Time flies when you’re having fun

In case you hadn’t seen it on Facebook yet, I made it to Florida and let me tell you 947 miles in 2 days was a lot of miles.  After the last few days, I will offer the following tips to anyone planning on driving a long way – things cost more than you expect and when in doubt, count on traffic and construction to slow your roll.  Also, at some point, diet coke will stop being delicious.

So Friday morning I left Kentucky about 1015am which I was pretty impressed with since my goal was to leave at 10 – yeah me!  I was pretty concerned about the drive on Friday since the remnants of tropical storm Cynthia were supposed to be in the area where I was driving and I was concerned about crossing a path of heavy rain/storms. Luckily for me, I got about 45 minutes south of Florence, KY and the sun came out it there really wasn’t anymore rain after that.

Friday I drove 543 miles by myself in about 11 hours.  I’m a stopper, I’ll admit.  It was nice being able to stop often and stay fully hydrated.  This is a nice change of pace from when I used to travel in the semi with he whose name we don’t speak anymore.  I went through Kentucky, into Tennessee, through North Carolina and finally into South Carolina for the night. I am pretty sure I stopped at every single rest stop along the way that was open, if for no other reason, to stop driving for a minute and re-arrange my supplies.

Before I left Kentucky, I did take a detour and drive past the Ark Experience.  So basically, it’s this ginourmous replica of Noah’s Ark that you can tour.  I thought about actually touring it, but it was $40 to get in.  I thought that was a lot of money for something I wasn’t really, really excited about.  I did however, manage to take some long range pictures as I drove past.

The drive though Kentucky and Tennessee included going over the smoky mountains  and included going through 2 tunnels.  Although it was not raining, it was little windy and as I only I could, I managed to get myself motion sick while driving.   The up and down and curvy roads and in ability of people to pick a freaking speed all contributed to a sweet headache and upset stomach.  Let’s be honest, that takes real skill to make yourself sick with your own driving.  Taking breaks, snacking and taking Tylenol helped.  The drive was gorgeous as you can see from the following experience video – FYI – there is also a tunnel involved.

I made it my hotel in Orangeburg, SC about 930pm Friday night and I was pooped.  Did you know you could get hand cramps from driving all day?  You can.  Although I had had big plans for ordering dinner and swimming, I settled for a bag of microwave popcorn that was still only 1/3 popped after 4 minutes and went right to bed.

Saturday morning I woke up and was back on the road by 1030.  It was crazy, I wanted to get gas before I got on the highway and the two gas stations by the hotel were PACKED.  So I finally pull in what looks to be the less busy of the two, I got gas and when I went to pull out, there were only 2 cars at the one I had really wanted to go to – go figure.   See I really had wanted to go to the Exxon station because I have a plenti card, which is a discount program, I know, shocker – Jennifoster has a coupon!

It was pretty exciting when I got back outside Saturday morning because there were palm bushes, palm trees and these really pretty flowering trees I have asked Barry the name of like 3 times already because I promptly forget the name as soon as he says it.


Saturday was “supposed” to be a short day – only about 400 miles and Barry had plans in the afternoon so I told him I wouldn’t be there until about 7 pm.  I took advantage of my late arrival time to make some stops.  I found a La Creuset store in Georgia where I bought some beautiful Au Gratin dishes in a color called Rosemary and I also bought the most beautiful robin’s egg blue butter dish.  They were having a “sale”.

My new baking dishes
Killdeer judging me as I pulled in.

While I was driving through Georgia, I kept seeing signs for something called Peach World.  Much like when I went to the candy “emporium”, I was expecting something amazing.  That is not what I got, it was basically a small road side shop with fudge, lots of jams, that popcorn on the cob everyone thinks is so fancy and over pays for, pecans, wine and moonshine.  Although it was not fancy and smaller than I expected, I somehow ended up with $10 worth of peaches, a bottle of blackberry moonshine and a new Georgia magnet for my fridge.  I declined their offer to try to the moonshine because I am a cheap date these days and didn’t want to drink if I was getting back on the highway.  I really think we have a problem with people not using description words properly in this county.  If you look at the picture below – I think you will agree that “world” might be an overstatement.  ( yes Jason, I know, I will figure out how you can click on the pictures to make them bigger this week)

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Panera?  I haven’t seen them at home, but down here, they have drive thru’s.  It was so nice to be able to get something other than a burger quickly.  A chicken Caesar salad, sesame bagel and huge ice water have never been so delicious.  On a side note – a sesame seed bagel is not the best way to keep your car crumb free – just a tip.

