Road to West Memphis – USA Travel Journal 2012

7.7.12
Well not much to report today. We really just spent the day traveling. Being a Saturday, we thought that many of the shops would be open, but yet again they were closed. Might be that some people decided to take a break from the 4th July through to Monday.

We did stop in a place called Bald Knob in Arkansas…when I seen this on the map, I said to Dave we just have to check in there, just for a laugh. I can’t honestly believe that someone thought that would be a great name for a town. I think someone may have been pulling something when they named it.

Imagine telling someone you lived in Bald Knob. Dave and I cracked up as we traveled down the road, there was a new place in town, a Tyre shop called Hand cock…..seriously so many jokes here.

We are now in West Memphis and looking forward to heading to Graceland tomorrow. Then we plan on taking in the sights of downtown Memphis and finish off a sightseeing tour aboard a paddle boat up the Mississippi River.

We have just been to a place called Iron Skillet for dinner. Wasn’t really sure what to expect by the name but was pleasantly surprised. It was a buffet style restaurant. I finally found some real food. Roast meat and veggies with gravy….mmmmm so good. Dave stuffed himself again. Can’t beat mash and gravy. We couldn’t even fit in dessert.

Well I wonder if I will find Elvis tomorrow???

Till then.

Night all

J

xx

Road to Memphis – 6.7.2012 – USA Travel Journal

6.7.12

Well today we set off to leave New Orleans and head towards Memphis. I had it all planned out. First I had to make a little detour and find Bon Jovi Blvd. Well I set the GPS and thought we were on the right track. I had checked in the morning before leaving so I knew exactly how long it would take. Well Macca (GPS) decided he wasn’t into directing us in the right direction and sent us on a wild goose chase. We literally drove around in a huge circle back to where we had come from 2 days earlier. Dave was getting so pissed. So out come the trusty phone and maps from google. Turns out we were literally 5 mins from our destination and Macca was telling us we were still 25 mins away..

We eventually found it and I got to take my pic and look at the homes that Jon and his foundation built after Hurricane Katrina. All I could think about was how I could manage to maybe borrow the sign indefinately without being noticeable. Also how cool would it be to have that for an address??? I just want to say that my man is the best in the world and I love him more everyday. Thanks for taking me there , even though you were heard to say ‘ All this for a fucking rock star”..

So we are now in a little place called Winnfield and will continue on to Memphis in the morning. We didn’t really stop at much along the way, as we needed to make up time for all the bloody farting around in Louisiana.

We decided to go into the restaurant that is next to the motel for something to eat and I really wanted a cup of tea. I asked the waitress for a hot tea with milk. She looked at me as though I had asked her to chop her head off. Seriously do I speak a different language. She told me she had never been asked for a hot tea. I then slowly had to explain what to bring me. Well she got the tea bag and cup of hot water right, but then proceeded to bring me the biggest glass of milk to put in my tea….mmmm Dave and I just cracked up. When I told her I only needed enough to place in the cup, she took it away and brought back a smaller cup but still too much for the tea….poor girl, she really didn’t have a clue. Might be that she speaks a different language to me??

Anyway must catch up with my kids.

See you all soon from Tennessee.

J

xxxx

New Orleans – 5.7.2012 – USA Travel Journal

Well today we set off for our swamp tour. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Just had visions of big gators attacking the boat.

We had set the gps to find the place and had to be there at 9.30am. Well we made it by the skin of our teeth. It was 9.30 on the dot, but luckily they still let us pay and join the boat. My stupid gps (macca) took us the long way round.

Anyway we got on the boat with the others and our Capt Troy. He was very cool guy and was a bundle of knowledge. He told us about the gators and then proceeded to throw marshmellows out to them. They actually know all of the gators by name and who is who. He told us about the swamp, plants and other animals that habitate in there. It was very cool.

