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Train Run and Mini Vacay

We got off to a late start on Monday morning.

Jameson and I had pork chops and rice at the Pie Car for dinner. Dessert for that evening was my last Mexico Coke. I don't normally drink much soda so it was a special treat :)

We arrived in New Loredo almost on time; it didn't much matter anyway because we stayed there overnight.

On Tuesday we woke up early to do customs once again. Train crew came through first to confiscate any "banned" food items. I find this funny because all of my food at this point is stuff I snuck into Mexico from America at the beginning of the trip. Does that mean I can't take my American food back to America? Lol. So we went to Pie Car to have our passports stamped again, then waited and waited and waited to the point where people with early evening flights were freaking out that they might miss 'em. There was eventually a van to take people to the airport.

We finally started moving around 3:30pm, and stopped short of the border for American customs.


On the other side of the bridge, my phone started working. Aaah, 4G...the sweet, sweet nectar of civilization. I called my parents to let them know I'm alive. Then we sat in the yard until after 9pm while our water tanks were filled, animals were watered/fed/cleaned, and Pie Car was restocked.

Wednesday was an all-day run. I was able to tether my phone several times throughout the day to make plans for a short trip after we reach New Orleans. Otherwise it was a pretty boring day. I did all the things I normally do, and cleaned our donnikers, and didn't take many pictures because it's Texas. Rebecca and I are the only ones on our car this run; everyone else chose to take flights out of Loredo. I don't mind the quiet, but I'll be happy to get to our destination.

On Thursday we were able to make up quite a bit of the time we'd lost getting "side-tracked", and arrived in New Orleans pretty much on time.


Going through a lower income neighborhood, I can't help but think that America's lower classes often have better housing than Mexicans of similar standing.

We crossed the Mississippi River via the Huey P. Long Bridge. Neat!

I was super excited to be anywhere except on the train :P I remember the area and immediately found Big Lots, then Guitar Center for some Slide-o-Mix, then Walmart for everything I could carry (and that turned out to be too much). LJ and some other circus folks were there too, so we snagged a cab back to the train. I was happy to see my fridge full again! The water was hooked up, so I started some laundry and packed for my mini-vacation :)

The next day I walked two miles (it was HOT out!) to the nearest rental car place, got a car, and drove to Pensacola Beach! Well, to a hotel in Pensacola. I didn't go to the beach until Saturday.

The sand here is so white!


The water was very clear, too. I was able to see to the bottom even when the waves were up to my chest. Thanks to this (and some recent troweling for tarballs), I was able to find some pretty cool shells!

I spent several hours enjoying the beach, lying in the sun, taking a dip once in a while, looking for shells, and just chilling out :) As evening approached a storm started moving in. It was almost dinnertime anyway, so I packed up and went to Joe Patti's Seafood (found it online).

It looks like a tourist trap, and in some ways it is. They have a section dedicated to souvenirs, shirts, jams, etc. But most of the building is taken up by a long counter for selling fresh cuts of fish.

(photo courtesy yelp.com)

In addition to fresh fish, they also sell shellfish meats that have been shelled on-site, and they make their own seafood salads.

While I was there, someone brought out a 12lb lobster. Sheesh.


Joe Patti's has a sushi section as well. I got some nigiri and a seaweed salad and took it to the hotel. A tasty end to a fun beach day!

The next morning I packed up and drove to my grandparents' house in Midland, GA. Unfortunately I did not take the time zone change into account, and that plus a wrong turn had me showing up late around 2pm. Luckily everyone was just sitting down to lunch; Grandma made Country Captain, a stewed chicken dish featuring tomatoes, fresh peppers, raisins and almonds. For sides we had squash and rolls with locally made peach jam. After lunch we relaxed and talked until Grandma had to go play for Mass (she plays piano). Gramps, my Aunt and I watched the World Cup. What a cliffhanger game! The US tied at the last second :/

On Monday morning I had to leave quite early. Grandma was super sweet...she got up early to make a Vidalia onion pie (a sort of quiche with onions and sour cream) and fruit salad. I had to leave right at nine in order to make it back in time to get Jameson from the airport, and the pie was not finished in time for me to sit and eat with everyone :( But I was able to take a piece to go. It was delicious, and held me over until lunchtime. Thank you Grandma! Overall I only got to spend a few hours with my grandparents. But with my lifestyle, it gets harder and harder to visit them and I haven't seen them for more than two years. Even a short time together is far better than none. I had a great time. :)

I got back in time to get Jameson and take him for a grocery run. Right after we finished a huge thunderstorm hit, and I barely got the rental car back in time (they charged me for being late but gave me a ride home :P). Today (Tuesday) I'm enjoying some down time and preparing for a week of shows here in lovely New Orleans!

Other stuff:

Replacing my air filter after Mexico. Much needed.

Jameson brought me a gift: a watercolor paint set! I'm excited to try it out, especially on the fancy paper! (gonna practice on some cheap stuff first lol).

While he was in Chicago, he sent me some pics of Addison. She's getting so big!!

(photo courtesy Jameson)

My grandparents when they were younger (thanks for the photo Aunt Nicole!)