A vegan, her husband and two cats go on a road trip…

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by JL Fields on November 28, 2012

Greetings from St. Louis!  We are at the half-way point of our cross-country move to Colorado Springs and so far so good! But let me back up.

The movers were scheduled to arrive at 8:00 a.m. Monday. We hired them to do a full pack.  One person showed up at 8:30.  Another at 10:30 and a third at 3:00 p.m.   Yeah, that four-hour pack and load didn’t happen. Nine hours later our belongings were packed

(Um, that’s only half of my kitchen boxed up!)

and loaded onto the truck.  We were five hours behind schedule.  We packed the car, cats and all,

with a plan to drive as far as possible. We had dinner in the car (Whole Foods vegan “chicken” salad sandwich wrap and a banana for me). We left during rush hour in metro-NYC, so we didn’t get too far. Nearly eight hours and only 400 miles behind us, we stopped at midnight in a small town in Pennsylvania. It was a Ramada, they took cats, it was a pretty gross room. The cats were freaked (and Ernie found a gross spot on the carpet that he kept rolling in…..eww…).  No pictures to save you from it all.

We woke up early to get the hell out of that hotel and the minute we were in the car our spirits were high and we were ready to get back on track.  This vegan scone from Whole Foods and cup of coffee from the Kroger in West Virginia helped.

We hit the road and covered many miles.

We ate lunch in the car again, another wrap sandwich with a side of baby carrots, and suddenly we were in St. Louis, just as planned! 

We checked into the downtown Omni and let’s just say the cats arrived in style.

They were rolled into the festive hotel lobby by the bell hop.

I took a hot bath, put on pajamas at 5:00 p.m., ordered a bottle of wine from room service, and Dave headed out to pick up our carry-our dinner from Sen Thai Bistro. I had the Cashew Nut Noodles, hold the eggs, add the tofu.

So good!

Then we slept 11 hours.  You read that right.

We woke up to very happy and comfortable kitties.

Ernie, the adventure cat, found a way to crawl commando and cram his 14.5 pound body under the end table while CK assumed her rightful place on my lap to update her Facebook.

We just ordered breakfast from room service (steel-cut oats made with water and served with a side of soy milk) and soon we will begin day three of the four-day road trip.

We are opting for a shorter drive day – five hours – so that we can stay in a decent hotel tonight.  Tomorrow we’ll drive the final eight – nine hours and should be in our new place in Colorado Springs tomorrow night!

I’ll conclude with this vegan road trip tip.  We shopped at our local Whole Foods in New York Sunday night to get a few things for the road “just in case” finding vegan options would be tough for me. We picked up a couple of vegan scones, whole wheat wraps, vegan “chicken” salad, granola bars, baby carrots, apples, bananas and protein bars.  Today we’ll shop at the Whole Foods in St. Louis on our way out of town and do they same thing – we will have all the food we need in the car for that long, final stretch of I-70 through Kansas and Colorado tomorrow.

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  • http://twitter.com/theurbanvegan theurbanvegan

    What a journey! I am impressed with how well the kittens are faring, but am very upset that CK declined my friend request ;)

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      @twitter-16015517:disqus CK won’t accept mine, either! ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/kat.m.mendenhall Kat Moss Mendenhall

    Sounds like an adventure! Continue to have safe travels.

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      @facebook-752430358:disqus Thank you!

  • Sarah E.

    Fantastic post, JL. I really love the way you’ve brought us along with you on this journey. I’ve always wondered how vegans do really long road trips. I’ve done a few 14-hour ones with Courtney and we’ve always ended up relying on coconut water bought at gas stations–now I see the planning involved, and it’s inspiring! I’ve also been curious about how cats and other companion animals fare on long journeys. Great to see how you’ve managed to keep the little ones pretty happy! Wishing you a glorious arrival in CO! xoxo <333

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      Sarah, Thank you and thanks for the reminder that coconut water is a great thing to add to the cooler!

  • Elisa Camahort Page

    Your cats are cool as cucumbers! One of my tricks for travel is to buy packages of different nuts. So even if all I can get to eat is a boring green salad, I can toss on my nuts and make sure to get some protein and a more satiating meal.

