Archive for March, 2010

Road Trip- March 30

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Texas

Texas is big. Really big. I’m going to be here for a while. Yesterday, I drove from Sulphur, LA to San Antonio. It’s wildflower season, and we all owe a debt to Ladybird Johnson, b/c these highways are gorgeous! The bluebells & all kinds of things are blooming.

So far, I’m not a fan of Houston (ugh) but after that, the hill country starts, and oh my. Another place I’d like to spend a few months getting to know.

Today I’m going to explore the Riverwalk (I know, it’s touristy. That’s ok.) And then drive about 1.5 hours to AUSTIN. Yes, I’m really excited about that. Today’s the farmers market, and the Guthrie family is playing live (I”m trying to decide whether to see them there or when they’re in Kent, WA, on May 1 when I can go w/some of my peeps. But I’m thinking Kent.)

Also found out Krisna Das is in Santa Fe. NOW. Doggone it. I will hear that man sing kirtan someday, but so far it’s not working out.

My other big entertainment is listening to local radio stations. Heard some really fabulous R&B near Biloxi, MS. In TX, I’m listening to KUT. And you can listen online.

Later, ‘tater!

Road Trip- Mar 29

Monday, March 29th, 2010
Boudin and Cracklin's

Boudin and Cracklin's. It's what's for dinner.

I confess, until I pulled into the Boudin place, I did not know what a boudin was.

Check the link- we’re talking boudin blanc, because this is Arcadia. It’s very very good, but the cracklin’s… Oh my. Like chicharrones (pork rinds), but cut small & individually spiced.  And tasso is another kind of sausage that I like even more than boudin. It’s a very good thing I don’t live here, or I’d start to look like Paul Prudhomme in a matter of days.

Also stopped in a cute little town outside New Orleans, called Covington. Very quaint, and they had all kinds of cute little shops. Unfortunately, every one (including moms of the headband/minivan type) think that they are NASCAR drivers, & go racing up & down the cute little streets. Kinda scary. But I did get a new blouse, a double Americano (after I explained what it was) and a really good curry chicken salad.

Let’s see… I skipped New Orleans. Not the kind of place I want to go by  myself- at least not this time. I did manage to get to Baton Rouge during rush hr, which isn’t as dumb as it sounds. I got to cross the Mississippi very slowly & really take it in.

I went over lots of bridges today, including a very long piece of highway built above a bayou. So a little of everything. Tonight I’m in a weird little place called Sulphur, LA that seems to be huge oil & industrial facilities. I’m about 50 miles from Beaumont, TX. Heading for San Antonio tomorrow. No, I never did find Tupelo honey!

Road Trip- Mar 27-28

Monday, March 29th, 2010

St George Lighthouse

So… Saturday I took off from Manasota Key & headed for Tallahassee & the panhandle. My challenge: stone crabs & Tupelo honey.

First, let me say that FL traffic really is that bad. There were a couple BIG pileups, and another that almost happened when the guy in front of me slammed on his brakes while going 80 mph. I thought heading north on a Sat would be smart. Ha.

Anyway, I arrived at Tallahassee kind of tired & stressed out, so decided to stay the night. Sun AM, I just had a hard time getting going. I’d planned to drive to Gulf Shores, AL, taking time to visit St George, Mexico Beach & anything else that caught my fancy.

Instead, I dinked around Tallahassee all morning, went a little north to Havana, FL (just so I could say I went to Havana this yr.) Havana is really cute… but a combination of the economy tanking and a really cold winter has done a lot of the touristy type businesses in. The churches were crowded, but I couldn’t find anywhere to eat.

Then I went to St George & checked out the beach, lighthouse, etc. Really liked it. It’s sort of a family resort, with lots of cute beach rentals. The sand is beautiful & it looks like there’s some shelling. I did see 3 jellyfish washed up on the shore, though.

Next stop was a raw bar, where I thought I’d find stone crabs (oh, I was stopping just about every possible place.) The raw bar was closed, but a nice lady directed me to a possible seafood place down the road. Nope. But I did get some really excellent shrimp dip & eat it with celery.

That was about the time (3PM) that I realized I had 6 more hours to drive to reach Gulf Shores, where I had a hotel reservation. Whoops. So took of like my tail was on fire, with only a brief stop for a double Americano in Mexico Beach. I chatted w/the woman there, and Mexico Beach sounds like my kind of place.

Only two hotels; it’s mostly beach rentals. And the city owns a lot of the coastline, so unlike most of the panhandle, the beaches are easily accessible to the public. (What a concept.)

Gulf Shores is close to opposite. I’m having the same reaction I had to Puerta Vallarta- get me out of here! It’s spring break. ‘Nuff said.

So Max, Seymour & I are headed west again. Should get to either Louisiana or TX today. Hasta luego! (Oh, consensus is that it’s too cold for stone crabs yet, and I cannot for the life of me find Tupelo honey. I will, though!)

TGIF #24

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Beautiful day in FL again. It’s a little chilly (they say) but a perfect day for wandering around downtown Venice w/my aunt, mostly window-shopping.

Tomorrow, I’m on my way to the FL panhandle, with a couple of gorgeous new bathing suits. Good incentive to keep eating seafood & salads.

Here’s some fun stuff for your wkend.