Tales of the dapperQ Road Trip: Kansas Style

It’s been about three weeks since I’ve taken the infamous road trip from Denver to Orlando. I’ve had plenty of time to write up my adventures, but for some reason I’ve stayed quiet. There is a part of me that is wondering why I have stayed quiet, yet there is the other side to me that knows I’m relishing in all the wonderful people I’ve communicated with and will be meeting. During the last few weeks, I’ve had amazing conversations with people. I’ve listened to their stories and looked through their pictures. Yes, I do a lot of strutting through Instagram as I’m fascinated with what people put out there.

Back to my road trip, looking at a map there really isn’t much out there near Denver. Lots of mountains, gigantic states that have more cows then people; makes you wonder how Louis and Clark (remember the game Oregon Trail game?) ever navigated through these states to map it out, because even Google has difficulty and will have you go through a mountain if you don’t tell it to take the toll roads!

The route I drove took me through Kansas, which I will say was several hours of lots of farmland. At one point I tried to get off the highway to find gas, which was a disaster as I ended up in a small town where there was a gas station but they didn’t take credit cards they only took cash AND of course the closest ATM was in the next town over, which was close to 20 miles away. This is when I realized I am not a country girl and would never survive.

Kansas2Caitlin (Lawrence, Kansas)

I landed in Lawrence, Kansas that evening to meet up with dapper extraordinaire Caitlin Ballard. Caitlin reached out to me with an offer that I couldn’t resist. Enticing me with nostalgia in a way that made me want more by the simple statements such as “… (Kansas) is a place where people fall in love with feminist theory, find the perfect tie in their dad’s closet, take a girl on a date to a terrible restaurant that seems like a fancy one, understand that being a gentleman is a lifestyle choice outside genetics.”

We met at the Bourgeois Pig, a small town bar with big city flair. The lights were dim, leaving just enough light to see the person in front of you but not the details, which is fine as this meet up needed to feel like old friends around the fire sharing their stories. Caitlin sat down with a beer in hand and flashed a smile. She told me of her experiences growing up, finding her way into the corporate world and settling down with her beautiful wife, Anna Louise Hoard.

Kansas1Anna and Caitlin (Lawrence, Kansas)

I could go on and on about this meeting that felt like an evening out with an old friend, but I’d rather show you some pictures that Caitlin and Anna were so nice to share.  As this was the first meet up on my dapperQ road trip, I was left very satisfying and fulfilled and wanting more – wanting to continue my trips to meet new people, see new areas, hear about their experiences and how they navigated their journey into their own personal dapperQ style.

As I mentioned earlier, I am working on my tan in Orlando, which means I’m near Disney. And Disney does this amazing thing called Gay Days This year it is May 28th- June 3rd. If anyone is going or is interested in going please let me know, email me at [email protected]! And of course, if anyone has any great idea’s for road trips or just areas I need to see, I am still willing to travel!

Thank you Caitlin for inviting me to spend some time with you in Kansas!

tara jae

About the author:

tara jae has resigned to her wanderlust feelings, throwing caution to the wind as she finds inspiration and motivation to finish her doctorate. A creative soul looking for the next adventure, she welcomes any distraction that allows her to procrastinate from the realities of academia.
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