TRAVEL THERE: A HILLBILLY PIT STOP IN THE OZARKS
Does this ever happen to you? You’re so tired that you can barely walk and would be stumped if someone asked your name, but when you lay down, you discover you’re entirely too wired to fall asleep. After such a wild day traveling from Ohio to Missouri, seeing a botanical garden and art museum and then having a wonderful meal, my eyes were glued open. Not Deb, she was snoring before I had my teeth brushed.
Rolling Through Missouri
The fault certainly wasn’t with our room. I love Marriot Courtyard and the Westport location is very nice. Our room was perfectly appointed and my bed was quite comfortable. Yet, I was up until midnight, checking social media and playing a game. Finally, I chilled out and turned out the light. Next thing I knew, the alarm was going off.
We absolutely, positively had to be in Lebanon, Missouri before noon, because the bank would close at twelve. We were up by six and out by seven. At eight we grabbed a Mickey D breakfast and picked up some sodas and ice for the ice chest at Wally World. At nine we were in Rolla and Deb realized we were getting low on fuel. By ten, we’d stopped at the bank, closed out the last of Deb’s dad’s accounts and were celebrating the fact that we were finally on vacation. We’d done everything we’d set out to do.
Finally Footloose & Fancy Free
Shunning the interstates we’d fought for days on end, we hit the backroads and headed towards Eureka Springs. The fun started almost immediately. Somewhere in the vicinity of Grovespring, I needed a potty break and saw a Tastee Freeze sign. Remembering my childhood in Georgia and the Tastee Freeze cones I consumed, I urged us to stop there. OOOPS!
First of all, the women’s room was boarded up and everyone used the men’s room. Secondly, no one had cleaned the men’s room since I graduated from high school – and that was a long time ago. Being desperate, I did the germ-phobic squat and prayed none of the critters growing there were ambitious enough to jump on me.
Once out of the germ lab, I discovered Deb talking to two people. The man had very bad teeth and didn’t look like he’d washed since the last time someone cleaned the bathroom. The woman was cleaner, but she had heavy black circles painted around her squinty little eyes. I was afraid she had some Indian blood in her and was about to count coup on us.
Deb departed to the facilities before I could figure out a way to warn her of the mess, without insulting our hosts. Now it was my turn to chat with them. Harking back to those childhood memories I mentioned how excited I was to see the Tastee Freeze sign. “We ain’t no Tastee Freeze. We got ice cream, but it ain’t Tastee Freeze.”
Below the Tastee Freeze sign were logos that promised barbecue and pizza. “We ain’t got them either. In fact none of them signs out front belong to this place. We called Tastee Freeze, but they ain’t come to get the signs.”
I never mind to use the restrooms and hightail it at McDonald’s. Lord knows I’ve spent so much money there in my lifetime that I should own a few. Besides, there’s always people coming and going, so nobody pays any attention to me. I figured we were about the first people that had pulled into this joint in years. “So, exactly who are you?” I asked.
They were Ma & Pa’s Kettle. We got milkshakes and got the hell outta Dodge. The shakes were actually quite good, if we didn’t think of the restroom. Come back next week and got to Eureka Springs with us!