Trouble Sleeping, A Car Accident, & Vegan Bratwurst – Tulsa, OK
September 19, 2012
SLEEPING IN A VAN ISN’T ALWAYS PUPPIES & DAISIES
I had another dream last night about someone driving off with Gerty while I’m still inside. This may be the third or fourth dream I’ve had that involves someone knocking on a window while I’m asleep and me trying to figure out if I should pretend that no one is inside or try to quickly drive away…running over their toes.
I guess you can’t blame my brain. I mean, as I was falling asleep last night I was having these visions of someone harassing me as I drive off, calling 911 and trying to explain where I was, what I was doing, and that someone was after me. Eesh!
The last severals months I’ve had a lot of restless sleep. It comes and goes. When I stay at a friend’s house along my journeys I usually fall asleep okay. And when I have someone on the road with me I sleep like a rock. But when I’m alone my subconscious insists on provoking some of my deepest road trip related fears while I’m asleep. I’ve also been in a lot of physical pain lately. When I was in Houston I caught a cold which first presented itself in the form of a fever, achy muscles, and fatigue. A few days later it transitioned into a sore throat. A few days after that it turned into a cough that I just haven’t been able to shake. I’ve been coughing several times an hour – sometimes violently – for over two weeks now. As a result I believe I pulled or strained some intercostal muscles. I haven’t been to a doctor yet but any time I cough, sneeze, laugh, or blow my nose it feels like a thousand tiny knives are being driven through my ribcage and over my heart. I could be fooling myself but I think it’s getting better. I can breathe a little more comfortably. So that’s helpful. And I’m coughing less frequently, which will enable my body to heal quicker.
Back to the sleep thing – I don’t have a history of problems related to sleep. I have always had a hyper active mind (self-diagnosed ;) which would sometimes cause me to wake up at odd hours and write down business ideas or something like that. But once I jotted down whatever woke me up I could fall right back to sleep.
Aside from the dreams I am also unable to fall asleep until 3Am or so. It’s probably a combination of things: worried about what will happen if/when I do finally fall asleep; thinking about the things I have to get done the next day (where I’m going, what I need to write, who I need to contact, shipping bumper stickers, etc.), and making plans for the end of the trip party, what I’ll do once the trip is over, and so on; and everything in between. Aside from the restless mind, which I think has caused insomnia on some level, I also am usually on my computer or phone until I put my head on the pillow. From what I learned after watching Sleep Walk With Me (great movie, btw), we should spend at least an hour “unplugging” before bed (turn off the computer, phone, and any other distractions), to let our minds wind down. I definitely don’t do this.
Enough dream talk… let’s get to the day, shall we? :)
WAKE UP, K-snazz
As it turned out I didn’t end up sleeping on the side street, next to that coffee shop, last night. When I came back out to van the street was pretty empty in terms of cars so I was worried that I shouldn’t be parked there, despite no signage stating otherwise. Therefore I ended up driving to nearby Walmart which I think kind of made my sleeping situation worse. This particular Walmart was has a super teeny parking lot. I kept getting up to check cars around and make sure no one snooping. Eventually I heard loud, giant, parking lot cleaner come in. I’m used to those waking me up at 5AM but this one started at 1AM. I also had to break out the sleeping bag around 5am. It was the first chilly night in months, low 50’s.
Since I didn’t get to sleep until sometime around 3AM I ended waking up around 7, then back to sleep until 8, then back to sleep until 9ish. This is a relatively new pattern that’s developed since sleeping in the van more often than before. I had to force myself awake anyway because by the time 9AM rolled around the temps were rising and the van was getting to warm inside, for comfort.
As far my cold goes, I was doing really well when I first woke up. I thought for sure I might get through the whole day without coughing but before I got out of bed to prep the van for departure I started hacking away. ::sigh:: Either the pulled muscle is feeling better or I’m just becoming more tolerant of it. I ended up having severe coughing attacks throughout the entire day. Again.
