When your husband offers to take you on a road trip for the weekend, you say yes.
At least that’s what I did. After all, weekends where the two of us aren’t working are rare. He said something to me like “blah blah blah… ‘travel,’ ‘wine,’ …blah blah blah ‘bookstore’…”
I don’t know, that’s all I listened to.
We hit the road after work on Friday and stopped in a small town for book and music store perusal. We spent longer in the music store which must’ve been the “blah blah blah” part I tuned out.
But all was well when we stopped for dinner at an amazing farm to table cafe and gorged ourselves on charcuterie, fine cheeses, and prime rib.
And we checked out a winery as well.
We were unsure of what city we would stay the night in. There were a few in between our route that would have sufficed and we figured we’d just hotwire it – as in, use hotwire.com to find a cheap hotel, not actually hotwire someone else’s vehicle.
And that’s when I hit the jackpot.
Behold…the Don Q Inn!
That’s right, my little travel munchkins. I scored us a room at the Don Q Inn – Fantasy Suites of Your Dreams Hotel!
Joe was quite impressed with my knowledge and know-how of working the internet to find the most bizarre place for us to stay the night.
Let’s discuss the available amenities at the Don Q Inn, shall we?
If you’re in the mood to wander a retired Boeing C-97 airplane that once flew in the Korean War and once was used in a car commercial with none other than Farrah Fawcett, you’re in luck!
The Don Q Inn has just such an airplane!
And let’s face it, it makes the hotel incredibly easy to find from the road.
Climb aboard and experience what years of abandonment and hopscotch patterns of bird poo smell like! Admittance is FREE!
The Don Q Inn offers rooms designed to fill your deepest fantasies. Want to sleep in Sherwood Forest? You can! Rent a room with the bed nestled between real tree trunks!
Wondered what it’d be like to sleep in a hot air balloon? You can! Complete with accompanying cd of sound effects!
Perhaps you’re a traditionalist and want a heart shaped bed from Cupid. There’s a room for you too!
Extra bonus – many rooms come with their own whirlpool made out of copper cheese vats! Sure to impress your lover.
Standard rooms are available, each with their own eccentricities. Ours for example, had carpet on the walls and a giant cupboard that wouldn’t open where I think the zombies live.
Because we booked on hotwire, we didn’t get a fantasy room, but Joe – if you’re reading this – we have an anniversary coming up, and I think you know what I want. 😉
Act fast and book your fantasy suite now! (Inquiring minds always want to know what you’d pick, so do share your favorite room theme in the comments! Or better yet, design your own! … Though, how will you top personal cheese vats?)
If, like us, you only have a short while to stay, may I suggest exploring the interior of the hotel.
The lobby is filled with vintage furniture and board games. Relax around the fireplace drum in a pick-your-own barbershop chair!
For the more adventuresome, you can explore the hotel’s 300 foot underground tunnel.
There are few things more romantic than a long musty walk through an unmarked, underground, low-lit, damp tunnel.
I like to outdo myself though, so I recited some of my favorite motivational quotes to Joe. You might know this one by Gollum.
“We’ll takes ’em to the tunnel, Precious. She can do it. She’s always hungry. She always needs to feed.”
It was a delightful surprise to learn that the tunnel, in fact, leads to a bar!
Our last minute stay at the exotic Don Q Inn was all too brief. The staff was very kind and helpful. And there’s clearly more to explore here. I for one, would go back.
What would you explore first? The fantasuite? The plane? The tunnel?
Meet me in the bar and tell all! 😉
Happy traveling, road trippers!
Reblogged from Starting With Some Gratitude:
With Thanksgiving approaching, I thought I’d share one of my favorite blog posts from the past about gratitude and family.
This holiday is always special to me and my family because we’ve tracked our ancestry back to two of the pilgrims that crossed over on the Mayflower. John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley. John Howland came from England as an indentured servant to John Carver, one of the Leiden Separatists (AKA: pilgrim). John Carver was Plymouth colony’s first Governor and the first person to sign the Mayflower Compact, which he wrote.
