Saturday, September 22, 2007

Spaghetti in Cajun Country

A long day.
Up early, pack all the overnight essentials into the minivan and leave the Hotel just in time for all the fast food joints to stop serving breakfast. Fortunately, immediately next door to the Hotel is the rib place we ate at last night. They serve breakfast burritos all day. Blessed be!
Get breakfast, gas up, hit the road. Doubt what the GPS navigational system is telling you, then believe it and turn around and find out that dumb little box that controls your movements, like sudden lane changes in the middle of no where Wyoming, and POOF you are back on track and skirting Dallas.
My father grew up in SE Texas and, if time just were not a concern, I would have detoured to see his home town. It was, says he, about 80 miles south, where we could have picked up another east bound highway and cut through SE Texas, but we did not.
As it was, I called him and talked to him for over 30 minutes (gotta love those free week end minutes on the ol cell phone) and had fun telling him where we were and having him describe the trees, some things he did as a kid. My father saw Elvis in Shreveport when he was young ( Elvis and my father were both young at the time. Dad is one up on the King, Dad is still alive!)In Texas, we saw a camel ranch. I have seen many odd things from the car window in my life. But I looked at the field and said "Look, camels". Dad was on the phone with me at the time and said "What?" and K said "What?" K missed the camels.

We hit our first rain of the trip. I am used to NW rain that kinda takes its own sweet time to fall out of the sky. Here, it kinda falls with an attitude. K described it to having a bucket of rain thrown on your wind shield. I can't come up with a better description.
There is the remains of a big storm that failed to titillate the National Hurricane Center
But managed to dump over an inch of rain in the area where our condo awaits us. K thought it would be OK to be stuck inside on a rainy day. She said reading a book in Florida is different than reading one at home. Again, I can't argue with her thought.

We settled into the hotel and we have a great big room with a HUGE king sized bed. The puppies promptly sniffed the room thoroughly and then fell fast asleep.

K went to a near by food place and got us american fare. I am in cajun country and wanted some crawfish etoufe, but I had grilled chicken with rice and cooked carrots that were so over salted, I could have thrown them out anywhere in NW Washington in place of a salt lick!
K took a chance and ordered spaghetti which she said was not too bad.It is too small to read, but it says "Becca's Steak and Seafood, The 'first' Cajun restaurant in Louisiana.

So that brings us up to date. Poppy did great again today. A bit more talkative, a bit more lively, but tired as hell since he can't sleep in the van.
A friend grew up in the mid west and had never seen the Columbia river. The first time she saw it, she was a bit awe struck at seeing what she had read about and studied in grammar school. Today I had one of those moments. It is not a great picture.

This is a cotton field. We passed many of them. Such a simple plant that has made so many things possible. Humbling, to me, to see what a huge part of The South relied on, created a demand for slaves, impacted history.

Manna station, better well know as Sonic. Love that cherry lime aide.Peace and quiet. If you follow the sine curve of the wiener bodies and extrapolate the function of that curve, I feel it would give you the equation to eternal contentment, peace, serenity.

That is what I wish all of you: eternal contentment, peace, serenity.
Thank you all for your love and support and help making this adventure reality.
Thank you for riding along with us.
There is much more to come.
But now, to bed.


Food critic by K.

I have rediscovered the essentials for driving cross country as I've done this a few times
Sonic's drive in : best onion rings ever! chilli cheese dog, cherry limeade and iced tea

Salted nut roll: it's kinda like having some protein!

Lots of beef jerky: Jack's preferably (i am going to buy stock in this company)

Hotel room fruit: usually an orange or apple, today a banana!

drive through anything! save time, easy handling food, usually smells better than it
tastes but who cares when you're starved and you are considering snacking on the
parrot's food!
(ps. we take acidophilus every morning)


The young woman who greeted me at Shoney's Restaurant just 100 feet from
our hotel had beautiful brown skin. She looked smooth and sweet as any of their desserts, but I
thought "she doesn't know how beautiful she is!". I couldn't see the name on her tag but I noticed how serious she was about her job and later did discover that she had customers who favored her attentiveness.
C. wanted to try the Chicken and rice on the menu, I was only a little hungry
(I took a chance with the baked spaghetti). The fellow who actually took my order was a tower
of sweat, his name was Denny. "It's hot back there, huh?" I said rather obviously. "Yeah it is!"
said as only a southerner can say it. (God, I love the South!)
A pale skinned woman with lots of freckles and loose hair sat down to rest, she
asked me if I'd been helped and in my best NY version of drawal answered "yes, ma'am ah have!" (I just can't help slippin into it) She smiled and we both returned to watching a little girl
who cuddled with her mother for kisses.
Most of the patrons of Shoney's ordered the usual American fare, I heard orders
for Fish Sticks and such. I thought "Nothing much must happen here".
That's when Mina stomped in. Mina looked like Pebbles maybe all grown up in her midlife. Her hair was red toned and pulled up on top of her head and teased. She wore the classic waitress garb of button down white blouse and black pants and she complained that she was using someone else's apron tonight. "The pockets are too deep and I'm lost!" She looked harried and I felt a little sorry for her thinking, she's stuck here with no excitement...
That's when two fellas entered the restaurant and give her a "Oh my God you're alive kind of hug" and I get the story. Mina was arrested along with two bad girls with whom she shares a house ; there was a local woman murdered the other night as well. They thought it was Mina! So Mina's things by her frantic report are still at the Police station. (I haven't a clue why). No one knows who the dead girl is, "They won't release the name yet!".

Somewhere in between dramatic story lines, a couple dressed in dark purple
T-shirts for the local TIGERS team grinned as they shared the score with the family who cuddled the little girl. The fellow chewing on a toothpick said 28 to 16! "We gave 'em the 16!"
He laughed at his own joke quietly. His wife watched to make sure he'd given a decent tip. She
had decals of tigers on both her cheeks. (no lie!)

So here we are in Tiger country and I didn't even know it, in the middle of dark doings and winning games. I am remembering the look on that little girl's face as her mother held her upside down to blow kisses on her face. A lot more happens in Louisianna than one would think.


Anonymous said...

Now, what are the Tigers? Should I know this? I'm trying to tast cherrylimeade in my mind's taste buds but I fail.

You love the south?! Beyond my comprehention. (I'm sure I've spelled that wrong)I always feel like I'm a tomato in a bowl of bannana's when I in the south. And it's soooo hot!

Much love,

Anonymous said...

Are you there yet???
Glad you have missed the really bad weather, although the "buckets of rain" you've encountered don't sound like much fun.
Thanks for the pics along the way, Madi is getting a great geography lesson!
Love you both,
Angela and Madi

Anonymous said...

Hope to hear that you have arrived and are enjoying the sun and sand.
Would love to get an update on you, the puppies,and Poppy.
Miss you!

Anonymous said...

Hey Chris and Karen,
Sounds like you both are having a wonderful time. We miss all of the little ones especially Puppette.
What I want to know is why, if you are in the south YOU HAVE NOT HAD BBQ!!!!! That just is not right!!
Hope you continue to have a safe trip and keep us informed.
Your friends at Fairhaven Vet. Hospital.
P.S. Debbie says to give Puppette a big ol' hug and kiss while Jan says to give all of the 4-legged family a big hug and kiss.
Can't wait to read more about your trip. Very entertaining.

Anonymous said...

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