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Day 45: Oil Changes and Cracker Barrel

Thursday, July 15th, 2021

I wasn’t in a good place last night, I truly thought about quitting this whole thing. No one is holding me accountable but me…and yet, when I make a commitment, I truly want to make good on it. This is supposed to be fun, this is supposed to be an adventure, so why the gloom and doom sometimes? Well, I like being around people. It’s the social aspect that is hard for me when it is absent. I knew these two weeks in the Dakotas would be rough on me socially and mentally, but I am still going and I am still moving forward.  So with that anxiety attack behind me, I decided to make today a chill day.  I tucked Walter in before running off…he was most excited about the day off.

Muppet Walter

With driving so much across the Country, “Ellie”, my car, needs to be serviced every 6,000 miles with a high mileage oil change, tire inspection, fluid top offs, and overall “check” to make sure she is running clean.  With gas prices on the rise, it’s taking about $40 right now to fill the tank, and an occasional $12 car wash to remove all of the buggies who think they are getting a free ride.  I did have a nice conversation with the people at Valvoline who told me what else there was to do around here, very kind people in North Dakota thus far.   I then headed to “Cracker Barrel” to see if they had my potpourri that smelled SO GOOD in my car… Corey knows, he was in LOVE with it when I had it laying against his birthday card.  I walked in, realized I didn’t do my protein shake today, and was starving. So I took myself out to breakfast, and had me a “Me Party.”  It was glorious with my eggs and ham, hashbrown casserole, and sweet apples. It would have been better had they had my potpourri…no, not to eat, but for my car, and alas, they didn’t have the one I wanted.  I guess I will watch for another Cracker Barrel tomorrow or on the way to Montana on Monday.

Cracker Barrel Bismarck ND

Cracker Barrel Bismarck ND

Today I thought it would be fun to show you what “items” I use every day that are a GOD SAVE for me while I travel. Some are simple, most probably are I guess, but they are helping me keep my sanity.

  • My Power Strip
    • I learned many a trip ago, that hotels, especially older ones, don’t have enough outlets for the amount of things I need to charge every day. It has even helped at friend’s homes so I that I have everything I need plugged in. I used to not bring one and have to plug something in the bathroom, and behind the bed, then on the other side of the desk…it was annoying.

Power Strip for Hotels

  • My Blendjet
    • I bought this for myself with Kyra’s gift card I got at Christmas. I saw them on Facebook and thought “Hey, a personal blender for my trip, how perfect!”  I have used it for 7 months an counting now and I LOVE it!!! I keep all of my protein shake items in one bag, so I just grab that bag when moving from hotel to hotel.  It is battery operated but I like charging it more- and recently I had a cord issue and they are going to send me one to my home at no charge! I loved mine so much that I wound up buying a back up one “just in case.”


  • My Ice Cube Tray
    • What you say? Ok, I was walking around the Dollar Store in Florida before I left and I saw this tray in the picnic section for the summer. I thought “PERFECT!” I need smaller cubes for my Blendjet, even though it could handle the bigger ones, it wears down the blades so much faster the bulkier the stuff you put in.  What I LOVE about this tray is that it has a rubber bottom, so you just push the bottom out and they pop out of the top- genius! It’s easy to store and it DOES fit in the hotel freezers.

ice cube tray for travel

ice cube tray travel

  • My Packers Lanyard
    • OK, so it could be any lanyard, but I knew I needed one already at the start of my trip. When I get out at rest stops and such, I usually am grabbing my phone, my purse, and whatever else I don’t want seen in my car in those few minutes I am gone.  I was struggling holding onto my keys with everything else, and the lanyard is a nice reminder that they are safely with me at all times when I am not driving.

Green Bay Packers Lanyard

  • USB Tower
    • The easy fix for items that have a USB cord and it has adhesive on the bottom so it sticks right next to my bed. It has a warm blue light as well, a great night light when you need to grab something off of it. (Amazon)


  • The Vornado Fan
    • Ok, this one is one of my favorites. I sleep with a fan on at home, and I used to bring those cheap $10 fans that you put on your desk or under it, barely someone blowing on your face. Then I was at “Bed, Bath and Beyond” in TX visiting Mom in April, and I walked past the fans. The Vornado one was super quiet yet super strong- and it was true love. I like the air, but I also like it blocking out hotel noise, even though it isn’t crazy loud.  A HUGE thank you to Craig for this travel gift, it has been amazing!

Vornado Fan

  • The Pill Box
    • An obvious one for many, but I use it for my vitamins. I started taking a bunch to help with my health and migraines, and I love to organize, so I love putting 2 weeks worth at a time in it and not having to deal with all the bottles every day.


  • The Blue Bag
    • My dear friend in IL gave me this blue backpack for Walter to travel in when I go from place to place. As much as I LOVE carrying Walter, I fear what people are thinking of me, so I put him away and then he is just carried around until I need him.

Blue Bag

  • Poo-Pourri Spray
    • I, Amy, poop. Yes, shocker. I eat a LOT of spinach….I stay at people’s homes. I would like them to want me back…there ya go. It works. Thanks to Christa who supplied me this one since I didn’t have mine with me.

Poo-Pourri Spray

  • Tupperware
    • Ok, I have other real dishes, packed for more camping. Grabbing some of the cheaper Tupperware gives me the ability to microwave a bunch of stuff AND have bowls to eat out of. I just wash them out, use them for the week, toss them until the next hotel. I only rebuy if I have too.


  • My Coin Purse
    • Well, the makers of my Orange Bird Wallet didn’t believe in having a coin area, so I had to invest in one so I had somewhere to put my quarters for laundry at the hotels. I bought this one on this trip….I have a thing for “kindness.”

Kindness Coin Purse

  • My Blue Suitcase

My blank canvas to sticker galore with…I will use both sides and then save them for the next thing I can “adhere” too. It also carries 95% of the items I use in my room all week- I am a Master Packer…yes, you read that right.

Travel Stickers

And that’s most of my favorite items right now…I hope you are all having a wonderful Thursday, see you tomorrow!

****Side note, thanks to EVERYONE who have donated to my hard work. This is what I do for a living, and it is a passion for me, so tossing me a couple bucks below helps me SO MUCH with everything needed. If you can’t, please consider subscribing to the blog, LIKING the blog post, and sharing any content you enjoy– it helps me out SOOOO much! I love being able to bring you all these amazing places so that YOU can do them as well. I work mostly on donations so thanks again.


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