You Know You’re in the South When . . .

file000373538311There must be a joke in there somewhere.

Here’s my update to this trip – in no particular order:

  1. There are RULES to driving two-lane highways, you chuckleheads!  The main one is – the LEFT lane is for passing.  If you plan on going at less than the posted speed limit in the left lane . . . I WILL give you a dirty look when we finally pass you on the RIGHT, where YOU should be.
  2. Once you begin to see the Waffle House, you actually do know you’re not in California anymore.  I’m not sure which state I began to see them in, but I knew I was advancing eastward with their appearance.  And by the way – yay for that.  We had breakfast for dinner tonight at one nearby.  We were happy.
  3. Louisiana does up their first rest stop off I-10 right. In a bow to whimsy, they have a pet rest stop with a red fire hydrant.  Yes, Izzy stopped and sniffed – but didn’t pee.  I suspect many boy dogs have lifted their leg there which may account for my delicate flower’s reluctance.
  4. Best meal on the trip – at La Posta Restaurant in old town Las Cruces, New Mexico.  Amazing margarita with a float of Grand Marnier on top.  Fresh, warm tortilla chips and tasty stacked enchiladas.  We were very happy.
  5. Not a bad second – believe it or not, the Outback Steakhouse in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  I haven’t been to one in a long time and we were wiped out, so once we ended up there, tilapia and veggies were a good choice.  However, the desserts were fun – Bob had a mini strawberry milkshake and I had two cake pops – one was carrot cake and the other was cheesecake.  Okay, the desserts also made us very happy.
  6. It is never a good idea to go on Mrs. Toad’s Wild Ride in a strange town; I found a cool restaurant (I thought) in Baton Rouge, just a short 5 minute drive.  Yeah . . . right.  By the time we got there, it was parking under a bridge and walking to a poorly lit entrance – only to find they were closed for a few days for renovations.  We ended up at the Outback, which wasn’t a bad choice but it came after a few choice words were had by the pilot to his co-pilot.
  7. We learned it’s a good idea to test new food on your dog when you’re still at home to get them used to different flavors, textures, etc.  We thought we were so smart to buy little single serving Cesar gourmet dog foods, but we didn’t figure that with drinking different water each day, messing with her schedule and the time changes, and being in a different place each night, we were really adding to her stress.  She’s had a few accidents along the way.  There is a reason why motels charge a pet fee, although our dog (being the best dog in the world), has had her accidents IN the bathroom on the tile (and this morning, amazingly, she crapped IN the open walk-in shower which made clean up a matter of wiping it up and then turning on the water – no muss, no fuss).  Of course, we want her to go outside, but her body is not able to tell time so well, apparently.
  8. We’ve seen a lot of religious billboards and plenty of pro-life billboards, too.  All of the religious billboards exhort one to accept Jesus – I haven’t yet seen a billboard pushing Judaism or Hinduism or Buddhism.  One of the billboards I saw several times today showed a totally cute infant with the rather incongruous tagline – “at 18 weeks, I have a heartbeat!”.   You know – I think if they put a picture of a realistic 18-week-old fetus on the billboard, I’m just guessing that it wouldn’t evoke the “Ahhhhh” response that a two-month-old baby does.  Okay, I’m off the soapbox.  No, I don’t want to engage in this debate – I’m just observing.  And I have to say, although I think either of these billboards could be on the 405 in West Los Angeles, I’m betting it’ll be a cold day in Hades before I see either of them there.
  9. Mobile, Alabama has a very cool skyline – yeah, I was surprised, too.  Did I take a picture of it with my iPhone?  You know I didn’t.
  10. The Starbucks from San Antonio eastward have all been ones that have the “old” baked goods and a lot that we’ve visited have had the nice leather seats, too.  Okay, let me ‘splain, Ricky.  Yes, Lucy, you ‘splain it.  In California and at least up the west coast, Starbucks changed their baked goods purveyor to a fancy shmancy baker from San Francisco – the result?  Good tasting, but generally smaller pieces for the same prices and certain items have completely disappeared.  Thankfully, not the Cranberry Bliss Bars – they were still there this holiday season.  But other things – gone.  And most of my local Starbucks have gotten away from comfortable seating in favor of hard wood seats with maybe a banquette covered in fabric.  So I was able to get a cranberry orange scone in Slidell, Louisiana.  

I was, again, very happy.

Categories: Life on the Road | Tags: , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “You Know You’re in the South When . . .

  1. Oh, so so many things to reply to here, my being a southern boy at heart.

    My adopted state, Washington which I’d love to flee, is awful about left lane dawdlers.

    You most likely saw your first Waffle House in Texas. I LOVE WAFFLE HOUSE at any time of day or night.

    La Posta in Old Mesilla is the BEST. My oldest daughter from my first marriage, many many years ago, lives in El Paso and whenever I’m able to get down there I hit La Posta at least once while I’m there. The man she married actually has gone there quite often with his father – it’s their favorite, too. Did you have any chats with the birds while you were there? LOL!

    I do not like the hoity toity Starbucks pastries nearly as much as the old ones.

    And I guess Christians are the only folks who want to save everyone down south. If they wanted to, Jews, Hindus, and Muslims (and everyone else) could put up billboards, too. Personally I’m a Christian who dislikes organized churches but I have a complete live and let live attitude about all other religions except where they seem to have a deeply rooted desire to kill me. Enough of that.

    Glad your trip is going well. Best wishes to Izzy. Hope her digestion catches up to the food and time zone changes. LOL!

    Bob

    • Hey, Bob –
      Thanks for your reply. I’ll just respond by saying that we were very nicely surprised by La Posta – we were diverted off the freeway through the area and got to snake through it on our way to our motel. We asked for a recommendation and got one for La Posta and were delighted it was in the same area we’d seen earlier in the afternoon. And yes, we spent a lot of time chatting it up with the birds. They are quite beautiful and amazing. And it was truly one of the best, if not THE best margaritas we’ve ever had.

      I hope we get to have dinner again there on our way back through the area.

      I’m sure you know that USA Today named it one of the ten best Mexican restaurants in the country. I can see why.

      As to our poor Izzy – she seems to have normalized her digestion. She did what we call the “trifecta” – or two pees and a poo – and seems greatly relieved! She says “woof” in agreement.

  2. Loved the update! Waffle House is found as far west as Phoenix, Arizona. I once slept in my car outside one in Baton Rouge on a Saturday night when I was unable to find a vacant hotel room. I didn’t actually eat at that Waffle House, as it was one of the filthiest restaurants I’ve ever experienced and I was hoping to avoid becoming ill on my little coast-to-coast solo trip. I do like the Waffle Houses in Florida.

    I believe the reason that you do not see billboards pushing other faiths is that Christianity is, to my knowledge anyway, the only major faith that practices proselytizing, evangelism and missionary work. In my faith, Judaism, that sort of thing is prohibited. I don’t believe the eastern religions truck with it either.

    Drive safely!

    • Thanks, Uncle Guac. I’d love to say that I don’t agree with you re Waffle Houses, but . . . you’re right. I’ve seen some I’d never step foot in, but the two we’ve eaten at were okay. As to religion – I know how Christianity is, as I was raised in it, but I’d love to dream how Jews and Buddhists would do their billboards – you know, if atheists can do billboards, why not Hindus? Actually, in truth, I have seen billboards over the Hollywood freeway for a big charity run by, I think, the Lubavitch organization. But I know it’s unusual.

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