Saturday, July 25, 2009

Aftermath


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.







26 comments:

mapstew said...

A gal needs her rest!

(I've just done a 'bed' post!)

xxx

MJ said...

*rushes in to pull pigtail*

*rushes out*

mago said...

Pigtail?

A nice list! And I wouldn't take that "Most shameful"-thing too serious. Well the plastic fork fits in as style-correct. And yes, better hide the star ...

Brian Miller said...

welcome back to the real world. ha. chef boy-r-dee...not bad at all. much more shamefull things. smiles. lousiana is such an interesting place. spent wuite a bit of time there in a previous life. enjoyed teh highlights. hope you are rested soon!

Baino said...

You lazy sod! Two days in bed! God wish I could do it, I'm up at sparrow fart and just can't sleep in! Sounds like a great trip - the doll thing! Clare's Gran gave her one of those porcelain monstrosities years ago and it freaks her out so it lives in a cupboard in my room! Sounds like a lot of eating went on there! And don't worry about God, she doesn't really give a shit!

Leah said...

map--but so much rest?...anyway, you are very understanding...

MJ--*reaches out a hand but not quick enough to catch that tricky MJ*

Mago--the plastic fork did indeed fit in admirably with the whole scheme...and "pig tails" are like this, well, sort of!

Brian--you're right, actually I myself have had much worse parenting moments! Louisiana is a haunting, haunted, fascinating and varied place. Where did you live when you lived there? I'm so curious.

Baino--I am such a lazy sod! It's unusual for me, though, not to get up--I slept in til 9:30 this morn, and it was shocking. I'm usually up with the dawn as well. And yes, there was a great deal of eating. And candy too, for some reason. I'm on starvation rations here at home to make up for it!

otin said...

OMG! Bread pudding soaked in bourbon! YUM!!!!

Ronda Laveen said...

Loved the way you summarized your journey. Donkey love? Too funny. Sounds like your true crime find is keeper. The doctor I used to work for often ate cold, canned raviolis. That and Spaghetti-O's. He said he got used to it in Med school. It was a quick, cheap meal you could eat on the run.

Abattoir? Lucullan? [heading for dictionary].

Suzanne said...

Get your lazy ass out of bed and give me some damn man advice.

You know it's so funny I was thinking of poor Heggie and her can of noodles and hoping you'd shopped the 99 cent store. Yes. They have it there. In fact, every time I pass the damn spagettios I think of you.

And me too. My favorite place, the cemetary. I'm serious honey. When I send my package I want prints. I'm not kidding. I really do love that beautiful place.

And no, you don't have to get out of bed. Relax and sleep a bit. I'm sure the trip was exhausting. And darling I love you so very much. Thank you for all your love and support. You killed me. Hearing your voice mattered. Of course I heard you darling. Of course.

I love you.
Moi

Cinnamon said...

The advantage of you being laid up in bed is that we get this great post!

Quirky souvenir- what a find! I love souvenirs that are a little bit different.

The thought of that serial-killer hotel room is giving me the shudders.

nick said...

Yes, I've been offered one or two serial killers' abattoirs in my time, rooms that look as though a hundred people have used them in quick succession and left their accumulated debris in every direction. And yes, I've often discovered unexpected culinary delights in the most unlikely places, often battered old shopfronts and shacks that I only entered out of desperation.

Nothing wrong with a good lie-in after your energetic travels, especially those long long drives. Just carry on slumping for a while.

PI said...

What a fantastic trip and oodles of different experiences. You are quite right to retire to be cosseted and to reflect and get full benefit from your break. Everybody should have a Sarge:)

savannah said...

well done! ;~D xoxox

Jimmy Bastard said...

A very worthwhile run of posts, which has been far more interesting than the average dross on TV.

Bravo...

I shall look forward to your next trip, possibly to Europe?

Dot-Com said...

Sounds like you had a good trip! And I'm so excited to learn I'm not the only person who doesn't normally spend time making the bed :-)

Cece said...

Glad to hear ya'll made it back up thar to the big ol' city all in one piece. (read that in the most souther slang you can imagine and that is how it sounded in my mind.) Hope you are feeling less "spent" now.

Emerson Marks said...

Yeah, this has been dead good. Sort of thing I'd like to do. It actually made me think of a good idea for a book - 80 games around the world.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Texas Land and Cattle Company is foul. One of the few things open after 9pm in Dallas, seemingly, or I wouldn't have been fooled into eating there. Totally fake food engineered to within a mm of its life, but also gross. reminiscent of the dogfood steak my husband had in Moab, Utah.

And don't feel bad about the canned raviolis. That kind of ingenuity and flexibility is one of the few things that will keep you out of Texas Land and Cattle Company and it's ilk if you're driving across country.

XO

Allison

Megan said...

What an excellent way to summarize the trip. Loved reading this. And I stayed in bed all day today, myself. So now of course I can't sleep...

Skeeter said...

Hi Leah,

Wow, that's quite a list. Be a dear and share the ISBN number and author info on that book you liked.

Best wishes,

Skeeter

Candie Bracci said...

It seems you had an interesting trip!Really cool!

kylie said...

you out of bed yet?

The Idle Devil said...

The title of the book wins the contest! :) I am curious about the china doll though.

Karen ^..^ said...

Great summary! I simply MUST see a picture of the ugly creepy doll with the simpering expression on it's face. Please?

This was so much fun to read! But I'm glad you're back. I missed you.

;)

Madame DeFarge said...

Excellent list. What would Hedgie's look like I wonder? And sorry to hear that you're ill. Love the idea of the pigtails, very cute.

Betsy said...

I'm the same way after a trip! It takes me a couple of days to regroup! Bed and coffee...that will make you feel better! I could go for some of that bread pudding about now! yum!