NO/LA roadtrip adventure (part 4)

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by mike dixon, Feb 2, 2004.

  1. Color shots are pushed EPJ (as described in the last installment) taken with the 50 Summilux. The b&w shots are FP4+, except for the desert shot which was on Delta 100 shot with a Pentax 645.
    Chapter Five: Return to Houma and another birthday party
    Sarah had told me she'd call in the morning, and we'd be heading back to Houma by noon or so. In real terms, this meant she called about 11, and we were back on the road around 3 p.m. Ahhh, women. We were returning to Houma for the day because another of her friends was having a birthday (and requisite party); after that, we'd resume our trek westward.
    The party took place at a Japanese restaurant and bar. After dining on udon, I asked the bartendar how much for a good, stiff Scotch. He said $5. I asked him for a Scotch on the rocks (and go easy on the rocks). He proceeded to take out a 16-oz water glass, put a few cubes of ice in it, then start pouring in the Dewar's, and keep pouring, and keep pouring until the glass was about 80% full. Apparently, in Lousiana, it's a moral obligation to get everyone possible good and drunk.
    [​IMG]
    Sarah gives Daniela a birthday kiss
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    Sarah is swept off her feet
    Our designated driver later took us back to the Balcony Bar (where we had met on the first night in Houma) to close out the evening. We enjoyed the bacteria burger buffet that night (but much less so in the morning).
    [​IMG]
    Daniela and Sharie share a burger
    Chapter Six: Heaven, Hell, or Houston
    The next day, Sarah insisted we get on the road west unreasonably early (by 10 or so). I was too hungover to mount any kind of rational argument against (what seemed to me) such a bizarre and incomprehensible plan, and I suspect she was too hungover to make sense of it even if I had. So off we went, her driving and me semi-conscious in the passenger seat (with me stirring from my troubled slumbers occasionally to moan). Her suggestion that we go get some breakfast was met with a hostile glare.
    By the time we neared the Texas border, I had gotten enough additional sleep that I was able to take over at the wheel. We were heading for Houston to visit one of Sarah's friends from med school, Benoy, and his wife Rose. We met them at Starbucks (yeah, I felt a little dirty going into a corporate coffee chain), then headed off to a restaurant for an early dinner. During the conversation, it came up that Rose and I had been at the University of Michigan at the same time, and the reason we had seemed to familiar to each other was that she had been a student in one of the classes for which I was a TA. It's a small world.
    After eating, we dropped Sunshine off at a service center to have the air conditioner recharged while we adjourned to the bar across the street. Benoy and Rose had shots from their honeymoon in Hawaii, and I had shots from Nashville, and Sarah has shots from all over, so we had a little picture viewing orgy.
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    Benoy and Rose check out some pics
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    Sarah has this thing about lifting people in photos
    The food and water (lots of water) helped to clear our heads, so we set out on the road again to see how much of Texas we could get through. Sarah had the twisted idea that we could just take turns and keep driving all night until we were near the Grand Canyon (our next planned destination). Rather than attempting rational arguments, I simply laid down the law at this point--I explained that I was a tired old man still recovering from the final vestiges of too much fun the night before, that I had been running on empty for most of a week, and that by midnight my ass was going to be in a comfortable bed preparing to sleep until I awoke from natural causes.
    We ended up stopping in Junction, Texas, for the night. The cheap motel right by the highway wasn't very cheap, so we found a nice place in the small town. The next day, Sarah went exploring while I slept, then we got a late breakfast at Isaack Restaurant (which was conveniently located right by the motel).
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    After that, we were back on the road. Let me tell you, there's a whole lotta Texas out there--about 800 miles of it east to west on I-10. And while the hill country is pretty for the first hundred miles or so, after that, the new wears off . . . [​IMG]
    it's all this exciting
    And so ends this part of the tale. Still more to come.
     
  2. Mike,

    This is lots of fun! Thanks!
     
  3. I eagerly wait for each installment. "Benoy and Rose" is magnificent.

    When were you at the U of M? I may have been there at the same time too. I miss Blimpy Burgers and try to simulate them at home (not enough grease). Add to that: Cottage Inn Scicilian pizzas, Metzgers schnitzles...
     
  4. Sorry, that should've been Sicilian, and schnitzel.
     
  5. there's a whole lotta Texas out there--about 800 miles of it east to west on I-10. And while the hill country is pretty for the first hundred miles or so, after that, the new wears off . . .
    I did the I-10 hump in both directions about a dozen times. The desire not to wake up in Texas always motivates me to drive through to either Baton Rouge (east) or Las Cruses NM (west), even when it was not really safe to continue due to fatique. How many hours of looking at every shade of gray and brown can you take? It's a long drive!
     
