Saturday, April 13, 2024

Mustang Ridge Coffee Co.

April 2024 - Des Moines IA to HOME

April 2024 - Somewhere in Illinois


I've reached the point that I no longer know where I am! John couldn't remember what our hotel room number was!!!

Click here for our drive from Des Moines IA to Naperville IL

The park is named for John Pappajohn, a local venture capitalist and his wife Mary Louise Pappajohn (1933-2022), who gifted the initial 24 sculptures, with a valuation of about $40 million USD, to the city of Des Moines.

It's too bloody cold!

Got in the car and had a snack, bought yesterday in Elk Horn.

We stopped in Dixon IL for lunch known for being Ronald Reagan's home from 1920 to 1924, the site of his earliest childhood memories, and a place he recalled with great fondness.
I can't say we have any fondness for the service at Pekin's. Just a terrible server, she forgot about us, after we waited for over 20 minutes (it was bacon and eggs only) I asked someone to find her. Someone else brought our food, gave sausages and not the ham he requested, etc etc.

Hilton Garden Inn Naperville IL great check in.
Used our $20 credit towards dinner. Great bartender, a great believer in doom and gloom.
We shared a Caesar salad, steak (great) and fries.

We left at 9:30 planning on getting an early brunch on the road. It was rainy and heavy traffic until we got through Chicago.

We had a late (lost an hour) brunch at Cracker Barrel in Elkhart IN.

We were given our eclipse glasses at check in and she also said there would be viewing parties.

Monday April 8 Toledo OH

Monday Mural taken in Las Vegas March 2024.

Click here for our day in Toledo!

John slept until 10:30!! We ended up having grilled cheeses in the hotel.

We grabbed a beer and paid $5 to enter the Hensville Park with music.

The lights around us came on.

Wondering why the menu was so different....

Gluten free spaghetti and meatballs. Awful, so much bad sauce, too much filler in meatballs. And the penny dropped when we got home this was WAREHOUSE not FACTORY!
The Warehouse even had an old trolley car inside just like the FACTORIES!

We have an Old Spaghetti Factory in Toronto (NOT the same franchise - we had thought about going to the one in Salt Lake City) but it has been years since we were there. The Factories in North America all have the same menu!
I ate at the Factory in Minneapolis, same menu as Toronto and delicious.

Tuesday time to head home. Breakfast was terrible in the hotel. $4 for cold coffee. Nothing on the continental menu available. We ended up with scrambled eggs (okay), bacon (greasy) home fries.

We were in the car at 9:30 and crossed the border at Detroit at 10:30. Home at 2:30.

The border crossing was very quick, only one car in front of us at the Nexus lane. Pleasant agent, a couple of questions and we were on our way!

The Koegel Meat Company is a meat processing, packaging, and distribution company based in Flint, Michigan. Koegel's produces 35 products. Koegel's hot dogs are considered by the authors of "Coney Detroit" as the best hot dog for a Flint-Style Coney Dog along with Abbott's Meat's coney sauce. Koegel is also a supplier of A&W, about 200 Coney restaurants, Walmart, Dairy Queen and Kroger.


The Ambassador Bridge is a tolled international suspension bridge across the Detroit River that connects Detroit, Michigan, United States, with Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Opened in 1929, it is the busiest international border crossing in North America in terms of trade volume, carrying more than 25% of all merchandise trade between the United States and Canada by value. A 2004 Border Transportation Partnership study showed that 150,000 jobs in the Detroit–Windsor region and US$13 billion in annual production depend on the Detroit–Windsor international border crossing.

The bridge is one of the few privately owned US–Canada crossings; it was owned by Grosse Pointe billionaire Manuel Moroun, until his death in July 2020, through the Detroit International Bridge Company in the United States and the Canadian Transit Company in Canada. In 1979, when the previous owners put it on the New York Stock Exchange and shares were traded, Moroun was able to buy shares, eventually acquiring the bridge. The bridge carries 60 to 70 percent of commercial truck traffic in the region.

 Temperatures fluctuated as it was around 20 leaving Toledo up to 24 crossing the border until Hamilton ON when it dropped to 12!
We only made one gas/coffee/pit stop at an Onroute (service plaza) for Canadian Tire gas and Tim Horton's coffee.