He took us to one of the gators. Her name was Cindy. She is 11ft long and at the moment she has a belly full of eggs. But she was so lazy that she didn’t move a muscle when we approached with the boat. Troy tried to offer her a hotdog on a stick but he said that you practically had to put it in her mouth, to which my wonderful husband responds ‘ she is like most women, won’t eat it unless its put in her mouth’ I instictively slapped him.

                 

Troy asked us where we were all from. When it got to us, Dave replied Down Under…there were lots of strange looks came our way, we then explained from Australia, which in returned I replied ‘ we have really big crocodiles…man eaters!!! Troy agreed. Dave then proceeded to say that they would definately eat his “Black Arse”….I was like ‘ oh no you didn’t!!! This man of mine truely needs a filter!!!

As we continued on our tour, there were a family from Kansas. They had obviously never heard an Australian speak, as this woman turned to me and said *southern African American accent* You speak funny, where y’all from?? I cracked up…I speak funny!!! This family where a scream. They reminded my of those women on Springer or Oprah when they are excited. They were entertainment plus.

Troy then took us up to a tree which had a snake in it. They freaked out. They started saying they were allergic to snakes. Troy was cracking up…said they must be allergic to the swamp. Dave thought at this stage that it would be a great joke to pick up a piece of rope (used to tie boat up) and place it on one of the women…she just about jumped out the boat….everyone was in fits of laughter…her not so much. I did tell her that she had permission to whoop some American arse on him 🙂

As we were heading back to finish the tour, Troy told us that we had to pick up something from one of the other captains. He then said it contained a spider…at which point I was saying “oh no way” ..you can keep that fuckin shit right on the other boat…Troy replied ” well you were happy for my black arse to be eaten!!. Turns out it was a baby gator. He was about 2yrs old. He had been reared by the guys that run the tours. He had been handled from a baby. He was so cute and so quiet. Didn’t even try to snap fingers. But it was so funny when he pissed on one of the men on the boat. Troy said he doesn’t like men & that he peed on men all the time.

We had a great time and I would suggest this to any one who may visit New Orleans in the near future. We used Cajun Encounters.

After leaving the tour, we then went to find a place to stay for the night, this time a little out from the main centre and a little cheaper. We spent the arvo chillaxing and then we went to check out Bourbon St and go on our Vampire tour.

Bourbon St was a blast. New Orleans is definitely one of the places I have liked the most. Party Central. It reminds me of Kuta, Bali. There were certainly plenty of sights to see…mmmm .

We moved on to our Vampire tour at 8.30pm. We started outside the Cathedral. Well I wish they had written in the brochure that we would be taken on a historical walk/talk tour. I could of read it in a brochure. Unfortunately nothing untoward happened on our tour. Nothing out of the ordinary, but the information was very interesting. Vampires real or not??? Something to ponder. My feet are very sore, as we walked for miles and got very disorientated…felt like we walked in circles.

I am a little sad to leave here tomorrow, but I know that I have many more wonderful things to do and see. Can’t wait for Nashville and Memphis.

Well time to call it a night.

J

xxx

New Orleans – 4.7.2012 – USA Travel Journal

4th of July

Today we set off from Lafayette to head to New Orleans. We took our time as we knew that it wasn’t going to take us long to get there. We only stopped for food and drink, as most of the shops were closed today for the holiday.

I did manage to take Dave kicking and screaming into another Hobby Lobby shop. He couldn’t believe the prices either. He was such a great trolley pusher!!! Got some insane bargains. They had 50% off albums and some stickers. So looks like his suitcase is getting filled up too. I’m sure the excess luggage is going to be a killer.

We have now booked into a place for the night after spending the afternoon/evening in the French Quarter. I have never seen so many one way streets in my life and only big enough to get the car down. Would hate to be driving a bus etc. It so busy too. Loving the feel of New Orleans. Very popular area I think. Looking forward to checking it out some more tomorrow.

