Traveling 1,257 Miles with a Car and a Cat

Driving from Kansas City to Syracuse with a Caravan 

Day 1: Driving East

A week ago I set out with my boyfriend, Carp, on a roadtrip from Kansas City, MO to Syracuse, NY. We were moving to Syracuse to pursue learning in environmental communications, immigrant rights and criminal justice reform. We packed our apartment up into a cargo van which my parents agreed to drive across the country like the saints that they are. We left a day earlier than my parents though, because we were taking my old 1999 Saturn car with a pretty big cat named Francis inside and two bikes hanging onto the trunk.

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We stopped in Colombia for lunch, and brought Francis with us because of the heat advisory. He sat in his little box while we ate bread bowls, and we gave him a few spoonfuls of hummus as a treat.

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We had planned to just drive five hours a day all the way to New York, to give my car a bit of a break during the trip. But once we were five hours down the road and passing through St. Louis with, we decided to keep on going. Maybe it was the smell of the litter box in the back seat that motivated us. We arrived in Lexington late that night, took Francis for a walk in the moonlight on his leash, and then went to bed.

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Day 2: Lexington, KT

We woke up that morning and got Francis situated, and then we went and got some coffee. My parents arrived in Lexington a little after noon, and we went to a library book sale, and then to an Indian food restaurant where we all shared beautiful curried dishes with rice and naan. After dinner we met up with my brother’s girlfriend, Kate, and we drove out into the country to meet my parents’ family friends: Joan and Dan.

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Arriving at Joan and Dan’s beers were placed in our hands, and we all went outside on the back porch to talk. Carp and I went for a quick kayak ride (beers in tow) and then we came back to the group to finish the night with a raccoon sighting, lots of laughter, and finally, the unavoidable politics conversations. We ended the night with a box of Little Caesars’ pizza, and another moonlight walk with Francis.

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Day 3: Driving North 

The next morning we all met up for a lovely brunch of scrambled eggs with peppers and onions along with cantaloupe, french toast, and coffee. My parents put candles in two donuts and we sang happy birthday to my brother and Kate, who have birthdays in the coming weeks.

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The rest of the day we drove, and 12 hours later we were in New York. The ride was long, but Francis had become a great road cat and was using his litter box like a star when he wasn’t sleeping. We got a beer in Fredonia, NY and toured Carp’s college town, and then headed on to Rochester where we spent the night at his Mom’s.

Day 4: Rochester, NY

The next day we woke up to coffee and breakfast, and took a hike with Carp’s mom and her husband and daughter. We got covered in mud, and came home to rinse off and eat lunch. Later that night my parents arrived with the cargo van in Rochester, and we all ate New York pizza together with strawberry shortcake for dessert.

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I couldn’t believe my car made it to New York!

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Day 5: Syracuse/Rochester NY

The next morning we drove to Syracuse and met Carp’s dad there to help us move into the coop. We were not able to move into our room yet, so we stacked all of our boxes in the living room, and then headed back to Rochester.

In Rochester we went to Genessee Brewery and enjoyed the view with a drink in hand.

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After, we met up with Carp’s dad’s girlfriend, and we all had the famous Rochester “garbage plates” in Dogtown. A garbage plate is a huge meal of homefries, mac salad, your choice of meat (or veggie option) topped with chili and cheese and drizzled with mustard and onions. It was amazing. Ironically, it was only the people from Kansas who were able to finish their plates that night! I was delicious, and a lot of fun.

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That night we went back to Carp’s dad’s home, and made a campfire and sat around and talked into the evening. We set up tents in the backyard, and had a nice night of camping.

Day 6: Syracuse, NY

The next morning around 5 am, my parents packed up their tent, and gave me and Carp hugs goodbye.

Love you and thank you so much for moving me in, my beautiful parents!

I fell back asleep after they got on the road, and they actually made it all the way back to Kansas City that night! 1500 miles in one day- that’s my gypsy parents for you.

When I woke up again, Carp, his dad and I all went to the lake to have bagels and coffee for breakfast with a view. Soon after, we packed up one more time, and headed to Syracuse again.

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When we first arrived at the coop around noon, our room still wasn’t ready- so we treated ourselves. We got spinach, bean and cheese burritos at a kick ass local restaurant down the street, and we each had a beer. After, we made our way to the local coffee shop which is also a three minute walk from our home, and we sipped our coffee while we got roped into a strange conversation with a local about her vision of the coming apocalypse. We parted ways, and headed back to the coop around four, and found our room ready to start moving into.

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We spent a good part of the night moving into the room, and were pleasantly surprised at how easily it all fit in. Finally around nine at night we made our way down to the kitchen to grab the beer my brother had sent us from Kentucky, and our housemates joined us in finishing off the six pack while we talked about food preferences, chores, coop life and structure.

Day 7: Syracuse, NY

The next morning we woke up, and finally began to feel settled in, and started to get rid of the hangover that travel seems to give you. Our housemates fixed us a lovely breakfast of oatmeal with maple syrup, coconut and cacao pieces. Then later Carp and I hit up the burrito place one more time for morale. I’m posted up at the coffee shop again currently, trying to soak up this beautiful air conditioning- since our house doesn’t have AC- until the sun goes down. All in all it’s been a week of changes, and I’m thankful for everyone who has helped me get here.

Love you all!

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