All posts by Jennifer


Ivan and I packed everything up on April 5, 2010.  Travis wasn’t home.  So, we left a note for him saying thank you and goodbye. 

Ivan drove us to the Red Rocks Grill for lunch.  Ivan had a veggie melt while I had two hard and two soft chicken tacos.  I had a sore throat so it hurt to swallow.  I was eating, but very slowly. 

We went to Red Rocks Amphitheater


It’s a big outdoor theater.  Many bands and singers have performed there like Abba, Chemical Brothers, The Beatles and Bjork.  It’s really beautiful up there with all the red rocks.

My eyes hurt and everything was really bright.  I covered my face and slept during the drive to Breckenridge. 

Ivan parked on Main Street in Breckenridge.  He walked around while I chilled in the car.  I still wasn’t feeling good.

Ivan drove to the couchsurfer’s house we’d be staying at for two nights.  We met Jim who has a beautiful 4 bedroom house.  His wife was out of town.  We met his puppy Labrador Lamar.  He’s so cute. Ivan noticed the Wurlitzer.  It’s an original Wulitzer jukebox that has the original old records.  Jim played a couple songs on it for us.

We chilled at the house for awhile.

We drove to find some dinner.  We went to Downstairs at Eric’s.  Ivan and I shared the apple curry chicken soup which was real tasty.  My throat still hurt so it was little painful to eat.  We got a Thai salad and a pizza with garlic wheat crust with chicken, red onions and crushed garlic.  We didn’t touch the salad and decided to save that for lunch tomorrow.  The pizza was fantastic!  We really loved the taste of the wheat crust.

We went back to the house.  We watched the move The Invention of Lying which is a really good movie.


Bus Tour

Ivan and I chilled for awhile in the house on April 4, 2010.  I had a headache. 

We drove downtown.  We had lunch at BD’s Mongolian Grill.  It’s like the Genghis Grill in Kansas City.  You pick your meat or seafood, noodles, spices and sauces and place it in your bowl.  Then, you give your bowl to a cook.  He or She cooks it up.  I had one with an egg, chicken, noodles, tofu, onions and a teriyaki sauce.  It also comes with either rice or tortillas.  It was good, but we definitely preferred Genghis Grill. 


We walked to the Big Blue Bear.  We were meeting the bus tour there.  We were going on the Banjo Billy’s Bus Tour.  It was only me, Ivan and a couple from Germany on the bus. 


I guess it was slow since it was Easter Sunday.  Our tour guide was Drew.  The bus is very unique.  It’s really cool inside with comfortable seats, a saddle and a big sofa in the back. 


The bus has different horn sounds like a horse whinney, a construction style whistle and a quack.  He drove and talked about the history of Denver and Colorado, crime and ghosts.  We drove by lots of locations like City Hall, Brown palace, Botanical Gardens, Grant/Humphreys mansion, Cultural Center and the US Mint.  It was a really good tour.  He didn’t use the horn sounds enough though.

Ivan drove us back to the house.  I wasn’t feeling too well.  My headache wouldn’t go away.  Ivan was a bit tired as well.

We chilled at the house.  Finally, we decided to get some food.  It was almost 9 pm.  Since it was Sunday, everything seems to close early.  We didn’t feel like driving downtown for dinner.  Travis gave us a couple of suggestions. 

We drove to the sushi restaurant he recommended, but it was closed.  There was an Il Fornaio restaurant but that was closed as well.  Ivan was searching in the GPS unit to find something.  We decided to try Olive Garden.  It had the number in the GPS unit.  So, Ivan called and they were open until 10 pm. 

Ivan drove us to Olive Garden.  It was Ivan’s first trip to Olive Garden.

We got two main dishes.  First, I got a salad and Ivan got the chicken and gnocchi soup.  We shared the Venetian Apricot Chicken with vegetables and the Chicken Marsala with Tuscan potatoes.  The Chicken Marsala was delicious. 

We went back to the house.  We talked to Travis and his roommate for awhile.  Then, we used the internet for a short while.



Ivan and I checked out of the motel on April 3, 2010.  I started driving at 11:25 am.  Ivan got a call while we driving.  He left his laptop cord in the room in Lamar.  The owner (the husband) said that he could mail it to us.  Ivan said he would call back when we have an address in Breckenridge.

