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Texas Bound!

Still the boring bits - this is probably for my keeping track more than anything. :)

We did almost all the packing on Friday night, which made for a bit of a frantic night. I had at least spent some of the week printing out maps and information and at least thinking about what to bring. We headed out Saturday morning and other than a mildly confusing and quickly corrected wrong turn switching from I10 to I12 in Louisiana, it was a very smooth drive. I used Karyn's Eat This Not That book to choose my lunch at Sonic. Ha! I also vented about the fact that Mississippi did not seem to have a single open rest station. Louisiana was lovely to drive through! I swear, at one point we were on a bridge for over thirty minutes. It felt like forever. Every so often I would look over at Monkeys and say "We're on a bridge!" But after fifteen minutes or so, it became "we're still on a bridge?" in a kind of confused/surprised voice. Then another fifteen minutes later it was "were *still* on a bridge" with bunches of giggles. (Actual times are estimates, but it was a looooooooooooooooooong bridge - the longest I've ever been on. It was probably a series of several bridges where you don't notice one ending/another beginning.) Then we hit Lake Charles in the bright sunshine and gloriously beautiful day. The bridge looked to be at a 45 degree angle or steeper, it seemed like it was going straight up. The lake was beautiful, the shoreline was beautiful, the bridge was interesting (and also long), and all around were people in the water canoeing and flying kites. It was like a perfect moment. Monkeys was on the phone with Jason and missed every second of it. I can't understand how he couldn't see and talk at the same time. Texas was just around the corner, and their welcome center rocked. There were flags and sculpture. I had a blast climbing up a star and lying down on one of the angles. The people inside were super nice, and we got all sorts of San Antonio fliers and coupons. We also took our time walking around the deck behind the center. It stretched across some kind of bog with signs explaining about the local animals and plants and the history of the area. We saw two turtles swimming around and one snake hiding in some brushes and the croaking of frogs surrounded us wherever we walked.

Welcome to Texas! Welcome to Texas!
Monkeys got pictures of me peeking through on his camera with the idea that eventually we'll merge them into one picture with both of us peeking through. There was also a giant star at this rest stop - we got pictures of each of us leaning against or climbing up on the star. Best of all, the welcome center had a long bridge trail behind it with views over the swamplands and placards explaining about trees, wildlife, and history of the area.
That's not no ordinary crayfish - look at the claws! That's not no ordinary crayfish - look at the claws!
The servers had to talk us into trying them because they were so big and scary looking. She brought us four free ones and taught us how to break into the thing. It was soooooooooooooooo gross looking, but it tasted good. When we left the restaurant the cook let us peek into her boil and brought out a live one for us to see what they looked like before they were cooked.

We decided since it was our anniversary we'd take it easy and not try to make San Antonio that same day, so we stayed in Beaumont -the first bigish city we crossed. Next time I would go straight through because it turns out San Antonio isn't a bad drive at all. But Beaumont was good practice for learning about Texas roundabouts and frontage roads. The people who worked at Van Choate's Catfish Kitchen were extremely nice. On our way in the cook told us about the crayfish boil going on, the hostess repeated the crayfish boil and when I expressed horror at the plates we were passing promised to bring us a free sample. The waitress gave us an extra sidedish because Monkeys picked one she didn't like. She said she'd bring us that, but made him pick others for his real order. Another waiter brought us BBQ Crab and insisted we try that, too. A father and son at the next table talked to us about Texas and Florida (his dad worked at Cape Kennedy) and the hostess returned to chat with us. We visited for about thirty minutes talking about hurricanes and local crayfish farms. Every time Monkeys said "creyfish" instead of "crawfish" the servers would giggle and give him the "you ain't from around here" eye. They also laughed at my explanation that we came there thinking they had BBQ because their sign said BBQ Crabs and Crayfish and assumed the commas were just missing because how could you BBQ Crabs. When we left, one of the servers was outside talking to the chef and told her that we'd never had crayfish before. She took us over to her boil and showed us how she made them then showed us one of the live ones to see what they looked like before the boil. The food was really good - the crayfish had a spicy seasoning that tasted of cloves. The steamed vegetables and the green beans both had really good and different seasoning, which was awesome because usually vegetable side dishes are kind of bland. I also had fried oysters. Monkeys had some kind of scampi with alfredo and pickled tomatoes and doublestuffed potato. The only down side was there was a giant misunderstanding in what we ordered, which I didn't catch because Monkeys was the one who paid and he never seems to look at bills, and we overcharged $30 for dinner. I think the hostess thought we did the seafood buffet because we did walk around to look at it before picking off the menu. But when you factor in the free crayfish and BBQ crab and extra side dish, it wasn't quite as bad an error on the bill. Otherwise, it was a perfect night.



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 4th, 2010 02:11 am (UTC)
Cool!! I can't wait to hear more about what you did. =o) In retrospect, you should taken JoCobear! (But I thought about that last night after you guys had already gotten back.)
Apr. 4th, 2010 02:46 am (UTC)
We thought about JoCo bear as we were driving over!!! Probably when we were on that really long bridge, LOL! There was a lot of aawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, darnit!ing
Apr. 4th, 2010 02:11 am (UTC)
I've been over that bridge... it IS really long.

Glad so far your texas-ing seemed much better than our trip through.
Apr. 4th, 2010 02:57 am (UTC)
It was a great trip - but we are very glad to be home. :)
I'm glad you know what bridge I'm talking about! Because I keep wondering if I'm exaggerating it, but it really did feel like we were on a bridge for longer than I've ever experienced before.
Apr. 4th, 2010 04:17 am (UTC)
I think it's kinda like the REALLY long escalator in Atlanta... until you are on it you can't believe how long it really is.

I think that no matter how great a trip... it's still wonderful to come home.
Apr. 4th, 2010 04:20 am (UTC)
Kenton looked it up and said that it's actually NOT the longest bridge in La.. However, this bridge is 22.8 miles and it is the 4th longest in the world. (Obviously only the 2nd longest in La.) It's because it's a swamp bridge... and, well La. is mostly swamp.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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