                  

one of the street performers

 

While on our travels, we stopped at one of the stores and we are now signed up for a swamp tour and a vampire tour. This could be interesting. Dave is looking forward to the swamp tour, me not so much, but I am going to drag him along to the vampire tour. So we’re even. We are going to check out Bourbon Street too!!

After looking around the French Quarter we decided to go and get a place on the riverfront. There were thousands of people lining the riverfront. They had 2 barges and they let off fireworks simultaneously. It was so cool. It was great to see. Getting out of the parking lot not so great.

Anyway must go now and get some shut eye ready for the adventure to the swamp..

See ya’all soon

J

xx

Houston/Lafeyette – 3.7.2012 – USA Travel Journal

 

Today we headed into the city to find the Hard Rock Cafe, so I could get me glass for the collection. We arrived to find that it was closed, so we decided to head to the nearest parking lot and take a look around.

I had read about some tunnels. So I wanted to check them out. We parked the car and headed towards them. These tunnels connect to the streets of central houston. You can travel from one end of the city to the other, exiting at certain points of interest. These tunnels are 20ft below ground and air conditioned. Dave and I walked for a while and didn’t even realise where we had gotten too. So we certainly got our exercise for the day. We hopped on the free bus and did the circuit and then continued back to the car.

some of the amazing art works around the city

We stopped at Appleby’s. It was cool. Great food. Love the chicken wings. The server Bobby was cool. She got Dave’s humour. So funny. She had a comeback for him every time. He thought it was fantastic. She kept hanging around just to talk to us, so she could hear our accent.

  

We didn’t stop in town for long as we wanted to get on the road and head towards New Orleans. We have made it as far as a place called Lafayette .

Tomorrow we head to New Orleans. I am extremely tired and need to get to bed. More updates tomorrow.

J

xx

Road to Houston – 2.7.2012 – USA Travel Journal

Well today was not a great day. We spent nearly 3 hours driving around the twist and turns of the Dallas highways, trying to find a particular shop I had seen yesterday. It was an unclaimed baggage place. Do you think we could find it…not a chance. Kind of wish we had gone there on the way home yesterday, even if it was just to get an address.

Which side of the road do I drive on??

Well I certainly heard about not being able to find it. Dave made sure of it. In the end we just decided to cut our losses and tackle the highways and just head south to Houston. Dave decided that he had had enough and gave the keys to me and told me good luck with it. So I took over for about 1.5 hours. Mind you I let him know how it felt to sit in the passenger seat.

The tension was raised a few notches and a few words were mutted but eventually we got it sorted and managed to get out of the rat race and back to some sanity. This road trip is certainly testing our sanity, but I wouldn’t have it any other way…it just makes our love for each other stronger and lets just say the making up is pretty good too!!

 

Well I am going to try and watch a little TV while I can get the chance…Dave normally has the remote all tied up!!!

J

xx

Dallas 1.7.2012 – USA Travel Journal

Well today we stayed in Dallas for another night. I really wanted to have a break from driving and take a look around.

       

Dave and I headed out to the Fort Worth Stockyards. We wanted to get that real cowboy feel of Texas. They herd the longhorn cows down the street. You can see a wild west show and shop and eat to your hearts content. We got there in time to see the cows go down the street. Well here I was expecting to see the cowboys herding cattle , cracking whips and cattle running everywhere. Umm a little news flash for me. The tamest cows I had ever seen. They just mosed on down the road like they had all day. I think a snail would of moved faster. The cowboys didn’t even get the horse to a trot.

We then came across cows with saddles, now I truely think I have seen everything. You could sit on the cow and take a pic. Cows and saddles….mmm something a little wrong here I think??