We stopped at 1:15 pm at a McDonald’s.  We had a bathroom break and used the free wi-fi.

Ivan started driving about 2:40 pm.  We arrived at the couchsurfer’s house in Denver, Colorado at 3:08 pm.

We met Travis, the couchsurfer we’d be staying with for two nights.  He’s a friendly guy who lives to ride motorcycles.  He has a huge map of the USA.  It has little flags on it.  The flags have a name of where the couchsurfers who stayed with him are from.

We drove downtown and walked around 16th Street mall.  Ivan needed a new jacket.  We checked out souvenirs shops, Ross and TJ Maxx.  Ivan finally found a Coloardo sweatshirt in a souvenir shop.  I bought a few postcards.

We jumped on the free mall shuttle further down the street.  We went inside Wynkoop Brewing Co.  They brew their own beers.  Ivan and I had a glass of Wix a weiss beer.  It has bananas in it. 


It’s very tasty!  Ivan read that being in a higher elevation makes you drunker faster. 

We walked to Vesta Dipping Grill for dinner.  Ivan set up a reservation for 9 pm.  We arrived at 8:30 pm.  We took a seat at the bar and ordered two drinks.  I had a Strawberry Basil drink and Ivan had a Mile High Sunset.

The restaurant offers dishes that each come with three dips (that you get to choose from a big list).  Ivan and I started off with Spanish Jalapeno Tuna which came with some tasty black pepper crackers.  We got two main courses: a curry smoked chicken and Moroccan spiced grilled salmon. 


The salmon and chicken tasted great with the sauces we picked.  I really liked the Korean Garlic BBQ and the Red Curry.  It was a very great meal.

We sent a text to Travis about bars.  He sent back a big list of recommendations.  We drove to Casselmans since the bar has live music.  It was about 10 pm and there was no music playing.  We were actually too late. 

We went to a Polish bar next.  But, the bar was packed with Polish people with Polish music playing.  We weren’t really sure about that.  So, we walked across the street to Under the Snug.  It’s an Irish bar.  The guy at the door said there was Irish music playing upstairs.  Ivan thought we should see something a bit different, so we left.

Ivan read about a nightclub called Church.  It was formerly a church.  The nightclub plays house music.  We went into line and noticed a lot of Mexican people and Latinos.  We both thought that something wasn’t right.  Ivan talked to the guy at the door.  He said it was Latin Night.  We started walking towards the car.  A guy said that there’s a place close by that plays house music.  He said it was called Vinyl and that DJ Rap would be performing there.  He gave us directions to the club. 

We walked a few blocks to Vinyl.  The cover was $15 per person.  There’s three different rooms: house/techno, 90’s music and hip hop.  We went to the coat room so we wouldn’t have to hold our coats all night.  The 90’s music room was actually playing current music.

I was walking and this short, black guy dressed in all white said Hey.  I said Hi back.  Then, he tried to grab my hand.  I was thinking what is this guy thinking.  I put my hands up and said I was good and walked away.  He rushed off. 

The house/techno room had a DJ on that kept playing the same beat over and over.  DJ Rap would probably be on soon.

We checked out the hip hop room which was crowded.  But, we don’t like hip hop so we went back to the house/techno room.

Ivan found out about the roof.  There’s music playing there as well.  It was current music like dance, pop and hip hop.  There was a group of people in a big circle and people would individually dance in the middle.  Ivan liked the guy with the fake fro.  There was a girl who danced good and she had moves like a gymnast.

We went back to the house/techno room.  DJ Rap was on.  She’s a pretty lady.  She played a bit too much generic trance for us.  I like to get lost in the music and dance.  I think that only happened once or twice when DJ Rap was on.  It was still decent music, just not the best DJ we’ve heard before.

We left around 1:40 am.  We drove back to Travis’ house.  We thought everybody would be asleep.  Travis’ roommate was there with a few friends.  We chatted with them for awhile.  Then, we decided to call it a night.


Dodge City and Lamar

Ivan and I packed everything up on April 2, 2010.  We said goodbye and thanks to Ryan.  Ryan’s a friendly guy, but kind of quiet.

I started driving around 11:30 am.  We saw more religious signs again.  It was a warm day with blue skies. 

