Tuesday, April 19, 2016

On Our Last Leg

San Jacinto Monument
Everything that came after the George Strait Team Roping Classic seemed anticlimactic. But Lucy and Ethel still managed a few adventures on the return trip to Alabama.

We visited the San Jacinto Battleground and monument near Houston, where we learned a lot about Texas's fight for independence from Mexico. We barely made it across the Texas-Louisiana border before flooding forced the closing of I-10. Against our better judgment, we stopped for the night at a Motel 6 in Jennings, Louisiana.

There was an unusual development in this Motel 6 experience. The buildings had previously housed another motel chain, but when Motel 6 bought them out, they removed the existing hair dryers. “I asked that we keep them, because I had just bought new ones,” said the manager. “But they insisted that I remove them to be consistent with other motels in the chain.” He had kept them and stashed them away. He offered us one. “Do I leave it in the room tomorrow, or return it to you?” I asked.  “It’s complimentary,” he said. “Keep it.” (Note: I didn’t, because the cord was frayed.)

Lucy & Ethel show off their new
road trip tees.
We couldn’t find any place to eat in Jennings except for fast food, Mexican and a Waffle House. We settled on the Waffle House. It proved to be an interesting culinary experience. I found a salad on the menu that was supposed to have apples and walnuts on it. “We got any apples?” the tired-looking waitress called out to the cook. They did, but they were the dried kind, in a cellophane baggy with the nuts. Still, it wasn’t a bad choice. Annette and I almost doubled over in laughter when a waitress-in-training called out an order to the cook: “Plain omelet with egg,” she said. Is there any other way to make an omelet?

Moby almost got Lucy's arm!
The next day we stopped at one of the best tourist information centers we’ve ever encountered. It was in the Louisiana parish of West Baton Rouge, which bills itself as “the kite capital of Louisiana.” Tourism Center Manager Kayla Denova obligingly took our pictures with Moby, the largest alligator ever caught in the parish, shot on September 14, 2013. He was stuffed, of course. West Baton Rouge holds an annual kite festival, and has a kite-making station for children visiting the tourism center. “Can we take a kite kit home to our grandchildren?” we asked Denova. “Sure,” she replied cheerily, and put some kits together for us. Then she gave each of us a slightly larger kit for ourselves.

Tyler is proud of mini martinis.
Our next stop was Baton Rouge, where we had lunch with another National Federation of Press Women buddy, Marsha Shuler. A former NFPW president, Marsha was state government reporter for The Advocate newspaper for many years. She left that position in January to become policy manager for the commissioner of administration Jay Dardenee in the Division of Administration for the State of Louisiana. (Whew! What a title.) We lunched on pineapple-glazed shrimp with rice and steamed broccoli at the Capitol Grill. The joint features $2 lunch-sized martinis that are to die-for. I had the French Kiss: vodka and pineapple juice shaken and poured into a small martini glass, then topped with Chambord raspberry liqueur. The drink is layered, or you can stir it for a blended flavor. Dessert was bread pudding with orange sauce for me, carrot cake for Annette. “Our carrot cake is made in heaven and delivered here,” claimed our young waiter, Tyler. 

LSU's Tiger Stadium
After lunch, we spent an hour visiting the old state capitol, and were especially intrigued by its Huey P. Long exhibit. Then we stopped by LSU so Annette could add another football stadium to her photo collection. Tiger Stadium was our last major stop for this trip. By this time, we were eager to get home. 

Now, we’re packing for our next adventure, a trip to Las Vegas to see George Strait in concert. We have tickets for Friday and Saturday nights, April 22 and 23. Can you guess what my next blog will be about?

The nearly submerged building across the levee from
Tiger Stadium gives you an idea of the flooding there.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like y'all had a large time. I've heard George puts on a good show.