In case you had forgotten, I am not a fan of bridges.  I was doing ok on Saturday through Georgia  – I came down on I-95 and there were quite a few along the coast.  When I got to Florida, I was like awesome – bridges should be mostly done. Then I got to Jacksonsville where my entire freeway experience was on a curvy/bridgey/overpass thing.  My friend Jenny called just was the fresh fuckery was starting and our conversation kind of went like this:

me: I don’t like bridges

Jenny: Breathe

me: I don’t like bridges – this is not ok

Jenny: Breathe

repeat 17 more times and it will be like you were there eavesdropping.


Sky view at Florida Welcome center. Palm trees and blue skies.
Fancy landscaping in Daytona Beach

As I continued along I-95 I  decided to rename Florida the land of the corvette.  I saw more on Saturday then I can every remember seeing out in the wild in one day before.  I also saw a group of motorcycles at one point and like to think that my friend Kim was in them as she was hitting some of the beach town on I-95 on Saturday!  It gives me a warm fuzzy to think we crossed paths!

And then finally, Saturday about 7:30pm I finally made it to Barry’s house where he fed me pizza and let me go to bed early.  He gave me an empty room all to myself where I set up my sweet queen sized air mattress (it’s 22 inches tall) and promptly spread out all my stuff.  Let’s just say I need to do some organizing on Monday so it no longer looks like Hurricane Jennifer hit this place.  I took a muscle relaxer, drank 2 bottles of water, turned on Friends and slept like a teenager.

Bonus picture of me driving because people like pictures with people in them.


Hump day adventures

On the corner of downtown Covington, KY in the German area.

On Wednesdays, Crystal doesn’t work so we were able to go out and see some stuff together.  She took me to Downtown Covington, KY ( about 15ish minutes away) and took me to the neighborhood where she first lived when she moved here and showed me some really cute stuff.  It’s an area that has a lot of German history and is proud of it.  (see pictures below)

After exploring that neighborhood we went to historic Bellevue and visited some small shops along the main drag.  One was supposed to be a candy “Emporium”.  Truth be told, I have a thing for candy stores, I know, shocker.  I can tell you that it was no Emporium.  I would give it an adequate to adequate plus rating for lack of variety and square footage.  However I was able to score some special Brach’s candy so that is why I’m leaning towards an adequate plus rating.

After that we needed to get home for nap time.  (It’s really none of your business who’s nap time it was) but first we picked up sandwiches from Jersey’s Mikes.  If you get the chance – go there.  There were great.  Kind of cross between Cousin’s and some one else, I just can’t put my finger on it.

When I’m at home, I don’t pay that much attention to the weather.  I mean I work from home.  Not a whole heck of a lot that will affect my commute.  But of course, now that I’m out in the world, there is weather craziness all over the place.  Record heat in Arizona ( where I’m headed in about 10 days) – a tropical storm that although it missed Florida – I will have to cross it’s hopefully greatly weakened path tomorrow on the way to my South Carolina layover and fires near the Grand Canyon.  Like I said, I can’t make this stuff up…

Today I ventured out on my own for a while.  I headed to Panera to work for a few hours and it was nice to be out.  I have to remember that when I return home and try to work from different places a few days a week like Panera or Starbucks or maybe even the library.  I also went to Office Depot with the help of Google Maps.  I mean seriously, how did we even live before we had smart phones?  I mean, everywhere I wanted to go this week – I just Googled it, put the address in the GPS and BAM! I was there – eating broccoli soup, buying card stock, getting a new computer cord and browsing the dollar store.

So in the morning I’m packing it up and heading on to my next stop.  I find it hard to believe that this part of the trip is almost over already.  In retrospect, I don’t think I could’ve picked a better first stop.  Crystal and her husband, Charlie, have been fantastic in taking care of me and have a found a sweet balance as to not smother me either.  They let me do what I needed to take care of me with gently reminders of things like if you don’t eat dinner, you should eat breakfast.  They also helped me dissect the current weather patterns to make sure that it was safe for me to travel this weekend.  They might have evened put up with some crying.  There’s all these memes about how a true friend is one you can go a while without seeing or talking to and when you do connect again, nothing has changed.  I would insert one here, but really, none of them could capture the gratitude I have right now for what I experienced this past week.

