Day 32 – May 9th

The road trip has started, we are on the road at 7:50. We are going to Texas, baby. Pat told us that we head West on the I10 for pretty much the whole trip. Right now, we are heading toward the state capital of Louisiana, Baton Rouge (Red Stick). The road is officially known as the I10 (I meaning- interstate) but more romantically it is HWY61. Thirty-Six miles out and the flora is green and lush interspersed with vast tracks of water.

We hit the outskirts of Baton Rouge at 9:50 and we got a view of the State Capitol building. We crossed the mighty Mississippi and looking out can see that Baton Rouge is a very busy shipping port. Now heading for Lafayette (the Cajun Capital).

At 10:10 we crossed into Iberville Parish. In the rest of the U.S. there are Counties but in Louisiana there are Parishes. At 10AM we see a sign for Opelousas (thought I would mention that as it is a cool name).

Next, we are in Scott, Louisiana, the Boudin capital of the State. I love a good Boudin.

It is sixty-three miles to Lake Charles (Texas) and we are eating up the miles. Pat is driving like a champion as we listen to a bunch of Bob’s music compilations. The music is good as would be expected from someone who has had his own radio show on WWOZ for over thirty-five years. I am getting to hear a lot of new artists and am frantically writing down band and artists names to research.

Bob has made us sandwiches for the road which are very tasty indeed.

Just went through Rayne and Pat let us know that the Town has an annual Frog Festival. That sort of means you get to eat frogs in all sorts of ways.

At 11:15 we are nearing Evangeline. Another cool name for a town.

We pulled into Lake Charles (Popeyes) at 11:45. From what I can see this is an industrial working-class town. The Popeyes’ diner’s car-park is full of trucks (oversized utes) and there is a long queue waiting to order. Popeyes is a Louisiana fried chicken outlet and it a 100-times better than KFC.  I like it when you ask for mashed potato and the guy asks if you want your mashed spuds spicy. In fact, our server was very excited to hear that we were Australians. I think he has just seen Aussies for the first time in the flesh.

We are on the road again at 1PM. Still, a long way to go. We cross over into Texas at 1:20 and hit the first largish town (Beaumont at 1:20. It is now 78 miles to Houston. We made Houston at 3 PM. Passed the Pasadena turn-off. Got a good view of Houston’s CBD as we crossed another bridge. I made a salute as we passed the Budweiser Brewery.

Just saw the first signage for San Antonio at 3:10 and then saw the turn-off for Galveston. I am naming some of the turn-offs as they remind me of songs I have heard over the years mentioning these very same places. Sort of makes them more real and not just places in a song.

It took forever to get through Houston which is wide-spread. Pat told us the history and the law relating to how the American Flag is to be flown and how the State of Texas is a law unto itself. Worth a read here:

We arrived at our new home at 7PM. Dropped our bags and headed out on foot to the Tycoon Flats Bar and Burgers. I had a Philly Cheese Steak Focaccia washed down with a Hans Pils Real Ale. We are all tired from the drive especially Pat who drove all the way. Not a late night as we planned out what to do tomorrow including trying to find some live music.

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