The drive, in our A/C- free van, racing the hot weather across the country has begun. After Sanibel, we blazed through the rest of Florida as the temperatures climbed into the mid-80's (keep in mind that blazing in the camper van is really not that fast, we ended up spending two more nights in Florida). We were able to make it through Alabama in one day, including a stop at the USS Alabama, a WWII battleship (more to come on this in the future....), and spent the night in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, where we were happy to stumble upon a farmers market in the old part of town the following morning. After much debate, we decided to bypass New Orleans and head to the tiny Cajun town of Breaux Bridges, where we took a gorgeous walk through the swamps before devouring the best French-Cajun food ever. I had no idea that crayfish could taste so good. Watery Louisiana was really fascinating as we drove over bayou after bayou. The interstate is suspended in the air for miles over this state that just can't decide if it is land or water. And now Texas, this is what we have been dreading, huge, hot, empty spaces. We spent the next two days delirious with heat, fighting a never-ending headwind. The eastern edge of Texas is quite lovely, with bayou country hanging on a while before giving way to pastoral hill country, polka-dotted wih leafy trees and blooming with fields of blue bonnets. With temps in the 90's now, our first stop was Austin, TX where we stayed in a fancy hotel that Jason had been wanting to show us from a previous visit. I am not sure that they have ever seen clientele quite like us, as valet walked up to witness me sweating profusely in just a sports bra in the drivers seat and Jason shirt-free in the passenger seat....he didn't argue with me when I told him we wanted park the van ourselves. After showering, we ate delicious Tex-Mex food before walking down a street which was alive with music. The following morning we made a grocery run to the cavernous Whole Foods mothership next to their corporate headquarters before leaving hill country behind. We headed into the scrubby desert and pushed on to dusty, saddest-downtown-ever, Fort Stockton, home of the largest roadrunner statue in the world.
Click here for photos.