NoVa to SoCa: Days 4-5

Alright, to sum up these two days in two words I would say: random and relaxing.  We got up the morning of day four and cruised northwest through Louisiana and into Baton Rouge.  This town honestly surprised me!  I’d never been there but LSU has a great campus, and the town is right along the Mississippi River, which is great.  We strolled through their memorial park, saw both the old and new courthouses (both extremely impressive) and  then hit the road, heading for Texas.

When we crossed into Texas, we were at first excited about state #9 on this trip… but then were quickly depressed as we realized that the welcome center was located at Exit 880.  Why is this bad?  Because we’re driving across Texas.  Thankfully we’re taking a slightly more northern route than 10 West and won’t make it all the way to El Paso, but still… this is a huge state!  We learned that it is further from Houston to El Paso than Houston to Atlanta, GA.  It is also further from the Mexican border to the top of Texas than from Texas all the way up to Canada.  Wild!

Our first stop in Texas was Houston, where we stayed with a family friend in Sugar Land.  After arriving, our host was gracious enough to cruise us around town and show us some of the more unique sites of this town.  We went to the studio of the man whole creates 10-foot-tall busts of all the Presidents, we strolled through an old slave cemetery, and we had our favorite meal of the trip (so far).  We had flounder, shrimp, hush puppies, fried green tomatoes, margaritas… yum!

This morning we got up early, drove through downtown Houston, and then continued our journey west on interstate 10.  Today was our shortest drive of the trip, only about 3 hours!  Two-thirds of the way to San Antonio we stopped in the small town of Luling for what was rumored to be the best BBQ in Texas, which takes its BBQ very seriously.  I honestly have to agree!  We had ribs which fell right off the bone and were so flavorful we didn’t even need sauce.  The cool thing was that you walk in the back to smoke house to place your order, like inside it.  So fresh and so good.

Once in San Antonio we hit the major sites: the Alamo, La Villita (an open air market), the River Walk, and the Tower of the Americas.  It was scorching hot, but fun to explore.  Those of you who haven’t been, I strongly encourage it… just maybe not in July.  The Alamo is surprisingly small and right smack in the middle of town.  Like across from Ripley’s Believe it or Not.  The River Walk is one of my favorite places to just hang out.  Sitting at a cafe, eating and talking while people watching… awesome.

I’m trying to upload pictures to Facebook again, but the internet connection here is spotty.  Check back tomorrow night if it doesn’t work out tonight.  Tomorrow is the most exciting day of the trip for me because I will cross into New Mexico on the way to Carlsbad Caverns, which will officially put me in my fifty state 🙂 I’ll obviously post about that experience in a few days but for now, stay cool everyone!

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