Vacation – Day 1

Jonathon Fleig
Jonathon Fleig

This year’s vacation was in Las Vegas. We usually go there every two years to visit Lee and Michelle, Cindy’s son and his wife. This year there is also Wyatt, our newest grandson. But more about them in later posts. This year we made a road trip to and from. Most years we fly there, but all you get to see on those trips is the routes to and from airports, and the interior of airports and airplanes. Driving adds more layers to the vacation. For me, the journey has always been as much, or more fun than the destination. You miss so much when you fly over rather than travel on the land.

Having said those things about travel, most of the first day was boring because we got on an Interstate highway so we could pile up miles in order to allow us to dawdle through more interesting areas.

The first day’s drive was so boring that I didn’t get any useable photos that day. We spent our first night in Emporia, Kansas. Do you want to hear more kvetching before I get to the good part? Of course you do.

We had heard from an unnamed source, Cindy’s daughter, that we should use© to book a room in advance. She is wise in the ways of modern travel. So once we had decided that we would drive as far as Emporia, Cindy got on her smart phone and tried to maneuver the© website. She had problems. I was offered her phone to try since the battery on mine had died earlier that afternoon. I was marginally more successful. I found Emporia, added some criteria (3 star or above, WiFi, etc.), chose a Motel 6© only because Cindy likes them, filled in the personal stuff, including credit card info, and hit MAKE BOOKING or whatever that button said. Nothing happened. I hit the button again. Nothing happened. I handed the phone to Cindy and said, “Nothing happened.” She looked at my entries and said that I hadn’t entered our home state in the address. I said that the pull down menu pulled nothing down, but I had entered the ZIP code, so any good website could locate the town. Cindy found Indiana on a menu (I know not how) and hit the button. Nothing happened.

So, we drove to Emporia, found the Motel 6© and I trotted in to register. The woman at the counter quoted a price for the room. I told her that while we tried to book through© we had been unable to complete the booking, and I told her the price that had been listed ($7 dollars less). She told me that© shouldn’t quote such a price because Motel 6© makes no exceptions on their prices. It was late, and I didn’t want to get into the middle of an argument between© and Motel 6©. I asked if I needed a password to use the Wi-Fi. She told me that there was no Wi-Fi. Of course.© had lied again.

So, let’s get to the good part. Cindy and I were tired and hungry. We didn’t want to spend time searching for a locally owned restaurant, which is usually our first choice. There was an Applebee’s© in sight when we left Motel 6© for dinner. (This is where things get really good). We sat down and ordered. As we were eating, music started. My ears pricked up because it sounded like an early Dylan song, but one that I hadn’t heard before. It was just an acoustic guitar and a lone singer. As I said, it sounded something like Bob Dylan. I glanced up and looked over by the bar, and there was a slender bearded man playing an acoustic guitar and singing. He was very good. I called Cindy’s attention to the fact that there was live music in Applebee’s on a Thursday night.

I called our waitress over and told her how pleased we were to hear such good music.She told us that she usually introduced the singer, but that he had just started his act without an introduction. I asked his name and if he had any CDs for sale. She told me that she didn’t know his name or if he had any recorded music, but that she would find out from the manager. I thought it odd that someone who normally introduces the singer wouldn’t know his name, but hey, I would get the information. She came back with the name Jonathon Fleig. I pulled out my slightly recharged smart phone and Googled him. He has a website: and I found that he not only has CDs, but also a documentary film. I plan on ordering the film when we get home. Here is an early trailer for the film:, and here is a song from the finished documentary:

As his first set ended he mentioned that he had CDs with him to sell. I went up to buy what I could. I was short on cash, but I could buy two CDs and add some more to the tip jar. We spoke briefly and I found him to be easy to approach and very personable. I hope an opportunity comes along to see him in person again.I really like his music!

Oh, all the other stuff aside, the music made the day a good one.