Oklahoma In One Day

Okay, so maybe Oklahoma in two days, if you count that we spent the night in Sallisaw at the KOA. We got on the road around9:30 a.m., and passed the time listening to some blues CD’s and talking. We do our best talking while we are riding down the road, so I guess it’s a good thing we like to do that.

There is not much to see in Oklahoma. It’s pretty flat and rural, except for Oklahoma City where there is so much traffic it makes me feel like I’m going to throw up. We arrived in Shamrock, Texas around 5:oo p.m., just in time to have the BEST ribeye steak ever at Big Vern’s Steakhouse. Here is some of the countryside in eastern Oklahoma for your viewing pleasure, accompanied by Blind Mississippi Morris on the CD player:

The Egg Police

The last time we were in our home town, back in November, we stayed at what we had come to call our “home away from home”, the Holiday Inn Express. It was convenient to our family, close to a shopping mall, and right across the street from Cracker Barrel. We had been staying at that same motel every time we were in town for about three years.  To say we were loyal customers was putting it mildly. So, the last time we checked out, they charged us $20 more for the night that usual. When I asked why they went up so much in just a couple of months, the reply was “there is a soccer tournament in town.”

OK. We were not in town for the tournament, and we are supposed to get a senior discount. “Oh, no”, the lady said. We don’t give any discounts for special events. No amount of arguing with her could convince her that we did not consider a soccer tournament for little league age players a “special event.” So, on the way home from that experience, we decided to take our business elsewhere. Which is why we wound up at the La Quinta Inn, which is right behind the Holiday Inn Express and was built at about the same time.

For $20 LESS a night than what we had been paying the other place for a “non special event” rate, we got a surprisingly similar room. The bed was the same, the TV the same, the free wi-fi the same. We think we have a new home. The only thing? This morning when I went to the lobby for the free continental breakfast? The eggs were locked up in the mini fridge on the counter. Seems you can have all the bread, pastries, cereal, and waffles you want, but if you desire to have a frozen omlete? You have to ask at the front desk.

Another Quick Trip To Georgia

Over the weekend we went to Georgia. We were supposed to leave early Saturday morning, but it was raining, thundering, lightening, and the wind blowing so bad, we waited until almost noon to pull out of the yard. I missed my lunch date with my daughter, Emily and grandson, Spencer because of it, but we also missed driving more than 200 miles in pouring rain. We’ll catch up with them next time.

quilt, hand made

The quilt I made for Becky

We stopped in to visit my mother for about half an hour, then headed out to Becky and Rafe’s house to spend the night. Rafe is our son-in-law to be–the wedding is in February. I should have taken some pictures of their house, but the only one I got was of the bed in the guest bedroom. I was so tickled that Becky is using the quilt I made for her on the bed in there. It is gorgeous, even on the back!

Rafe cooked dinner for us, which was spaghetti. His home made spaghetti sauce was so yum! and he cooked some gluten free noodles just for me. Gotta love a boy who thinks of his soon to be mother-in-law that way!

FabGrandpa and his Dad

Nana

On Sunday morning, we got up and drove another 100 miles to go to visit Nana and Poppa for their Christmas party. There were lots of family members there and lots of good food. My sister-in-law Jody fell and broke her arm the night before so she and her husband didn’t make it up there. Poor Jody! I hope she is feeling better by now.

The crowd at Nana's

That’s only about half of the people that were there. I really enjoyed seeing them all, especially the babies!The party was over way too soon, and we headed back down to Becky and Rafe’s to spend the night again.

Alicia, baby Katherin, and FabGrandpa

Monday morning, we got up and went shopping for FabGrandpa’s suit to wear to Becky’s wedding. Now, the story is, he has never owned a suit in his adult life. The salesman at the store measured him in “his most rotund” area, and brought out a suit that corresponded to those measurements. The jacket fit perfectly, but the pants were waaaayyyy too big. FabGrandpa came out into the store with that suit on for me and Becky to see. He had to hold on to his pants with his hand so they wouldn’t fall down. At one point, he reached out for his bottle of water, and the pants fell to the floor. He was standing there in his plaid boxers and that suit jacket, and Becky and I laughed until we peed our pants!

