Monday, December 21, 2009

drinking wine in the Lone Star State

Crazy amount of driving yesterday. Started off in Virginia with a foot of fresh snow on the ground. The few snowplows the state runs don't seem to actually make contact with the asphalt which leaves a well-packed ice crust (a not-in-any-way-consistent crust) pretty much everywhere. The drive began with the sobering sight of ten miles of cars and eighteen-wheelers stopped dead in their tracks, many of them overnight, on the northbound 1-81. Black pavement was cause for rejoicing. We very happily waved goodbye to the snow in Tennessee, where the kids were amazed to hear the waitress call Wil 'honey'. After Tennessee, we drove a tank each through Georgia and Alabama (where we ate a great meal in Tuscaloosa and confused salespeople with a request for humus — “Woyl, Ah hurd uvit, buh weigh oint gat ut hair”). Then through Mississippi, Louisiana and finally Texas. We got both beds set up this time, girls upstairs, boys downstairs.Pulled into a Travel Plaza at about three in the morning and slept for a few hours. Henri was the first to be woken by thousands of screaming birds lining the telephone wires as far as the eye could see. It’s coming on to noon now and we’re breaking out the flipflops. We should be in McAllen by mid-afternoon and, if all goes according to plan, we’ll cross over la frontera first thing tomorrow.

A few things I've learned about the US...
- There are no municipal ordinances governing the size of roadside signs.
- Never eat anywhere that has an ad on an interstate exit sign
- When you're on the interstate, pick a lane and stick with it, despite the dogged insistence of the drivers around you.
- And, the inside lane is also a passing lane.
- A chicken ceasar salad doesn't actually need to have any lettuce in it.
- Gravy isn't brown. It is white and fully of little crunchy bits of sausage.
- Cheese comes in liquid form
- Texans actually wear cowboy boots, cowboy hats and belt buckles the size of dessert plates. They are gracious and also
serve a mean breakfast taco.
- In Alabama, the only buildings bigger than the Walmarts are the churches.
- The relief of being able to use one's highbeams is only marginally greater than the feeling of vulnerability
imparted by being absolutely alone on a backwoods road in Mississippi.


Jenny Wren said...

Winter Solstice in the Lone Star State. Up very early as usual and reading about your travels. It is so different from my travels to Africa when my only contact with home was by mail! Mexico for Christmas despite broken pipes and snow. Wonderful this is so exciting.

miss Herbuté said...

So heartwarming to read you on this snowy tuesday morning....I could ALMOST miss you..but I have Norman drooling all over my bed every night since you've been gone--he says HI by the way-- so I'm fine. Good luck on your Humus quest around the world. I Wish you the most amazing "caramba" Christmas ! May the protective power of the Schmetterling be with you.

Jenny Wren said...

I think Norman must think he died and gone to heaven!!

miss Herbuté said...

thanks jenny !
Am I God then ?

Jenny Wren said...

Yes - you are God in Norman's eyes.

kelli ann & lorie said...

so glad to read that you're warm and safe (and that you're poolside). Say hi to the kids from chilly Sutton.

Jenny Wren said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenny Wren said...

We are all wondering where you are. Everyone well. David fine in LA, Marc & Mel together in England. Annabelle and Nic coming tomorrow, Fiona, Bob Lily and a friend on Monday. I hope all is well Sending love.

Unknown said...

Loved reading: "A few things I've learned about the US..." very funny!!!