I really liked the coffee shop I was at and had at least an hour before either restaurant opened. So I went back to that coffee shop and locked in the same sweet parking spot I had last night. But by the time I arrived there it was way too hot inside of the van to hang out and work so I went inside and ordered a water and a mocha (knowing full well I can’t have caffeine on an empty stomach or I’ll get the shakes). I had a sip or two of the latte and finished the bottle of water as I began working again on part 2 of the Louisville, KY blog post. It was nearly ready by 11:30 but I was starting to feel hungry since I hadn’t had anything to eat yet, and I wanted to give my eyes a rest, then revisit for a once over before publishing.
Fortunately one of the two restaurants on my list was only a ten minute walk from the coffee shop. I slung my new Pansy Maiden purse over my shoulder and hit the unseasonably cool streets for lunch.
On my way to the restaurant I heard what sounded like a light collision and then a woman scream. As I continued on I saw that a small car had been side swiped by a big truck. The passenger side door of the car opened and a very pregnant woman rolled out. Holy. Eff. People were already swarming and neither vehicle was terribly damaged. But I’m guessing this woman was in the final stages of her pregnancy and I’m sure any quick and unexpected bumps like that is never good news. Another woman rushed out of the car, behind the pregnant lady, and she ran over to the men who got out of the truck, and started yelling loudly in their faces.
I felt sick to my stomach even though I knew everyone would be okay. But I felt sick because this is the fourth car accident I’ve heard and/or witnessed in four weeks. I heard and saw the results of one in Houston (this one looked pretty bad, both vehicles were pretty banged up, two in Austin (one mild side swipe – both parties seemed okay and were amicable; the other was a guy who got hit by a car while driving his Vespa. I didn’t see him get up), and now this one in Tulsa. I fear that I’m somehow creating these collisions. So unusual.
A few minutes later I arrived at Cafe Samana, which was recommended by a small handful of you. Thanks! :)
These days I tend to lean toward menu items that I’ve never heard of or had before. So even though the Reuben was suggested by more than one of you, I had to go with the Vegan Brat. I think I’ve had one too many of “the best rueben ever” reubens. So it was time for something new. :)
Cafe Samana – Vegetarian & Vegan
3807 South Peoria St.
Tulsa, OK 74105
This place is quaint and the servers were kind. The menu appeared to be completely vegetarian (though they used to serve Tuna – doesn’t look like it anymore according to a note on the menu) with a decent selection of vegan items. Despite being a vegan-labeled dish the Vegan Brat Sandwich does come with bread that contains honey. Thankfully this is listed on the menu. So I asked them if they could sub out for another bread.
The sandwich was made up of two halved Field Roast bratwursts, sauerkraut, stone ground mustard, and Daiya on toasted bread. I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting but this did the job, filled me up. I actually was thrilled with my side which was asparagus bundles – it was two bundles of about three spears held together with a piece of chard. The presentation was adorable and the flavor was quite good. The spears came with a dollop of lemony hummus which was also very delicious. At some point I remember thinking how it was interesting that the restaurant created a side, using asparagus and some creativity, to create some of the best asparagus I’ve ever had, and then let the more complex and unique dish (the vegan brat) be the lesser impressive of the two items on my plate. Regardless, the meal was filling and the service was nice.
After lunch I walked the same few blocks back to the coffeehouse. The police and ambulance had arrived on the scene of the accident by now. I saw the non-pregnant of the two woman, from the smaller vehicle, going in and out of the ambulance while on her phone. That made me think that her pregnant friend must be inside. The other men were talking to some cops.
I entered Shades of Brown and saw a new set of faces, but some were the same as when I left. The same woman took my order but this time I asked for one of their seasonal specials: the Mayan Mocha (dark chocolate, cayenne, and almond milk). I found a comfortable table by one of the windows and opened my computer, plugged in the cables, the external hard drive, and my phone; re-opened WordPress and began reviewing the post in more detail. It took another hour or more before I was satisfied with the post. I read it over maybe three or four times, finding minor spelling or grammatical errors and correcting each one. I’m certain I’ve missed a couple. I usually do. Or at least, I think I do until I start writing the next post.
