On the Road Again

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June 4th 2015
Published: June 5th 2015
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Hi there,

It’s been a while and a lot of concrete and bitumen has passed under the rental, about 3192klm’s actually and in 11 days. Saw a lot of countryside albeit the scenery can’t compare to what we saw when we were travelling through the mountains.

The biggest concern was the amount of rain that had fallen in the past few days. Apparently Houston was in major flood with many people missing, so I was hoping it will all be clear by the time I get there. I did drive through some heavy rain on the way to my first stop which was Wichita. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wichita,_Kansas) . Not much to say but it did provide me with a nice meal at Hooters and a restock of my regular nightcap of Wild Turkey (medicinal purposes only). I did find out it has a huge history in plane building.

Next day up and drive to Dallas via Oklahoma City. Once again fairly uneventful until I hit Dallas, they obviously decided it was time to do some major road construction to add to the 10 level (I’m guessing) flyover, underpass, off ramp, on ramp craziness that confronted me. This also meant some roads did not go where my GPS said they would, so I was a bit intimidated. Ended up somehow on the George Bush Turnpike (toll road), huge road with not many cars on it, obviously nobody likes paying tolls but then again who does?

Found my hotel which was located outside the fence of Six Flags (https://www.sixflags.com/overtexas) and a 15 minute walk to the ballpark. All very convenient, although I did manage not to head into 6 Flags as the height and size of the rides were a bit more than this old man was prepared to take on. The one thing that took my interest was the slow speed car chase that went past my hotel window and finished about 500yds down the road with the police doing that manoeuvre whereby they drive up beside the vehicle and spin it around. This caused the 4 lane freeway outside my window to come to a dead stop for about 2 hours while they cleared the scene, all very exciting. (http://www.nbcdfw.com/video/#!/news/local/Raw--Chase-Ends-in-Crash-on-I-30-in-Arlington/305235061)

Took in a game between the Boston Redsox and Texas Rangers (Redsox 5-1) and then headed off for Houston for the Astros.

Once again uneventful journey with it being a freeway all way. Had booked my hotel via a website called Hotwire (https://www.hotwire.com) whereby you choose the area you book into and they give you a price and a star rating but they don’t actually tell you the actual hotel until you pay. I scored the Hyatt Regency right in the middle of town, 20 minutes from the stadium for $99AUD a night, pretty sweet. My game was the next day at 3:10 so I did a local search and found some Independent Baseball being played about a 40 minute drive away, so off I headed to watch the Sugarland Skeeters v Maryland Mudcrabs. Just turned up and bought tickets right on the fence down 1st base line and sat alongside some season ticket holders. Had a great time as well as it being Fireworks Friday. Skeeters 7-1.

Slept in till after 10 and had a slow day until time to go the game. Lovely day outside so I headed off to the game on foot. Had good seats and it was a good game played under a closed roof, obviously the locals knew something and ½ way through the game the weather closed in and a storm which could only be described as Biblical hit Houston. According to the news there was major flash flooding and disruption around the town. As the game finished they announced they would keep the stadium open until the storm had cleared, which it did about 1 hour after the game had finished. Headed back to the hotel and on the way back it opened up again so I had to take refuge in a bar, for about 2 hrs. Good Mexican food and plenty of people who wanted to talk about baseball etc. Ultimately got back to the hotel a bit damp but had a good day out. Astros 3-0.

Next day went to the Space Centre (http://spacecenter.org/) . Not quite what I expected but did the tours and spent about 5 hours there and found it quite interesting and informative. Got to go to the “Houston we have a problem “building.

So farewell Houston and onto New Orleans, the Big Easy. A leisurely 5 hour drive and drove on some of the longest elevated roadways (low bridges) I have ever been on. I suppose when you build on a swamp you need to improvise. Checked into my Hotwire hotel and set off to investigate the intriguing place I had heard so much about.

Well intriguing could be a word you use but I would tend towards sleazy, smelly, tacky and dirty but maybe that’s just me. Wandered around for about 6 hours and took in the sights which, if you don’t get out much, it could be described as exciting but it is pretty much what you get in most places around the world when you blend over exuberant tourists with alcohol, sex and no rules. Bourbon St stank of urine and it was loud. Maybe I am getting too old for this stuff.

Up and about the next day and got on the Hop on Hop off Bus tour and got to see the New Orleans that is interesting as opposed to titillating. Went around all the areas, did a walking tour of the Garden area. Home to Sandra Bullock, John Goodman and the Manning family, the family home of Peyton, Eli and the lesser known Archie, all this followed by a walk around the Lafayette cemetery (http://www.saveourcemeteries.org/lafayette-cemetery-no-1/) . Strolled around and was quite taken by the part of the city that was outside of the obvious.

Suitably rested I had an overnight stay in Birmingham Alabama with all intentions of taking in a game at the Baron’s stadium. Checked into my hotel, logged onto the website to get directions to the stadium only to find they had played at 11:00 am in the morning. Who plays at 11 am on a weekday? Whatever.

Next up Atlanta, Savannah and then Tampa followed by Miami and possibly some baseball.

More to come

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