At first, it was all about traveling for fun. (You know, not just to visit people.)
There was my girls-only trip to House on the Rock/Wisconsin Dells, followed by a week-long cruise with my parents, and several trips to Alexis' dad's house out in Carthage for Passover and summer pool fun. Then there was my Mexico trip this past January.
Lately, however, I haven't been traveling as much for fun. More for... Fish Eye Fun.
I've been to Kansas City, Chicago, and now to Lake of the Ozarks and Springfield, MO for the past two weekends. (The greatest hits of the Midwest, as it were.)
I even drug Mark along with me the past two weekends. Poor guy.
It wasn't all work and no play, at least. We managed to stop in at Lambert's Cafe (Home of the Throwed Rolls) on Sunday morning, since Mark had never been there, and made our first trip to Uranus Fudge Factory on the way home. Honestly, I was pretty disappointed in Uranus. (Pun so very definitely intended.) For a place that's a self-titled "fudge factory," both Ozarkland and Meramac Caverns both have a wider selection of fudge. But at least I can say I've officially been to Uranus.
And now? Now I'm back to traveling for fun, at least for a little bit. Mark and I have our first official "vacation" together this weekend and are headed to Chicago for a long weekend.
The thought of going out of town again after two weekends on the road has actually been more than a little daunting. It's not that I don't want to go. But we are both, after all, very much homebodies who like our alone time and like working on our own projects. When we originally planned this trip, my out-of-town jobs weren't scheduled, so it didn't seem like such an ordeal back then.
I'm not used to being on the road so much, away from my own place so much. And there's really nothing like a hotel room to make you realize how much you really, really like your own stuff. As nice as it is to spread out on a cushy king-sized bed, I love my own bed. I love the new mattress we bought. I love my pillow and our smart lights that help me wake up and go to sleep. And as great as water pressure can be in a hotel, I love my own towels, my Doctor Who shower curtain, my bathmats, and my mirror covered with notes that Mark and I write each other.
I'm obviously not used to traveling as much as I have been. I still can hardly believe all the places I've gone in the past few years after how little I traveled through most of my twenties. Hell, I'm barely used to being as busy as I am in St. Louis, much less the rest of the world. It seems like not so long ago when I would spend almost every night sitting at home by myself, watching movies, reading, and drinking too much. Now I feel like Mark and I are coming and going constantly, and I find myself almost missing my lonely nights of nothing better to do than sit at home.
Don't get me wrong, there's no way I'm trading my current freedom just for some quality time with my messy apartment, but I still think that Dorothy said it best when she said, "There's no place like home."
However, as nice as my stuff is and as many projects as Mark and I might like to work on right now, our train tickets have been bought and we leave bright and early on Friday! After spending over 16 hours in the work van the past two weekends, I'm so very glad we're not driving. Instead, we have at least 10 hours round trip to relax, read, and hang out.
And so, after a momentary freakout, we're both back to looking forward to the trip. I want to show Mark the places I used to frequent. I want him to meet my friends I haven't seen in years. I want to be shameless tourists for a bit.
And I really, really want to eat Giordano's pizza.