We listened to lots of music during the trip – Animals and Wish You Were Here albums by Pink Floyd, The Streets, Madness, The Beatles, Bjork and Smashing Pumpkins.

As a child, my family took lots of road trips and we loved to listen to music.  I remember when there was 8 tracks and audio tapes.  My mom loved The Beatles.  We listened to many songs like Olivia Newton- John, and movie/tv theme songs.  So, as we travel around the USA listening to The Beatles, I’m reminded of the road trips with my family.  It makes me think of Stuckey’s, trips to Disneyland and begging my dad to stop at In N’ Out Burger since we didn’t have one in Las Vegas.

We stopped at Dodge City. 


There’s a place called Boot Hill that has a museum.  During the summer time, they have gun fights and have a can can show.  We wish we could have seen that.  We’ll have to visit again sometime.

We went to Casey’s Cowtown for lunch.  Ivan and I shared the special which was a salmon with mustard sauce and a Santa Fe Chicken.  The food was really good.

We walked around Dodge City, but there’s not much there.

We started driving again.  I heard a rock hit the window but didn’t think anything of it – since it happens every now and then. 

We stopped in Garden City.  Ivan noticed that there was a crack in the windshield.  We thought that we should have it checked out in Denver (which would be in a 2 days).  I told Ivan to mark the end of the crack with a Sharpie.  We noticed that the crack was spreading. 

We stopped at a McDonald’s to use the free wi-fi.  Ivan looked up a place that repairs windshields.  We stopped at that place, but it was almost closing time.  The guy who worked there said that he didn’t have time to do it, but he recommended a place close that could do it.

So, we drove to Diamond C.  The guy said he could fix it in about 45 minutes to an hour.  It took him about 40 minutes to complete it.  It cost $65.  We were so relieved to get it fixed.  Thank goodness it wasn’t a Sunday when a lot businesses are closed in these small towns.


We were back on the road and crossed into Colorado.  The time went back an hour since Colorado is in Mountain Standard Time zone. 

We made a stop at Wal-Mart.  We bought a few things.

I drove us to the motel.  We checked in to the Bruce Spruce Motel.  Ivan got some recommendations for bars and restaurants from the lady at the counter.  She owns the motel with her husband. 

We drove to the room.  It’s a nice room with a kitchenette and free wi-fi.  We chilled in the room for an hour.

We drove to one of the recommended restaurants.  We had dinner at Thai Spicy Basil Asian Grill.  We had nice shrimp shumai and a tom yum gai to start off with. Then, we shared a good green curry dish. 

Ivan and I checked out Desiree’s Nightclub.  But, there wasn’t much going on there.  The music playing was some kind of country.

Then, we drove to Opal’s Pub.  It wasn’t busy either.  So, we decided to head back to the motel.

We watched the movie Idiocracy and ate popcorn.  The movie was entertaining, but not the best movie I’ve seen.  Shortly after, we went to sleep.



Ivan and I checked out of Harrah’s on April 1, 2010.  We’ve driven 5,080 miles on our road trip so far.  I started driving towards Hays, Kansas at 10:30 am.

We stopped in Lawrence, Kansas.  We walked around the shops. 

We went to Zen Zero for lunch.  Ivan and I shared momos for an appetizer.  Ivan god chicken pad thai.  It was the American version with tomatoes.  Pad Thai does NOT come with tomatoes.  I had a Japanese soba noodles dish with chicken.  Both noodles came with too many noodles and barely any chicken. 

Ivan started driving again at 12:30 pm.  It was an overcast day.  We listened to many bands like Pink Floyd, Kings of Leon, Lily Allen, Robbie Williams and No Doubt. 


We saw a wind mill farm on our way to Hays.  I also saw religious signs on farms like Abortion Kills what GOD created.  We arrived in Hays, Kansas at 4:30 pm.  We met Ryan, the couchsurfer we’d be staying with for a night.  

Ivan and I both took a shower. 

Ryan drove us to dinner in his new car.  It still had that new car smell.  We went to Gella’s Diner and Lb. Brewing Co.  Ivan and I shared the shrimp spring rolls for a starter.  We also shared two main courses: a chicken burrito that came with white beans for a side and the grilled pesto chicken breast. 


