Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dive bar

FOOD: Yes, we went to a dive bar...for the food...although the Bloody Mary Scott had was very good. Just a couple of miles from the campground is the Brightside Bar & Grill. I read reviews and although they did call it a dive bar, they also stated that some of the food was really good. Hmmm.
We decided to go to Brightside for their Wednesday special of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green beans. This is a little bar with about 10 tables, lots of TV's, dart board, & video games. Some seats at the bar were well worn, well really a mess with the foam exposed from the ripped vinyl.  Locals there were very at home and interesting to eavesdrop on.  The barmaid and our waitress was showing a customer her Christmas present, a shot gun almost as tall as her.  She was so excited and made the cocking action of readying the gun, as someone up north would play an air guitar.
On to the food.  Scott did indeed order the Wednesday special and I ordered a BBQ beef PoBoy. Scott was presented with a large thick hunk of meatloaf, which looked good. Also on the plate were mashed potatoes covered in gravy and green beans. Scott tried the green beans first and said they were good. I tried them and all I thought was canned mush. Then we tried the meatloaf. I thought it was pretty good with a nice bite to it. Scott loves mashed potatoes and really isn't very picky about them. I on the other hand only want REAL mashed potatoes. Scott thought the mashed potatoes were real, I did not.  All in all, Scott enjoyed his meal. My BBQ beef PoBoy also came with onion rings.  A pleasant surprise was I think the onion rings were home made.  They were thinly breaded and quite good. At first glance at the PoBoy, I felt they were stingy with the BBQ, but on the other hand, it was easy to eat with my hands (no utensils given to me), and no beef falling out of the sandwich. The BBQ was sweet & tasty and the PoBoy bread was fresh & light. My meal was good, but not enough to want to return. Our meals were $6.50 each, so I guess worth it for the price.
We both felt quite out of place with the locals there. We felt like we were intruding in someone's home.

SIGHTS: Here's another view from our Farr Park campsite. From our front door is the horse field and through our back living room window is what you see below.

Here's the Mississippi River from the paved bike path that goes all the way into the city of Baton Rouge.  We could have ridden our bicycles to the USS Kidd, if we had wanted to. Speaking of bicycles...

Left rear, my old road bike
Right read, Scott's Diamondback
Front, Debbie's Schwinn

How can we still be accumulating "stuff" when we live in an RV? While purging our NJ home, Scott gave up his bicycle. I wouldn't give up mine.  I kept my road bike that I used for many years for many charity bike rides. Mine is very lightweight and coasts beautifully. In 1993, I introduced Scott to the Charity rides when we first began to date. 
I was introduced to long distance riding in College. We were called "Winning Ways". I attended Northeastern Bible College, in Essex Fells, NJ. Since this was a religious college, our purpose of the 13 day  bike ride from North Jersey to Maine and then back, was to spread our "Winning Ways of Life" aka Fundamental Christianity to the "lost". We were welcomed by churches who fed us with pot luck dinners donated by the congregation.  I had a great time and an unforgettable experience. FYI, I am no longer involved with the Baptist Church. Probably my parent's biggest disappointment in me.
While I have completed quite a few charity rides, Scott was new to the experience.  We registered for the MS 150. That is a 150 mile bike ride over 2 days to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis. The route was from Atlantic Highlands, NJ south to Cape May, NJ. We would sleep overnight in a school gym. Scott prepared himself for this adventure, by riding 10 miles a day around his town (very flat).  He felt prepared. I knew better.
First day of riding, we took water breaks approximately every 15 miles. Mostly flat terrain, but the wind was horrible and made some sections along Route 9 miserable. At the end of the first day, we arrive at the school and we get off our bikes and I ask Scott how he's doing. I will always remember this moment. He gets off the bike so stiffly, with such a grimace on his face. Scott is not a whiner, but, he whined stating he doesn't think he'll be able to ride the next day.  He thought his thigh muscles would be sore, but never expected his knees to ache so horribly. I can still remember the strained look and defeated way he spoke. I laughed!!! and yes, I said, "I told you so!"
After a night's rest, he couldn't let me, a girl one up him. So on the bike he returned.  We both finished the route and survived with no ill effects and a great memory was forever established. I still tease Scott to this day about his whining about his never experienced "pain like this".
Back to present day. So while in NC, Scott purchased a hybrid (street & dirt) bike.  He's very happy with his "Diamondback Edgewood LX".  I am limited on where we can bike ride together.  My road bike has thin tires for pavement, and cannot handle any road surface except paved. 
I have finally realized that for the RV lifestyle, I must give in and admit that a hybrid is what I should have also. So I dug deep into my frugal pockets and as my father once told me "spend, spend, spend". That was not in an encouraging tone, but in a tone of tsk, tsk, that spending was a bad thing. I bought a Schwinn Lady's Midmoor. Consumer Reports rated it a best buy for a hybrid. I liked the one reviewer on Amazon that said something like, now that I'm older, I no longer want to be bent at a 45° angle riding a bicycle. Notice the red & white bike in the photo above.  It has the curved handle bars that you lean over and have to bend even further to shift and brake.
I haven't had a lady's bike since I was a child.  It's nice not having to lift my leg over the bar.

RV: More spending...Scott purchased an18 gallon, THETFORD SMART TOTE , portable sewer tote. We've been staying at so many State Parks that don't have sewer.  We can do fine for one week, but since we are slowing down and want to stay 2 weeks if we like the place, we have to be very careful with our black tank use. With this portable tote, we can relax more and not HAVE to venture out to the campground bathrooms so often. I suppose a review will be coming after we've used it a while.

Finished November of the Heart by Lavyrle Spender My rating 5 out of 5.
A woman's Victorian romance, but like Pride & Prejudice, this is about love trying to break the class differences.
Started Grace Point by Anne D. LeClaire All I know is it's a Mystery.

Finished The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. My rating 5 out of 5.
OH MY GOSH! I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!! I did not listen to it because of the movie that is coming out this year. I found out about the movie AFTER I purchased the audio book. I found out there are 3 parts, so I have ordered the next 2 in the series. 
Scott is more a fan of the sci-fi/futuristic than I am. I couldn't stop listening to it.  I listened while walking the dogs. The dogs enjoyed the book also, because they got much longer walks.  I listened while walking to the camp bathrooms and listened while in the bathroom too!
This is about a sort of country, that has 12 "states". Every year kids between the ages of 12-18 are entered into a lottery.  24 names are picked (2 from each "state"), to participate in "The Hunger Games". They are put in a huge arena (sort of like "Survivor") and they have to be the last one alive to win. A very sick "game", but makes a great story.  The author centers on one player and does a great job of explaining the player's state of mind and puzzle solving. I highly recommend this book!

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