An Amazing Coast to Coast Road Trip
Two-stepping at a honky-tonk, partying in New Orleans, sailing on the Mississippi, and eating the most fabulous Southern food. Who knew we’d have such an Amazing Coast to Coast Road Trip?
LET THE FUN BEGIN
My quest to be warm in winter — my Endless Summer — has us scrambling all over the globe when Fall comes. This year we decided to go across the USA to Florida. Maybe even go down to Latin America and enjoy the weather there. But first we had a lot of fun to squeeze out of the 5500 miles we traveled along the way.
Our first delightful experience after leaving San Francisco was the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This had long been on Phil’s bucket list. Another place on his list was Carlsbad Caverns so we went there, too. We were so fascinated by the caverns that we headed over to Sonora Caverns just across the Texas border. That’s were we got our first piece of travel advice from some Texas motorcycle riders.
MUSIC IN AUSTIN
“Where can we hear some good music in your town?” I asked the group of bikers from Austin, Texas. “Open any door,” was the understated reply from one of them.
That statement was full of punch — Austin abounds with music. We two-stepped around the dance floor in a famous old honky-tonk, sang on stage at a gospel brunch, and saw Willie Nelson perform in a church. Our road trip through the South was off to a terrific start.
halloween in n’awlins
In what wild town would you like to celebrate Halloween? We had the good fortune to be in New Orleans where it’s crazy most all the time and especially on Halloween. They love parades in that town. We saw a parade with a bride in her wedding dress, a funeral parade with the brass band playing “When The Saints Go Marching In” and, of course, a crazy parade for Halloween. On Bourbon Street you can have open containers of alcohol on the street so that area was good for watching wild antics of all kinds of people. After viewing the goings-on there, we made our way the few blocks over to milder Frenchmen Street to hear some terrific music.
Oysters, bread pudding, pralines, gumbo, fried chicken, po’boy and the famous muffaletto – the food in N’awlins was over the top and we were over the top in how much we ate!
One of my favorite places was the famous Creole restaurant Dookie Chase. The food was fabulous as was its history as a meeting place for music and entertainment, civil rights and culture in New Orleans. Both George W. Bush and Barack Obama have frequented this family run restaurant. Our waitperson regaled us with the tale of how the entire neighborhood was cordoned off for Obama’s visit. They say Dookie Chase taught Julia Child how to fry chicken. Theirs was yummy!
We loved walking around in the above-ground – haunted, some people say – cemeteries in New Orleans, touring grand old mansions, and sailing down the Mighty Mississippi on the last remaining paddle steamboat while listening to an old-timey jazz band.
The governor and ribs in Mississippi
On our way to Memphis, we stopped in Jackson, Mississippi on a day the Governor’s Mansion was open for visitors. On a delightful tour, we learned the history of this mansion. It is the second oldest continuously occupied Governor’s Mansion in the U.S. and is a National Historic Landmark. Said to be one of the finest surviving examples of the Greek Revival style in our country, it was refurbished by the architect and designer to the White House, Edward Vason Jones.
We weren’t allowed to take photos inside (why do they do that?) but I did get myself a handful of cocktail napkins with the Mississippi State Seal. I am using them when serving my Kentucky Bourbon, straight from the distillery, which I will tell you all about in my next episode of carolsuestories.com.
It was the massive slab of ribs in Jackson that made Phil happy. I loved the fried green tomatoes and collard greens – true local food. I’d say they are the best I have ever eaten and this Southern girl claims to be an authority in that department!
To be continued….
Thank you for reading the first installment of the tale about our Amazing Coast to Coast Road Trip. Please stay tuned for the upcoming segments which I will finish soon. It’s just that I’m having so much fun these days that it’s hard to stop long enough to write it down! I hope you’re enjoying my story and that you will leave me a reply below. I would love to hear your comments.Tweet