After our adventure selling off our worldly possessions, and hanging out with dear friends, we headed back to Georgia to buckle down and get back to work. After all, we did have to plan a road trip to the mid-west to begin our new assignment along the banks of the mighty Mississippi. So how did we set about planning the road trip to the center of these United States? By avoiding the whole thing all together. In a word, we slacked off. Much like our first days at mom’s house we took time to enjoy ourselves. If you have read this blog, even a little, you know where this is heading. Did we take advantage of the on-site gym? Yes! Did we enjoy runs through the country club? Yes! Did we spend time marinating at the pool while taking selfies? Of course!
Eventually though we had to come up with a game plan. As it turns out you can only shirk responsibility for so long. With this in mind I actually parked my butt in front of the computer, armed myself with my La Quinta reward points, and figured everything out. Satisfied with my progress for the afternoon, Chrysa and I got back to doing what we do best…being lazy by the pool and having dinner with family.
Our farewell dinner was wonderful but bitter sweet. Chrysa and I intend to make our way out west for an extended stay. This means that it could be a while before we see some of our east coast relatives. We really need to get them to visit us out west.
This assignment transition was an easy one. I remember when we moved from New York to South Dakota. Four days in the car with a dog, a cat, an open top trailer, and no radio stations worth a damn from Chicago to Pierre. Not a worry this time. This transition would be our shortest yet. One overnight stay in Kentucky and then arrival at our new home in Quincy, Illinois.
I planned our night’s stay in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. I didn’t really pick Hopkinsville for any reason, aside from the fact that the original La Quinta I was aiming for was sold out for the night. It looked like a cool town that had everything we needed. It had a La Quinta and a Mexican restaurant in the adjoining parking lot. What else could you ask for? Well, how about a friend connection?
It was after dinner at the Mexican restaurant that we figured everything out. Chrysa and I had just finished filling ourselves with, what can only be described as, amazing food (seriously, I recommend Hopkinsville for world class Mexican). We were walking back to the hotel when I decided to give my very dear friend, Kimi, a call. Although Kimi lives in Buffalo she was born in Kentucky. She said, “cool, what town are you in?” I mentioned that we were in a town call Hopkinsville and, you guessed it, it was the town she was born in. I had no idea.
As it happens Kimi was coming to Hopkinsville the following week for a visit with her dad. We talked for a while and I caught her up on how the town has changed. It was great to talk to her and I just couldn’t be more surprised how the whole thing worked out. FYI…Hopkinsville is more than a cute town with fun history and unexpectedly great Mexican food, it’s also one of the best places in the country to view the eclipse. You are too late if you are looking for an eclipse viewing area. I understand the whole town has been booked for months. But you should visit Hopkinsville anyway, they do have a history of close encounters with extraterrestrial beings. Just a fun fact. After our fun night in Kentucky we loaded back up and hit the road. We only had to manage a few hours in the car before we got to our new home in Quincy.
Chrysa and I have always wanted to try downtown living. Imagine being the cool kids living above a coffee shop or something. We could just walk downstairs to hang out, or walk up the street to local bars or restaurants. Guess what? We are those people now. We rolled up to our building and it was everything I just described. We live right above Electric Fountain Brewing. It’s a very new and hip coffee shop right in what is called The District. We live on the second floor of a restored old building. We are the first tenants of a very well-appointed 2 bedroom apartment.
After moving in, Chrysa and I quickly took advantage of our surroundings. We talked to the owner of the coffee shop and got advice on a place for dinner. We chose Maine Course. The food was upscale and delicious. It was also a one minute walk across the street (score one for living in The District).
After quickly settling into our new surroundings (not an easy task for the ancient dog), we began our early explorations of Quincy and the surrounding area. We always like to get involved in the community if we can, so we checked out the calendar of events. It turns out that Blues in The Park took place the first weekend we were in town. Historic Washington Park is 2 blocks away so we grabbed our lawn chairs and had a nice evening listening to music.
We also arrived in time for Tom Sawyer Days in Hannibal, MO. Hannibal is the hometown of Mark Twain and they have a whole host of events in July celebrating the Twain-ness of the place. It’s a fun mix of real life, semi-fictional characters, and mud volleyball. Makes sense to me! We had a great time checking out the sights, learning a little about the town, and watching people get down and dirty along the banks of the Mississippi. Tom Sayer Day’s also includes a 5K run that we took part in. Chrysa is going to write about that in the next post.
So here we are back in the mid-west. Our first impressions have been good. Quincy is a cute town that seems invested in its future. Hannibal is a town full of history and plenty of things to do. We have traded the ocean for the Mississippi, a townhouse in the country for a downtown urban apartment, and Uncorked & Unwind for Electric Fountain Brewing. All fair trades. Welcome to our new lifestyle…at least for a little while.