Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Day 4: Kilgore, TX to Jackson, MI

8:59am: Finally got out of bed. I think we’ve given up on the idea of getting an early start.

10:00am: Back on the freeway. And there are trees everywhere! Half of them are deciduous and in their dormant brown winter state, but the other half are evergreens. And the landscape is continuously rolling. It’s such a stark contrast to the flat grasslands we drove through yesterday. And the shoulders of the road and the area in the median are covered in new green grassy growth. Today we’re driving into (and probably all the way through) Louisiana. We are absolutely determined to stop and eat something interesting for lunch. I think we’ll stop in Monroe for lunch.

10:47am: We’re in Louisiana! And it’s green! And wet! I love it. Interesting billboards. They are advertising a casino, but at the bottom of each, there is an advertisement for a phone number to call if you have a gambling problem.

11:02am: Just drove past an old cemetery in Shreveport. Not one headstone was straight. It looked like every single one was crooked. Looked like the perfect hauntedi cemetery. I think the stones are crooked because the zombies come up out of the ground every night and don’t bother fixing their misplaced headstones. Just crossed the Red River, and, of course, there was a big beautiful riverboat on it.

11:30am: Swampy wetness everywhere! Ponds, creeks, rivers. I love it. I would just love to see this place in the Spring. I’m sure it’s amazing. We’re listening to one of my CDs and I forgot that Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech is on it. So appropriate for driving through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama (considering he mentions Mississippi and Alabama specifically). Although there’s still a long way to go to fully be free of racism in this country, I think he would be proud to see how far it has come from when he gave that speech. Let freedom ring.

1:33pm: Oh my goodness. We just stopped for lunch. I think I’m moving to Louisiana. No. If I moved here I’d end up fat and broke—because I’d spend all my money on food. We just stopped at Copelands of New Orleans. Looks like a chain restaurant since it was across from a mall and just had that feel to it, but it was SO good! I had Eggplant Pirogue (fried eggplant with an au gratin sauce and shrimp over angel hair pasta) and Christian had the Shrimp Etouffee (gulf shrimp in a dark roux-??? sauce over steamed rice). Both were absolutely delicious. We sat there the entire time commenting on how good our food was with every bite. But the best part? Both dishes came with a biscuit. These biscuits literally melted in our mouths. I don’t think I have ever eaten a biscuit quite like it. We skipped dessert since we were both so full, but we saw them in a counter on the way out. Oh man. They looked so good. I can’t wait to go somewhere for dinner!

10:01pm: What a great day. After lunch we continued listening to our 3rd book: The Devil Wears Prada. The scenery was wonderful. Trees everywhere. Agricultural fields cut out of the trees. We crossed the crazy winding Mississippi River, and the time just kept flying by. Before we knew it we were in Jackson, Mississippi. After only 5 hours on the road (considering we drove 15 hours the day before), we decided Jackson would be a great place to stop.

I chose the Cabot Lodge Hotel because it was near a state park and a recommended restaurant. The sun was threatening to go down, so we rushed back out to the truck and drove to the state park. It was closed. Bleh. New Years day. So we kept driving and turned onto a residential street. It was meant to be. The houses were amazing. After winding through the neighborhood, we realized it was very close to our hotel. So we parked the truck at the hotel and set off on foot. We love looking at old houses. Brick. Columns. Intricate details. Love it.

When it started getting dark, we walked back to our hotel, changed our clothes, and went down to the exercise room. I only ran for 20 minutes, but it felt so good to get some exercise.

We then braved the cold to walk up the street to eat at Schimmels, but when we got to it, we realized it was closed. Bleh. New Years Day. Luckily, Christian suggested we walk around the corner to see if there was anything down the road. I doubted it, but then we saw Que Sera Sera, one of the other restaurants we had thought about going to. Perfect! We both ordered the same thing—Bayou Ribeye with onions and mushrooms and garlic pasta. Mmmmm. And the fried mushroom appetizer was scrumptious.

Braving the cold again, we walked back to our hotel. The lobby of the hotel is cozy and decorated like a mountain lodge. We chose the couch near the fireplace and spent the next half hour reading magazines and relaxing.

I think today was worth the countless hours in the truck.

Tomorrow: destination Madison, Alabama!

1 comment:

LJ said...

Glad you loved your intro to southern food! There's seriously nothing like it. No one cooks as well. And you're right, the biscuits are to die for! Making my mouth water just thinking of it. There's a lot to love about the south. I'd move there in a heart beat (if it weren't for their summers.)