Days 19 and 20: Topeka, KS to St. Louis, MO to HOME

I forgot to write last night, so I’ll just combine yesterday and today into one blog, since there isn’t much to say about either day anyways.

Yesterday morning we got up at 4:15 and Dwayne walked next door to the gas station to get us a couple of breakfast sandwiches for breakfast because we didn’t want to take the time to go somewhere for breakfast, and the hotel didn’t serve until 6:30. He returned with two sandwiches labeled “Sausage, egg, and cheese croissant”. Upon opening them, I found that there was no egg, and the croissant was quite hard around the edges, but I suppose we should have known better than to trust gas station food. We tore off the hard parts and ate the middle parts with the sausage and cheese and said to heck with it. We left the hotel right around 5am and it was 81 degrees and extremely muggy.

By the time we got to Kansas City, the temperature had dropped down to 73, and it felt much better. We cruised right along, stopping once for gas about an hour from St. Louis, with nothing much to mention.

When we got to St. Louis, it was 86 degrees and we stopped by the Triumph Grill for brunch. When we arrived, there was a sign saying to see the bartender to be seated, so we stood and waited for a few minutes and no one came out to greet us, so we went ahead and seated ourselves, and finally someone other than our waitress came by and took our drink order. Our waitress eventually came by and told us she would be with us in a moment, that she was taking care of something real quick, and 5 minutes later she had not returned, so the gentleman who had took our drink order ended up taking our order and said that the waitress was taking care of an issue. I was starving at this point, and was starting to become annoyed by the lack of customer service.

I ordered an omelet with bacon, andouille, mushrooms, peppers, and onion, which came with toast and “breakfast potatoes”. The omelet was very good, the toast was toasted a bit darker than I would have liked, but it was fine, and the potatoes were essentially potatoes that had been roughly chopped and deep fried crispy, I was unimpressed by them and only ate a couple of bites. Dwayne got the french toast, which was good, but it was nothing special.

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All in all, I would say the food was decent, and the service was very lacking. The decor was fantastic, though, but the feel of the restaurant was that of a more upscale establishment, not really a place you would expect a bunch of motorcyclists to hang out, and I got the feeling that there are probably more business-types frequenting it than there are motorcyclists. I could be wrong though, it was 10:30am on a Saturday, so not a fair time frame to judge them by. I would have prefered to try their lunch or dinner menu over breakfast as well, but they didn’t start serving lunch until 11am, and we were too hungry to wait. I doubt I would go out of my way to eat there again, but if I were in the neighborhood I would probably give it another chance.

While we were there we also checked out the Moto Europa dealership that is attached to the restaurant, which sells Triumph, Ducati, and KTM. We needed some drain plug washers for the Tigers for their oil change when we get home, so we purchased some of those from them, and then they actually had the right-front turn signal for Tora that got busted when she fell over at the gas station the first day of the trip, so I went ahead and bought that so I can install it after she gets a proper bath.

Once we were done there, we rode the 16 miles to our hotel in Fairview Heights, and the heat had risen to 94 degrees. We were able to get a very early check-in after a 20 minute wait so we could get inside out of the heat and relax. We ended up having dinner at a local restaurant called Lotawata Creek right beside our hotel, and the portions were INSANE! The rolls were almost as big as your head (we split one, no way I could have eaten a whole one and still ate the food I ordered), and I got Creole Crab Stuffed Tilapia with corn and a baked potato, and Dwayne got the Seafood Combo with bbq baked beans and fries. When they brought the food out, I thought the tray contained our food and another tables food, but it turned out it was all for us. The entree’s were huge, and the sides were ridiculous. I got at least a full cup of corn, and a huge baked potato, and Dwayne had at least a full cup of beans, and an entire dinner plate full of fries. It had to have been at least 3 huge potatoes worth. He didn’t even eat a 1/4 of them. The food was extremely good, and we didn’t come close to finishing it all, but we were absolutely miserable afterward and ended up going back to the hotel and spending the rest of the night laying around watching baseball on tv before finally passing out about 10pm.

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This morning we woke up at 5am and we both had a quick clif bar for breakfast and hit the road. We stopped one time for gas right before Evansville, Indiana, but other than that we just made a bee-line for the house. We were home before noon, and the first thing we did was change the oil in the bikes. We ended up going to dinner with my parents for father’s day, and just to spend time with them since they had been worried the whole time we were gone, and then we came back to our house and showed them the pictures from our trip. So today was a good day, and it feels good to be home.

Our final breakdown for the trip was 7231 miles and 15 states, over the course of 20 days. It was an incredible trip, and I am so thankful and happy that we were able to do it, and that we made it the whole way safely, and with no mechanical or other issues. We were incredibly impressed with how the Tiger’s performed, and we couldn’t be happier with our decision to purchase them prior to this trip. I intend to do a blog post reviewing all of the upgrades and everything that we added to the bikes prior to the trip in a couple of days.

Thanks to all of you that followed along with our journey, it was so much fun keeping you all up to date and sharing our adventure with you. I will be continuing to write here whenever we get to ride, and you can bet there will be plenty more trips, though probably mostly short or day trips, throughout the riding season, so be sure to check back occasionally to see what we’ve been up to!

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