Driving: Bozeman, Montana to Rapid City, South Dakota
Weather: God awful rain storm
Food Revolution Challenge: A long, boring drive, I'm getting sick of peanut butter, the hotel computer has no internet, and over friendly tourists
We awoke to driving rain blowing sideways, Vancouver style. What? Are you kidding? How did November Vancouver weather follow us to Montana? This is not possible. Gah!
Last night we were bored and so Hubs and I wandered out to the lounge area and grabbed ourselves a coffee. It is a routine of ours while we are on vacation-lose the kid and grab coffee together, where we sit and chat about adult stuff for a bit.
Nearby a family is making dinner with hot water and instant noodles. The Dad wanders over, extends a hand in greeting, and begins asking us questions. He explains that he moved to the Vancouver area from Korea not long ago and wants to know about us. Where do we live? What do we do? Where are we going on vacation? Do we want some noodles? He's from a large tour group going to Yellowstone tomorrow, and what are WE doing?
Hubs begins telling him about the Black Hills and his eyes light up.
"Black Hills," he repeats. "Show me. Where?" We try to explain but we need a map, so we run and get our huge map book out of the car. Hubs talks about the geology, the beauty of the area, and our new found friend is furiously taking notes.
"Ah, I see. Nice. We go one day. Tomorrow, Yellowstone. Here, I give you my number. We talk sometime. I'm back in Vancouver next Thursday, we see you then. We come to Sunshine Coast and call you, you show us around." He thrusts a piece of paper towards Hubs and begins rattling off a phone number.
I can see that Hubs is trying to be polite and in return, he picks up a piece of paper and I can see him writing down our phone number too.
Wait. What is he doing? Who is this guy? Why is he giving him our phone number? We don't even know him! And...holy crap, is that...? NO! STOP! STOP WRITING THAT! You can't give this guy my cell phone number, too!
Every part of me wants to leap over the table, snatch that piece of paper from his hands, screaming, "NOOOOOO!" but it's too late. He has my cell number; the number that I reserve for only close friends, family, and work contacts.
I suddenly have visions of a Korean family showing up at my door one morning, wanting me to show them around town. Sure, it's fine for YOU dear, you work most of the summer. I have the summer off and now you've just volunteered me to be the welcoming committee to complete strangers.
Bidding our travel friends goodbye, we made our way back to our room.
"What. the. HELL. Were. You. THINKING?!?" I hissed, as the elevator door closed. "Sure, give the guy my cell phone number. Before you know it I'll have him and his family calling me and wanting to go out for coffee, and I don't even know the guy. You don't have to deal with him because it's not even your phone. And why are you giving out our phone number to total strangers? "
"I'm sorry," Hubs grinned sheepishly. "I don't know what I was thinking. But you can screen your calls," he offered helpfully. Right. Thanks, babe.
We slept that night in a luxuriously HUGE bed as Jake grumbled something about being stuck in a sofa bed that was too short for his growing frame. I ignored him, too busy thinking about noodles and Korean tourists.
The next morning we trekked down to the breakfast bar again, and it was no different from the last hotel; a preservative minefield of sorts.
Something has to change here, I thought as we munched on honey toast, again. Gotta get creative. I can't do this our whole vacation.
The drive is long and boring. There is no other way to put it. I pull out my copy of "Promises to Keep" and read the entire thing, we look for pronghorn antelope, sleep, snack on granola and fruit, and dive into the leftover pizza from last night's trip to the MacKenzie River Pizza Co. for dinner.
I'm already tired of peanut butter and it's only day three. Hubs may be able to eat the same thing for days on end, but I'm not like that. I need variety. Jake has turned into the bottomless pit, and lately we push leftovers from our own plates or from anything else we're eating towards him as he sucks it in like a tornado. We can't eat bits here and there, he needs substantial food.
"You gonna eat that?" has become his favorite expression. He eats, and sleeps, with wild abandon. Am I mistaken, or are his jeans even shorter? This is crazy. A growth spurt, while we're on vacation? How is THAT going to affect Food Revolution Road Trip?
We arrive in Rapid City and check into our hotel around dinner time. Too tired to look far for a restaurant we settle for a nearby TGI Fridays and order a Dragon fire chicken stir fry. It's delicious-smallish portion, loads of veggies, chicken, and rice, with a Kung Pao sauce.
"Mom, did you see the look the people across from us gave me when they saw me eating broccoli?" Jake shook his head in disbelief.
"Jake, you're entirely too self conscious. I doubt that.."
"No," Hubs interrupted, "I saw. They looked at him, then his plate, and then back at him, as if they couldn't believe a teenager was eating vegetables."
"It was weird," Jake continued. "They watched me eat the whole thing as if I was some alien or something. Is it that strange to watch a teenager have something other than burgers and fries?"
Judging from the reaction it got, I guess so.