A twelve day road trip without access to a kitchen or to decent restaurants creates a deep appreciation for simple and fresh home cooked meals. My mister D, our son L, and I packed fresh fruit, vegetables, loaves of french bread with almond butter or Nutella, and maple toddler cookies. It took us five days to drive from Massachusetts to Indiana and back and seven days to coordinate visits with friends and family together with L's nap schedule. This was no easy feat and as most days go with a toddler, we had to accept a constant change of plans.
While the company was lively and piquant our meals dining out were not. Before we left for our trip, I researched farmer's markets and cafes to visit once we arrived in Northern Indiana with the hope of finding a kitchen to cook in. However, once we were on the road, we found ourselves without a refrigerator or stove and in desperate need of finding a restaurant within a few miles of our hotels.
The Midwest boasts an obscene number of franchise restaurants all lined up next to one another in some sort of secret homogeneous food domination pact. It hardly made a difference where we dined, one baked potato here or another salad tastes identical, each lacked the earthy pungent flavors of vegetables flecked with soil.
Really, I can't tell you how much I missed simple fresh food. Dinner tonight was straightforward: sweet corn, sunflower burger, beef burger, braised Tuscan kale, green salad with an avocado basil dressing, and rice pudding for dessert.
Such is life on the road, where each moment a new adventure unfolds. Then we return home with more gratitude and appreciation for where we are and where we have been.
Top road trip memories:
* couples lost in embrace at Niagara Falls, New York
* L discovered all the big rigs parked at rest stops along I-90 west
* USA Today reported the death of Ted Kennedy
* the woman who sold me inedible spicy Indian food at the Niagara Falls observation center pointed to the Pentax K1000 camera wrapped around my neck and asked, "Why do you carry that old camera? Does it take better pictures or something?"
* L met his great grandfather and great aunt for the first time
* a home cooked meal and laughs with old friends
* D and my second wedding anniversary spent with L in the town where I grew up