From start (editing, saving, resizing, uploading photos) to finish (reworking the tiniest details) this post took about 3 to 5 hours to complete. That’s my average time. I’ve figured it out and depending on the length of the post and the number of pictures, it can take anywhere from 3 to 6 hours per post, sometimes longer. That’s a good chunk of one day when I’ve got eating and driving to do too. But I love it nonetheless. :)
I added in the keywords for Google, selected the categories that the post falls under so that WordPress knows how to store it (and how to make it searchable for readers), changed the title once or twice, and then hit the publish button. I then shared it via Twitter and Facebook. Huge sigh of relief. Another one down… how many more to go until I’m all caught up.. let’s have a look… if I break Ohio into 2 or 3 posts, Michigan into 2 or 3, combine Ontario and Wisconsin into 1, Minnesota would be 1, Iowa would be 1, Missouri will probably be 2, Arkansas and Mississippi can be put together into 1, Louisiana will be 1 or 2, and then Texas will be… oh gosh, about 6 separate posts. So that leaves us with ::calculating:: anywhere from 16 to 20 posts that I have yet to write so that would be roughly 80-100 hours of writing. Awww yeah, I got this. ::silently weeps to self:: .. just kidding. Sort of. :)
Okay. Moving along. What else did I do today…
Right, so after I published and shared the post about Louisville, KY – pt 2 I checked my email accounts, poked around on Facebook, liked some photos on Instagram and then decided to find a camping store so I could buy a new Go-Girl. I found a nearby camping store and ended up purchasing two Go-Girls (one for my mom – she’s joining me in about a week!), a first-aid kit (surprisingly I don’t have one with me. Weird right? But for some reason I felt compelled to get one. I think it has something to do with wanting to make sure I’ve got everything covered for when my mom joins me), and a pair of ExOfficio travel pantaloons.
I’ve heard about these “travel panties” before but never thought to give them a try. They’re really neat because you can wash ’em in a sink and they dry super quickly. They’re also supposed to be more durable than traditional undergarments, they’re odor resistant, moisture wicking, and quick drying after a wash. And apprently you can wear them up to 12 days at a time before needing to wash them. TMI? Haha… for those who want to know more, or what I think of them, email me. I won’t put all our readers through the awkwardness of talking about underwear quality. ;)
JUST KEEP SWIMMING
After my stop at the camping store I realized that I missed my chance to visit the other restaurant on my list because they close at 3 (THREE!). I wasn’t in the mood for more writing, and my side was killing me, so I decided to do the only thing that I know of that would simultaneously distract me from my pain while also giving my brain a rest from the swirly swirl that it regularly endures – I went to go see Finding Nemo 3D. Dang, that’s a good movie. I didn’t pick up on this the first time I saw it, but some of the characters repeat the phrase “fish are friends, not food” several times throughout the movie. Interesting. Was that your doing, Ellen? ;)
Once having my fill of feel-good I checked Yelp! for nearby veggie-friendly restaurants. I found this place called The Tropical. According to Yelp! it’s a vegetarian/vegan pan asian style restaurant. When I got there I was a little saddened to find fish on the menu but they did have a vegetarian section with clearly labeled vegan items. So I stuck with it.
I ordered a spicy tofu vegetable mix of sorts. It was pretty good!
Full and a bit tired I used Google Maps to locate the nearest Walmart Supercenter (they’re usually open 24 hours so that makes me feel more secure). I parked Gerty, closed her up for the night, set up the little fan, cracked a few windows, and reopened my computer to recount today’s happenings. Hey! Hi! I’m writing here, right now! How cool! ;)
It’s quarter to 10 and I feel pretty popped. I think I’ll see if my MiFi is charged yet, browse around social media, maybe watch the beginning of Terminator and then TRY to go to sleep. Wish me luck and I’ll see/write you tomorrow! :) xo