But John Carver and his family did not survive the first winter in the new world. In fact, most of the original passengers on the Mayflower did not survive that first winter. My 17th Great Grandfather, John Howland, who was in his 20′s at the time, now found himself a land owner and became a prominent member of the community. He would later become quite a reputable fur trader, working with Native Americans along the coast of Maine, and ending his days as a farmer in Massachusetts.
Elizabeth was only a teenager when she made the voyage across the Atlantic with her parents. Her parents did not survive the first winter either.
Eventually, John and Elizabeth married in the new world, and over their life together, gave birth to 10 children! What is so remarkable about their story is that they all survived! The Howland line is the most common bloodline for pilgrim descendants to belong to because it was so rare that these people lived as long as they did. Elizabeth was in her 90′s when she passed!
I am fortunate in many ways. I’m fortunate that I know where my people come from. I know their story, or at least as much as I can know. And I know we are survivors. I’m also fortunate to have visited the land and place where they walked. The first time in 2010 with Joe, who was patient and understanding with me while I took photos of everything and felt like I was walking in a really good dream. The second time in 2013 when I took my parents to tour Plymouth and watched my mom have the same journey I did three years ago.
So Thanksgiving is a meaningful holiday for me. It’s a reminder of who we are and what we’ve been through. What we can endure, with hard work and family, in order to achieve our dreams. It’s a reminder to change for the better by learning from others and seeking understanding more than being right.
This month, I’d like to focus on thanksgiving. I’ve kept a journal since I was 13, but for the last few years I’ve turned it into more of a gratitude journal. At the end of each entry, I write five specific things I’m grateful for.
Here’s what I’m most grateful for today…
- My family. I’ve had a year with an immense high (my marriage) and an extreme low (the passing of my brother in law), and through both events my family rallied together and supported one another with love, patience, and grace.
- My spouse – because he lets me ignore him to focus on writing this month and supports my dream of being a published author.
- Tacos. Joe made them and they were delicious.
- Writing friends. For the many critique groups, write-ins, and classes I’ve been able to attend this month.
- Coffee. And blankets. (it’s cold outside)
What are you thankful for today?
for more Thanksgiving stories to impress your family at the dinner table,
check out my other Thanksgiving posts!
By Deanne M. Schultz, @DMSwriter
Now that Jess is gone for a couple weeks, it’s a good time to talk about pom-poms. Specifically the kind worn on the ends of shoes. If your grandma knitted her own slippers, she may have stuck pom-poms on the toes just for a sassy affectation, happy about the way they bobbled around as she did her housework.
For those of you who don’t know, Joe and Jess are on their honeymoon in Greece, and if they hit the right part of Athens, they’ll see men wearing pom-poms on their shoes. These guys goose-step around, too, which only adds to their allure. Thankfully there’s no ouzo involved.
When we were in Athens a few years ago, we spotted these guys at Syntagma Square. Our tour guide told us that they were Evzones, members of an elite force that guarded the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. And man, were they serious about their duty. They marched back and forth with such ramrod precision that I felt slouchy and undignified in their presence. When they met at the top of the stairs and executed an abrupt turn and marched down, a lady in our group grabbed her camera and started snapping away.
Woe be unto her, because the Evzones kept goose-stepping rigidly forward, plowing right past Camera Lady, who almost bit the dust in her zeal to get a good shot. I imagined her, limp and bloodied on the sidewalk, a fuzzy pom-pom sticking out of her nose.
Really, what was the deal with those things? They seemed frivolous and unnecessary, almost humorous when compared with the semi-automatics the Evzones carried. Now those babies I took seriously. They elevated the goose-stepping to a don’t-mess-with-me meanness that made me gulp.
And when I found out that the Evzones’ shoes weigh seven pounds and have nails under their soles?
Boy, Camera Lady was just lucky to be alive, is what I thought.
Our tour guide told us that in the 1800s, when the Evzones prepared for combat, they would hide knives under the pom-poms. If they were captured in battle – fwip! – out came the knife, ready for action.
Cool, I thought, mentally elevating the status of the lowly pom-pom to Fuzzy Defender of the Faith. Someone else in our group, a Mr. Historical Know-It-All, challenged our tour guide, saying he heard the pom-poms were used to keep water from leaking in the seams of the shoes. Sorry, buddy, I thought. Water leaking in?? What a yawner. Knives were much more interesting, and gave the soldiers a sinister presence. Water leaking in made them sound like practical gardeners.