In the morning I am off to a new place and new adventures.  I can say this.  In the olden days, doctors often suggested a change of scenery for people.  It does do wonders.  I’m not saying I’m magically over everything, but a different place allows to not be reminded by daily routines of things.  It’s giving everything a slightly different perspective, like putting a gel filter on a light.  I’m still hurt, I’m still angry but out here, it’s not all consuming.  I’m not reminded every minute that life is different because it’s  whole different life now and everything is new to me.  I kind of like it.  Oh and in case you didn’t know this, John Cena is hot! 😉

Fountain in downtown Covington, KY of girl with geese. It’s a tribute the German Heritage of the area and there’s some story behind it.
Taken in downtown Covington, KY. A shout out to my baseball loving friends.
Another nod to the German Heritage of this area is this clock. The bells toll on the hour and it a glockenspiel that has Peter Piper come out at the top of certain hours
Peter the Piper

I forgot something – no really I brought all that stuff but….

So Sunday night I go to sit down and plug in my laptop – but wait, there is no laptop cord.  I have 2 rolls of duct tape, like 4 phone cords, every tank top I own, literally 20 pens and I forgot the power cord for my laptop. I turned to the www and luckily, there was a computer store not far from where I am staying and was able to venture out Monday morning, with the help of my navigation system, get a new cord and find my way home, so I’m back in business.  I mean seriously.  I brought my yoga mat.

I have a new puppy friend that is quite something else.  Her name is Kuma.  She is kind of easily frightened and it take a moment to warm up to me, but now when I come down in the morning, she is all wagging her tail at me.  It also may have helped that I’ve been slipping her snacks.

Other than a trip to the computer store, Monday was just a regular day of working.  I was served a local delicacy for dinner, Skyline Chili.  It has notes of nutmeg and cinnamon and is served over noodles with cheese.  It was pretty good.  I might pick up a few cans before I leave the area to bring home as souvenirs.

When bedtime rolled around Monday, I did not mess a round.  I opened the Netflix on my laptop and watched/slept to Friends until the laptop died.  I was a glorious night’s sleep.

Tuesday morning Kuma and I had a visitor at the window.  She was not a fan and tried to tell the little guy to go away.  He stood his ground – ballsy little fellow!  She was not pleased.  On a side note – later in the day, the top of this window served as the location of a suicide attempt by a local bird.  I say attempt because according to Charlie, it was not that loud of a thud, so there was a 50/50 chance the bird who slammed into the window might live.

Tuesday brought more work but I moved my office to a more “open office”.  See the ceiling picture below.  I was careful how long I was outside and although I did get some color, I am proud to say, I do not look like a lobster.  I’m finally learning.

Tuesday’s office. It was a beautiful day with enough breeze to keep you cool but enough to blow your papers away.

I am having serious thoughts about re-routing the Grand Canyon portion of my trip.  The extreme heat that they are having this week is causing me great concern because any one who knows me at all knows that contrary to what my mother might tell you, the heat does bother me.  I have a solid week to figure it out so for now, I haven’t ruled it out, but am open to suggestions for alternatives that are awesome to visit between Florida and Colorado.

So that’s pretty much everything as of the end of day four.  Oh and if you’re keeping track at home – there was some hormone related crying today- that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Night ya’ll



Highlights from Sunday Fun day- Kentucky style

Sunday Funday- complete with Margaritas and not one, not two but three kinds of salsa.
Delicious fajitas for two – shrimp, beef and chicken. Also, did you know that at Mexican restaurants – well at this one anyway – you can get mashed potatoes with cheese. mmmm


Selfie with my awesome hostess and partner in crime for this leg of the trip. As you can tell from the palm trees in the background we took this picture at a super secret exotic location also known as the lobby at Abuelo’s.

So my Sunday consisted of sleeping super late- combination of time zone difference and a long ass day of driving on Saturday.  When I finally got up and got ready to go out into the world – we had lunch at Abuelo’s.  Now, Madison friends – I never went there when we had one.  Now I am sad.  It was super yummy.  Although most things are after you slam a margarita and you’re not used to drinking.  I would definitely go back though.

