Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Orleans Road Trip - Day 02

The alarm went off at 6:00 a.m. this morning. We were both already awake. Did a great job of getting our belongings packed and loaded into the van. Then we had our complimentary breakfast at the motel. Linda had a half piece of whole wheat toast, some tea that she had fixed in the room and coffee. John had the other half piece of toast with a tablespoon of Jif Extra Chunky peanut butter (his favorite) and a bowl of Cheerios. We just don't understand why they keep peanut butter in the refrigerator. Makes it so much more difficult to spread! Linda ate her raw bits (twang twang) while we were on the road. We pulled out of the motel and headed for Albuquerque at 7:00 a.m.

Just after crossing into Arizona at about 7:20 a.m. we stopped at a Pilot gas station, mostly to clean the windshield, but we also filled the tank. Gas there was $3.39 per gallon.

John didn't think much of the motel coffee this morning, so we stopped at a Starbuck's in Kingman Arizona. As we were pulling into the parking lot we realized we've been to this very Starbuck's on two previous road trips. Reckon you just can't go many places without going through Kingman, AZ. Linda got her favorite Chai Tea made with a teabag and non-fat milk (not the Starbucks premade sticky sweet stuff). John got a Grande Mocha with an extra shot. Remember, he hadn't had any caffiene yet this morning.

We came through some showers all the way into Winslow where we found a Subway to get a sandwich for lunch. This Subway happened to be located inside of a big Walmart store in Winslow. We got sandwiches to eat in the car and pulled under the overhang at an abandoned travel center. Winslow seems to be a dying metropolis. Our lunch stop was at about 11:45 a.m.

Lots of rain and wind in eastern Arizona. We crossed into New Mexico just before 2:00 p.m. Made a pit stop at the New Mexico Welcome Center and a rest area just inside New Mexico. It was spitting rain in western New Mexico as well and we were still about two hours from Albuquerque.

Arrived at our La Quinta Inn just after 5:00 p.m. Note that we are now in Mountain Time and they do recognize daylight savings time in New Mexico (unlike Arizona). So, kiddees, be sure to set your watches forward one hour. The last two hours of driving were miserable. Heavy rain, gusty winds, lots of road work, and manners-challenged drivers (that's not what John called them). The saving grace is that the speed limit in both Arizona and New Mexico is 75 mph on the interstate. That means you can safely set your cruise control at just around 80 mph and they won't bother you. But, those 45 mph road work zones are a killer of time.

We left the motel at 6:00 p.m. for dinner and set Wilma's nav system to take us to Pancho's Mexican Buffet. Been waiting over two years to get back to a Pancho's. It was only six miles from our motel and John made it in record time. Then things went very wrong. There were no cars in the parking lot and no lights on in the restaurant. Optimistically, John said, "Maybe they are closed on Tuesdays"! Bad call. How about they are just plain closed? Does this mean that all of the other Pancho's Mexican Buffet restaurants on our itinerary are also going to be shuttered and dark? Only time (and the internet) will tell.

There is  Furr's Cafeteria near our motel so we drove there for dinner. The food was "cafeteria food". Overcooked vegetables. Decaying spinach in the salad. And, in keeping with the modern trend, you aren't charged for what you actually get to eat. You are charged a fixed price ($11.00) for an "all you can eat" experience. Reminded John of HomeTown Buffet, but the food wasn't very good, except for the baked Alaskan whitefish, which was fine.  It seemed sad to both of us since, when we were growing up, Furr's Cafeterias were excellent. Linda's favorite was blueberry and banana pie.

Ten hours on the road today. Tomorrow will be a welcome rest from constant driving. In the morning we get to experience the La Quinta "Sunshine Breakfast". You'll hear about that in tomorrow's travelogue. We're not sure what adventures we'll go on tomorrow, but we're hanging around Albuquerque and will leave for Canyon, TX on Thursday morning. We found a gas station just down the street from the motel. Before we leave for Canyon, we'll fill up for $3.04 per gallon! It's hard to tell what day it is on these trips. John really misses our day clock.

John's calorie report today is that he will finish the day 1,013 calories under his budget (after he polishes off his Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Snacker). There might be room for a What-A-Burger later this week!

Sign o' the Day was at a Wendy's by a gas station off I-40.  It said "Try our new and improved breakfast". John said he didn't see how something could be new AND improved at the same time.  Good point!  Runners-up were Shinarump Road (see photo gallery) and the Fairly High Maintenance Spa and Salon.

Sixteen images in today's photo gallery. You can view them by clicking here.

1 comment:

  1. Shouldn't the sign at Pancho's have read "Cerrado"? I'm just sayin'... hope the continental breakfast is enough to get you off & exploring.