1 After Charlie and I picked up the rental car in Fairfield, CT, we were off to Brooklyn, NY. We spent the night at my apartment, getting it ready for the sub-let. The next morning, we met up with Sophie and set off on our adventure.
2 Here we are with Sophie the next morning. We enjoyed a quick breakfast and officially began the road trip. However, it took us a frustrating hour just to get out of Brooklyn!
3 We decided to take a photo of every state sign but, unfortunately, we missed New Jersey! Here's the sign crossing over into the long state of Pennsylvania, the State of Independence.
4 The iPhone app, Urban Spoon, proved invaluable. We found some great places to eat on the trip, including this Vietnamese restaurant, Meiji, in Harrisburg, PA. We ordered entirely too much food!
5 As you can see, Sophie and Charlie, were a little stunned with the amount of food!
6 There was also a mysterious box of 'free' food!
7 Turns out it was full of delicious Vietnamese donuts.
8 Pumpkin was happy to romp in this lovely park in Harrisburg.
9 An accidental detour led right through Amish country, where we encountered quite a few horse and buggies.
10 We all took turns driving - Sophie drove us safely through a big rain storm.
11 We also took turns sitting in the backseat with Pumpkin, who proved to be an excellent travel companion.
12 Sophie stretched at a Pennsylvania rest stop.
13 These cement barriers were perfect for a little seated forward bend.
14 After spending most of the day in Pennsylvania, we finally crossed over into West Virginia!
15 About to cross over the Ohio river into Ohio
16 For dinner the first night, we ate in Cambridge, Ohio at a Greek Diner.
17 We stayed at dog friendly La Quinta hotel in Columbus Ohio.
18 On the morning of day 2, we hit the road and headed for St. Louis, Missouri.
19 Later for lunch, Urban Spoon led us to River Road Barbecue. The smokers were cooking away.
20 The pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw and baked beans were amazing!
21 Crossing over into Kentucky
22 And then to Indiana, the Crossroads of America
23 The next state was the drought stricken land of Illinois, The Land of Lincoln.
24 Passing by the beautiful gateway arch of St. Louis, which is the centerpiece of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. Designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen and German-American structural engineer Hannskarl Bandel in 1947, the arch wasn't built until the 1960's.
25 The second night we stayed at the house of Sophie and my father's best friend from high school, Susie Slivka. She has two very cute dogs.
26 Pumpkin was very jealous of the other dogs, so she needed extra attention.
27 Susie and her husband, Jac, grew those melons in their garden!
28 On Day 3, we passed through Kansas City, Missouri where we ate amazing Southern food at Lufti's Fish.
29 Sophie's lunch - fried codfish sandwich with fried okra and collard greens
30 Charlies lunch - Fried codfish sandwich with mac & cheese
31 The Kansas City skyline - As you can see, it was also very dry. Kansas City is the largest city in Missouri. It is well-known for its jazz and blues and also its Kansas City-style barbecue.
32 In Kansas City, we stopped at Liberty Memorial, dedicated to the soldiers who died in World War I. The memorial was completed and dedicated on November 11, 1926 and has the largest and most important collection of World War 1 artifacts in the United States.
33 At night, the top of the memorial tower emits steam illuminated by bright orange lights, creating the illusion of a burning pyre.
34 We were drawn to these two interesting limestone Sphinx sculptures guarding the approach to the memorial. Each sphinx is 12-feet-long by 15-feet-wide by 15-feet-high and they are covering their faces with their wings.
35 After crossing into Kansas, night 3 was spent in Salina, where we had great Mexican takeout at Cotijas.
36 Gorgeous clouds in Kansas
37 Charlie took this picture noticing that the plaza was appropriately named Sunset Plaza.
38 There were giant grain elevators (thanks Susan!) in every town along the train tracks in Kansas, like this one which is for sale.
39 In Kansas, we saw acres and acres of wind farms.
40 When we stopped for gas, we soon realized why Kansas has so many wind turbines.
41 We found Kansas to be quite beautiful and rather painterly.
42 Crossing over into eastern Colorado, the landscape looked pretty much the same.
43 We saw some very long freight trains as we drove through Colorado.
44 Nothing but open land in this part of Colorado.
45 After 4 days of driving, we finally arrived in Denver, where we stayed with Chris's friends at their lovely home in a beautiful neighborhood.
46 Charlie and Chris with Harold, John, and Sandy
47 It was time for Sophie and Charlie to fly back home. Denver International airport features these Teflon-coated fiber glass roofs which are meant to look like the snow capped Rocky Mountains.
48 Bye, Chris and Pumpkin! What a fun journey!