From CO to WisCO

by Holly on August 21, 2010

in breakfast,dinner,family,travel

We did it.

We moved the bravest of the Everythingtarian family into her new college home in Colorado. A few tears were shed (although, it was nothing in comparison to the category 5 water works of my college move-in) before we left her to assert her newfound independence approximately 1,000 miles from home.

Like I said, she’s a brave one.

Before we hit the road back to Wisco, I hit up a swanky continental breakfast in our hotel.

1 cup cooked oatmeal
2 T raisins
1 T chopped pecans
sprinkle of brown sugar
drizzle of maple syrup
1/3 banana nut mini muffin
1 T peanut butter

I also devoured some melon, coffee and a USA Today crossword for good measure.

By the end of the trip, it was only Mama + Daddy Everythingtarian and I left. With three sisters, I cannot tell you the last time I had solo time with my parents.

I persuaded them that we just HAD to stop here on our way back home…

Any guesses? Perhaps Kristin may know this one?


Our venture into Colorado’s capital city only lasted a couple hours, but I already want to move here.

Walking along the famed 16th Street Mall, I spotted a restaurant FULL of people. When traveling and in search of a good grub, I look at two things: the menu + how many people are eating there.

Luckily, Paramount Cafe was no exception to this rule.

Big Nose Red Ale, Colorado BBQ elk burger (sans bacon) + sweet potato fries.


Then we drove from the rural outskirts of Denver…

…through the unending flatness better known as Nebraska…

…to the corn-dotted fields of Iowa.

We stopped in Shelby, Iowa to pee.

It just so happened Mama E had a mini Blizzard craving at that very moment, and wouldn’t ya know there was a DQ right next door?

However, fate turned against us – they were out of mini Blizzard cups!

Imagine our confusion when we found out two small Blizzards + one small chocolate banana malt only totaled to $4.04. Whhhaaatttt? As it turns out, the manager believes the mini Blizzards are overpriced so she only charged us $1.04 for the mini Blizzards (mine being Reese’s PB Cup) and gave us smalls.

Although, small may be a slight understatement…

Now, THAT’S a muffin top people.

As much as we loved the Shelby, Iowa DQ, we knew there was one place we would perhaps love more: Walcott, Iowa.

Home of the World’s Largest Truck Stop!

No words.

No offense, but this place was a bit…backwards.

And that’s putting it nicely.

We relied on making fun of people (sorry, it was too hard not to) and Wendy’s to get us through the last leg of our journey back to America’s Dairyland…

The Baja Salad was surprisingly tasty – mixed greens, chili, pico de gallo, guacamole, shredded cheese and seasoned tortilla strips. Sans dressing (not needed) and with 1/2 the cheese, this was less than 600 calories and boasted about 35 grams of protein. Mind you, the fat was a bit high as was the sodium, but since I almost never eat fast food, it was all good in the hood to me.

And that my friends, commences this Everythingtarian family road trip.

I am back home and ready to tackle a major to-do list today…

  • Run 4 miles
  • Unpack
  • Edit an application for a friend
  • E-mails
  • Clean vacuum filter
  • Blog thangs
  • Sell some stuff on Craigslist/Ebay
  • Rework my budget
  • Cooking/meal prep





Road trips – love ’em or hate ’em? LOVE ‘EM. So. Much. Fun.


Mallory August 21, 2010 at 1:19 pm

that kodak moment with you in a … rustic… looking hat is THE PERFECT truck stop photo. end of story.

also, were you watching as they made the blizzard? i’m a bit perplexed as to the construction of that amazing creation. i mean, it’s huge! and what about the melt factor? so many questions, with such little substance to them.

Evan Thomas August 21, 2010 at 1:21 pm

I want to stop at the world’s biggest truck stop! I hope they have the world’s biggest restroom, because I need to take the world’s longest piss.

