A Travellerspoint blog

Day 6: Kansas City - Borger, TX

That's right folks, we didn't make it to Amarillo.

sunny 100 °F

We were sad to be left by a beloved crewmember, and even sadder that he had to be at the KC airport at an ungodly early hour.

But now, after getting some decent sleep for the first time in days, we set off to interview a repo man named Anthony to learn some of his secrets for finding people who don’t want to be found.

Then we talked with Shauna’s aunt and uncle about how Shauna was named, what she was like growing up, and what it was like for them to watch her grow, especially in the tough family situation that Shauna describes.

We ate some KC BBQ at Jack Stack, and literally ran into a clown convention at the BBQ joint. We mean it. Seriously. We have video. They were such nice little old lady clowns.

Then in Kansas, just outside of Wichita, we got sucked into a Best Buy for the 15th time. We FINALLY got the club card. What did we buy this time? 2 TB of memory. Exciting. Also, we had to explain that Washington, DC, is not, in fact, in Washington state. Shame on you, Wichita public schools. Unlike you, we believe that children are our future.

Back in the car, we drove like hell for Texas, ending up only making it as far as the lovely Borger by 2am. Which, we realize, is not quite Amarillo, but better there than sleep-driving.

Finally, we also changed New Rhonda’s name to New Vanna, as we head closer to Los Angeles. Like any aspiring actress, "Vanna," is aging quickly - we've already added 3300 miles - and is remaking her image with a new stage name before arriving in LA and meeting the WoF crew.

Posted by luckiestshauna 19:58 Archived in USA Tagged texas kansas theluckiestshauna the_luckiest_shauna kansas_city wichita borger best_buy repo_man Comments (0)

Days 4 & 5: Cedar Rapids - Dubuque - Waterloo - Kansas City

Family! Casinos! Music! KWWL!

We started the morning with an interview of Shauna's sister, Jessica, and her niece, Kaylea, who was given a part of Shauna's name. She's also been called punky, piglet, kiki, and lovey.
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Then on to Dubuque, IA, to interview dealers and managers at the Diamond Jo Casino to get their thoughts on luck.
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While there, we also interviewed Shauna's brother, Ross, at the Dubuque Star brewery and bought some squeaky cheese curds. Made a brief foray into Wisconsin to just touch soil.
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Drive back to Cedar Rapids to meet with local businessman and city booster, John Schnipkoweit, at a meet-up at Parlor City in an emerging Cedar Rapids neighborhood called NewBo.

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Next day in Cedar Rapids, trying to get local ABC affiliate KCRG to meet with us. No luck. We then met with local film genius and social entrepreneur Andy Stoll to discuss movie options. And took in the CR sights some.

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Then on to Waterloo for an interview with KWWL before heading to a party at Francy Pants in Des Moines, IA, which hosted a party for the movie crew to meet fans there. Then on to Kansas City for the night and a few crazy interviews there. More on that tonight!
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Posted by luckiestshauna 07:38 Archived in USA Tagged iowa meetups waterloo des_moines kwwl cedar_rapids the_luckiest_shauna francy_pants Comments (0)

Day 3: Chicago - Moline, IL - Cedar Rapids, IA

Heading across farm country, homeward bound!

We picked up a third crew member in Chicago early on Wednesday morning, and after a quick morning interview with friend and fan Kevin and after paying close to $5000 in downtown parking (thank god we made the Kickstarter goal!), we hit the road, Iowa-bound!

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Stopped in Moline, IL - well, we toured the entire Quad cities, i.e., Davenport and Bettendorf, IA, and Rock Island and Moline, IL, not only trying to find a "Welcome to Iowa" sign but also in search of the John Deere Pavilion. There we explored Shauna's roots, reminded of the summers she spent in the fields. After briefly playing around on the tractors, the crew hopped back into New Rhonda, heading to Iowa.

