Note: Wifi being strange so apologies if the pictures on this blog post don’t show up! Will fix ASAP.
So it turns out that there are far worse things to find in a motel room than dead skin and a cockroach. In the motel we stayed at in Des Moines (Days Inn West Des Moines FYI – don’t EVER stay there), I got bitten by bed bugs. We had an early night ahead of our 5 hour drive the next morning, but due to my old lady bladder I got up to wee at 11.30pm. During this wee I noticed rows of bites over both of my arms and immediately knew from a previous experience in Orlando back in 2000 that it was bedbugs. A quick check of the mattress confirmed it and we headed to reception, freaked out and upset, and got our room changed. I knew I was in for a nightmare couple of days because my body reacts like a paranoid idiot to insect bites and in a matter of hours, I had massive, swollen welts over both my arms. Ouch. Ewan didn’t get bitten once!!
The next morning, we waved a VERY happy farewell to that motel and got on our way to our next stop, Cozad. Around midday, we stopped in Omaha to stretch our legs along the Riverfront and grab some lunch. As we were exploring the market, we came across a cute, family owned restaurant called Old Market Spaghetti House and headed in when we saw that they did gluten free pasta. I went for the gluten free angel hair pasta with pesto cream sauce. I’ll admit that it did look a little like a cat had vomited on my pasta but it did taste good! It was refreshing to find a restaurant that offered a gluten free pasta option other than penne too.
Back on the road, we were driving along the freeway when we saw what is apparently referred to as ‘the Penis of the Prairies’ (Ewan told me this and I’m not 100% sure whether he’s having me on or not). In more professional circles, it’s called the Nebraska State Capitol Building. We decided to go into Lincoln and visit it, and we were pleasantly surprised that you could both park and go in it for free! The inside of the building was gorgeous and reminded me of Gringotts Bank from the Harry Potter movies. You can also take the elevator up to the lookout to get a good view of the city.
A couple hours later, we arrived at Cozad, our destination for the evening and the sleepiest town ever. To be honest I think describing it as a town is a little generous, but it was very quaint and our pink motel was very cute! This was a very ‘road trip’ kind of night, staying in the middle of nowhere. For dinner there was zero option other than the Dairy Queen next door, where I had the grilled chicken salad and an m&m’s blizzard.
We ended the evening by washing everything in our suitcases, as bed bugs can travel in your luggage/clothes. Obviously this could not just be a straight forward operation; the washing machine broke, ruined a few of our clothes, and the motel owner ended up letting us use their personal washing machine because the other was now out of order. We were up until almost midnight waiting for the sodding dryer to finish!
Today has been much smoother overall, even the bumps on my arms have deflated a little! On the drive to Denver, we stopped off in Cheyenne to see their Capitol Building but OF COURSE it was under renovation and covered in scaffolding, so we checked out their State Museum (free!) instead.
For lunch we wandered into a cafe called Dad’s Cafe, and from looking at the menu on their blackboard, it didn’t look like I could eat anything. I asked the man behind the counter and he informed me that I was in a 100% gluten free, coeliac friendly restaurant. I was SO happy! It’s not often the case where I can literally order absolutely anything on the menu, they really should advertise on their menu/signage that they are gluten free! I chose the Wyoming Rueben and Ewan had the BLT, which naturally I had a couple bites of too. Everything was so good!