Madeline - Greens and Jeans August 21, 2010 at 1:56 pm

LOVE road trips. And your parents. And you. I sincerely hope that the Dairy Queen you stopped at was part of a Stuckey’s. Every road trip we ever went on growing up (and there were a lot of them) involved stopping at a Stuckey’s for DQ and gas.

Kristin @ Iowa Girl Eats August 21, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Ahhh hahaha yes! The sassy bear from downtown Denver, and the I80 truck stop – good times, good times!!! Glad you had a fun road trip!

Laura August 21, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Road trips are amazing!

Erica August 21, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Glad the sister got dropped off safely. I love a good road trip- we have one coming up soon! Denver looks totally gorgeous- I have never been there. DQ…..I just want a big ole cone of that goodness. Glad you guys had a good time

Mj August 21, 2010 at 2:53 pm

The pict of your mom cracks me up! BTW Ms. Everythingtarian I swear I saw you downtown madison today after the mini-marathon! I waved(think you were texting though) but then remembered you probably have no clue who I was~ and decided it’d probably be creepy to chase you down.

Angharad August 21, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Umm love them and you know it! The picture of you with that rat thing on your head is going down in history young lady! Amazing! I know what you mean by backwards. We stopped at a rest stop in WI (sorry) that had racist bumper stickers out the wazoo for sale. Awkward.

Love yooou! xx

Lauren August 21, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Can I please come on your next family road trip? HOW FUN!!

Crystal August 21, 2010 at 4:47 pm

I LOVE Denver. My boyfriend and I went on a weekend trip there a couple of months ago. I would love to move there; by far my favorite place I have been. And I love road trips!

Jessica @ How Sweet It Is August 21, 2010 at 5:00 pm

LOVE them! I honestly look forward to them every single summer.

Matt August 21, 2010 at 5:15 pm

I actually hate road trips! Yours looks like a blast though ;)

Lindsay @ Summit Sandwiches August 21, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Isn’t Denver such a cool city? It’s pretty much my dream city, although where I’ll be living this upcoming year (Boulder, CO) isn’t too shabby either. Looks like you had such a fun time with your family. I always love roadtrips, even when driving through the flatness of the MidWest. I mean, where else but the MidWest could you stumble upon the “World’s Largest Truckstop”? Stumbling upon stuff like that is what constitutes a good roadtrip, if you ask me.

Jess August 21, 2010 at 6:41 pm

Sounds like SUCH fun!! Love that oatmeal+fruit. YUM.

Enjoy the four mile run!

wendy @ ABCs and Garden Peas August 21, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Those pics are a total hoot.

I worked in a DQ all through high school and they used to make us turn them upside-down, which was ok except for when people got a lot of fruit toppings in them and they were runny. We knew they’d fall out but we had to flip them anyway. It was really funny when they fell out and customers didn’t know that we were supposed to flip them in the first place…made for some really funny looks.

mammaeverythingtarian August 21, 2010 at 7:37 pm

a few things Holly forgot…. her non-educated mother beat her several and i mean several times at scrabble. She almost missed the entrance ramp to go home which could of landed us in Nort Dakota. And she did find us a cute town and quaint restaurant to eat in Colorado Springs. But I will have to say that Holly has always been the best traveler thats why she was the only grandchild out of a gazillion that was chosen to go on a road trip with her amazing grandma.

Katie August 21, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Yaaay!! Denver!! I know EXACTLY where that statue of that golfer is on the mall. That’s my home state!! Yipee, move here!!

In other news, that blizzard is the best thing ever, and I LOVE road trips too. Once I drove from Boston to Boulder in a little more than 24 hours, and it was one of the best times of my life. :-)

Jenna August 21, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Omg loveee road trips!!
The McDonald salads aren’t too shabby either!
Actually pretty good!!

Brenda August 21, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Out of curiosity, where in Colorado is your sister going to school? I just graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder and was wondering if she maybe went there?

Leianna August 21, 2010 at 10:32 pm

I’ve been to that Wendy’s in the I-80 truck stop too! Such a crazy place. I love roadtrips!

