downtown San Antonio, Texas
The road trip is finished, and I have taken temporarily to my bed. No, really I have. I am so utterly spent that I have been unable to get up and be my usual self, full of vim and bustle, tidying and cooking and organizing everyone and everything around me (that may or may not be a bit of an exaggeration, but I'll never tell). In between sips of my delectable Cafe du Monde chicory coffee, I have entertained myself with cackling over the Twilight books, forcing myself to read the dreadfully arch and affected New Yorker (a girl needs a little culture, however bitter the pill to be swallowed), and occasionally waving to Hedgie from the pillows. Sarge rousted me for an hour this afternoon and took me for a walk like a recalcitrant dog, but aside from that, it's been bed and more bed. In honor of this post, I have for the first time in two days made said bed, an accomplishment of which I am inordinately proud. My counterpane neatly arrayed, my coffee balanced, hair brushed into two pigtails (yes, it is the truth), the reclining is not quite so shameful, and if someone should happen to pop in on me I am at least presentable.
In an effort to take stock, I shall hereby abridge and truncate these previous long 12 days journey as follows:
Best: The New Orleans cemetery. Oh how I loved it. I might have to move in there...
Worst: gas station bathrooms.
Funniest: the donkey who fell hard for my sister, followed her around, brayed sweet donkey nothings in her ear, and stared wistfully after her as she tried to leave the little farm across the road from my MIL's.
Scariest: The hotel room we checked into, and then out of five minutes later, that looked very much like a serial killer's abattoir might look after all the action but before housekeeping had visited.
Most Delicious Meal: a toss-up between Cleburne Cafeteria in Houston and Mary Mac's tearoom in Atlanta Georgia. Both places, truly Lucullan. And I'm sure I've used that crazy word before this, in a fit of exaggeration about something or other, but it really applies here.
Most Delicious Individual Food: bread pudding soaked in bourbon. Hands down.
Most Disgusting Meal: Texas Land and Cattle. I might take my dog there for scraps. Then again, I might not. Getting drunk and just slightly belligerent helped the teensiest little bit.
Most Disgusting Individual Food Item: The "baked" potato at above. Nothin' like biting unsuspectingly down on a forkful of crisp raw potato.
Most Boring: the un-politically correct lecture we got from the docent at the old plantation in Baton Rouge Louisiana. You would think it might have been interesting, seeing as how he had a most peculiar take on the whole, er, slave issue. But it wasn't. He reminded me of Professor Binns from Harry Potter.
Most Interesting: wandering into an old hotel in downtown San Antonio, and discovering that Robert Johnson had recorded some of my favorite songs in a room there.
Ugliest: the fussily be-ribboned china doll with the gruesome simpering expression given to Hedgehog by some relatives.
Most Beautiful: the eerie swamps and wetlands of Louisiana and Georgia. Seen in dusk, just lovely.
Most Shameful: In desperation, feeding poor dear starving Hedgehog cold Chef Boy-ar-Dee ravioli straight from the can with a plastic fork, in a gas station parking lot. Without doubt one of my lowest parenting moments. However, she seemed to enjoy it.
Most Surreal: Purchasing my red beans and rice from Boudin King in Jennings, Louisiana, I went to pick up some napkins on my way out, and found myself staring down a gigantic pile of tracts that said, in big cheerful letters, "if you don't accept Jesus Christ as your lord and Savior you will burn in the fires of hell." I became immediately convinced that they were trying to fatten me up for the slaughter, and hightailed it out of there. However, I would still recommend Boudin King for all your boudin needs, if you ever find yourself in the backroads of backroad Lousiana. Just make sure your Star of David is tucked all the way into your t-shirt.
Favorite souvenir: no contest, a true crime book I purchased at a Stuckey's in East Texas. Written and vanity-published by a local sheriff, an account of a disturbing murder he had solved. I confess to being initially amused at the florid title: "So Innocent, Yet So Dead." Yet to my surprise, it is actually rather well-written. Score, a direct hit.