Wednesday was a sunny brisk day and we only went for the groceries we needed. I made a pot of vegetable soup from my freezer stock and added a can of chickpeas.

Thursday rainy and miserable as John set out for the car dealership. I picked up some essentials and then spent 3 THREE TRES hours on the phone with Telus, our cell phone providers. 

Okay, it was two hours on a chat with the most stubborn or least empowered service agent I ever encountered. My issue - when we entered the States they sent me a text and email offering my $80 PPU Easy Roam for 30 days which I accepted as otherwise the charge is $15 per phone a day!!

Our bill was $700!!! I explained that I believed the offer applied to both phones as it is one account. John had been charged daily roaming fees.

She countered that it was a "special" offer only to "selected" phone numbers and proceeded to use a lot of corporate gobbledygook like "as a consumer myself" and how much the poor corporation had to paying to the roaming networks blah blah. I told her I didn't care. My issue was a badly worded "offer". She offered me $30, "the best she could do and would be dinged for it, but I was a valuable customer"..... 

When I said I wasn't satisfied she finally offered to get a Loyalty agent. She set up the call, Maximo spent ten minutes with me to ensure he understood my issue, he did. Then said he would call me back when he reviewed the documentation. He called back about an hour later, said he fully agreed with me  and would issue a $360 credit and charge me the $80 for John's roaming.

So I made a $100 an hour while doing other things during the chat and waiting for phone calls.

We got unpacked and one load of laundry done. 

Friday rainy and foggy. John used the golf simulator. I had planned to get a hair cut but will wait until Monday. I ran out for some weekend items, lemons, limes, turnip, half and half, red onion and Brussel sprouts as a substitution.

It is the Masters this week so John was glued to that.


Saturday Naperville Caesar salad with steak and fries - best steak on this trip

Sunday Toledo cheeses and crackers

Monday Toledo Spaghetti Warehouse

Tuesday HOME! curry chicken. 

Wednesday potato chip crusted halibut and broccolini

Thursday lamb chops, mashed potatoes and broccolini

Friday steak with onions, green peppers and mushrooms, chimichurri


We started American Rust season two. It features a favourite actor of mine, Maura Tierney (The Affair).


I finished The Only Suspect, it is a slow build up with lots of twists, but the main one blew me away!

I started I Invited Her In

2024 Road Trip

Click here for:

Mon March 11 Day 1 Toronto to Fort Wayne
Tue Mar 12 Day 2  Fort Wayne to St. Louis
Mar 13 Day 3  St. Louis
Mar 14 Day 4  St. Louis MO to Tulsa OK
Mar 18 Day 8 Las Vegas
Mon Tue Mar 25 - 28 Day 15-18 Las Vegas see Weekly Recap Route 66 Coffee
Sat Mar 30 Day 20 Las Vegas see Weekly Recap Brioche
Tue Apr 9 Day 30 Toledo OH to Toronto ON see Weekly Recap Mustang Ridge Coffee


  1. Wow, that's quite a trip! It doesn't sound like the food was super great - what a shame. That's half the fun of traveling. Other than that, it sounds like a great trip - a lot of driving, though. Whew. You were only four hours away from us when you were in Vegas. :)

  2. What a remarkable road trip and you documented it so well. The Love sign looks the same as the one in Philadelphia. Thank you for your weekend coffee share.

  3. Wow what a great trip this is!! I was impressed by the statues trying to enter through a large door. Be well and continue your travels!

  4. Welcome home!! I have enjoyed reading about your American travels.

    When I was very young I had a penpal in Toledo for a couple of years ago. I had forgotten that!

  5. What a lovely adventure you had! I enjoy so much seeing what you encounter in your travels, and this trip took you through some territory (except for Chicago and a bit of Texas) where I have never been. I wonder where you will go next.

  6. Loved reading about your month long adventure and seeing the pics and stuff. Please, God, may I have the money, car, and health to be able to roadtrip, roadtrip, roadtrip before I die. lol

  7. That's cool that you got to experience the solar eclipse! In LA there was a partial eclipse. Unless you had the glasses, you wouldn't experience any change in the daylight.


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