After lunch, we went to the happiest place on earth – if you guessed Target – you guessed right.  But here’s the thing -I realized I might have a Target problem.  When you go to another Target store like 5 states away and go through the fun area up front with the $1/$3/$5 stuff and you’re like – seen it, seen it – got it – don’t like it etc – you’re there too much.  In what was probably a noteworthy event that you should mark on your calendar – I only spent $6.  I know, it’s amazing and you’re right, I wasn’t feeling well.

I was also introduced to the most delicious cucumber cream cheese dip yesterday.  I don’t know if I can share the recipe with the internet – I have to check with Crystal – but that stuff is mmmmm.  I will definitely be making that when I get home or maybe even next week.  I wonder if Barry eats cucumbers?

This next part is a little hard to admit, but after a day and half of being away, I was a little homesick and had trouble falling asleep last night.  I missed Ross, Rachel, Chandler and the whole gang at Central Perk.  I thought this trip might be a good time to work on my bedtime habits so I was trying to fall asleep in the dark just listening to Enya.  No TV, no Dog, no cat.  I was lonely.  Quiet time in the dark also lets your mind go to places you try to stay busy during the day to avoid and so inevitably- my mind went to the evil twin and our break up and all the sadness I try not to wallow in.  I can go whole days without crying now but I still feel disbelief when I think about us not being together.  I’m at a point now where you can’t un-ring the bell.  I know there is no way to go back to what we’ve had, too much damage has been done but I miss the comfort of knowing someone was always there, in that way.  I mean really – your best girlfriend isn’t going to hug you in bed when you have a PMS crying fit and gently rock you until it passes while you run your fingers through their chest hair.  I know I’m not alone and really if one more person tells me I don’t need a man – I am going to have to hit them.  I know that I don’t, I just really liked it.  And I know, that with enough time, these feelings will pass and I would be doing myself a horrible disservice if I tried to not feel them now because no matter how hard you try, they will get you – so I’d rather go through this now, get it over with and move on then have it come back to haunt me at some bad time in the future.  Plus, don’t you get like a month for each year you were together to be crazy?  I still have like 4.5 months left.  I plan on enjoying every minute of that.  LOL

So I found this on Pinterest last night and I like it and think it’s a good reminder when you are trying to refocus your life. It’s not everything I don’t want to care about anymore – it’s just the drama and crap. I’m going to focus all the energy from caring about that stuff on great stuff and move mountains.




Oh Yeah! Kentucky Baby

So it’s finally here – the day we’ve all been waiting for- the first day of JenniFoster summer 2017 tour.  I’m going to be honest – it’s hard work driving the car all day.  Towards the end of the day, I was starting to get finger cramps.  I’m lucky I don’t have claw hands like Chandler did after he played Miss Pac Man for a whole day (yet another Friends reference).

I left about an hour later than I wanted to but that was ok since it was Saturday and rush hour traffic isn’t much of an issue.  I am proud to report that in spite of bringing a shit ton of stuff including 5 pairs of shoes, an ink jet printer and 2 rolls of duct tape, I could still see out the rear view mirror. There is a lot of random crap in there because I’m going to be gone for a month, I didn’t want to forget something.  I also wanted to make sure that I wasn’t traveling alone, so with one piece of Velcro, I was able to adhere my lucky unicorn to a spot that was like custom designed for her.  Throw some tic tacs, gum and chapstick in a cup holder, and I was off.

On many of my previous trips, I have been lucky enough to be a passenger, which allows for you to take pictures and just focus on getting the best shots.  I quickly learned at the big Hormel chili can that driving and taking pictures might take some practice.  See one of 17 pictures below.  Who doesn’t love burst mode?

I headed south on I39 through the tollway into Illinois where I paid cash dollars for my toll.  I have to go in the lane with an attendant as I wanted to pay with paper money.  The nice man told me I was beautiful and to have a great day.  Now I’m sure that he tells all the middle aged women that, but I’m not going to lie, it was still nice to hear and a nice way to start a journey of many miles.

So while I was driving today, I had a lot of time to think about things.  I have come to the following conclusions – important life take away here people – life is too short for uncomfortable underwear and pens that don’t write all the time.  We have all one, that pen you have to scribble like 6 times to get it to work.  Throw it away – replace it with one that writes the first time every time.  Pens are cheap.  Don’t settle for mediocre writing utensils.

