That Crazy Midwest Road Trip & The Podcasts That Save Me

Posted: 17/09/2013 in Uncategorized
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As I’m typing this, it has been nearly two thousand miles of driving for me.

It has been nerve racking eccentricities by my partner on my driving habits(i.e., enjoying the landscape at 75 miles an hour, occasional swerving, every semi truck that I pass).

It has been some awesome meals & fantastic times.

The last post left everyone with the idea that I was going to be able to bring my canine companion with us.  That didn’t happen according to plan.  Our friend ended up moving into our place with his pooch & has been keeping Cinder company in our absence.  I’ve texted a couple of times & restrained myself for many more to not seem to be a pain in the ass, because I do appreciate how awesomely our friend does with animals & despite how short a notice we gave him, he still showed up with smiles and an excited will, despite the fact that we told him about her separation anxiety & resulting bathroom breaks in our place.

The important part is that they are all doing great & that I’m totally taking our friend out for drinks in appreciation.

I digress though, just thought before any questions about where Cinder is in this story came up, a good explanation was necessary.

So my partner & I started our journey around eight at night on Tuesday from Jacksonville.  We made it to Clinton, South Carolina at a seedy hotel that cost too much for checking in at 2:30 in the morning.  I drove until I couldn’t anymore, which is kind of what I do this entire time–driving takes a lot out of me, and sometimes I just get tired.

The next day we checked out of the hotel & made it all the way to Kentucky and found a nice out-of-place Thai food restaurant in the middle of McDonald’s, Wendy’s & other horrible fast food places.  Being a fan of curry, especially of the Massaman variety, I decided on the Massaman Curry–try it Thai hot every time, it is so flavorful:

I took a bite already I was so hungry & it smelled so good.

I took a bite already I was so hungry & it smelled so good.

From there, it was to Lima, Ohio to do some family stuff.  We had some awesome Mexican food at a place called La Charreada(a staple of my diet when I lived there), and parted ways so my partner could get some personal family time & I could catch up with friends over drinks.

The next day it was my family’s turn to get hang time, but before that, we stopped at Cedar Valley Cafe in Findlay, Ohio for some of the most remarkable Lebanese fare you can find in Ohio–the pic speaks for itself:

Best.  Value.  Ever.  Falafel patties are phenomenal here.

Best. Value. Ever. Falafel patties are phenomenal here.

I could seriously eat at that place on a daily basis.  They just have the flavor profile so spot on.

We had some time with my folks, then had some more time with my partner’s family(after she spent a lot of time trying to find a dashing outfit for me, in which she did & I was hardly any help, predominantly because I am the worst when it comes to pop fashion & she knows how to make me over perfectly).

The next day we traveled to Toledo, Ohio for a wedding(coincidentally occurring on my birthday), or for Friday’s sake, the rehearsal dinner.

I was hungry by the time that we got up to Toledo, so I went to a place called the Tandoor on the south side of the city.  I had never been there before, but I missed the lunch buffet & got the menu item called Channa Masala, an awesomely seasoned chickpea dish that I got hot(as in spicy) & it looked a little bit like this:

Just so tasty, I love finding a jewel like this in cities.

Just so tasty, I love finding a jewel like this in cities.

With a hint of garlic & ginger, this dish makes me want to make this on a daily basis from now on.  Actually, I ended up catching this on the buffet with my partner’s parents the next day before the wedding.  This is actually one of their favorite places & I was so happy to get to try it as well.

I was stoked that the caterer made us a vegan pasta and red sauce dish for the wedding, but it was sad that my partner’s family couldn’t take home their leftovers because the wedding hall apparently didn’t have boxes.

The day after that, we ended up going to Cedar Valley Cafe with my parents(told you I could eat that daily) & having leftovers.  Portion size is awesome there, needless to say.

Later on that day, we met up with a cousin(my favorite, even though no blood relation, just way too much in common with him) in Columbus & went to a place called Hal & Al’s.  This place is a vegan’s dream.  If that dream was real, delicious, inexpensive, had a fantastic selection of beer, and was in a blue building.  In which it is all of that.  The food looks like this:

There are only three of us eating all of this.  Delicious to the extreme.

There are only three of us eating all of this. Delicious to the extreme.

So we needed a couple of boxes, but keep in mind the empty plate closest to the pic once had a vegan brat with the works(basically a pizza making station) on it and I couldn’t wait for these two to get their food….there were a lot more fries too, but we share in my circles.

The leftovers from both Cedar Valley and Hal & Al’s were both consumed cold(I try not to use microwaves anymore–call it weird, but I don’t think it can be good for food) and were still delicious…I would suggest an oven, but not many hotels are equipped with those.

I’m currently in Statesville, North Carolina & am going to get some vegan chow tomorrow in Charlotte.

Now onto the podcast part of this crazy blog post.

Have you heard of Citizen Radio?  Of Our Hen House?  Red Radio??!

Let me sum this up for you….

Citizen Radio got me to quit smoking cigarettes nearly a couple of years ago & think critically about everything when it comes to news.  Also, I laugh hysterically nearly every three minutes because it is such a funny podcast, and it got me started on podcasts initially.

Our Hen House is just beyond informational when it comes to vegan stuff.  I have it as my home screen, and so should you–it has so much breaking news on the website, that even though I am not yet a paying subscriber of this, it is well worth the money & when I do have the money I will join “the Flock.”

Red Radio is fantastic as well when it comes to vegan info.  The interviews are fantastic & the information that Erin Red gives on it is truly inspirational.

So those podcasts have helped me with a lot of my drive, I hope they help you as well.  I’ve got a free app on my HTC LTE called Podcast Addict & find these on a daily or weekly basis.  Check it out & donate to whomever you can–I personally donate to Citizen Radio, but hopefully in the future I’ll be able to donate to all three.  They are really good podcasts & offer all of them for free!  You’ll love them.


Also, go to Ohio and check out some of these spots.

I’m on my way tomorrow to snuggle with Cinder.



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