Vacation 10/18, Part 3

We’re officially en route to Daughter #1. Driving on route 52 that is winding, scenic, oh my the towns we go through where the speed limit goes from 55mph immediately to 25mph without much of a warning at all!

I was expecting maybe one or two places like that, and as it turns out most all of the twins were like that except maybe one where there were plenty of warnings of reduced speeds ahead. But, that very first one made me laugh because your coming in from a decent downhill angle into town, then a radar is pointed at you telling you of your speed which is fifty feet from a sign that tells you the speed limit is 25mph.

What was funny is that once you slow down to the required speed limit there is a cop ten feet past the radar with another radar pointed at you also just in case you missed the giant speed read out you just passed. Well, they do need to make revenue for their towns don’t they?

I liked the entire drive into Dubuque, and once getting into their city limits I really enjoyed the rural setting of a growing city. This city has escaped a lot of fanfare yet it has a nice appeal to people looking to have cafes, restaurants, a busy downtown and growing commerce area. I dig the area and it’s showing promise.

Once we were in town, Selene (‘Nene), and I strolled inside the Kennedy Mall to do some window shopping and kill some time prior to us heading into our last resting area for the remainder of our vacation. We also had enough time to drive into downtown Dubuque where we ended up going into one of my favorite Java joints called Jitterz. There we met daughter #1. Shared a meal, and it’s funny how in a very short time almost caught up with local events, and happenings in Dubuque.

once we parted ways we were finally headed to Mainstay Inn and Suites. Nice, cozy place with a kitchenette, microwave, and small underutilized coffee maker with their in house coffee. I brought my own coffee from Guatemala called Café Léon Regiones Blend Especial. I am in Love with this coffee blend. It’s smooth, with small hits of chocolate, and and spices. It is very aromatic. I can drink this all day. Safe to say that I will be ordering sooner than later. The first pound was a gift from my parents that went to Guatemala on their annual trip.

The first thing we had to do and in order was to get out of our smoke engulfed clothing, and shower. Powerful jets of hot water hit me and it was fan-freaking-tastic! After the shower it was time to unpack everything for this stage of the trip, (yes, different go bags) and it was welcomed treat for clothes that were not smoke infused. Not that I minded the scent of campground fire place, but the looks from the locals, and questions of the retail shop employees showed us that we were in need of a scrub down, and change of attire. It was funny to see their faces, and ask us questions about what we were just up to since we had a very particular scent about us. Hahahahaha.

Once showered, and changed into clean clothes ‘Nene went to do laundry, while I sort of started to organize my thoughts, and pictures for the blog.

But, I do love her curls. Yet, she hates them. Kinda hard to see in certain angles, but they’re there. After growing her hair back from treatment (her story and blog post) this hair is naturally curly, and soft. She’s never had curly hair ever in her lifetime. To my amazement it’s pretty darn cute.

Once you read her story you’ll be in Total amazement of her journey. It’s cool I tell you.

Now, once we’re finished with the laundry and organizing of pics, and blog write up blah blah blah….. we are off to have a meal with my daughter. We all decided to have a Thai dinner at Pete’s Thai Kitchen. ‘Nene ordered a Basil fried rice, daughter #1 and I ordered the Roasted Duck Curry. Yum! Delicious doesn’t even come close! Well prepared, and good serving size! Jasmine tea to top me off. Thai coffee for D#1, and Pop for ‘Nene.

We headed back to our room after dinner, and had one of the beers I purchased in St Louis. It was a good ending to our day. Traveling from campgrounds to city wasn’t all that bad, and the beer closed my day fairly well.

Wanting not to be rushed to do anything the next morning, we grabbed breakfast downstairs in their dinning area. Not bad for a continental breakfast. Your typical, waffles, cereals, milk, yogurt, banana, bagel, juices, and of course tea and coffee. We took what we could eat, and not binge. Have you ever had those moments where everything you ate was good enough to have just double the amount because you’re traveling and it’s justified. I was close, those waffles called to me….. lol.

