No prime rib. No man sandals. Those are Clintons new rules he has set for himself. As decided after more than 3000 miles behind the wheel.
I think we left you in Kansas. At Lucas, The Home of the Garden of Eden. Since then, we have had bad luck with the free wifi offered in hotels. Hence the delay.
So we visited Family Perry and Family Mills, and have headed back to the west coast. I have given up waiting to get to a hotel to write about the fun we have been having, and so I write to you after finishing another warshrag, getting some gas for the car, for us, and for Oscar.
We are back in Kansas, headed the right way this time. And on the 70 beacuse who needs to sightsee when we are heading home?
So after validating Kansas as not-such-a-boring state we blazed on through for two days until we hit St. Louis. Where the power was still out sporadically all over town. But not, and thank the Noodly Appendage, not the BBQ joint Bandanas. At the airport. Been around for ten years, couldn’t be that bad right? And it wasn’t. Delicious. But there were 200,000-600,000 people out of power so we ate with a delicate appretiation.
We headed off to Kentucky, but stopped for a little detour in Indiana. Southern to be exact. We ended up at Lincolns boyhood home. Pretty little neck of the woods. We only did the museum and not the walk into the woods to his home.
But if it doesn't have AC, and you know the woods don't have that yet, I think I will not venture into that hot hot heat!
But we saw a massive deer. And some squirrels. And Aussie saw the squirrels and had a good chase for a minute.
We also passed Holiday World. I think it is the location they used for Wally’s World. But since I am not near those testy internet tubes, I think I will wait and let someone tell me if I am right.
While Holiday World was a sight, and holleeee crap that was a wooden rollercoaster(no thanks) I think the funniest town was Santa Claus. Yeah. I sent out some postcards from there.
We kept on the backroads there in Indiana and followed the Ohio river for a bit.
We found a rather neat old town.
Had a landmark cotton mill now turned apartment complex. Some awesome red brick houses. A really neat looking second hand store, closed of course. And we wanted the paintings they had in the windows. And then we found the Coca- Cola plant. Awesome.
And proof-positive that they use the plant still are the trucks parked in front. And that sweet smell of soda in the air. Well, maybe that was the fresh air. But still, it was one heck of a building.
I know these pictures dont do any justice. I also know that half of these photos can not begin to express the fun I had out here on these backroads and small towns. Maybe growing up on an island fed this need of mine to see the US in all it’s past glory, or at least allows me the wonder to be in a car for this long. But everytime we find one of these neat little nooks in the countyside, I breathe a little sigh of relief and think “Thanks Noodly Appendage, Thank You for leaving just a little bit of America here. That the spirit that I was told that made this country and it still exists. That we can turn this mess we made into something worthwhile for my little Oscar and all his cousins to inheirit and make even better.”
And then we get back to the main road and all I see are Walmarts, Craker Barrel, Wendy’s, Conoco’s, and every other locally specific chain business. And desolate towns. So desolate. Some are completely abandoned. Green River Utah had some of the best coffee, the nicest people, and a totally EMPTY town. Ghost towns. And then massive new buildings. And still all this poverty and deficit and joblessness. Something is wrong. We need to stop building new and start paying attention to all the stuff we have at our disposal already.
Enough tirade. Sorry. Flat Kansas and no one to distract me. Oscar is sleeping. Aussie is sleeping. Clinton is driving.
Back to the tour:
Oh, In Lexingotn Kentucky I took a photo to show you how I manage Oscar and blogging.
We passed through Bland, West Virginia. No stopping.
Wouldn’t you? Maybe we should tell the tourism council for that town they need to brainstorm a little more.
We were having a great time through West Virginia, and them it happened. A West Virginia moment. There we were, trucking it up the Appalacians, minding our speed and all the big rigs around us, when someone came walking out of the woods. Random. No towns, no broken down cars, just some guy coming out of the woods. No photos of that. Too slow to the take on that one. More like a stunned silent laughter.
West Virginia did have a great farmers market. The parking lot was full of people who were trying to pretend that they didnt live in West Virgina too. Kinda fun. We even busted out the bugaboo for that one. Again. No photos. Make you use your imagination.
After that we made it to North Carolina.
Land of weekend wedding gown sales on the corner of the highways.
Nah, but that photo is from there. Fun huh?!
And it only took seven days. We could of done it faster, but I wanted to do a little exploring.
Newport was awesome.
So nice to see Oscar with his Nana and his Papaw. I think we may even get a return visit out of him! I cannot describe the meeting between Oscar and his grandfather well enough. It was pretty darn cute. I think it is a perfect match.
Swimming in the pool was awesome. Oscar took it with mild dismay the first time and really enjoyed it the second time. We kinda futted around his parents house for a few days. Really nice to not be driving!
On Friday we drove down to Wilmington to see Joe and Ethon and also hopefully Shannon.
On the way down we passed through Emerald Isle.
That is the no more hotel. Quite a few of those on the island.
We ate at the Big Oak Drive In. Thats Clinton ordering some damn fine fried food.
Started Clintons Shrimp Fete.
That looks yummy huh? Now imagine being the person that had to fry all those shrimpy's in the hot muggy North Carolina weather! Whoa. Hope he gets paid more than $2.40 and hour!!
I had a crabcake sandwhich(so good, crab cake and bread!! who would of thunk it!) while Oscar longingly looked at me eat it.
Passed by the Octagon House. Scary and it made my glasses all foggy. Foggy ghosts maybe not so scary after all?
Clinton claims it is haunted by a fishermans wife, broken hearted she rocked herself to death when the husband didnt return! AIEEEE! Although, now there is a road right up to the house (and the adjoining graveyard) and thus slightly dampening the haunty feel of the joint. The Jones Masonic Campus sign doesnt help either.
Ethon loved Aussie. A boy who loves balls is just meant for a dog that loves balls.
They tried all kinds of balls and settled on the lacrosse ball.
Joe entered into a 24 hour Movie Making Contest and won best action scene or best stunt. If there is a link, watch it, if not, I will find a way to post it up and get it to you.
Little man Ethon is huge! He was just a little bug when I met him the first time.
We were there just for the night, so Joe and Clinton went of to claim some shrimp and we bbq them up with some King Mackeral. YUMMY!
Pancakes and bananas and strawberries in the morning and we were back off to Clintons moms for a family reunion.
I missed Shannon and that breaks my heart. To travel all the way across the country and have that not happen sucks girl. But if we didnt get back to his moms we were gonna be in worse trouble. Traveling with a baby and a dog make for chaos in plan making. I am so sorry that we did not meet. Besides, I woulda probably made you eat and ruined your fast.
Stopped at Clyde Phillips in Swansboro for a few more pounds of shrimp on the way back to Newport. Oscar enjoyed the blocks Joe and Ethon got him. Quack quack quack.
(uh, listening to a song about a dead skunk in the middle of the road right now. yeah . Kansas. A requested song for a mans wife on her birthday. This is why local radio is so much better than an ipod.)
The bbq was fun. Cheryl and Oscar hit it off.
I just watched. So awesome. I knew my family would get along with Oscar but I didnt even begin to think about how the same goes for Clintons family.
Maybe because all we had was Dad. And then all of Moms family. Lopsided. Anyhow ....The family potrait is awesome. I look like poopoo. Aussie went there all on her own.
(now it is a song about drinking wine from the bottle. enjoy the recording....)
Ohkay. I am pooped. And the battery is low on the power. I will try and post all of this with loads of photos. And then I will finish the trip with a second entry. And then back to the crafting.