Sunday, November 6, 2011

New Orleans Road Trip - Day 14

We had some confusion with the time change this morning. When Linda woke up and saw that the clock said 6:30 she thought the alarm had not gone off at 6:00. Actually it was 5:30 so we ended up being dressed, packed, Bright Side breakfasted and out of La Quinta by 6:48. There was a welcoming committee waiting in Wilma for the 3 of us – a mosquito from our adventures in the Jungle Gardens on Avery Island yesterday. Linda quickly dispatched her and we took the back roads Louisiana Hwy 14 towards Texas. The scenery wasn't quite as picturesque as yesterday, but we still enjoyed going through the little towns and seeing the crops along the way. We saw lots of fields where rice plants were soaking in several inches of still water. Soon we stopped to photo an old building that said “If you lived Wright you would be home right now". As we slowed down in the field just off the highways the mosquitoes swarmed the van and nearly lifted Wilma off the ground! John was afraid to even open the window so there's a little glare on the photo he took of that sign. And they were really BIG mosquitoes!

After that we started looking for a place to stop for coffee and Wilma mentioned a place for coffee in Gueydan called Fat George's Bakery and Cafe. We found it but it there was a giant crowd there for Sunday breakfast so we waited to get to a Starbucks in Lake Charles, a ways down the road. Before arriving in St. Charles Linda called her sister Gloria (who lived in Lake Charles long ago) to see if she wanted us to drive by her old place and take a photo. She did not remember the address so NO SALE. However, she was glad Linda called and woke her up because the time change had set all her clocks (except the Grandfather and the microwave) back one hour automatically and she lives in Arizona where they do not observe Daylight Savings Time. She thought it was 7:15 and she was already late for her 8:15 meeting.

As we went into the Lake Charles Starbucks Linda noticed that “Yore Cheatin' Heart Will Tell on You” was playing which seemed untypical for Starbucks music. The other thing they had never seen in a Starbucks was large silver coffee sacks of used coffee grounds labeled for gardeners to take home to their compost piles. For FREE! How nice!

We had to get on the interstate (I-10) to get to Sulpher, LA where we were meeting with a classmate of John's, Janice Picard, from Richardson High School (RHS Class of 1962). She met her husband in Houston and they eventually moved to Louisiana near where he was reared. Her home in Sulpher has exposed cypress wood on the outside and is quite striking. We left Fannie Mae there in her cragte on the back porch. She took us out to see her camp home on 12-stilts by a creek and a river. It was really a treat to see. It is in a area that floods quite often but they can get to it by boat when that happens. Being very high off the ground it has beautiful views from the many windows. Janice prefers living in her camp.

After our tour we took Janice to lunch at Novrozsky's. She got one of The Big Spud choices – a chicken fried steak stuffed into a baked potato and covered with gravy and cheddar cheese. John got a reuben sandwich. Linda had a tuna steak salad which was grilled yellow fin tuna with a garden salad. Everyone was very pleased with their choice.

Janice has been back to the Dallas area many times since we moved from there so was able to tell John about the changes to his former stomping grounds. They have their 50-year-reunion next June and are both planning to attend. I wonder what it would feel like to be that old? (Actually Linda's 50th is next year in October).

We dropped Janice off at her in town home and picked up Fannie Mae. She then got to meet Janice's dog, Lucy, who must be mostly schnauzer because they really looked a lot alike. They played for a while and then it was time for us to head for our night's lodging in La Porte, Texas.

We made it to the state line of Texas at 2:02. About 10 miles in John was pleased to see that we were again in the land of Whataburgers. But not pleased that there seem to be drivers in Texas who are just as bad as some we just experienced in Louisiana. Please, keep right EXCEPT to pass.

We arrived in La Porte at around 4:30 and had time to settle in and relax before dinner. We walked to Baytown Seafood which was right next door to our La Quinta.

There was a catch-your-own-seafood aquarium but they were pretty small so we chose off the menu. John got a dozen raw oysters and salad with grilled scallops and shrimp. Linda got crawfish gumbo and is in nirvina, happy to report a PERFECT TEN GUMBO SCORE. Yum! See what happens to your score when you put okra in it! There was a delicious broth, celery, crawfish, smoked sausage and OKRA in the gumbo. She also ordered grilled squash and green beans which were excellent!!! The funny part of the meal was that she ordered a Samuel Adams beer and the server reported that she would need to choose another beer because all the Sam Adams was warm. Since she refused to order Miller or Coors or Bud she ordered red wine. It came out in a wine glass and guess what, it was ice cold! So unusual for a red wine! But, hey, we are in Texas so she decided to go with the flow, and enjoy the cold red wine!

And so, day 14 of the old buzzards New Orleans Road Trip comes to a happy end with full tummies and lots of happy memories. You can share some of those with us be viewing today's photo gallery of 42 images by clicking here.

Funny business signs today were (soon after getting into Texas) the A Little Bit Gaudy Boutique. Back in Louisiana while sitting at Starbucks, Linda saw a flashing sign for the Chicageaux Bar.

John drove the whole way today. His favorite signs were a combo posted within 20 feet of each other while we were still in Louisiana. The first one said "Left Lane Ends" and the next one said "Road Work Ahead Right Lane Closed". As we got closer, it was actually a three-lane road, but we still thought it was funny.

Thought for the day (seen at Janice's Camp House): Sweet tea is the house wine of Louisiana

Thanks for a wonderful time in Sulpher, Janice!

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