WRITERS NOTE: Sorry this is like, a week late. But hey, better late than never, right?
I woke up on Day Three feeling more rested than I had on Day Two. After stretching, using the facilities and grabbing some water, I hit the road again. After about half an hour or so, I saw a sign for a Burger King. The previous day I had gotten French Toast Sticks, and that sounded good again. As I pulled off for Burger King, I saw a Starbucks. I pulled in and wrote the Day Two blog post.
When I finished the blog post, I moved on to Burger King.When I stopped at a Burger King the previous day, I paid close to $4 for 3-piece French Toast sticks and a small tater tot thing. On Day Three, I paid just over $4 for 5-piece French Toast sticks meal and cinnamon rolls. Talk about money being worth different things in different places.
On Day Two, as I was driving through West Nebraska, I had commented to a friend on the phone “I don’t see any corn.” When I was a small child, I had a United States puzzle. It had different things that represented different parts of the country on those states. Iowa and part of Nebraska had a corn icon.
Further, I remember listening to an episode of Adventures in Odyssey where Eugene Meltsner and another character drive through Nebraska and they talk about how all they can see for miles is corn. So I had this expectation that Nebraska was all corn. On Day Two, I saw none, yet got close to Central Nebraska. On Day Three, I saw nothing but corn. Corn, corn, corn. Endless. For miles. Almost non-stop. EDIT: even since being in New York, I still see corn. Everywhere.
I made it to Boys Town, where I got a little bit lost, had to drive around the border of entire facility – which was huge – then pull in a side entrance. Which was awkward. I walked into the visitor center, where the woman at the entrance asked if I’d like to take a tour of Father Flanagan’s house. I said yes, and she said that if I hurried up, there should be a volunteer there still. I walked up to the house. It was pretty hot outside – close to 95 degrees. The tour of the house was pretty cool. I really love old things.
After the tour ended, I went back to the history center. I was taken to a film viewing room where they (get this) showed a film. It was a 10 minute history of Boys Town. Between that and walking around the history center, I think I almost cried a few times.
Seeing all this, and the incredible impact of Boys Town made me think of Hanna Boys Center and how much of an impact Hanna has had on my life. I do not think I would be able to do anything I have done without Hanna. Or at least not as well. I thought about all the staff that supported me and pushed me to do my best constantly, all the boys who at first made fun of me, and all the boys who eventually looked up to me in some way.
A mentor from Sonoma State commented recently that I’ve earned a lot of privileges and that a lot of people are looking up to me, and that I need to remember that.Day Three was when I realized that I was having a good time. A fantastic time. That this road trip is one of the most incredible things I have done with my life. I am constantly thrilled and excited.
After Nebraska was Iowa, a state which has incredible rest stops! I was so amazed by the care and attention they put into their rest stops.I decided to head a bit off course – since I was so far ahead – and headed to Riverside, Iowa.
Riverside is the futre hometown of one James Tiberius Kirk (of Star Trek fame). First thing I saw in Riverside? A “John Archer for Congress” sign. My map took me on backroads through most of the rest of Iowa, until just before Illinois, which was quaint. The speed limit was lower, but I had some time to kill.
I got to cross the Mississippi River on 80, which was super cool. As soon as I crossed into Illinois, I knew I loved it. Maybe it was the coolness from the time of day, maybe it was the generally happy vibes I picked up from the state, maybe it was the fact that people speed like crazy through there. I have no idea. But I knew the state was fantastic.
I vacillated about Chicago and if I actually wanted to make it in to the city. At first I considered getting a hotel just outside the city, going in for dinner, then going back to the hotel, then returning the next day for fun adventures. Then I remembered my Priceline Negotiator app and decided to just drive into the city and try to find something. I drove in with one hotel up on my map. I drove around for half an hour trying to find it, then got really frustrated when the streets didn’t work out in my favor, so I switched to looking for another hotel.
After driving in circles for another 45 minutes, I realized it was past 11pm, which is the time one needs to reserve a room on the Priceline app. I had not done so yet. Hungry, tired, and frustrated, I drove out of the city and returned to a variation of Plan A.
As soon as I got in the hotel, I took a shower. I realized my XBoX was in my car and there was a TV in the hotel room. I grabbed the XBoX, hooked it up and started killing some aliens (Halo 3). I was impressed with how nice the color and graphics were. Maybe my TV sucks and I should garage sale for a new one when I return. I fell asleep playing Halo 3.