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On The Road Again
8:46 a.m. - 2007-05-17

I have been busy lately, flying to Atlanta, attending the Masters Degree graduation of Abby, moving her out, and driving back across the country in her car. Well, 'moving her out' did not really involve me personally, since he handled that and Melissa and I spent the afternoon shopping. I must say that Marietta, GA, is not a very attractive place, especially now that the yarn shop is defunct, and the traffic stinks. That is an hour of my life I will not get back. However, we did find two very nice yarn shops in Atlanta, and some money was well spent.

This was mostly a culinary vacation, since Ab and her dad had some good Roadfood places they planned to visit, and the good food started in Atlanta. While there for the festivities, we visited Mary Mac's Tearoom, The Colonnade, and the Silver Skillet. I love that sweet tea, yes I do. The first day driving, we set out across Georgia and made it all the way to Vicksburg, MS the first night. On the way, we ate at Nikki's West in produce district in Birmingham, a cafeteria-type restaurant with delicious Southern food. I had my very first battered and fried pork chop, and truly, Southerners are genius cooks. I did not enjoy Vicksburg, however. What a depressing place. There are streets with fancy upscale housing right next to streets with the poorest people and rundown houses. I see that there are nice big casinos on the river there, so I am hoping they can channel the money into more civic improvement. That town made me sad.

But onward. In Louisiana the next day, we decided to veer off our path and visit the Natchitoches area (pronounced 'nakitosh'). This is a very pretty old town with a New Orleans architectural flavor. They are famous for their meat pies, so of course, we had to go to Lasyone's, Home of the Famous Meat Pie. It was very interesting to try the pie, which tasted like the French Meat pie Abby made one time. This means it had a ground meat filling with a hint of allspice in the flavor. After that, we drove along the river area and visited a historical plantation home with a very interesting mixed racial ownership history, Melrose Plantation. That place is fascinating and well worth the visit.

We did not have any eating adventures in most of Texas, since we were in a hurry to get to Amarillo to eat at Beans and Things. This road food place has BBQ, most excellent pinto beans, and the best BBQ sausage I have ever in my life tasted. From there, it was on across New Mexico and Arizona, and on the way, we stopped in Albuquerque to eat right across from the university at the Frontier, my favorite of the entire drive. This is also cafeteria style, but features totally excellent Mexican and New Mexican fare, quickly served in massive amounts. How I wish they had had one of those restaurants right across from my college! Handmade tortillas too.

We stopped to visit the Acoma Sky City, a Native American town which has survived for centuries, even through the Spanish invasions, and is a town up on a butte, or bluff, or whatever you call those flat places that stick up out of the earth. Very very interesting tour and a world class view once you get up there. Luckily, there was a tram to get up the road to the top. I met a very interesting fellow there who chatted with me and took an interest in Abby. He was a very handsome 4-year-old named Joseph.

During most of the drive, Abby and I listened to Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, which I enjoyed mightily, and now I am all caught up and ready for the new volume when it comes out. Now we are home again, and I have straightened up the house, sort of, had the drain guys out for a maintenance call, had the plumber out to fix a leaky rusted pipe, and have started knitting Abby another pair of socks.

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