For the first vacation of my professional life, my sister and I are taking a trip south to visit some national parks. Our first destination is Cave City, KY’s Mammoth Cave, so we spent today making the drive from Wisconsin to Kentucky.

Calendar view of trip itinerary

We had two scheduled stops along the way, for breakfast and dinner. I wanted to be sure to stop in highly-rated restaurants in the cities we were passing through, and using TripAdvisor we found Over Easy Café just north of Chicago for breakfast, and Havana Rumba outside of Louisville.

Over Easy Café was pretty much what I was expecting—a small, modern, popular place. After about a 25 minute wait which we spent perusing the nearby shops, we were seated and eating. I had the sopes de pollo a la madrugada, which was quite good.

Over Easy Café

For about half of the drive today we listened to the audiobook for Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild. After the day’s drive we’re halfway through. It’s pretty interesting and a relatively easy listen, I definitely prefer it to the other Krakauer book I’ve read, Where Men Win Glory, a book I read in a college English course.

Unlike Over Easy, Havana Rumba was sligtly different than I was expecting. It was farther from Louisville than it seemed on the map, and it wasn’t nearly as busy or modern/hipstery as Over Easy; it was in some small little suburb about 20 minutes to the northeast of the city. Although I was wary at first—on first glance it seemed like a run-of-the-mill South American restaurant, the food was as good as the reviews had suggested.

Afterward, we stopped at an ice cream shop we passed on the way to the restaurant—Graeter’s—and stopped to see the painted horse with terrifying eyes across the street. I had a cone of peach ice cream. It was good ice cream.

Flower horse with terrifying eyes

Another hour and a half later, and we arrived in Cave City. After checking in, we drove around a bit to peek at the shops and other attractions nearby. Nearly everything was closed even though it was only about 7:30, but we did find a very southern souvenir shop where we bought a few items.

Mannequin Donald Trump in a suit and Hillary Clinton in prison clothing, outside the souvenir shop
Found outside the souvenir shop.

And now we need to be up early tomorrow, and I’m pretty exhausted from the drive, so that’s it for today.