I’m not going to bore you with a play by play of every mile – but did you know I had to cross the Ohio River to get into Kentucky? Did you know that the welcome to Kentucky sign is located at the end of the bridge?  Did you know I’m scared of bridges?  Again – it is hard taking pictures as the driver!

So at some point in 8 hours of driving, you get bored.  I made a video for you guys to show you what it was really like and what you were really missing by not coming with me.  It’s on You Tube – Here is a link for you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Efp9abB_p98&feature=youtu.be

I also had a tiny snafu with the navigation system in the car.  This morning when I left, I inputted my destination and on the bottom it said 7:24 and however many miles.  So I thought perfect, that’s about when I thought I would get to Crystal and Charlie’s.  As I’m driving along, the number keeps going down and I think I’m making great time so I start dawdling.  I stop at every rest stop I encounter, I stopped early for gas and so on.  So then it says like 4:49 and I know there is no way I knocked that much time off.  Yeah, it was how much longer I had to drive, not what time I was arriving.  Oh well, now I know.

Oh – I almost forgot – I stopped at my first White Castle ever today.  MMMM  I’m going to be doing that again!

OK, this world traveler is pooped and is going to go sleep a really long time in her sweet hotel quality lodgings at Crystal and Charlie’s house.   The bed is super comfy, I have my own bathroom and free wifi!  Seriously, after I leave, I’m going to suggest they Airbnb the place.


It’s like Christmas Eve – only hotter

Ok!  So here I am, writing for last time for a month or so from my sweet sea foam green metal desk circa 1978.  I love this desk, it’s metal and it has great drawers.  But, I’m leaving it behind for a while and I could not be more excited.

I know that I should be providing pictures but it’s raining out, so I’ll take on when I leave in the morning, I promise.  I have a 2017 Nissan Murano, Silver with MN plates for my trip.  It only has like 3500 miles on it.  Enterprise hooked me up.  She is beautiful and has many bells and whistles.  She still smells like a new car.

To say I’m excited right now would be an understatement.  I love traveling and seeing new things and the best part about the trip is that I also get to see people I haven’t seen in a long time.  So in the morning I leave for Colorado via Kentucky, South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Texas, Arizona and many more states in between.  I will definitely be able to pick up some new magnets and hopefully a million new pictures.



In the wee small hours of the morning…

So lately I have been afflicted with insomnia.  I have the worst time failing asleep.  Once I fall asleep, I don’t sleep as well as I once did, tossing and turning and waking up all night long. I’m hoping that it is temporary and once I start traveling, the exertion of it all, will put me fast asleep at night.

I know that part of it is due to my racing mind.  I need to pack this, scan that, forget the evil twin posted that on Facebook today.  Sometimes, I write at night (check the posting times on many of the posts) and then I’m able to go to sleep.  So as I thought about writing tonight, I was thinking, how may different ways can I say, I’m going to come out of the other side of this stronger and better off and fine?  Why do I care so much about tiptoeing around what I really want to say about him?  I mean really, this is all about what I need to heal.  Not what he needs to feel ok about what he did.  His kids know what he did.  His sisters, friends, they all know.

So tonight, no tiptoeing.  Tonight I can’t sleep because I’m hurt and angry.  I’m pissed that I was lied to for God only knows how long about he really felt in order to not knock rock the apple cart and make sure I was still here to fry his eggs, chill his beer, love his kids, never run out of toilet paper and rub his back each night he was home.  What hurts even more is that I have come to realize that he checked out long before he balled up and said the words out loud.  Lie after lie after lie.  Every time I asked if we were ok. Lie.  If he was still happy.  Lie. If anything was wrong. Lie. Secret text messages.  Lie.  Talking about the future.  Lie.

I’m pissed I didn’t leave 9 months ago when I called my mom crying telling her I was so incredibly unhappy that I didn’t know what to do.  I stayed because we were a family, I loved him and I believed that with a little work, we would find our way back to the good place. I didn’t run to the first person who paid a little attention to me.  I was the grown up.  I bought the groceries, fried the eggs, loved the kids, made sure there was plenty of toilet paper and did everything I could try to make things good again, often at the expense of my own wants and needs.  I didn’t hide behind my job during the week and case of beer on the weekends.

