Day 1: 478 miles behind us

Day 1: 478 miles behind us

Planned departure time, 9:00 a.m.; actual departure time, 9:15 a.m.  That is not too shabby for two women fixin to drive across the country!  Yes, I am beginning this post by applauding my mother and myself for our “timeliness” in shoving off 15 minutes later than planned.  Get used to it.  Our first stop was a mere 175 miles out in beautiful Ludlow, California.  We were hungry and immediately noticed the Ludlow Café.  Naturally, we were posing for our “first stop photo-op”, when up comes my longtime great friend Bryan Stiso and his father!  What are the odds right???  Well better than you may think…  They were on their way back from Arkansas themselves and just happened to stop at the same time and place that we did!  This, my friends, is known as kismet (Google it) and gave me a great feeling about this trip’s beginnings.

Lunch at the Ludlow Café was a great first stop experience on this adventure.  As I glanced over the menu my eyes were immediately drawn to, “Try our Famous French Dip Sandwich.”  Okay!  I will!  I mean, if they say that they’re famous for it, it must be really good right??  Well, it was okay, I guess.  The meat had a slight green hue to it that I just ignored for purposes beyond explanation.  Mom decided on the fried chicken plate that came with a crispy hash brown and some oh so gourmet canned veggies.  Now to not touch on the wait staff at this establishment would be a crime.  There were three women, all dressed in floor length frocks, random sneakers, hairnets, and seemed to lack all emotion whatsoever.  It’s like there was a lobotomy tour that came through!  Two out of the three had to have been at least in their 90’s.  Ludlow began as a “water stop” town for the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad in 1883 and is today considered a ghost town with a whopping 23 full time residents.  And we met three!  Success indeed.

Back on the road and onwards to Flagstaff, Arizona!  Bryan and his dad warned us that the weather we were heading into was frightful, but we seemed to have just missed it all!  We encountered a few showers and some gorgeous lightning and rainbows but nothing could slow us down.  We arrived in Flagstaff and checked into the Little America Hotel right off the interstate.  What a steal!  Huge room for a great price.  The place looks like it’s from a 1970’s hunting horror flick but never mind that.  I had taken the liberty of making us dinner reservations at Black Bart’s Steakhouse, Saloon, & Musical Review.  This gem is nestled in the heart of an RV park by the same name.  The average age was about 70 and the “musical review” consisted of each server singing about five songs on stage with a piano player.  I had the burger, which was huge and actually really good.  My mother had the blackened salmon which she enjoyed.  It was quintessentially unpretentious and we both really enjoyed it.  The staff treated us better than most of our friends do and we left feeling like we knew them.  Now isn’t that the point of dining out?

Tomorrow lunch in Albuquerque and dinner in Amarillo.  It just gets better and better!

Cheers and Goodnight!


No Comments
  • Kimmy
    Posted at 22:41h, 03 October Reply

    Monica… I really don’t read blogs … but this I loved 🙂 xoxox

  • Nic Romano
    Posted at 23:11h, 03 October Reply

    Get ready tomorrow to being able to roll a dime for miles across the flattest patch of earth you’ll ever see. And you can’t miss the big cross that you’ll see for fifty miles ahead in the middle of nowhere and then another fifty in your rearview mirror. I guess not much going on out there!

  • Monica
    Posted at 06:49h, 04 October Reply

    Girl…I’m glad you held me to our “two drink minimum” cuz back at the hotel after Black Barts I’m texting w/friends one minute then passed out the next…must be the altitude!

    • Monica
      Posted at 06:55h, 04 October Reply

      That was my mother commenting using my computer! haha

  • Linda
    Posted at 07:47h, 04 October Reply

    Loved the description of the 3 out of 23 residents you met and the gourmet canned vegetables!!! Hysterical!

  • croquecamille
    Posted at 02:52h, 05 October Reply

    When driving through Texas, whatever you do, DO NOT eat at Cracker Barrel. You can stop, and check out the kitsch, which is mildly amusing, but trust me, you do not want to eat there. (Unless, of course, you want to stop again 20 minutes later. And then again 20 minutes after that…)

    You should, if you haven’t passed it already, stop for BBQ somewhere. Don’t know if they’re on your itinerary, but Bodacious BBQ in Longview, TX is supposed to be great, and I can personally vouch for North Main BBQ in Euless. Sure, it has all the atmosphere of a church basement rec area, but I think that’s part of the charm.

    • Monica
      Posted at 21:18h, 05 October Reply

      I saw so many Cracker Barrel signs!!! It’s a good thing I didn’t stop huh? We are in Little Rock tonight and tomorrow it’s on to Nashville!!!

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