Dave and I then decided to go and see the Wild West show. Whip cracking, rope tricks, trick riding & a singing cowboy. This should be great.  Well we got inside and lets just say Dave and I spent the next 45 mins or so, looking at each other and thinking this would have to be the worse B grade acting we have ever seen. While some of the tricks were cool, the weren’t anything spectacular. As for the singing cowboy….I think he should stick to his day job. The animals were the stars of the show. I would like to know who taught them how to act, they should give the humans lessons. We were hoping to win a pair of cowboy boots, but our number wasn’t the one. Would of made it worth while to endure the show.

Anyway Dave and I had a great day and finished it off by having dinner at one of the steak houses. The food certainly wasn’t B grade. It was A+.

Now its time to veg out and plan for the next stop.

J

xxx

 

Road to Dallas 29&30-6-2012 – USA Travel Journal

Road to Dallas

29/6 – Today we didn’t make it very far at all. We spent most of the day, stopping at antique stores and getting caught up with chatting. They were fascinated by our trip and our accent. We did call into the Blue Bell Ice-cream Factory hoping to do the tour of the plant but unfortunately they had a group of 70+ students coming through. So the tour was going to be cut short. Dave and I opted to do the tour in Texas. They also told us that it was larger and probably the better tour to do. They did let us have some ice-cream though. It was so nice. We also got it on the house, as the ladies fell in love with our accent. One of the lovely ladies, Christine even gave me the number of her Aunty to call and told me that if we were in the area where she lives, to rock on by, walk up to her, tell her we were sent by her and go and have ourselves a fourth of July celebration. Southern Hospitality. Gotta love it!!!

We called into many antique stores but a lot of them were closed. They weren’t opening because of the heat…couldn’t believe it. They obviously are not used to this heat. Dave and I are not having much trouble with it, as it reminds us of home. Especially in Perth. Our summers are scorchers!!!

We stayed in a little place called Purchell for the night, as we didn’t get very far. The place is average. Glad we didn’t have to stay longer than the night. We will certainly be out of here early.

30/6 – Today we got out of Purcell early and hit the road running. We headed out along 77 and this route was part of route 66. That was cool. We called into a café called Rock Café where Dave met a man called Gerry. Dave was telling him about how we are on the lookout for garage memorabilia for a friend back home and some old car parts. Gerry told us about an old fella that was up the road that has been known to sell some parts but he was a cranky old bastard. Turns out he was talking about himself. So after we ate lunch , we ventured off to find his house. It wasn’t that hard to find. It had old shit everywhere. Cars, antiques and the flashiest house on the street. He was outside washing the church bus. He invited us into his shed and showed us all his cars, motors and memorabilia. Dave was in mechanic heaven.

He then proceeded to inform us that he had been married for over 50 yrs and that he owned his house and the church building and then told us he was the local preacher. By this stage I just wanted to get in the car and go. Got me thinking ..how did he manage to have all this?? Courtesy of the church goers?? Well then he invited us into his home to look at his antique collection. We met his wife and the two housekeepers. It was then that I started to feel a little uncomfortable. I got the run down on faith and believing in Jesus. We were about to get a whole sermon. Mr preacher man even started singing Johnny Cash…argghh I kept thinking. Dave get me the fuck out of here. I am surprised the house didn’t fall down around my ears.

While I have no problem with people having faith, I certainly don’t believe in being preached to and having the bible bashed down my throat and feeling that I’m the biggest sinner on earth because I don’t believe in Jesus. It was then and there that I ever so politely said that while I had my own beliefs in what I think of religion I didn’t appreciate being preached to. You should of seen the look on their faces. Priceless.

They assured me that , that wasn’t their intention…mmmm not so sure about that. I thanked them very much for their hospitality and that it was lovely to meet them. I’m sure they spent the night saying hail mary’s and asking for my soul to be saved!!! Good luck with that one!!! I practically sprinted out of there and couldn’t get to the car quick enough. I told Dave to get me as far away from this town as possible. No wonder this section is called the bible belt.

