We all have them. The nice part of being old? I don’t actually feel guilty anymore. Maybe just mildly embarrassed.
English: Bates Motel Set at Universal Studio Hollywood CA. Source: Taken by User:Ipsingh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We used to vacation on a semi regular basis, once every couple of years or so. We usually took the car, Husband driving until he couldn’t pretend his eyes were open, and then stayed overnight in inexpensive motels (upgraded once we reached our destination).
There’s something fun about a basic motel. The ice chest down at the end of the hall, pulling the car into a spot right outside your room, free continental breakfast! Lucky Charms in the morning! I would get suckered every time, “magically delicious.” Eww. But then you could change your mind and stick with Rice Krispies. When I was a kid, those were the only motels we ever stayed in, and I don’t think I understood the difference between the Super 8 and the Four Seasons. True, there was that one time my mother got fleas from the room we stayed in, but that didn’t dim the glory of the ice bucket for me. You know what? Cheap motels still fit the bill when you’re just passing through, and they’re still fun.
The other part of a road trip. Road food. And here we reach the guilty pleasure portion of today’s post. Road food should be quick if you’re behind schedule, slow if you need a break, it should be cheap, have something for everyone. For people who haven’t done a lot of vacationing, we’ve eaten a lot of road food, especially when you add in the road trips that weren’t overnight, touring boarding schools and colleges for the boys.
Brings to mind cute little hole in the wall places, right? With the tough talking but spunky waitress serving the best. pies. in. America.
No. Cause that might be what you get. Or you might find yourself starving at a table and there’s nothing for half of your family to eat. Or it might be so tiny that there’s no table for a family of five. The food could just plain suck. Or, nightmare of nightmares, you could find yourself on the road with food poisoning. The solution?
Cracker Barrel, road food extraordinaire. Rockers on every front porch, all for sitting and for sale.
The food is reliable, they serve breakfast all day (important when you’re a traveling vegetarian), sure it’s kind of cheesy, but it’s also cheap and charming and very clean.
They have big checkers tables set up on the front porch and inside the restaurant, great for waiting with kids. Even better, there’s one of these for playing with on every table.
The peg game. How many will you be left with?
The food? Country/home cookin’ style. Don’t ask more than that, I think it’s a mix of southern, midwest, new england, or other. And it isn’t just food and games. Ye Old Country Store is attached to each one, selling inexpensive toys/games, old fashioned candy, blankets, candles, t-shirts, sweaters, and countrified nicknacks.
After drinking 12 cups of coffee, eating pounds of eggs, grits, and hash browns, who doesn’t need some candy for the road?
Just sitting, there’s lots to look at in the decor.
Something to see on every wall.
And of course
Heads Up! I’m never certain if this stuff is for sale or not.
Heading north for a couple of days tomorrow. I’m quite certain there’re two buttery, over easy eggs waiting for me.
I’ll save the Lucky Charms for Flower Child.