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One more pitstop! The World's Largest Truck stop on I-80 before getting to Cedar Rapids, IA, where Shauna grew up. There we interviewed her dad and took in local sites like the Irish Democrat and the Hy-Vee to sample some delicious Midwestern culinary treats, like cheesy wontons and fruit pizza. Mmm, so good to be home.

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Posted by luckiestshauna 06:58 Archived in USA Tagged cities chicago iowa john quad deere phil collins Comments (1)

Day 2: Toronto - Emmet, MI - Chicago!

Driving Ms. Daisy

While Shauna slept, whining that she might be dying from some unknown illness, Mike drove all the way from Toronto to Chicago, but not before racking up several hundred dollars (US!) in international data roaming fees. (How's Canada INTERNATIONAL?! Thanks AT&T for making that all go away!) Oh, and the Canadian border guards are much nicer and more personable. ;)

Because of some changes in fans' schedules, the TLS crew decided to head West from Toronto through Canada on a bunch of roads named 400. We then crossed back into the US at Sarnia/Port Huron instead of through Buffalo, NY, and going around Lake Erie through Ohio. Sorry Lake Erie, but Lake Superior!

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The first stop was for breakfast at the Main Street diner in Emmet, Mi. After a delicious mess of fried potatoes and chocolate chip pancakes (somehow the eggs ended up on top!), we were back on the road, hurtling toward Chicago.

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We scooted into Chicago with ease and were welcomed by extreme mugginess (thank goodness for New Rhonda's seat coolers!) that later turned into an amazing electrical storm, the kind only the Midwest can conjure. We set up shop for our evening meet-up at Cortland's Garage, and interviewed Shauna's brother, Chad, and a host of other fans before calling it a night.

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As always, New Rhonda got us there in comfort and style, and despite the mean-street-y-ness of Chicago, continues to have her amazing chrome rims. Check out her new Facebook fanpage.

Posted by luckiestshauna 00:00 Archived in USA Tagged skylines toronto chicago mi pancakes emmet meetups diners cortland's Comments (0)

Day 1: DC - Syracuse - Alfred, NY - Toronto

Long, exciting first day!


View The Luckiest Shauna Movie - Across the US! on luckiestshauna's travel map.

We started out, crazily enough, pulling out of DC at 1am to make our 9am interview in Syracuse, NY. Mike drove for HOURS, getting us to Binghamton, NY, in time for daybreak over many a no-longer-used factory or decrepit x/y/z. Gorgeous, if you're a photography and urban planning duo.

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After a few delicious, blueberry-flavored coffees, we walked around the block a few times, zeroing in on Syracuse's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

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We then climbed up to the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture to interview its director, Bob Thompson. Thompson was awesome, drawing connections to reality TV and gameshows, tracing the popularity of gameshows in American culture since their inception in the 1950's, and giving us a peek into the psychology behind the shows. Fantastic interview. And tons of amazing TV memorabilia to marvel at!

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We stopped by Atonement Lutheran church across town to interview the girl with two silent "j's" in her name, Kjersten. (We'll let you guess where that second J is.)

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On to Alfred, flying along the hilly roads of the Finger Lakes region of NY, sadly without stopping to sample some of the delicious wine the region has to offer. Lunch in Alfred with fans and friends Lee, Elisabeth, and their beautiful daughter, Ilona.

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Final destination - Toronto, ON. That's Canada, people. We arrived to a hero's welcome, a delicious vegetarian dinner and way too much bourbon. Meeting up with Spookey Ruben was postponed, but the get-together with fans went on.

Overall, we racked up about 739 miles in 13 hours + border crossing. Thank god for the comfort and chill of our generously-donated Lincoln MKX, lovingly referred to as New Rhonda. That girl travels in style, with huge, chromed out rims, sweet leather seats, and all sorts of amazing features that took most of those 13 hours to figure out. More on her in the next posts ;)

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Posted by luckiestshauna 18:12 Archived in USA Tagged churches toronto university bob lincoln documentary alfred names fortune cross-country syracuse thomposon mkx Comments (1)

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