We decided to drive to Texas instead of flying. Besides saving money, we could see the countryside. Thing is, there isn’t anything to see between here and Texas except trees. It was pretty much like driving through a green tunnel for 12 hours except for the cities, which all, without fail, had construction. Even trees seemed interesting compared to concrete barriers and orange barrels.
I didn’t know it was so far to Texas. There are a lot of rest stops between here and there. I lost count of how many times we stopped. I thought women were the ones that wanted to stop all the time, but my honey stopped so many times I thought we would never get to Texas. Of course, when I wanted to stop it was a different story. We had always just passed a rest stop, and the next one was another 33 miles.
Occasionally, there was the announcement, “I have only 100 miles of gas left – start looking for a station.” This was usually in the middle of a major city on a six-lane road in the middle of a construction zone. In addition, the gas had to be the right flavor. The car apparently only runs on one brand. By the time we found a station that was suitable, the car was coughing and running on fumes.
One interesting part of a road trip, however, is that you have to stop and eat. I like to look for local restaurants, which provide a chance to sample local cuisine. At our first restaurant, the waitress had big hair just like Flo from TV. She brought sweet tea while we visited the food bar. “What’s that yellow stuff?” asked my honey. It was hominy. The green stuff was turnip greens; Flo said so. We knew then that we were somewhere deep in the South.
We attended a conference in Texas and after that was over, we hit the road for the return trip. Why is it that the very same road always seems longer in the reverse direction? There was still nothing to see. Nothing, not even many pine trees until you are almost to Arkansas. The hardest part of driving through Texas is staying awake, aside from finding a gas station with the right flavor of gas, of course.
Did you know there are no restaurants in Hope, Arkansas? We stopped to eat there and drove up and down the street looking but finding nothing but fast food. Finally, we settled on a local catfish place. “What’s this gravy?” my honey asked, looking at a small cup of brown liquid that came with his meal. “That isn’t gravy, its pinto beans!” Guess he forgot we were still in the deep South.
After nearly running out of gas again and coasting into a gas station, we decided we might as well eat again for one last time before home. “Pick a place,” says honey. Of course, with a full tank he drove so fast that by the time I saw anything we were past the exit. Finally, I saw a billboard with a local restaurant that sounded good. “We can stop there, exit 80A, 28 miles.” But the restaurant again couldn’t be found. What is it with finding restaurants?
With stomachs growling, we drove up the street and down the street. Finally, we gave up and went to a different restaurant which turned out to be a fortunate choice. It had more fried chicken than I’ve ever seen in my life. I gained two pounds on the trip, and I’m sure that the fried chicken and peach cobbler are the reason why.
I’m still happy about all the money we saved by driving instead of flying. We probably saved enough to pay for another trip. Of course . . . we will have to drive again..