Sunday, July 06, 2008

Marriage survives on 2,959-mile road trip

The French Quarter

A road trip can make or break a relationship. We did pretty well during 12 days and 2,959 miles on the road.
It means accomodating some of the weird whims of your partner. Cindy indulged me in Memphis. I wanted to walk across the street from our downtown hotel and see if the ballgame was still in progress. We breezed past the bored ushers and gate-crashed to see the final innings of a doubleheader between the Albuquerque Isotopes and the Redbirds. Cool, I thought.
Then Cindy wanted to see the famous parade of the ducks in the Peabody Hotel across the street. People pack the lobby to stand around the fountain and hear way too much commentary about how the tradition began. The crowd begins forming about an hour before the appointed time. Seems that since sometime in the 1930s, there have ducks in the fountain. Each each evening at 5, they are led by a bellman into the elevator and up to their rooftop roost. From the fountain to the elevator takes about 30 seconds. The pushing and maneuvering for a good look take up 100 times that. Cindy couldn´t get a good photo. Still, she thought it was cool.

Jackson Square, New Orleans

32 miles to the gallon

To answer your question, on the drive from Baltimore to Guadalajara, Mexico, we got about 32 miles to the gallon in our six-cylinder, 7-year-old Toyota Solara (a sporty type Camry), and gasoline averaged about $3.90 a gallon, so it cost about $375 for the trip.
We drove as much as 556 miles one day (New Orleans to San Antonio). Days of driving, eight. Total trip time, 12 days.

A musical itinerary

As it turned out, the most direct route passed through Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans, so we decided to take in some music in all those places. In Nashville we went to see a live, two-hour radio show at the Grand Ole Opry, which included the Charlie Daniels Band, Craig Morgan (“International Harvester“), Little Jimmy Dickens (famous but I had never heard of him) and a fantastic bluegrass band led by Dan Tyminski, who sang “Man of Constant Sorrow“ in “Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou“. In all there were eight acts, and it was a wonderful, high-energy show.

In Memphis we arrived at the same time as a huge biker convention, and Beale Street was a parking lot for Harleys, end to end. In New Orleans we took in some blues on Bourbon Street. Local guys, excellent musicians. Bourbon Street has some of the best and worst of New Orleans, from a few places with great music to topless dancing by female impersonators.

San Antonio´s River Walk
We arrived in San Antonio on a Saturday night and took a walk along the River Walk, a kind of sub-city along the San Antonio River lined with restaurants and shops.
San Antonio was charming. The Alamo is as much a public garden as a historical monument.

The Alamo

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