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