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      @google-3d8820330776a726672ec15a6fd53c2f:disqus We are so relieved about the cats! Nuts are a great suggestion for travel. I have hemp seeds in the cooler and they have made my salads a little more special! :)

  • Bianca

    Wow! Good luck with the rest of the trip! Driving that far sucks! But at least you’ll be home when you get there … instead of having to make the same drive back.

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      Bianca, GREAT point! When we arrive, we’re done! Whew!

  • Ilana

    My husband and I did a move from Baltimore to Chicago – also with 2 cats. We got the biggest dog crane that would fit in our car (Mini Cooper!) so that they could be together and walk around. They still meowed the whole damn way! Hopefully your cats were a little less annoying. Stopping at Whole Foods along the way in a great idea. Starbucks and Au Bon Pain have oatmeal in the am and Potbelly’s and Panera have Mediterranean sandwiches. We also try to bring as much food with us as possible, which is less expensive too. Sounds like you’re having fun!

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      @makingveganwork:disqus We are very lucky – not one single meow from the cats when they are in the car! We bought a large dog crate to use in the hotel but turns out we haven’t needed it. They aren’t hiding – they sleep on the bed with us …just like at home ;) You are so right, we have saved lots of money by eating from the cooler (and we’ve saved time on the drive)!

  • http://twitter.com/thatwasvegan Barb

    VERY smart to stock up before you hit Kansas. There are a few vegan places in the Eastern part of the state, but once you you’re past Topeka I think you’re on your own. And there’s NADA on the eastern plains of CO. We used to drive back and forth between COS and Hays a couple times a year, and I’d always do good until (on the way back) I’d have to stop at the big truck stop where you get off I70 @ Limon for twizzlers and fritos :)

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      @twitter-464809434:disqus Today we tackle that I-70 stretch and I found an awesome sandwich from Whole Foods yesterday so I”m ready! :)

  • http://twitter.com/carrieonvegan Carrie

    Safe travels, JL! Alan and I have to transport our cats for 300 miles between our two residences fairly often and I know it can be stressful. Sounds like it is going okay overall, though. The worst is when one of our cats starts meowing and then the other chimes in so it sounds like this: “meow,” “meow,” “me-owwwww, “me-owwwwwwwww!!!” :)

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      @twitter-120620364:disqus Thanks! I know that sound – our cat Matisse (no longer with us) meowed the entire drive from Chicago to New York…unpleasant!

  • http://bite-sized-thoughts.blogspot.com/ Kari

    What an amazing journey – such a long way! – but hopefully the worst is over now and at least it sounds like your first night of accommodation will be by far the worse. Safe travels for the rest :)

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      @bitesizedthoughts:disqus Thanks and yes, the majority of the miles are behind us! Excited to get “home”!

  • http://twitter.com/RickiHeller Ricki Heller

    Sorry about that rocky start–but so glad you are back on track (and that you got a luxurious sleepover in the hotel, finally, and the cats were pampered, too!). Your planning and yummy vegan road trip meals are inspiring, too. And I can’t wait to see the pics from the new place! Enjoy the tail end of the journey–you are almost there! Yay!! :) xo

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      Planning really mattered in this case – so thankful for Whole Foods! :)

  • Megan

    Thanks for the post, I feel like I am on the journey. Best of luck with the rest of it. May it be smooth.. You two could write a travel book..

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      Thanks, Megan!

  • http://twitter.com/veganricha Richa

    wow. thats one long trip with the cats:) we have done super long road trips in our pre-dog days. i cant imagine my pom being happy in the car for too long. after 3 or so hours. he promptly will get super bored and barky and we will have to play a half hour game of fetch:)
    safe travels.

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      @twitter-137242907:disqus , we were definitely worried and, by the last day, the oldest cat was a little over it. She game me lots of dirty looks in the final hours :)

  • Fran@BCDC

    I’m familiar with that stretch of road. We live in NJ but make trips out to New Mexico which will be our home, hopefully in 2013. Can’t wait. Travel safe!

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      @37254f3d08a97046fcec5edcfd23c999:disqus , NM! That’s exciting!

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