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There's a potato-shaped AirBNB in Boise, Idaho. Let me repeat that: there's a potato-shaped AirBNB in Boise, Idaho. I first heard about this spud hotel some months ago when it was doing its viral rounds on all the news outposts. "Sleep in a Giant Potato for Only $200 a Night," "The Ultimate Vegan Airbnb Is a Giant Potato," "Boise’s Potato Airbnb is the Most Idaho Hotel Room Ever," all the click-bait headlines declared. Of course, as soon as I read article after article on these tater digs there was only one thing I could say, "I need to stay there." If you...

It's hard to say that there was really any particular place we were going on this ten-day road trip. We didn't spend more than a night anywhere. We didn't spend much time in any one particular place. Really, we were just driving, making a big ole circle. If there was a "destination," I suppose, it was Boise, Idaho. Boise was to be the furthest west we were going. It was the point where we would turn around and start heading in the direction home. It was halfway through the journey. And it was the home to the potato AirBNB, which was,...

There's nothing between Cheyenne, Wyoming and Salt Lake City, Utah. At least, nothing that I was super excited to see. That's the problem with road trips sometimes. Sometimes there will be twenty things in a short short distance. And, other times, nothing for hours. That's not to say that we didn't see anything on the six and a half hour drive. We stopped in Buford, Wyoming, population one (though I heard that guy moved, so maybe, actually, zero). It's the smallest town in America. And we stopped at the Gunslinger 66 and Tumbleweed Gas Station Town, an old-west style gas station in...

The Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway wasn't originally on our road trip itinerary. The plan was, at first, to drive I-80 the entire way from Omaha, Nebraska, to Cheyenne, Wyoming. About a week before our trip was set to begin, Tim suggested the switch-up, reasoning that it was something different and would be more scenic than the highway. And so, of course, that sent my anxiety-ridden brain into a state of massive panic. We had already decided on the route. I had already mapped out all the stops. I had already crossed "decide on a route" and "map out all the stops" off...

It should have been a short day. The drive from Des Moines, Iowa (where we ended up on day 1 of our ten-day road trip) to Omaha, Nebraska, via I-80 should only take about 2 hours. It's a short drive. An easy drive. But I had made the itinerary. And, when you're with me, no trip is ever short or easy. You see, I had made, what Tim and I came to dub, a "clipboard of fun." After scouring Roadside America to find every roadside attraction on our route, I had mapped out 230 potential stops across the ten-day, ten-state trip. I...

Originally the plan was to go to Idaho so that we could stay in the potato AirBNB in Boise. The potato AirBNB is exactly what it sounds like. A giant potato turned into an AirBNB. I saw articles about it online and posted one to my Facebook timeline. He commented on it, something about wanting to road trip there because Idaho and Wyoming were two of his last three states to check off. I said, "let's go!" and, somehow, we turned it into a real trip. I'd been itching to take a road trip for a while (it was even on...

Two weeks ago, I had no idea what to do at the Wisconsin State Fair. Or, I guess, any state fair. I'd never been to one before and only had a vague idea of what to expect: farm animals, carnival rides, and a lot of fried foods. My friends and I were planning a weekend road trip to see the En Vogue / TLC concert, watch the world cheese curd eating championship, and, yes, eat a lot of fried foods. But we ended up doing a lot more than we thought we would, like watching a pig race, playing bar...

I can't remember the last time, outside of Nathan's Famous on the Fourth of July, that I saw such a large crowd gather to watch an eating contest. Fire marshals walked the aisles to clear the path of stragglers. Families were sitting on each other's laps to get in close, to fit more people on a third-row bench (the first rows being taken up by die-hard Hanson fans who were claiming seats well in advance of the night's upcoming concert.) And the crowd continually gained mass outward into the fair. But, as everyone started chanting "Joey, Joey, Joey," it became...

It had been two years since I last took a vacation. Two years since I boarded a plane. Two years since I left Illinois, the Chicagoland area, at all. I hardly believed it myself when I went to write that in an Instagram caption three weeks ago, but, it's true: I didn't take a vacation, travel anywhere, leave Chicago, in 2017. The last place I traveled to was New Orleans, Louisiana, and that was for a conference in 2016. I just haven't felt like traveling. Going. Leaving. Moving. And then, this Fourth of July, 21 months after my last vacation, I went to...

I used to watch the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on TV every Fourth of July. For some people, Independence Day meant fireworks, barbecues, parades. But, for me, it meant sitting in front of ESPN and watching a row of gurgitators consume as many hot dogs as was humanly possible in 12 minutes.   [caption id="attachment_75834" align="alignnone" width="1400"] George Shea announces the 2018 Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest on the Fourth of July at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York.[/caption]   In 2007, I watched the Super Bowl of competitive eating from my couch, at home, when Joey Chestnut ate 66 hot...