Well, once back upstairs there was winding down, storing / uploading pics and videos and as much as I wanted to nap it’s just not in me especially when I wanted to log everything we’ve done so I began to write the posts of our trip. She napped while I got the mea of the data complete. No easy task, unless you count the mini writers block I have encountered from blog two to this one.

We scheduled a dinner with daughter #1 and her boyfriend at a downtown eatery that’s hot with the business types, and college crowd also. It’s called 1st and Main, and it’s located exactly at First and Main in downtown Dubuque.

Prior to arriving to our dinner reservation we were pretty hungry early around 3~4pm so we asked where we could have and truly enjoy a Chicago style pizza? We were referred to Marco’s Pizza & BBQ. Wow, we were so impressed we left nothing on the platter to give anyone a sample once we’d finished.

Now, of course it looks as if I’d eaten all of the pizza alone by those pictures-provided. You would not be so far from the fact since we looked at each other and agreed that given another opportunity o re order it’d be a Large or extra large pizza. That’s how good it was. Sausage, peppers, garlic, spicy sausage, pepperoni, and bacon all over.

Three hours later we made it our dinner date with daughter #1, and her boyfriend. We were not that hungry (more like she wasn’t ), but I ordered an appetizer of meatballs with a garlic vinaigrette sauce. Wow! This place was just starting to liven up when we arrived around 8pm. Yup, late one for us but well worth the company!

At this restaurant the good stuff is on the meals they serve from Italian, to bar food. One particular hamburger they sell has peanut butter on it. According to daughter #1 it’s very good, as she licked her fingers… ha! Yes, yes you thought the fried egg was over the top huh? Well, they also have a wide selection of wines, beers, and top shelf liquors/ spirits……🥃🍾. We shared a few good laughs, caught almost up to current events, and work stuff, but sadly we had to go our separate ways.

Our last day in Dubuque has finally arrived, and I’m bummed. I love spending time with my kids, watching them interact with / in their world makes me very proud of how they’re growing even more in their roles as adults. God has Blessed me very much. We share breakfast together at a Hy-Vee restaurant located within the supermarket itself. Eggs, salmon, waffles, you name it we’re eating it. Lol. It was affordable, and delicious!

Well, the time has come. Time for our see you laters, but never Goodbyes. We have already checked out of our Inn prior to meeting up with daughter #1, so it’s onto the expressway and ride back east to Chicago. Yes, it’s a short hop back home, and bittersweet. During our ride back home I pondered how it’s be to move to St Louis, or Dubuque to work and live.

It’s way cheaper, and communities are good. One down south, of course is very urban, with the infrastructure getting better, and it’s warm. All the while the Northern one is more rural and it’s tech businesses are growing very quickly, so this is very promising for this quiet town.

The jury is out, and so are the resumes. We took a short stop to grab a needed break, bathroom included and snacks. She took an ice cream cone, while I had M&Ms that were coffee flavored! Oh, let’s not forget the skeleton Cheetos she elected to eat only after putting together the skeleton first.

Once back in Chicago near O’Hare, I bailed and took an earlier exit so that I can cut through the city streets to get home faster rather than sitting in traffic more, or longer than needed. Waiting for a light to change, being Friday rush hour traffic ‘Nene noticed something on the side of the road in the Forest preserve. Immediately she pulled out her camera and took video, and pics of a few deer eating near the curb.

Well, we made it home in record time! I really did not miss the stupid drivers, and rude people. Truly, this trip reinforced to me how people differ in different places that really are not that far from each other. It’s an eye opener. Not surprised though. It’s something you deal with daily so you’ll you begin to ignore it because it’s so commonplace. Manners are out, and the me me me is in.

Not my idea of being neighborly, but I won’t change myself or lose any peace due to someone else though.

Once we walked into our apartment with some of our belongings we were welcomed properly by my lil’ boy Gunner!

I have tried plenty of times to get some of the videos from my GoPro to edit, but it just crashes. I’ll continue to find a way to make a video of this trip that we documented on these three posts, so possibly in the near future we’ll be able to find a way to make them , and share them with you all.

Until next time kiddos!

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