I loved the chicken!  The white beans were so tasty since they were cooked in white wine.  The white beans tasted great in the rather plain chicken burrito.

We walked from the restaurant to Fort Hays State University.  It was a nice warm day out.  The sun had actually come out.  Ryan told us about the small town of Hays which has about 22,000 people living there.  He works at the university so he told us about the history and pointed out the buildings.  Some of the buildings are made out of limestone.   

We stopped to Coffee Rules for a drink.  Ivan and I each had a glass of Red Diamond Shiraz.  It was really great.  We chatted with Ryan.  It was a bit warm in the coffee place.

We walked back to the car and drove back to the house.  I saw lightning fill up the sky. 

We used the internet for awhile.  It started raining.  Ivan and I watched an episode of Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em and then went to sleep. 


Kansas City

We went to lunch on March 31, 2010 at Michael Smith.  Ivan and I shared the asparagus soup for a starter.  Ivan liked it, but I thought it needed more cream.  We shared the very tasty Spanish tacos.  The chicken dish with risotto was just average.  The risotto needed more flavor. 

We drove to the Crown Center.  There’s a mall there, but it’s not that big.  We had some tasty chocolates at the Chocolate Factory.

We walked to Kaleidoscope which is part of Hallmark.  It’s next door to the Visitor’s Center.  It’s a place where kids can create things like cards.  We wanted to create stuff ,but they said we needed a kid to do that.  Ivan thought we should try to find a kid on the street.  We didn’t see any running around freely so we went next door.

We walked in to the Hallmark Visitor’s Center.  There’s no admission charge.  It talks about the history of Hallmark.  It shows ornaments and cards. 


There’s a machine where you press a green button and it creates a purple bow that you can keep.  I grabbed a free Hallmark card at the front counter. 

We went back to Harrah’s to chill for awhile.  We used the internet and watched some tv.

Ivan drove us downtown.  We walked to Genghis Grill.  The hours show that for winter it closes at 8 pm.  We thought that was strange.  But, it seems that they were busy so the restaurant was still open.  You’re given a bowl.  You get to choose your ingredients which includes meats, seafood, spices, vegetables and sauces and then place it in your bowl.  You give your bowl to one of the cooks.  Then, you can pick either rice, Udon noodles or pasta.   


The cooks stir fry it up on a big grill.  It’s really tasty and it’s only $9.95.  What a bargain!

We walked around the downtown area.  We went to the AMC theatre  to buy tickets.  The movie theatre has big red seats and the seats rumble.  What a cool movie theatre!  We saw Alice in Wonderland in 3D.  We loved it!  I thought it was beautiful and had a great story.  I want to see it again soon.

Ivan drove us back to the hotel.  We watched an episode of Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em and then went to bed.


Brewery Tour

Ivan and I packed everything up on March 30, 2010.  We said thank you and goodbye to Sue.  Sue and Ralph were very friendly hosts.  It was very interesting to talk to Sue.

We left around 11 am.  Ivan drove to Pho Grande.  Unfortunately, it was closed since they’re closed on Tuesdays.  I saw earlier a Vietnamese restaurant so we walked there.  We decided to eat at Lemongrass Restaurant.

Ivan and I shared the vegetable spring rolls for a starter.  They came with a tasty sauce.  Ivan had a chicken pho while I had pho tai (Vietnamese rare beef and noodle soup).


It was really good.  I put too much peppers so it was a little spicier than I would have liked.

Ivan drove us to the Gateway Arch.  We parked in the garage for $6.  We went inside.  We couldn’t go up the Arch since all the tickets were sold out already.  We quickly walked through the Western Museum.  It would have been nicer to have a museum about the Gateway Arch.


We took lots of pictures of the Arch outside.  It’s massive!  I didn’t think it would be so big.

Ivan drove to Anheuser-Busch Brewery next.  We took the free tour.  We saw the Clydesdale horses first.  They’re quite beautiful.  The tour guide explained the process of making beer.  This almost put Ivan to sleep.  We saw many things like the big kettles and the production line where they label and package the bottles.


At the end, you can get a free glass of beer and bags of pretzels.  Ivan and I shared a Wheat Budweiser.  It was alright.  We’re not big fans of Budweiser.  We don’t drink beer that much anyway.

