Days 10 and 11 were spent catching up with my brother and his family in Missouri, along our trek through the Midwest as we leave Route 66 behind and divert towards Maryland.
This was a first for both of us in the state of Missouri, known as the heart of the country for its location smack dab in the middle of the continental states. We are starting to feel much closer to our upbringing as we return to rural and suburban communities situated in-between patches of woods and lakes, where you can feel the stark differences of all four seasons.
The home cooked meals and time with family gave us a renewed excitement to our orders in Maryland, where we will be returning to a sense of familiarity. In Hawaii, our time was spent far from family while we also adjusted to an entirely different way of living. We feel blessed to experience both types of places through the Navy – places that push us out of our comfort zone and allow us to grow, and those that keep us grounded to our roots. There’s no better time to return to our roots as we prepare for baby Ivan’s spring arrival.
Today was spent driving through Missouri and Indiana on our way to Louisville, Kentucky. After a rough 7-hour drive, and a nice break in St. Louis to admire The Gateway Arch, we restlessly nestled in to this vibrant city for the night.
The city lights of Louisville were a nice surprise to counter the grey, quiet drive leading up to it. We stopped at a Yelp-approved southern gastropub in downtown, The Silver Dollar. It was a packed house with a long wait for a table, and so we sat at the bar where Sean got to try some Kentucky whiskey and bourbon. We took dinner back to our hotel, where we split their pork chop and fresh market fish (trout) entrees. Both were delicious.
The drives are getting harder for us – partially because they are not quite as scenic as the mountainous stretches of the West, but also because we are anxious to call a place home again. Until then, we are continuing to find joy in the simple things as we make due as nomads.