So now, I’m putting me first and I have to be honest, it’s weird.  I has forgotten I was important too.  That I have value and my time is worth something. The other day my Girls Love Travel group on Facebook had a post from a girl who had just broken up and was sad because her ex had posted a pic of him and his new girlfriend on FB with #happy.  Here’s the thing.  If you have to post a picture of your new girlfriend that you hooked up with ridiculously fast with the #happy or facebook emotion of “feeling happy” you are just fooling yourself.  When you are really happy, you don’t have to convince the world of it, you enjoy it and savior it for yourself, like a secret.

Also, I suggested that he read this so that he knew what I was writing about him and of course, the evil twin has no time for that.  But just know, this serves as his official warning, there are only 2 rolls of toilet paper left, I can’t promise how much of that will be left when you come for the weekend this week and you can buy your own toilet paper from now on.

Check out my sweet new converse for my trip!


Time for the final countdown…

So this afternoon it hit me.  Exactly one week from today, I will be going to bed in my own bed for the last time for a month.  And then my next thought was, what the hell have I put in motion?  I have trouble making it to the grocery store some days because I don’t want to leave my house.  Then I remembered, that is the whole point of this, to do something outside of my comfort zone, and trust me, right now, I’m not feeling so comfortable, so mission accomplished.

It’s a weird feeling, getting ready to leave, because I know that I will be different when I get back and everything will feel different when I return.  Any magic left at home from the bubble of our relationship will be have dissipated and hopefully, the vastness of the ocean, mountains and wide open spaces will help me find my place in the world again and open my heart and mind to new possibilities.

So right now, I have two major concerns – what to pack and will I get homesick.  I mean, I should be mostly be in summer weather, but there should also be some cooler weather.  Truth be told, the amount of underwear to pack is giving me the most concern.  But ultimately, when push comes to shove, if I pack 7 pairs or 25, I’ll make it work.

I am hoping that since I’m going to keep moving to new places, the excitement of that will keep any homesickness away.  Plus I get to go to at least 2 Hard Rock Cafes.  How can you not be excited about that?  So if you were wondering how I was going to rack up my 5500 expected miles, please see the poor quality map below.

The worst part of being a step parent is when you aren’t one anymore

When you chose to date someone with children, you have two choices – keep them at arm’s length or embrace them and all that comes with that.  I became a parent not by giving birth or adoption, but by moving in with a man I loved.  When the evil twin and I first moved in together, not only did I move in with him, but he brought his (at the time) 8 year old son with him and his college aged son was in the mix as well.  I suddenly became very aware of the amount of milk we had the house at any given time and Christmas took on a new and wonderful meaning.  I mean really, is there anything better than waking up on Christmas morning with kids after Santa came?

It took me some time to become comfortable in my new role and I was hesitant to identify myself as a parent at first.  I felt like a fraud since we weren’t married and the little one wasn’t here all the time.  But after some time, I came to embrace it.  I started to say I had a stepson without hesitation, I started to talk to other parents at the school, clearly talked parenting with my girlfriends and centered my whole life around what was best for the kids, even if were we sacrificing alone time as grown ups or postponing things we want to do or buy.  I wouldn’t even consider moving because of how close our home was to the schools of the little one and his mother.

But then “we” became “I” and I was no longer a parent.  I mean really, what do you say? I sometimes parent my stepson whose father I am no longer involved with?  Although his mother and father have both said they want me to stay in his life, I know we will never celebrate Christmas again as a family, with all the joy of presents in jammies and me cooking breakfast while they look at their gifts and clean up the wrapping paper.  I won’t go to the IEP meetings at school anymore.  He will no longer have a room in my home.  There will be no more Sunday morning cuddle “sandwiches” with his father and I in the king sized bed I once resisted buying.  I now have a teenage pal that I look after sometimes and try to guide into adulthood, but I am no longer a parent in any traditional sense and it sucks.

No one talks about the loss of your family in this way.  It’s so surreal.   And I feel guilty for being so sad about this and talking about it like a loss because no one died; everyone is still here but the whole universe has shifted and will never again be the glorious way it was.  I just need to find my role and place in this new world and move forward because the sun is still rising and setting, I still have to work, life goes on.