We said goodbye to family and headed west, with the border crossing at Laredo, Texas, as our destination. The drive from Orange Beach, Alabama to Laredo, Texas, took us two days.
Since we didn’t have our heavy and side-vision-impairing pop-top camper on the back of the truck, we didn’t have to take the slower, albeit more aesthetically pleasing, side roads and instead joined the holiday travelers on the I-10 interstate the day after Christmas.
And, since we weren’t making our usual return trip all the way back to Colorado after a holiday spent in Alabama along its affectionately known Redneck Riviera, our drive across the ginormous state of Texas was thankfully reduced to one day of driving instead of our old usual two or three days of driving, especially if we’d stopped to hike and camp at our beloved Big Bend National Park. For that shortened foray across Texas, we were happy.
The one major drag though was the torrential downpour with accompanying tornado warnings which we drove through as we barreled, or crawled, our way towards the impending rainy rush hour traffic in Houston. Fortunately, the rain slowed us down an hour and so we missed the brunt of rush hour traffic and the rain magically stopped just as we hit Houston.
Other positive notes: The two La Quinta Inns that we stayed in were decent (Lake Charles, Louisiana, and Laredo, Texas) and the Best Buy in Lake Charles had the iPad keyboard I needed (the one I’d ordered from Amazon and which was waiting for me at my dad’s had arrived with a dead internal battery and so I’d sent it back and didn’t have time to reorder one online).
We ate the complimentary breakfasts at our hotels and ate our lunches out of our cooler while at rest areas, but we went out for dinner each night and struck gold.
The two restaurants recommended by Trip Advisor (Darrell’s in Lake Charles for amazing po boys and Taquitos Ravi Restaurant for the best mexican food ever in Laredo) had food that was the proverbial “to die for.”
So, we were happy campers, so to speak, as much as one can be a happy camper and a road zombie at the same time.
John fell asleep the minute he sipped on his celebratory rum and coke and reclined in his chair at our hotel in Laredo.
Two days down. Well, three if you count the day we drove from Central Florida to Orange Beach right through some of Hurricane Michael’s devastation of two months back.
We are alive.
We are healthy.
We are adventurers.