Posts Tagged ‘iowa’

Today I left Des Moines and drove back home.  I suspect the cruise control on the new car doesn’t work like it’s supposed to.  On Friday I averaged 51mpg on the first half of my trip, stopped to buy a soda, then averaged 49mpg the second half.  Today the car averaged about 39mpg with the cruise control set.  You are supposed to get better gas mileage on cruise control, right?  When I turned it off out of curiosity, the car started averaging 47mpg.  Makes me think the cruise control is feeding the engine too much gas.

Getting back into town, I decided to finally get a long-overdue haircut, then saw a movie, The Great Wall, picked up a prescription at the drug store, unpacked the car, fed the cats, then cooked dinner.  Made a stir-fry using Blue Apron ingredients.  So far, I’ve only followed one Blue Apron recipe since starting the service.

After dinner while watching the Simpsons, I fell asleep for an hour.  Missed the new episode and also the new Son of Zorn.  😦

Tonight I’ve added a new link to this blog’s home page, for Palek Art Studio and Gallery, a place my aunt and I stopped in after lunch yesterday.  I liked the artist’s works — wish I had the money to buy them.

Now I’m relaxing.  Dreading going back to work in the morning.

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Bought 5 gallons of gas this morning after having driven 175 miles in the new car.  That works out to 35mpg running errands and such.  I drove to Des Moines afterward.  Averaged about 50mpg.  Figuring a 10-gallon tank (I would know for sure if I’d only check the owner’s manual), I can go 500 miles on a full tank.  Thanks awesome!

My aunt Sally and I went out for lunch in Des Moines’ East Village at place called Tacopocalypse East Village.  She had a Korean-ingredient burrito and I had masa fries covered with chorizo and an egg.  We both liked what we ordered, and both felt stuffed afterward.  So much so that when it was time for dinner, we were a little reluctant to eat again.

We spent a few hours walking around the East Village checking out the shops.

I’d heard from a coworker about a great place here called Zombie Burger + Drink Lab.  As it turned out that was only two blocks away.  So we went there for dinner.  And we ordered hamburgers.  Sally had one where the bun was actually two grilled-cheese sandwiches.  Mine was called the Undead Elvis, which contained a fried egg, fried banana and peanut butter.  I know what’s on your mind, but it was actually very good.

When I worked on the road during my past life, I would do my laundry when staying in a sweet suite hotel like the one I’m in tonight.  Knowing I’d have access to free washers and dryers here, I brought dirty clothes on this trip.  After Sally went home, I washed it.  Fun times!

After work, I decided to forgive a local barbecue restaurant for the terrible service I received 3-1/2 years ago.  The food was good, and this time, so was the service.  Afterward, I went home to watch some Netflix (code-speak for “take a nap”).

In the middle of the “show” I received a text message from my daughter telling me she was coming over for the weekend.  Last weekend was her weekend with me, but she’d missed it because she’d been sick.  “Oh, making up for last week?” I texted back.  “No, Mom has me scheduled for you on the calendar.”  What a surprise!  I’ve had my daughter on payday weekend for several years, and this isn’t payday weekend.  I know my ex simply made a mistake.  Apparently she also has daughter scheduled to come over in two weeks, another non-payday weekend.  I’d been planning to drive to Iowa that weekend, to test out the car and hang out at the casino with my aunt.

But I don’t mind — I’m working for a coworker who’s celebrating his birthday by taking a day off from work.  This new visit schedule actually gives me a three-day weekend, during which I can now spend two nights in Iowa instead of one (woo-hoo!).

So, my daughter came over tonight, and we started watching the Nicolas Cage movie, Knowing.  She seemed very interested in the movie, but decided to go to bed about halfway into the film (too tired to stay awake).  We’ll be finishing it up tomorrow night after she gets home from work.

I’ve been finalizing my plans for a short trip to Iowa, to test out my new car’s gas mileage.  I was going to stay at a new hotel in downtown Des Moines, but call me cheap — I like the hotel chain’s oatmeal served at breakfast, but not enough to pay a $15 parking fee.  Changed hotels.

Gotta figure out where to eat lunch when I get into town.  Already have plans for dinner (at the casino buffet).

First Day of Vacation:  Did a little sightseeing near home.

First Day of Vacation: Did a little sightseeing near home.

Most people want to go somewhere warm and exotic for spring break, or some decide to hit the slopes for some last skiing.  Where did I go this year?  Iowa.  For the second or third or fourth year in a row (I don’t remember).  I use spring break to take my daughter to visit relatives.

But I digress.  I need to talk about my last work rotation, which started in Garden City, Kansas and ended up in Texas.  I flew from Garden City to Corpus Christi, spent a couple of days there, then drove to Hebbronville, then to Roma.  After finishing up in Roma, I drove back to Corpus Christi via Harlingen.  The weather in Garden City sucked (12 degrees and snowing sideways when I left).  The weather in Texas was awesome (50’s and 60’s and mostly sunny).  If I hadn’t been working, Texas would have been a great spring break.  I ate at three barbecue restaurants.  Two were good (Miller’s and Rudy’s) and one was so-so (Bill Miller).  I ate at a restaurant in Hebbronville called Peppers, which had awesome pork chops and served so much food on the plate, I couldn’t even eat half of when they gave me.  I felt so inadequate.  The night before leaving Texas, I got to visit with my uncles and aunt who winter down there, and I got o meet a friendly little Yorkie named Dexter.

Kayla and Her Lucky Dad

Kayla and Her Lucky Dad

Now, about spring break —— Took my daughter Kayla to Iowa.  She spent the first night with her grandma and the second with her sister.  The next day, we got together with my cousin Kim and her family for pictures.  the day after that, Saint Patrick’s Day, we didn’t wear green, and we went to the movies and walked around a mall (I found a place that sold second-hand clothes, selling Hawaiian shirts for $6 — kinda wish I still wore them).  Kayla and I returned home on Tuesday.  We’ve hung out at my apartment for the rest of the week, until today when I took her back to her mom’s house.  During our spring break, it snowed three times (not much accumulation, though).  We saw two movies at the theater and a whole slew on Netflix.  We walked around a retail mall and an antique mall.  We went to church.  We ate out 14 or 15 times.  Since I started traveling for work, I haven’t been stocking food in my apartment, and yet we managed to go to Hy-Vee and Wal-Mart about a half-dozen times.  Well, maybe we ate out less often than I thought.  I managed to work out a few times (but not enough).  And I slept in every morning.  And Kayla got up earlier than usual so she could message her friends on Facebook before noon.

Now Kayla’s back at the house.  She goes back to school tomorrow morning.  But I still have two more days of vacation left.  I’m going to sleep in until I go back to work.  I’ll go see the new Muppet movie.  I’ll do laundry.

I’ve already found out I’m scheduled to be working in Oklahoma on April 1st, so I’m hoping my entire next rotation will be there.  I like Oklahoma — I’ve eaten at a few good barbecue places and diners there.