I left Seguin just before 7 under a darkling sky, heavily overcast. The land was so green I expected dancing leprechauns. After a hearty lunch (!) at Waffle House, the rain squalls practically washed me back down the road as I pulled through running water so deep I was hydroplaning. Of course it was between concrete barriers, but I planted my li’l car right over the white bumps passing for a traffic lane & checked to see if I had any oars aboard. I did not even care a whit about the traffic behind. I needed the middle so as not to wash up against the barriers.
The Kreuger book lasted until Lafayette, LA as the story twisted & corkscrewed around relationships, situations, descriptions. It was fascinating altogether.
I decided today was a day I could really use breakfast, so I dialed up restaurants on the Garmin. What? No Denny’s? Is this from the Mandela Effect when the name changed from Denney’s to Denny’s? I cannot bring myself to Subway for breakfast, just not that kind of gal. So I hit the road on Hyland’s Calm & wintergreen mints & stayed happy.
I try to fill up at the half-tank mark cuz distances between services can be long. In a quest for gas, I left the highway at Schulenberg (“Halfway to Everywhere!”) looking for a Shell station & found an Exxon. I’m still mad at them for the Exxon Valdez incident but I know it’s a good gasoline, so I pulled into a small station with premium @ $3.99, a total bargain at $1 less than everywhere else. Next door to the quicki-mart was a tiny donut shop with breakfast burritos so I ate there for $2.50 & picked up two packets of salt for the next meal. A total treat!
I was a bit surprised to see Louisiana names pop up since there was not even a sign that said “Welcome” or “You’re now in LA”. The shape of the road sign backgrounds changed from the star to a klutzy boot & the names went from Texan to French.
So, here’s the real grit on the smooth finish. I arrived in Lafayette & pulled into a parking lot with a dollar general type store for a place setting. Well, I got a butter knife out of it. Every woman had a headwrap. They looked to me like giant sweat bands. It was uniform. I thought living in Nashville was Deep South but guess not this deep. A whole different culture. The roads & turns around this complex were confusing & fast-traveled – it took me 30 minutes to cross the street & drive the block to the Baymont for my reservation. When I saw the huge black iron fence around the Baymont, I switched to second thoughts. When I asked the hotel clerk if my car would be safe in the parking lot, he shrugged. “Why don’t you go see the room, so you know where to park to watch your car?” he advised & handed me the key to 324. I stood at the door to the room looking vainly at the teardrop shaped lock with no slot, wondering where to put the key. Seriously, I’m not in the 21st century yet…the maid came down & smiled kindly as she held up the key to the teardrop & the lock disengaged.
I walked in, looked out the window, looked around the room, walked out & asked for a refund. The clerk asked why. “I don’t like it!” I said putting on my best impression of a bulldog (not a far stretch for this face.)
“Why?” he asked again, “I want to know for, you know, quality control, so I know what to tell the manager” Which tiny Indian man walked out of the back office at that moment & said, “Refund her.” I cannot tell you with good descriptors nor could I explain to him & when I insisted, I said “women’s intuition – my gut does NOT like that room.” Besides, how’m I going to guard my car from the third floor if a troop of robbers make it over the 6’ black iron fence with spikes – did I mention the spikes?
I peeled out of there & headed for the next town, about 34 miles up the road & had to circle to three places. At the Quality Inn, the man in front of me drawled how his colleague had checked out because of the bugs in the room at which point I left a bit of rubber from my new sneakers peeling out of there. LaQuinta had an opening at 7:30 (this was 4 p.m.), so no go, but they let me use a super-clean restroom.
I found a Studio6, a bare bones, super-efficient, sleek, we-thought-of-everything + an ironing board/iron. It is super! Clean! Efficient! OMG, I write this sitting in the laundry room as I’ve sweated through even the clothes I didn’t yet wear. They have giant luggage trolley for my five separate bags plus the computer gear I cart in at every stop. I ran a cool bath & sat gratefully in it. (All the water outside of T or C has been silky.)Temps are way high & humidity at least ten degrees higher. (Hence headwraps?)
Now a dramatic storm gathers itself outside as I sit on the bed typing away. A fella outside just put on a jacket so it’s cooling down. The television came on all by itself once I got settled in & I will unplug it if it tries that again.
I may be far too parochial to travel well. But I’m tenacious & that helps. I am also totally blessed to get to where I’m going & have some humor about it all. And I’m not out of Altoids yet. The kudzu is abundant everywhere & I’m in for the night except I’d better get quarters out of the car before the skies reopen.
Love to all –
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