Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Road to Iowa!

Oh. My. Travels. This has been the craziest week. I left the good ole hills of Tennessee for the plains of the Midwest! and yes, "I'm Proud to be an American," is running through my head right now, thank you for asking. As I mentioned here, I woke up at the crack of dawn on August 2 to head for the airport and fly to Oklahoma! Starbucks in the Memphis airport during my layover was like a beacon from heaven after that bright and early start!

I got to spend a couple days exploring Hillary's home and college towns. for those of you who don't know Hillary, click here Hillary is my LDC partner and will be spending this upcoming year with me in Iowa. She is from Edmond, OK which is just outside of Oklahoma City, and she went to school at Oklahoma State in Stillwater, which she has deemed "an acquired taste," and I love that. It is a teeny tiny little town, but the campus atmosphere is so much fun! We made sure to stop by Eischen's - the oldest bar in Oklahoma, and of course laughed the entire time.

It was such a privilege to stay at Hillary's house with her family. Even though I had to leave my house, I still felt like I was "at home" because Hillary's mom just plain spoiled us! She got us the most adorable send-off cake and made such a scrumptious breakfast the day we hit the road for Stillwater!! Thanks again, Mrs. Yetter!!

After some exploring through Edmond, we headed to Stillwater to check out Oklahoma State! We did more eating, of course, and got to see LDC Tori who was visiting Nu Chapter!! Hillary was a wonderful campus tour guide and let me stop for all the pictures I wanted! =) She is well aware of my blogging needs ;-) That evening, we went to Nu Chapter's Alumnae Skit Preview which was nothing short of incredible, then I got to go out with a bunch of Hillary's Nu Chapter sisters and I tried my very first Limey! any fans of The Copper Penny know what's up...delicious, my Oklahoman friends. deeeeelicious. 

The next morning, with the car packed full, and Braum's in our bellies, we hit the road for America's Heartland! I just could not get over how FFFFLLLLLAAAATTTTT it is throughout this part of the country! It certainly is a change from "the hills of Tennessee" and it is becoming increasingly clear with the lack of hills and the excess of eating that the gym will be a certain necessity in the upcoming year.

We were both so excited about the road trip adventure, and I was exceptionally pumped about crossing items off of my 101 in 1001 list - including #58 - Go on a Road Trip and scratching even more states off my 50 State Scratch Off! Also, fun fact, the Oklahoma City airport provided much disappointment in the signage department...so the Stillwater sign is the best I could do in terms of proof for Oklahoma...Hillary heard me complain about this for days...I might keep that up just to annoy her.

Amazingly enough, we made it through the entire almost-ten hour drive without killing each other, and actually ended up laughing 98% of the time....which in all honesty is pretty typical. We made some wrong turns, but enjoyed a wide variety of musical selections all the way from "Orange Country" aka OSU to the "Fields of Opportunity" aka Iowa. One of the first phrases to leave Hilly's mouth upon crossing the Iowa border was "Oh. My. Corn." and there is just no better way to describe it. I mean...yall...it's everywhere, and my agricultural knowledge is expanding by the moment. Apparently, soy beans are the bumper crop for corn....thank you, Ms. Yetter.

As we made our way through Iowa, our appetites begun to get the best of us, but we were determined to make it all the way to West Des Moines so that we could stop at Chickfila! It's the closest one to Ames where I will be until April and it is still about a 45 minute drive away. =( Some of the women at Iowa State have never had Chickfila. Yes. A small piece of my soul did die when I heard these words. It was a sad moment. moment of silence......okay. We also made a stop at Bed Bath and Beyond to purchase pillows because we weren't able to pack any. Adding the pillows to our already packed vehicle made for an interesting 45 minutes from Des Moines to Ames.

We were quite surprised by how pretty the drive between the two cities was! We were instantly in love with Iowa...and my appreciation grew exponentially as we experienced the 76 degree weather....a far cry from the dog's-breath-106-degrees I left in Nash-vegas...and soon enough...we were "HOME!"

pardon the pixelly quality...but a photo of the exact moment of arrival was necessary

We loaded our stuff into our room, set up the bare minimum, and crashed almost instantly....then slept till 11 the next morning...pretty intense sleeping obviously occurred haha! We spent the next day running errands and getting all moved in, settled, and prepared for the week!! I still just cannot believe we are finally here!!!! That's all for now, but many more updates to come...until next time...


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