Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Old Town Slidell Soda Shop

In 1988, a 1960s replica soda shop opened in Slidell, Louisiana. The Old Town Slidell Soda Shop
Hurricane Katrina closed it in 2005 however a few years later it was rebuilt and reopened. While stopping in Slidell we explored this quaint town where one of my best friends grew up we found this shop and stopped in. It looked like it holds a lot of memories of times past and continues to be a favorite hang out for those who can't get into the bar across the street. Despite that this place will always be a popular attraction in Slidell for locals and outsiders like me who drop in.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Handy Way

Don't you wish you could drive the highway and find gas for this price? I did. Too bad this station off Hwy 36 in Brazoria County is abandoned. I don't have any information about this place so from the pictures it shouldn't be too hard to guess.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Stopping For Cracklins

After visiting my Louisiana relatives I asked my girlfriend if she'd ever had Cracklins. With this being her first exposure to Cajun country she had never heard of Cracklins. Time to introduce this girl from California to one of Louisiana's staples. For the first time in a few years I stopped into Don's Specialty Meats which sits just outside Lafayette (in Scott, LA). It was fairly busy for a Sunday morning. After a five minute wait in line we got our bag of Cracklins for the road to Lake Charles. Nothing like yummy, fried, cholesterol goodness while on the Louisiana highway.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Hotel Review-Ambassador Inn

Our Room

The Lobby

The Continental Breakfast Station

On our way back from New Orleans we made an overnight stop in Lafayette, Louisiana. The place I originally wanted was way too pricey so we kept looking. I found The Ambassador Inn off IH-10 and Ambassador Caffery. This was the exit we took to visit my grandparents. The price (in the neighborhood of $60) and the reviews were good so we decided to stay here. We checked in and decided to "check in" on foursquare as well. We were surprised when a user uploaded this picture.

The picture offered no other information other than the user handle of the girl who took this picture and the July date it was taken. Fortunately we didn't have this issue. The hotel's website says they offer free Internet. However we could only get a connection in either the parking lot or in a dime sized spot in the corner of the room. We spent that evening with my Louisiana relatives and left in the morning. I'd recommend this as a decent, overnight place however if I were staying for a longer length of time I'd go elsewhere.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Vacherie Methodist Church

While vacationing in Louisiana we went out tour a plantation. While driving down LA 18 I noticed a rather small church standing by its lonesome. I pulled over to snap these pictures. The sign reads Vacherie United Methodist Church. From what I later learned it was established in 1948 and services were held once a month. In 1965 Betsy came along and wiped out the church. It was rebuilt in 1967.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Whata-Aggravating Wait For Food

Every Sunday we stop into a local Whataburger for about half an hour for breakfast while working. Today we arrived and were surprised at the crowd. Typically there are only a few people on a Sunday morning. We placed our orders as an aggravated woman stood shaking in place demanding her food of a refund. She said she had been waiting 20 minutes. We thought nothing else of it. At least until 20 minutes later when about a dozen other people had come in from outside demanding their food or a refund. It was nearly time for us to return to our posts yet we haven't received our food yet. Usually we're done eating by now. We asked to get ours to go when a man came in and said "9:45 for just a biscuit (it was then 10:25!)" The staff didn't seem to be in a big hurry to appease the angry customers and instead kept taking orders from people not knowing they were in for a wait. Finally we got ours to go and hurried back to work. I sure hope they resolved it.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Frank's Restaurant in Schulenburg, TX

Anyone who has travelled along IH-10 knows about Frank's Restaurant in Schulenburg, TX. It sits off Exit 77 along IH-10 between Houston and San Antonio as it has since 1970. Frank's was founded in 1929 and is still run by the same family. For 83 years thousands of road trippers have stopped in for the country cooking and a restroom break. I remember stopping here with my grandparents on a road trip as a kid. I remember another time stopping with my mom, grandparents, and ex wife on a road trip. Most recently I was coming back into town with my girlfriend who has only been in Texas a year. We were looking for a place to stop and eat when I saw the sign off the road and remembered Frank's. I had to almost dart across the freeway to make the exit. I enjoyed my fried chicken and she had their chicken fried steak which wasn't the best but not the worst. What was yummy was the coffee we got for the road. It made the rest of the journey worthwhile. While inside I snapped some pictures using a vintage filter to capture a nostalgic moment.

Frank's Restaurant Today

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Halloween Store

I love Halloween! It's a time of creativity. It's a brief time we can choose to be someone or something else. People shed their skins and don another and celebrate a part of life often overlooked. The creative side that releases stress, anxiety, and pain that often overshadows the bright side of life. Now that time is here so I have to visit the Halloween stores looking for costume and decoration ideas. Look at some of the macabre creativity I found.

I love Halloween!

A Couple of Hours at the Driver License Office

We got up early, showered, and got our coffee to go. Yet we were still late. The plan was to arrive early at the driver's license office but as with all plans it didn't go accordingly. By the time we arrived the parking lot was full leaving people coming in having to hover and swoop once someone left. We waited patiently for one spot but some jerk in a compact slipped in from the opposite side. After a few curses we got lucky on the next row. For the next two hours we tried to figure out DPS' method of madness. It seemed people that arrived after us we're getting served before. We finally got our twenty minutes of courteous service after two hours of waiting.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Video Gaming Antiquities

I was walking through Katy Mills Mall on a Monday afternoon when this blast from the past caught my eye. Prominently displayed in a case was a collection of video game consoles from the past. On the bottom was this old Atari system. I remember being around five years old and living in a mobile home in Liberty, TX. My brother and I were in love with this state of the art masterpiece. With games like PAC Man, Space Invaders, Cops & Robbers (I wasn't too impressed with Missile Command) we protested when our parents made us go outside and play. This was considered "high tech" back in the early 80s. The system was initially released in 1977. It sported a fancy 8 bit processor, 1.19 MhZ processor speed, and 128 bytes of screen RAM. Young folks today would gasp, shudder, and wonder what kind,of dark age of history I grew up in.

This next exhibit was originally released in 1983, in Japan. It arrived in America in 1985, and in my house around 1987. This surpassed Atari with its 8 bit CPU and 2 KB RAM. This was the first time a medium aside from books could take your imagination to another world. I visited the Kingdom of Hyrule, the land of Castlevania, the mystical land of Argool, and the beautiful countryside in Vietnam. Nowadays these are relics of a generation past and played only by those seeking a moment of nostalgia or true antique lovers. They will always hold a special place in my heart and in history.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Abandoned Dream Homes

I stumbled onto this article showcasing some wonderful photographs of abandoned places by photographer Thomas Jorian. For him it's about the thrill of the discovery which is great. I'd also want to know the story behind the homes and why they were abandoned.

Italian Villa

Italian Antechamber

Italian Staircase

Stair Case in a Swiss Palace

Italian Shower

Casa Sfondo in Italy

To learn more about Thomas Jorian's work go here.