Friday, August 25, 2017

St. Paul to Cedar Rapids - Nia in Minneapolis



Today started in the dark as I woke up before the sun so I'd have enough time to enjoy a leisurely coffee and get from St. Paul to Minneapolis in morning commuter traffic to teach Nia at Sattva at 8am.
And to make the morning just a little bit frazzling, I can thank Motel 6 for putting me in the middle of the hallway on the second floor, so every load I had to carry from the room to the car took not the few seconds that it takes in a proper motel, but over a minute, since I had to walk halfway down the second floor corridor, open a door, go downstairs and open another door and then walk through the parking lot since I was unable to get the only good parking place, right by the only door.
Even as I type it out it sounds so petty to get frustrated over, but I do anyway. I detest this indoor corridor set up. And what's extra frustrating about is that I can't complain to anyone.  No one is at fault and no one can do anything about it. All I can do is write about my experience in my Motel 6 Experiences blog so that I know better than to stay here again.

When I made my reservation I specifically requested a "Ground Floor Room near the Exit due to my dog." But the Motel 6 reservation system is flawed in that no one really sees my special requests until they look at my reservation, which they don't seem to do until I'm checking in. I hate to hear the clerk, upon checking my reservation say, "Ok, we have your reservation... unfortunately...." ugh. That means I'm going to be hiking with armfuls of luggage and toting a nervous, sensitive dog through stinking, mildewed corridors sprayed generously with disinfectant. Whenever we enter these indoor corridors, he immediately starts to 'sneeze'. I don't think he's actually sneezing as much as he's forcibly pushing the scent out of his face. I don't have his super smelling and even I'm disgusted whenever we go into an indoor corridor.

Anyway!! The good news is, that was the worst part of my day and it only gets better from here.

There was very little traffic, so I got to the space in plenty of time to walk River around the block so that he was all taken care of and could relax in the crate while we danced.

I was teaching Orchestra this morning, and hadn't taught it in about a year. But I didn't review my music or my bars before class. I just didn't have the time and thought sleep was more important. So I winged it and trusted that since I created it and taught it plenty of times that it would still be in my body.  It was. I nailed it, as they say. And it seemed to go over well. We danced in a small but gorgeous health and wellness movement boutique with the sunrise streaming in the big windows.

Show your Strength!
Act Silly!
Do your best Butterfly! 
Amy is the teacher of this group, and she was the one I set up the engagement with, but I didn't realize she wasn't going to be there. Thinking ahead, she elected one of her students to be my erstwhile host. She did a fine job taking care of me and helping me get organized in the room and get class going. She also handled the payments and fund distributions. 

video
After class I made a stop at the local food co-op called The Wedge Wedge Community Co-op. I dropped a good $90, but my cooler and 'pantry' were overflowing. It's a good feeling to be stocked with food.
Then I hit the road for my next stop, which was Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 
This is the map I had made for myself weeks ago when I was planning this whole trip, but I'm finding that the plans I make in advance more often than not, don't pan out. Such was the case today.
In the moment, I really just wanted to drive long enough to get out of the urban surroundings of the twin cities and then to stop at the first park I could find to eat lunch.  
So this was my plan:

But when I got about an hour out of town, I entered "Parks" into my MiniNav, and she gave me lots of options. I chose the closest one and she navigated me to a hidden little gem in a tiny town just off the main highway. The town was called Oronoco, MN and the park was called Allis. I was just expecting to see a small patch of grass and, if we were lucky a table I could eat at. But not only did this place offer a table, but an outhouse and access to a rocky riverbed. We were in heaven!
So our route looked more like this:

I ate lunch and we climbed on rocks, ran through tall grass and destroyed some sticks. After about 90 minutes of Allis Park, we got back on the road and drove straight through to the Motel 6 in Cedar Rapids. 
The last time I stayed at this location, there had just been a major event. I learned that a guy had been stabbed and his room caught on fire. The fire destroyed a good portion of the building. And today I noticed that the entire building was gone. This was a huge, two story wing of rooms. Probably almost fifty rooms--now it was a patch of grass. I asked about it while I was checking in and the clerk told me that because it was rainy season when the damage occurred, it added to the destruction to the point that it was going to be too costly to repair, so they just tore it all down. 
It was time to do laundry but this location has no on-site facility, so we took a little trip to the Walmart Supercenter where we were told to find a laundromat.
While I was loading the washer with my clothes, River, waiting in the car, got into the ice chest that contained his next four days worth of food. He seemed pretty pleased with himself when I got back. I can't blame him or get upset when he does these things. I take responsibility for putting him in the situation and I give him a big hug and a scratch behind the ears for being a dog. Now I know to make that ice chest a little more difficult to get into while he's alone in the car. The good news is, he doesn't seem to mind being left alone anymore. I think he looks forward to me walking away and as soon as I'm out of sight, he's figuring out how to get more of that forbidden food. 

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