do the ones back home. Obviously not to replace anyone, just to know that full-hearted feeling I had at dinner Monday. I know God will provide as he always has before, but it is one of those things I have identified as a serious need in my life. 

So, after dinner Monday, a few of us continued on to my friend, Cody's new downtown loft (or fancy new bachelor pad! as I like to refer to it.) The conversation and laughter never ceased. It was the perfect ending to a heavy-hearted day. 

Yesterday was not my favorite... the spitty rain on my way down to Des Moines Monday was a bit depressing to drive through, but I was so thankful that it wasn't windy. Tuesday was not so lucky. The wind was unreal. The struggle was out of control. I could have filled a cuss jar before lunch rolled around. It was pretty much me and a bunch of semi's and campers, so not only was I struggling to keep my vehicle on the road, but I was doing my best to dodge the large swerving trucks and the like as well. 

Fun fact.
I had to stop quite a few times because the wind was such a pain. I stopped at a coffee shop at an outlet mall just outside Omaha and had the most incredible dirty chai! I can't for the life of me remember the name of the coffee shop or special drink though! :( (Looks like I could have used a good dose of lotion on my alligator hands - yikes.)
The wind finally died down and it was flatlands for miles.

Nebraska in and of itself wasn't horrible - I really should blame the wind. It was pretty. I was pretty thrilled when all of a sudden I realized I was in Colorado and saw mountains for the first time! I stopped at a gas station trapped in the year 1982 to reload on water. 

I washed my windshield three times before this... 
So many photobombers.
The sunset was beautiful in my rear views!
I pressed on through the super intense sun and gorgeous sunset and drove a bit more through the dark before I hit Denver. O. Man. Another second guess whether this is the right choice or not. I hate city driving. White-knuckled, I listened to my navigation system, sailed over and around the Mile High stadium, cruised in and out of construction zones, and finally made it over the hills and through the woods to my incredible Hannah's house. The poor thing had to listen to my rambles for a while before we could both call it a day... 

More fun is planned for the next few days. :) Can't wait to see where this journey takes me!

Pictures to come.

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