I’m sitting in a hotel room in a small town in Middle of Nowhere, North Dakota. I’ve been up – and so has the freakin’ sun – since just after 4.

I had no idea I’d be here this time last week. Jon texted me sometime late last Wednesday afternoon and asked if I could juggle some things and go on a road trip with him this week. I could, so I did, and here I am.

We left Sunday night and drove to a town just outside of Louisville, KY. We drove all day Monday with stops in Chicago (for lunch) and Wisconsin (for cheese) and stayed overnight in Minneapolis. Yesterday, we made it to North Dakota and are currently somewhere on the W side of the state (about 120 miles W of Bismark – mountain time, which is why my sleep is jacked up and why I was wide awake at 4am).

We are having a blast. Seriously. I was worried that spending so much time in the car might be miserable because I’m pretty spoiled and generally like to fly if I’m going beyond a few hours … but I am very glad we did this. It probably helps that we like each other a lot and are so similar it’s a little weird.

I had great plans to exercise every day and to completely avoid junk and all that, but that fell by the wayside almost immediately (as it always does, but I’m convinced that my intentions will pay off one of these days). Turns out – unsurprisingly – that going to exercise after a long day in the car is not as appealing as eating nachos at a bar … until it’s time for bed and time to commence the popping of the pepto bismol (which I brilliantly remembered to bring from my vast collection of bottles from various cities – setting myself up for failure, no doubt).

So … Monday was the declared junk day. We’ve tried a little harder since then.

Junk day details:

Panera for breakfast – jalapeño & cheddar bagel w/egg, cheese and bacon. We also picked up some bananas and PB from the hotel as we left. We ate the bananas, but the PB was too sweet/creamy. I think I’ve trained myself out of regular PB.

Lunch was spinach/mushroom/tomato/sausage/cheese pizza for lunch in Chicago (because it just seemed necessary).

There was a stop at a Taco John’s in Wisconsin because I’d never seen one and have some crazy friends who love this place. I think this prompted the full realization that I’ve formed a defense mechanism that keeps me out of places like this. Know how some smokers go all militant when they quit? Yeah, that’s me and fast food. I made it through a couple bites before I threw it away.

Jon ate his taco – though he’s as bad as me and likely wouldn’t have admitted it if I didn’t have photographic evidence.

We stopped and picked up some cheese (again, because it just seemed necessary). I’d never really seen or heard of such a thing outside of Little Miss Muffet.

I was deliriously tired by the time we got around to dinner, so of course my eyes/mind went straight past anything remotely healthy. We split two appetizers and took some dessert back to the hotel to eat while watching tv (an apparent travel tradition).


We brought a cooler with us, so we stopped at a grocery store yesterday morning and picked up some breakfast + lunch stuff. We ate sesame crackers, hummus, turkey, cheese, yogurt, and some more hotel bananas throughout the day – which was really plenty since we were both feeling gross from the previous junk day.


I have no pictures from dinner, but I had grilled salmon and a baked potato at what appears to be the only restaurant in town.

I’ve been reading The Vegetarian Myth as we’ve been driving and holy shit is that appropriate (if a little too … what’s the right word for ‘extreme/far-fetched but creative/thought-provoking?’).


We drove through a creepy storm that almost blew us off the road and made me realize we were in the middle of nothing, with no people and no hospitals nearby and no cell phone service … and OH MY GOD.

Jon has no respect for my fear of death by tornado.


We stopped to see Salem Sue, reportedly the world’s largest Holstein cow – in New Salem, ND.


Up next – I have no idea.