I started driving towards Kansis City, Missouri at 3:45 pm.  We ran into some traffic since there was an accident.  There was a nice sunset that we saw while driving.  We arrived in Kansas City at 8:30 pm.

We checked in to Harrah’s.  We put our backpacks in the room.

I drove to Subway but it just closed at 9 pm.  I drove to the Regal movie theatre inside the Ameristar Casino.  We each got a chicken sandwich at the Burger King at the food court.

We got seats in the theatre.  We were going to see the Black Eyed Peas concert live from The Staples Center in L.A.  There was only 12 people total there.

I had brought in a bag with red wine.  Nobody checked our tickets in the theatre.  Ivan bought some popcorn.  There was some backstage footage and videos playing before the concert.  We caught a few minutes of it.

The concert was great!!  They played lots of songs like Imma Be, Where is the Love?, Missing You, Boom Boom Pow and Meet Me Halfway.

Each member got to do their own thing.  Apl.De.Ap is half Filipino and half Black.  He sang a song in Filipino.  Taboo rode on a fake motorcycle above the crowd to a song.  Fergie sang a few songs like Glamorous and Big Girls Don’t Cry. DJed some great songs while in a kewl robot suit.  Ivan and I didn’t think he did the DJing.  It just dind’t look like he was doing much.  If he was actually DJing, he did play some cool songs.

The last song turned out to be I Gotta Feeling.  It’s an awesome song!  We thought it would have been more appropriate as the first song.  But, it did end at a great point.  We really enjoyed the concert.  I just wish that we were there live.

Ivan drove us back to Harrah’s to get some sleep.


A Fun Museum and Passover

I woke up around 10:45 am on March 29, 2010.  Ivan was already awake.  We got ready.  We headed to Eleven Eleven Mississippi for lunch.  Ivan read that it was a good restaurant, but it’s much cheaper at lunch time. 

Ivan and I shared the butternut squash soup for a starter.  Ivan loved it, I liked it as well but it was a bit too sweet.  We also shared a beet salad with grilled chicken and a Eleven Eleven BLT.  Their BLT stands for Bourbon apples, maine Lobster and Thyme remoulade.  We each had a glass of lovely Cape Indaba Shiraz during our lunch.  It was a very good meal.

Next, we drove to the City Museum.  The admission is $12 per person (even kids).  This museums is filled with slides, things to climb up and caves.  This is fun for both kids and adults.  Ivan and I love to play – we still act like we’re kids. The museum is old and some of it is in disrepair.  But, it’s still pretty cool.  They’re currently fixing things in the museum.

We climbed inside the whale’s mouth to explore.  It took us to the second level. There’s lots of slides to go on.  Outside there’s a big structure that you can climb on. 


There’s also a big area with a ball pit.  The balls are bigger than usual.  You can stand over the pit and kids throw up balls.  We tried to hit people with the balls.  Ivan went into the ball pit.  He had fun hitting the kids with the balls.  I hit him from above.

Here’s a video of Ivan playing in the Ball Pit:

Ivan and I went to walk up to go on the 10 story slide.  I was too tired to walk anymore.  Ivan went on it though.  It didn’t go that fast.  I went on a smaller one which was pretty slow too.

We spent 2 hours there.  It was tons of fun! 

Ivan drove us to Crown Candy Kitchen.  Their known for their malts.  If you can drink 5 malts within 30 minutes, you get it for free.  Ivan and I shared a chocolate banana malt.  Big Dave & Lil Dave (the monkeys we’re traveling with) each had a banana malt with extra bananas inside.  The malt was good.  It was Ivan’s first malt.  Crown Candy also makes their own chocolates.  We tried a raspberry filled chocolate.  The filling was way too sweet.  We bought a dozen chocolates for Sue and Ralph.

We drove back to the house.  Ivan helped out with dinner while I took a shower.  Ivan rolled matzah balls.  Ivan set the table.  I got dressed.  I also helped out in the kitchen.  Sue had invited us to Passover seder (a Jewish ritual feast).  It was my first Passover.  Ivan is Jewish and he hasn’t attended a Passover seder in six years.

People starting coming over.  We met Sue’s parents Liz and Henry.  Then, Sue & Ralph’s daughter Julie came.  She was with her friends Ericka and Sophie.