So, Jess and Joe, if you’re reading this, head on over to Syntagma Square and check out the Evzones. Hoist an ouzo in their honor, and if you’re secure in your manhood, stick some pom-poms on your shoes when you get home.
Just don’t goose-step around the front yard.
Deanne M. Schultz is currently working on The Green Hornet Suit and Other Musings, a book that takes a wry look at life as she sees it. Her hope is that her writing inspires and helps others, moving them to connect with those around them. She blogs at dmswriter – witty weekly writing to inform and entertain.
Hey Peeps! I’ve about had it with this -40° weather we’re having.
I must say it’s really put a cramp in my style. I’ve yet to find a pair of gloves that keeps my fingers warm enough, and my car is having an identity crisis. It thinks it’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and has taken to bouncing its path to my work each morning.
This morning I considered using a beach towel to dry off after showering…you know, just to pretend it was summer.
This past Sunday was an adventure as Joe and I traveled to Green Bay for the Packers/49ers game. Though it was a disappointing loss for sure, it was still a good game and we enjoyed being part of the
teeth chattering cheering crowd!
Neither of us had been to Lambeau before, so this was our first NFL game! Holla!
If you’re planning on attending an outdoor function in single digit weather, here’s what I recommend wearing:
2 pairs of long underwear pants +
1 pair of knee high socks +
1 pair of fuzzy warm socks +
1 pair of tall thick wool socks +
1 pair of jeans +
1 pair of thick fleece pants +
1 pair of snowpants +
1 pair of boots +
3 foot warmers =
*Note: Try to go shopping for snowpants at the beginning of the cold weather season, otherwise, like me, you’ll end up purchasing a boys pair of snowpants. And let me just say, I’m a bit hippier than an 8 year old boy. Nothing like 5 layers and the outermost one being the smallest to make you feel like a stuffed sausage!
1 long underwear top +
1 turtleneck +
1 long sleeve Packers shirt +
1 Packers sweatshirt +
1 Columbia puffer jacket +
1 face mask +
1 scarf +
1 nylon lined runners cap +
1 fleece lined yarn hat +
1 pair of fingerless gloves +
1 pair of fuzzy gloves +
1 pair of industrial strength rubber mittens +
2 hand warmers =
Somewhere during the 2nd half…
Yep, Packers fans know how to deal with winter.
Hope you’re staying warm out there!
What are your favorite tips and traditions for staying cozy this season?
Hey Gang! I’m back in Wisconsin (or Canada, as Tiffany calls it). 😉
I had a fabulous road trip out east and so much fun sharing cryptic photos with you guys trying to guess where I was. Here are some of the highlights!
Our first stop was the Columbus Ohio Zoo, one of the best zoos in the nation. It’s the zoo where Jack Hanna works. I didn’t know this beforehand, but the Columbus zoo takes in many baby animals that other zoos can’t support, and those are the ones Hanna takes with him on tour, like to the David Letterman Show. While we were there we saw 2 baby snow leopards and a 12 day old gorilla.
Day 2 brought us into Cleveland to the Rock N’Roll Hall of Fame!
Next stop was in Wheeling, West Virginia for a fish sandwich at Coleman’s Fish Market! Mmmm
P.S. This happened. And it was awesome.
Arriving at our main destination, we parked in Washington D.C. where my longtime friend, Amy, showed us around the area!
We took a day trip over to Baltimore, Maryland and Guess. Who. I. Met!!!!
And then Joe’s cousins taught us how to shell and eat THESE!!!
Day trip to Mount Vernon, touring the Washington’s Home!
Making our way back towards the midwest, we hit “The Strip” in Pittsburgh as well as Kennywood Amusement Park!
That’s our trip! All happily hosted and fed along the way by Joe’s family across the country! Wonderful hospitality! We hated to say goodbye.
Last but not least, the announcement of the From My Bookshelf to Yours contest winner is: Amber West! I’ll be touch soon for you to claim your book title of choice! Congrats, Amber!