After getting over the fact that I felt completely violated, we headed towards Dallas. Along the way we stopped in at a place called Pops. Its a factory where they make soda. It has a giant soda bottle out the front that lights up at night. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see that, as it was still daylight, but we did go and have a bite to eat. They have over 600 flavours of soda. I had a cookies and cream shake. It was delicious. The burger wasn’t bad either.

After our bite to eat, we headed back out on the road and couldn’t get to Dallas quick enough. I really just wanted to wash away the day in the shower. That preacher man made me feel so dirty…arghhh.

I just want to veg in front of the telly and get an early night.

Need to research things to see in Texas.

Going to call it a night.

xx

J

 

Owasso – 28.6.2012 – USA Travel Journal

 Owasso

After leaving Platte City , we have now made our way to Oklahoma passing through Kansas again. We are in a place called Owasso. We found a Best Western to stay at, and my oh my it is so nice. The people here are so friendly and I love how the accent has now changed to more of a drawl. I must say though having the Aussie accent has been great….its amazing what kind of deals you can get just for being an Aussie 🙂

We didn’t get very far today. We were too busy just stopping along the way to look at antique stores, only to find that most of them were closed or out of business.

I stopped at a little salon to get my hair trimmed today. The ladies in there were so lovely and Lee who cut my hair was just fasinated with our trip, Australia and getting my hair right. She was a little nervous I think. As I had told her that my hairdresser had been cutting my hair for 4 yrs. But she did a great job and I feel human again. Lee was telling us about her niece that now lives in New Zealand. She hopes to visit her and go to Australia too. I must say though when Dave and I talk, its like we are the latest attraction at the zoo. Kind of like we are extinct animals. Guess they don’t get many Aussies travelling through them parts.

We have just been to dinner at a place called Cracker Barrel. It was such a cute spot and the food was amazing. Our hostess Madeline was fasinated with us, so much so that towards the end of the night, she was asked to move along. I felt so bad for her. We don’t want to get anyone into trouble. We gave her an Aussie coin and showed her our currency. She thought it was so cool. I tell you what its a whole lot easier to figure out the denomination in your purse…here it all blends into one.

We also managed to see a RH Drive vehicle today. The cutest little ute. Dave was flabergasted. We certainly didn’t think we would see that here, so much so that he had to take a photo of it. It was for sale. Now I would love to see an American driving it…such a funny site.

Well its getting late. Better call it a night.

J

xxx

Platte City – Missouri – USA Travel Journal – 27.6.2012

Well I am so confused. We are now in another state. I am truly amazed how you can drive from one state to the another in a day…try doing that in Australia. Good luck.

Today we stopped in at a little antique store, where we meet a gorgeous lady. She had so much stuff, I could of been lost in there for hours. I actually did find something that caught my eye. I now am the owner of a lovely gold sapphire pinkie ring 🙂

It was another warm day today. 100F (38). Thank goodness for air con. I must say I have never drank so much coke in my life. It is so cheap here. You can walk into a servo and buy a 32oz cup for 79c and if you are in a restaurant or fast food chain, it is free refills. Australia really needs to get with the program. To eat here is so cheap too. Dave and I never pay anymore than $20 for the both of us including drinks. Insane.

Today I got to take Dave to a diner. They make the best food and are decorated in 50-60 style. They are so quaint.

They even had an item on the menu in his name. Mind you I have found on our travels, that Dave is a popular name. Nearly every town has a business with Dave in the name of it. Interesting. Wonder if its like Jim’s at home. Some kind of franchise??

Dave and I took our first swim today. This motel has an indoor heated pool. It was really nice. Hope we get a chance to take a swim again along our travels.

I have to say though I will be speaking with the managers tomorrow, as we have a huge problem in our bathroom. There is water everywhere. The toilet is leaking. I went to get into bed and the carpet is sopping wet. How housekeeping has not noticed this is beyond me. This problem is not something that just happened overnight, this has been going on for months. I wonder if they will give us some kind of discount??

Well I best be calling it a night.

Update you all again soon

J

xoxo