  6. My favorite part of I-10 in Texas is the roadblock east of El Paso where they pull every car off the road to search for drugs and aliens. They'll pick up your vehicle with a fork-lift if you look suspicious.
     
  7. This whole trip has been...well, a trip. The not-so-bad pictures have been a welcome
    bonus. Can't wait for the next installment.
     
  8. Mike,

    I suggest you make life a constant road-trip for the next year and share the stories/images with us here exclusively! :)
     
  9. The Texas "Hill Country" is really only the very central section of the state--AKA the Edwards Plateau. You didn't see much of it from I-10 and you were out of it by Junction. It's a great place, having been settled by Czech and German immigrants whose culture continues throughout the area.

    I think I've crossed Texas twice a year for almost 20 years. The first couple of times, I thought it was the longest, most boring drive I had ever experienced. Now I'm familiar with it and I love the country. Of course, I'm most familiar with the central/northern routes. West of Junction is pretty remote, I'll grant you.

    Glad you enjoyed The Big Easy.
     
  10. Thanks, Mike. Really enjoying your little adventure trips. The girls seem to like each other;) Hope you keep them going ,the photo essays i mean, i think.


    Wish there was there was more of this sort of thing, i get a bit bored of the usual Digital v Film stuff.
     
  11. <<When were you at the U of M? I may have been there at the same time too.>>

    When were you there?

    LSA '76. Go Blue.
     
  12. Print this as a thesis and you get an honorary degree from Hunter S. Thompson University of Dissolute, Montana! [Boy this is fun!]
     
  13. Jay and Mike,

    I was there from 1960-1988 because I was born in the U of M hospital, used the resources during high school and attended the engineering (chemical) school between 1980-1988 with a significant gap in that period to work at the family restaurant (Main near Liberty) full time after my father died. I started to travel the world in 1989, but have been back several times. I miss A Squared, add the long gone Drakes into that equation. My blood runs blue.

    Steve
     
  14. I was in A2 from '72-'76, got my M4 at Quarry Photo on State Street next to Follett's...just about right across from Drakes as a matter of fact. I'm sure I was in your family restaurant, I didn't miss many of them as the dorm food truly s*cked and I went out to eat a lot. Forget Cottage Inn, we used to patronize Omega Pizza, it was on a little outcropping right where Huron curved around in front of the dorms. Enough grease on those babies to slide right into next week.
     
  15. Mike,Jay,Steven - I was born in UM hospital, Med School grad 1982, Mother still lives there, Father died there. Go Blue!
     
  16. mike,
    nice installment. lee is right. you actually missed the hill country. the drive from houston to el paso on i-10 is deadly, especially once you get west of san antonio. great photos tell the story. thanks for sharing.
     
  17. Mike---another GREAT installment thanks. If it seemed like Texas went on
    forever well...........................when you get to El Paso it's closer to San Diego
    than back to East Texas, where you entered the state. Fun.
     
  18. Jay,

    Why didn't you stay in A Squared for dental school, you know, one of the best? Couldn't get accepted?

    8*)
     
  19. Thanks for the comments, everyone! Only a couple more
    installments to go . . .

    I was at UM from '90 to '93 and in A2 until '95. One of my friends
    had an apartment close to Blimpie Burger (it's cheaper than
    food!), but I wasn't a big fan. I did enjoy the big snowman they'd
    build each year that would last for months. My main food
    memories are of Mr. Rib's soul on a roll and the falafel at
    Wolverine Deli (I always looked for the old guy--his English was
    no good, but he always put a big slab of feta and half a bottle of
    hot sauce on my falafel when he made them).
     
  20. All right you guys. I use to work in Grand Rapids and my newspaper would
    send me to U of M. I was in the state most of the 1970's. When did this "A2"
    business start? I trust that refers to Ann Arbor? "A squared".

    Indeed.
     
  21. As I recall, Metzger's had excellent black bread. Most of our drinking was done at the Old Heidelberg on Main St.. The song "Down on Main St." was about a bar somewhere near there, but not actually on Main. Maybe Ann St.?? Don't remember. I was there from 65-71 in graduate school. Getting stoned in the Arb during summer concerts there was one of the highlights.
     
  22. John,

    If you're still listening:

    We had a take-out place on Liberty near the Michigan Theater in the early sixties (the second oriental restaurant to open in Ann Arbor after Leo Pings on Liberty near Main (my parents met there). There are dozens, now. The one we opened in 1966 was on Main near Liberty (Pagoda). We closed it in 1986, so I went back to school.
     

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