We read from a haggadah that was for children.  Some of the parts were actually wrong.  They read from the haggadah and it was mostly in English.  There was some Hebrew.  I just tried to pronounce it as well as I could.  Ivan can actually read Hebrew.  Everybody takes turns reading. 


There’s different things that you do like dip the parsley in the salt water and then eat it.  Also, you make a sandwich out of matzo, horseradish and charoset (mixture of walnuts, cinammon, wine, honey and apples) and eat it.  The ceremony only lasted 30 minutes.  Sometimes it can last hours.

We had matzo ball soup to start off with.  It was really good.  Ivan told Ericka that he rolled the matzo balls.

Next, it was time for the main course.  The food was set up in a buffet style.  There was beef brisket with carrots on top, kugel and salad.  Sue cooked a baked potato for me, Ivan and Ericka.  I had some beef brisket, kugel and salad.  Everything tasted really good.  Ivan didn’t have any beef since he doesn’t eat red meat.  For dessert, Sue made a tasty chocolate mousse.  It was really sweet and tasted great. 

At the end, half of a matzo is hidden.  You have to try to find it.  Ericka found the matzo which was hidden behind a table.  Usually at the end, you play games.  But, Ivan was going to be the entertainer for the night.  Julie really wanted to be hypnotized.

We went down to the basement.  Ivan did the hypnosis induction on Julie, Ericka and Sophie.  Julie was the most hypnotized while Ericka was the least hypnotized.  Julie talked on multiple phones which were actually people’s shoes, forgot her name, forgot the number 3 and saw Ivan and me as her parents.  Everybody thought it was really funny. 


We said goodbye to everybody as they left. 


Driving to Saint Louis

Ivan and I packed up our backpacks on March 28, 2010.  We checked out of the hotel. 

Ivan drove to Wolfgang Puck Express for lunch.  We went to the counter to order and then we sat down.  They bring your food to your table. 


Ivan got a bowl of tortilla soup and a spicy chicken pizza.  I got a margherita pizza.  The food was awesome. 

We started driving to St. Louis at 4 pm.  We drove through Kentucky and Illinois.  It was rainy for the beginning of the trip.  I don’t like driving in the rain.  But, you gotta do, what you gotta do.

We got to St. Louis about 9 pm.  I stopped at a Subway to get a chicken flatbread sandwich.

We arrived at Sue and Ralph’s house at 9:30 pm.  They’re a married couple who are couchsurfers.  We would be staying with them for a few nights.  We talked to Sue and Ralph for awhile.  Ralph went to bed early.  Sue talked with us longer.  She’s very friendly.  She showed us the tour of the house.

We went to the basement (the room we were staying in) and used the internet. 


A Chill Day

Ivan and I packed everything up on March 27, 2010.  We followed Kristina to the Loveless Cafe at 2 pm.  She recommended that we go there.  It’s also high up on the Nashville restaurants on Tripadvisor.

It was a long 30 minute drive there.  We were told that there’s an hour and fifteen minute wait for a table.  It was a great day out so it seemed like everybody was at the cafe.

We walked around the shops around the cafe.  I really liked the store Curious Heart.  The wait was actually only 45 minutes.

We were brought biscuits with three different jams.  The biscuits were hot and tasted great.


Kristina, Ivan and me at Loveless Cafe

Ivan had the grilled catfish and I got the chicken fingers with BBQ sauce.  It was great food!

We said goodbye and thank you to Kristina.  We had a great time with Kristina and Chris in Nashville.  They’re lots of fun and very giving people.

We drove to Aloft Hotel.  We checked in there.


We got a nice room.

We wanted to chill for the day.  We were so tired.  We watched some tv and used the free wi-fi in the room.

Ivan drove a few minutes to the movie theatre.  We saw the funny movie Hot Tub Time Machine.

We were driving around to find a place to eat.  We decided to go to Wolfgang Puck Express.  You can either eat in or do take out.

Ivan ordered a tortilla soup and a salmon salad.  I got a pesto chicken sandwich.  We took the food back to the hotel.  The food was delicious.

We chilled at the hotel for the night.  We watched The Ricky Gervais Show and then off to sleep.

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