Country Mike had a great time visiting
Lafayette (Country Music) and
Baton Rouge (LSU Football) last weekend.
I enjoy road trips, especially because I work two jobs (on top of this blog) and don't often have the time to take them. And when I do take them, I often need to get back to Houston, within a day or two.
That's why I try to pack a week's worth of fun into 38 hours. And road trips aren't fun without a friend to take the trip with you.
'Ry Guy", my good friend from north of Houston, is the ideal traveling partner. We always have lots of fun and have lots of good stories to tell by the time the trips are through.
With it being my last free weekend until Christmas/New Year's, I decided to do something I've always wanted to do - attend a football game at a Southeastern Conference football stadium.
And it made sense to watch a game at Louisiana State University's Tiger Stadium. At four hours, it's by far the closest SEC school to Greater Houston.
The trip started off with some arguing between me and Ry Guy. His GPS told us that we needed to take U.S. Hwy. 90 from Houston to Beaumont. That's one of those roads where you stop in every little bitty town and drive through the stoplights.
It took us a relatively long time (longer than it would take to drive on I-10), but I enjoyed seeing some different places for the first time. How else would I have known that there are towns in Texas named China and Nome? LOL.
Sometime before that, in Dayton, Texas, I tried to get Ry Guy to listen to the late Australian Country Music icon Slim Dusty. Although he loves country music, Ry Guy wasn't having it. I tried to explain to him that it was important to learn about different cultures, and listening to Slim Dusty would fulfill that goal. Playing DJ in my Honda, he quickly switched the album to Casey Donahew Band and Austin Cunningham, two artists that have provided the soundtrack to our growing number of road trips.
Once in Louisiana, we stopped at Cajun Charlie's in Sulphur. It's kind of weird that the restaurant, just off I-10, is right next to a cemetary. Oh well, the food was good at the buffet, but they warn you that you must eat the food that you take (or you get charged extra). The place had lots of souvenirs and pictures of Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson and other stars visiting the restaurant.
Scanning the radio stations (because I was tired of listening to CDs), I found a Cajun station, but Ry Guy wasn't having it. Nor did he like it when we listened to a grainy high school football broadcast that couldn't be understood, due to the heavy accents of the broadcasters.
In Lafayette, we stayed at the Blue Moon Saloon and Guesthouse - a unique place near the city's downtown. I was really tired by that point, but still took some time to enjoy The Howdies, a band from Austin, that was playing on the Saloon's stage.
We woke up early and set out for the hour-long trip east to Baton Rouge, most of which includes bridges. You do pass Breaux Bridge, which is the hometown of Carolina Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme.
At LSU, we parked our car and walked around. Within minutes, we were invited to a tailgate party (that featured a wedding reception). We missed the actual wedding ceremony. Some might think it's tacky, but I think it's really cool that a couple got married at an LSU tailgate party. They both have a passion for Bayou Bengal football, and that's something that the couple and their friends can share (along with MCs, the Evil Twins, a pair of well-known LSU football tailgaters).
I never envisioned these two teams meeting on the football field.
It was really great to hear "Callin' Baton Rouge" during the pre-game. Another neat experience was eating ice cream from the LSU Dairy. Only at one other school - Washington State - had I done that, and it reminded me of the days when I ate Crescent Ridge Dairy ice cream in my hometown of Sharon, Mass.
The game itself wasn't anything special, with the Bayou Bengals dominating in a 31-3 victory.
But after the game - we stayed in one spot for an hour in the parking lot until traffic began moving. We finally crossed over the Mississippi River bridge and pulled into Port Allen, Louisiana when we stopped at a truck stop at 11 p.m.
We'd decided to drive back to Houston that night, and since I'd been up since early that morning, I decided to drink a Five-Hour Energy.
Braylon Edwards, you are the man for endorsing that product. It worked wonders as I was able to stay extremely alert all the way until I pulled into my Houston apartment at 4:30 a.m. Maybe, they should call it 5.5 Hour Energy.
And kudos to Casey Donahew for "Stockyards" and Austin Cunningham for "Yankee Farm in Texas." Ry Guy and I sang along to all of the words, belting out the latter at the top of our lungs as we crossed the Sabine River Bridge back into Texas.
There's nothing like a good road trip, and this was definitely a great one. It was very tiring, but worth every second of it.