The Road East: Day 5

The shrill scream of the hotel’s fire alarm bolted us out of a sound sleep at 6:00 a.m. this morning.  It was the ultimate rude awakening. We dragged ourselves out into the hallway and sure enough all of the guests were evacuating – including a young woman wrapped in a towel – so we headed down the stairs, with me dressed in jammies and bare feet.  I guess that was better than being wrapped in a towel though.

By the time we got down two flights of stairs the alarm stopped; everyone looked around and said, meh, and back up we went.

Turns out, a guest who apparently was really hungry, decided he/she needed to burn a piece of toast – in the hotel’s breakfast room – and set off the fire alarm system.  I’m pretty sure when Abi was trying to convince me to evacuate I was cursing mumbling something about someone doing something stupid.

So with that rough start to the day we soothed our nerves with Starbucks and Panera Bread and continued on our way east; on the road to retirement. We crossed into Iowa for just a few miles before we found ourselves very unceremoniously (very small state border sign) in Missouri.  Missouri, is green and colorful, but today the weather changed and we spent the day driving under a sky of gray and drizzle.

Beautiful blanket of colorful trees

Beautiful blanket of colorful trees

We crossed the Missouri River and made our way to Columbia, where we enjoyed another very fun reunion lunch with dear sweet friends.  Sometimes, when you hit the road you find yourself able to connect with friends in the most unlikely places!  So step 7 of my retirement program is to connect with a friend you haven’t seen for way too long.  I promise, it will make you smile.

Step 7:  Connect with a friend you haven’t seen for way too long.

Crossing the Missouri River

Crossing the Missouri River

Here we are at the end of day 5 and we are less than 1,000 miles from our destination; and although we are looking forward to reaching the end of the journey I can’t help but be a little sad at the thought of it.  This time together has been exactly what we needed, so I’m adding the 8th step; take a long drive together.  The time together will be well-spent.  I promise.

Step 8:  Take a long drive together.

Day 5:  410 miles.  47 gallons of gas.  Lowest priced gas at $2.85

Travel Tip:  Hilton Garden Inn.  We paid $89 and will earn 5,000 points because it is a weekend night stay.  We booked the least expensive room (2 queen beds) and asked for an upgrade.  Always, ask for an upgrade.  We were given this suite for the same rate.  Ya gotta love a points program.

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