Fill me in! What were you up to while I was away?
I know it seems like I just got back from my travels. Or have you forgotten this?
Ah yes, the vacation with my parents. What a treasure that was!
But I have other plans this time. Joe and I are off on our own adventure for 2 weeks! So you might say I’m taking a “Blogcation”.
We’re roadtripping east this year and you can catch my edition of “Where in the world is Jess Witkins’s Happiness Project?” by following me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook where I promise to post pictures from the trip!
See you later, alligators!
Back in the Mighty Midwest again! I survived vacationing with my parents in Boston for a week.
They did me a solid by dressing alike so I told them they didn’t have to wear the leash backpacks. This time.
The week went fast touring Beantown and we did it triumphantly – with senior discounts and 90° weather!
Traveling with my parents was so fun. Every day we spent together was like
deja vu memory making.
*Note to Readers Who May Be Thinking of Traveling With Their Senior Citizen Parents*
Bedtime is at 9 o’clock. If you thought you were going to get some writing done or read that book you brought with you, think again. By 9:15 the snoring will become so loud you will pray that a masked stranger will break into your room and club you to death. At least then there will be silence.
Conversely, you will never have to set an alarm because your father will wake you up between 5 and 6 every morning. (And let’s just remember that Boston’s an hour AHEAD).
What does one do exactly with senior citizens on vacation?
Admire Other Old People’s Clothes!
Help Them Meet New People!
Take Them to Places That Serve Soft Foods
Major Successes of the Trip:
- Did not lose one or both parent(s) in airport/airplane/subway system/trolley ride/hotel elevator/commuter rail/taxi cab despite their being prone to wandering off. (Especially the old man – keep your eye on that one.)
- Mom completed her first ever subway ride, and said she will “NOT miss it when she’s home.”
- No one lost any teeth, glass eyes, or hearing aids.
- Drank some Sam Adams lager with my Pops.
- Tried fried clams for the first time – Taste good, look disgusting…like fried snot.
- No one fell overboard on any of the boats we went on.
- I only thought about leaving my parents to fend for themselves once. In the airport on the way home. And let me tell you, Dad would have never made it out of Philadelphia.
- All said and done, we’re still talking to one another!
That was my week! How was yours?
What tips do you have for traveling with seniors?
Hello from sunny Boston!
I’m just sending a quick little “postcard” to all my blogger friends! This week I’m on hiatus in Boston and Plymouth, Massachusetts! Taking a vacation with my parents (hope Dad packed his butt soap) touring the sites and visiting the land and home of our pilgrim ancestors! Joe and I went 2 years ago, but the ‘rents have never been, so I’m playing tour guide this time. We’ll be visiting Plimoth Plantation and the Jabez Howland House, one of two surviving homes in the country where a Mayflower pilgrim lived, one who just happens to be our ancestor! We’re descendants of John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley who made the treacherous voyage across the Atlantic in 1620.
Knowing my family, I’m sure I’ll return with lots of stories. Here’s hoping no one gets lost on the subway, breaks their nose at the aquarium, or poops their pants in a native wigwam.
Wish you were here!
150,000 some people flock to the streets of La Crosse, Wisconsin over the next 2 weeks for the United States’ biggest German festival, Oktoberfest. Streets are blocked off, extra police come in, there are no less than 3 parades and everyone is out celebrating!
This past saturday was the Maple Leaf Parade, a parade that lasts for almost 4 hours! Every area beauty queen is riding a float and waving by, several marching bands, radio stations, military branches, all the international students carrying their country’s flag, political party volunteers, AND even the Canadian Oktoberfesters make an appearance in OUR parade!
It’s common for ‘festers’ to dress up, typically in German clothing, but any costume is considered good spirit! Here are a few snapshots from this year’s Maple Leaf Parade! Hope you enjoy!
Will you be festing this week? What the best parade you’ve ever been to?
But wait, there are winners! Thank you to everyone who commented on my interview with author Michael Perry. I’m glad his words connected with so many of you! The 3 lucky winners of his newest book, Visiting Tom, are Viola Fury, Mark Petruska, and Kathleen Hoeper!