I just finished a piece of perfectly cooked DiGiorno pizza. A four decade-old mustard colored oven in our “fully equipped kitchen” at the StudioPLUS Deluxe Studios in Des Moines was responsible for the perfectly browned crust. Who would’ve thought?

We left the driveway of Kirk’s parents’ house this morning…

…and finished our first day of the trip clocking 11 hours of defensive driving through a rain/snow mixture. Fun. We took a chance and booked our hotel for the night on Hotwire.com. Turns out, we lucked out. After checking in and receiving a free WiFi code from the receptionist – “I’ll just give it to ya, what the heck” –  we had a look at our room and discovered the full kitchen. “Wow,” said Kirk. “We could go all out in here! How ’bout frozen pizza?!”  We made a quick trip to the local Hy-Vee and picked up some groceries for tonight’s late dinner and tomorrow morning’s breakfast.

Here is a map of our planned route:

A) Strawberry Lake, MI. The start.
B) Des Moines, IA. Our first stop. Monday night.
C) Denver, CO. Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday night. We’re crashing at Kirk’s friend John’s pad. Planning to ski at Breckenridge, Keystone, or Some Other Mountain for two days.
D) Las Vegas, NE. Kirk’s going to gamble into riches here on Friday & Saturday night.
E) San Diego, CA. Last stop! We’ll be staying with Kyle & Dana (friends from MSU) until we snag a place of our own.

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