Susan August 22, 2010 at 6:51 am

What an awesome road trip with your family. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on one, but you’re right – they are so fun and I think the randomness of it all is the best part. Can I just say that that French Toast smoothie on the menu sounds both gross and facsinating? Did I spell that right?

whitney August 22, 2010 at 7:08 am

I love sweet potato fries and can never make them like the restaurants. Your blog does a great job of representing them you always take beautufiul pictures of them!’

I’m jealous of your blizzard experience I wish that would happen to me not to mention you chose the best blizzard around

Lynn @ My Sweet Season August 22, 2010 at 7:15 am

Strike that pose girl! Hahaha you’re hilarious :D The blizzard looks ridic I am salivating as we speak.

Christina August 22, 2010 at 11:51 am

elk burger!? that sounds interesting!! the place looked delicious. and PB blizzard. your making my mouth waterrrr that is pretty much my favorite thing in the world. i have yet to try a mini blizzard. how mini exactly are they? and i see where you get your looks/humor from- you and your mom are twins!

Chelsea (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun) August 22, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Even though I’m currently sick of driving, (whaddup 2 hour round-trip commute each day?), I do love a good road trip. The snacks, the people, the odd little places you discover along the way…it’s all good. I’m so jealous that you visited the world’s largest truck-stop. Also, my family would resort to making fun of people as well-sometime’s it’s impossible not to.

Best of luck to Baby Sis Everythingtarian on this new chapter in her young adult life!

Jennifer@ knackfornutrition August 22, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Road trips are a love/hate thing with me. Fun at the beginning but I am always so ready to get back to normal life.

As for your sister, good for her for taking a leap of faith like that and moving away to college! I did the same thing a few years back and it was the scariest/ballsiest/most liberating thing I have ever done!

Good luck catching up on everything! :)

Rachael August 22, 2010 at 5:30 pm

I live for road trips. Cue Gordon Lightfoot’s Carefree Highways (and ignore the fact that I just referenced an aging Canadian folk singer. I am cool.)
Truck stops make my heart sing, though I’m partial to Flying J’s…you can practically run your life from a truck stop, methinks, between the food, bathrooms, internet accessibility, phones, showers, lounges and (of course) the company of good ol’ boys drinking 108 oz containers of coffee.

Sarah August 22, 2010 at 8:11 pm

Your road trip looks like so much fun. It sounds like you had quite the fun trip with your parents. I also love that your mom added some more fun details in the comments :)

Emily August 22, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Yay, Denver! I live in Denver and agree, it’s a great place to live. :) I don’t recognize that smoothie place, though, and it looks lovely! Do you remember the name? Also, hooray for larger-than-ordered Blizzards! I had a friend that worked at DQ in high school, so we did a lot of ordering small blizzards/sundaes and getting incredibly large ones! Once we even took home a bunch of the cookie dough bits and baked them in the oven….ah, good memories.

Lynn @ The Actors Diet August 23, 2010 at 1:30 am

looove road trips!!! been wanting to go on one for a while now but your post helped scratch that itch a little.

Kacy August 23, 2010 at 7:32 am

I would love a road trip with you and your fam me thinks, looks like a total blast. I would love to move to Denver too. I’ve heard the hot guy population is pretty up there as well. Just sayin…

I’m glad the sis is settled in! Have a good week dear!

Maren August 23, 2010 at 10:05 am

I LOVE roadtrips. We just took one to the lake this weekend (detroit lakes, mn) and although it was 7 hours each way and we were there for 24 hours, it was completely worth it. Nothing like Minnesota lakes. That is a huge blizzard! My boyfriends family is from Harlan, so we drive through Shelby a lot…I am thinking a trip to their DQ is in order! They sure don’t screw you on the portions! haha Have a good week!

Megan (Braise the Roof) August 23, 2010 at 12:36 pm

I love road trips. A lot. In fact, it was my birthday and I asked the boyfriend if we could road trip somewhere for the day. He looked at me like I had four heads.

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