Rough draft.

The tailor came out and measured him up, we went to breakfast (well, by that time it was lunch), and when we got back the suit was ready to go. FabGrandpa tried it on, and as I was trying to get a good picture, I fell over that platform you see in the picture above. Becky and I were laughing again! It was all “The Clampett’s Go To Town” all day, but we accomplished what we set out to do. He looks so good, don’t you think?  Now I just have to get my dress altered and we’ll be ready to dance all night.

Going To Alabama X

We woke up in West Memphis to rain again yesterday morning, but after looking at the radar map online, we decided that we should leave.  We said goodbye to the Mississippi River and were on our way:

Raining on the river

We crossed over the Mississippi Bridge into Tennesse:

Crossing the river

Tennessee Welcomes You!

And though they didn’t welcome us, a few miles down the road, we were in Mississippi. Three states in twenty minutes is somewhat of a record for us:

Entering Mississippi

I knew I was back in the south when I spotted that first Kudzu vine on Hwy 78, the Future I-22 Corridor:

The vine that ate the south!

Rain rain rain all day long. I really hate traveling in the rain:

rainy roads in Alabama

We finally arrived in the Talledega National Forest about 3:00 p.m

Forest Road

We got parked and got the trailer set up, while the rain still poured down. I was so glad to get inside where it was dry! This morning, the sun was shining. It is so nice to be back in Alabama!

The view out the front door today

Going To Alabama IX

We may get to Alabama eventually, but for today we just stayed put at Tom Sawyer RV Park. The weather map looked like it was going to rain buckets and we don’t like to travel in weather like that.

I made breakfast at home, but when lunch time rolled around, we decided to go to a place we passed on the way to the campground. Willie Mae’s Rib Haus in West Memphis:

Willie Mae's Rib Haus

For as long as I have known FabGrandpa, when we have traveled, we have eaten at the local places whenever possible. He’ll look at me and say “are you scared” and I’ll reply “no!”  This place was by far nowhere near the finest or the cleanest of places we’ve been, but oh! my! gosh! was it ever delicious!

He had a pork shoulder barbecue sandwich–it so big there was no way he could pick it up to eat it.  I had a barbecue rib plate.  Both of our selections came with two sides–a choice of fries, baked beans, or slaw. We also ordered one fried catfish fillet to share. Needless to say, I’m NOT cooking dinner tonight. Lunch was enough for the rest of the day.  The bill came to just under $17.  If you ever find yourself in West Memphis, Arkansas,  take yourself there for lunch. It’s right on Hwy 70 west of downtown.

Going To Alabama VIII

Today was a resting day. We slept late, then went out to breakfast. On the way home, we stopped in to the local independently owned grocery store.  Going to the grocery store in a new location is one of my favorite things to do–you never know what you’ll see in there in there. While the basics are the same in every part of the country because everyone eats eggs, bacon, bread, and tomatoes, it’s the local or regional things I like to see. They had chicken feet and pigs feet in this one, as well as fresh catfish and buffalo, a local fish.

turnip greens

In Utah, I couldn’t find turnip greens of any description–not frozen, canned, or fresh. And okra? In Flagstaff, they had some but it was $6.99 a pound, and the produce guy told me it was a “gourmet item”!  When I asked for pimento cheese spread in Kanab, they looked at me like I was crazy.  When I went it the  Gene Stimson’s Big Star in West Memphis, Arkansas today, I found all of these, plus some in store made pork sausage, and some mustard greens. I was in Southern Girl heaven!

I brought my purchases home and cooked up a big pot of greens. I put in the turnip greens, mustard greens, the lacinato kale that I bought in Flagstaff, a bunch of fresh parsley, a bunch of green onions, a jalapeno pepper, two yellow onions, and some garlic salt and pepper. A big hunk of salt pork for seasoning,  then let it simmer all afternoon. With fried okra and a pan of cornbread, it was a most tasty meal to eat on the banks of the Mississippi River.

Mississippi River Sunset