Road Trippin’ Day 1

Today (Friday) marked Day 1 of my road trip to Colorado. Well, technically it was Day 1.2(ish). But I’ll get to that later. 
For those of you going, “Why in the hell would someone DRIVE to Colorado?!” It’s actually been on my bucket list for a long time. I’ve wanted to drive, by myself, halfway across America and take my time getting there, seeing the sites and camping along the way. So, lucky for me, my parents both retired about a month ago and had planned a two week long trip to Littleton, a small town outside of Denver. Timing is everything, folks. This opportunity not only gives me the chance to set out (albeit partly) on my own and cross this off my bucket list, but I also get the title of “Favorite Daughter” for a little while for making the effort to visit my parents. (Sorry, Erin!)
Win. Win. 
Long story short: I’ve now been planning this trip for months. I even invited J to come, but he’s getting his Dietitian license and couldn’t afford to miss over a week of school. Can’t blame him there! Which brings me back to why this is Day 1.2. 
Since J wasn’t able to come with me, and since he lives about an hour outside of Asheville, and I literally had to drive through Asheville on my road trip, I decided to leave Thursday night and camp in Asheville and have him meet me there when he got off work that afternoon. That way we got to see each other one last time before not seeing each other for two weeks.
J is a personal trainer and he offered to let me come work out at his gym on my way to Asheville Thursday night. And here is the first mistake I’ve made so far on this trip: I took him up on it. He said I could do whatever I wanted: cardio (he knows I love me some of that elliptical machine), the HIIT class one of his coworkers was teaching (he also knows I’ve been going to 9Round classes), OR I could come to his Crossfit class. 
“Oh, I’ve never done Crossfit before, can I do that?!”
Famous last words. 
Sure, he said. It’ll be fun, he said. I’ll scale down it for you, he said. (I was worried about not being able to do it at all.) 
Well, like I said, this was my first EVER cross fit class and needless to say, less than 24 hours later, I’m having a hard time sitting down. Getting in and out of my car on this trip has been… difficult. To say the least. Especially since I’ve now reached the age where I get fairly stiff anyway after sitting down for a certain amount of time, adding soreness to that has not been fun. So far, I’ve avoided stopping until I absolutely have to. 
But, despite all this (or perhaps because of it), I would probably do another Crossfit class because it was actually really fun. And despite not feeling like I did much during the exercise (because I didn’t sweat like I do at 9Round), I HURT today. Which is ultimately a good thing. 
Anyway, we had a good time last night. Ate at Standard Pizza in Asheville which broadened my pizza horizons, believe it or not. I got a slice of the “Cuban,” which is banana, bacon, jalapeños and ricotta cheese toppings. And, while it may sound disgusting, this is actually their most popular slice, and I agree wholeheartedly! It was one of the best pizza slices I’ve ever eaten. I may even give that kind with pineapple and ham another chance. Whatever it’s called. 
This morning came too soon, and we packed everything up and got ready to say our goodbyes. But first, breakfast. 
Since it’s a 9 hour drive from Asheville, J and I went to an Ingles on crack that had a Starbucks, fresh donuts, an entire lunch/dinner hot bar (at 8am), AND a hot breakfast bar. It was like Whole Foods but with a crap ton more calories. And I’m a fan of calories. We walked straight to the donuts and, after quite some deliberation, picked out 3 of them and headed toward Starbucks for some coffee. As we were walking toward Starbucks, J saw the hot breakfast bar and we both knew we were putting those donuts back. Immediately. 
And it was worth it. 
After that huge breakfast, I wasn’t hungry the entire 9-hour trip. But what I did get was thirsty. So, when I stopped for gas, I got a huge bottle of Aquafina and a double shot espresso. This gas station also just-so-happened to be attached to a DQ (not done on purpose, whatsoever on my part), so I decided to get a dipped cone. For old time’s sake. You know. To remind me of my skinnier days. Or something. 
While sitting in the drive thru line, I tried to open the bottle of water I got. 
And I tried. 
And I tried. 
I tried with my hand, I tried with a towel for leverage, I tried with a sweater. I even took a break and tried again. 
It would. Not. Budge! What the hell?! 
So, of course, all of a sudden, I’m having a thirst emergency. I tried to get that bottle open the entire time I was waiting in the drive thru and it wouldn’t move. So I Macgiver’d the situation (if you can call it that) and got a cup of ice from DQ and used water from the gallon jug I had in my trunk. Problem solved for now, but trying to open that water bottle almost made my hand too sore to screw off the cap of the bottle of wine I got later that night, and those who know me know how serious an issue that is. 
Anyway, back to the actual subject. Y’all. Cahokia, IL is TINY. 15,000 it said on the sign coming in. It’s also rather sketchy, which former campers failed to mention on their TripAdvisor reviews of this place. I’ve heard horror stories about females traveling alone, and let me just say, I wouldn’t stay here again. Not only because of that, but because there might be 6 trees in this entire campground. NO shade and no place to hang up my hammock. Not to mention the spots are super close together. Me, my tent, my propane stove and my car are literally sandwiched between two RVs. And there’s another [empty] tent spot right next to me in between those. 
I’m pretty sure no less than 3 families watched me set up my tent. So, because of this, I brought out the hatchet my boyfriend gave to me earlier today that can also be used as a hammer. And I used it to hammer in every stake in my tent. I did this partly because the ground is about 50% rock and stomping them in with my shoe wasn’t cutting it and partly because I wanted those people staring to think I’m a crazy solo camper and DON’T MESS WITH ME. 
I can’t wait to get stared at while cooking my hotdogs later. 
After I set up my tent in the blazing hot sun, I took a quick, cool shower and left the campground in search of wine. This being a rough looking area, I didn’t want to leave my tent for long, so I went about .5 miles down the road to a gas station. Thank goodness you can buy wine at gas stations in IL because I wasn’t about to go further than that. I got in and got out as quickly as possible with the whole expedition being made easier because of the total of 7 wines I had to choose from (that were cold). I got the one with the highest alcohol content (10.5%) and got the hell out of there. 
Now I’m sitting in my tent, drinking wine and writing this post. And getting hungrier every minute. 
And I STILL haven’t gotten that bottle of water open. Seriously. What the hell, Aquafina?!
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got hotdogs to cook, people to entertain while I do it, and Z, The Beginning of Everything saved on my iPad to keep me entertained tonight. 

St. Louis zoo tomorrow morning! 

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