Saturday, October 30, 2010

Chicken Fried Bacon

As we left Montgomery, TX this morning and were passing through College Station, home of Texas A&M, Snook was only 12 miles out of our way. So we just had to take the detour. Where is Snook, TX, and why would we want to go there?


Snook is the home of Sodolak's Original Country Inn, home of Chicken Fried Bacon. We learned about this artery-clogging gourmet delight on “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” on TV. Frank Sodolak carries the distinction of being the inventor of the dish.


I couldn’t find a web site for the restaurant, but you can Google it and find lots of reviews and comments. It’s the kind of place where bikers, hunters, roughnecks, firefighters and ordinary folks (like us!) are equally comfortable.


Served with creamy white gravy, hard to see in the photo, the calorie count is beyond my imagination. But you have to do this kind of thing once, right?


Don and I certainly enjoyed it, and we both agreed that it tasted lighter and crunchier than expected. It didn’t even taste as greasy as regular fried bacon.


So now we can say “Been there, done that, got the T-Shirt.”


Sunday, October 24, 2010

From Mt. Airy to Myrtle Beach, Red Bay, Gilmer and Livingston

What do you do when you know you *should* write a post to your blog, but the words just don’t come? Don and I have had several adventures during the month since I last posted, but for some reason I just haven’t written about them. A few readers have made me feel guilty for not posting, so I’m pushing myself to put together some words and pictures. If I were to write about all our experiences, this would be a very long blog, and probably not that interesting to read. So, I’ll just put up some pictures with a few comments to catch you up to date. Embedded links will lead you to read more about various attractions. Enjoy, and leave a comment so I’ll know you’re out there!

We visited Mt. Airy, NC, where actor Andy Griffith grew up. Mayberry Days are celebrated here, as this town is believed to be the inspiration for the Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry RFD. Wikipedia provides an interesting description, also.

We had lunch at Aunt Bea’s BBQ. My inner copy editor has to point out that it should be Aunt Bee, not Bea.


Andy Griffith’s modest home can now be reserved for lodging in Mt. Airy.


We had ice cream at Opie’s Candy Store.


Life-size statues of Andy and Opie stand outside the Andy Griffith Museum.


We spent about a week with Don’s son Craig and wife Liz in Myrtle Beach, SC. We got to park in the site next to them. The KOA campground is buried in the trees, so we were ‘satellite deprived.’ But we had cable TV and free WiFi from the park.


Remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole blew through the area during the last night of September, and a tree branch fell on our coach, bending the top of our motorhome ladder.


We went to Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede dinner and show with Craig and Liz.


Craig and another man, coincidentally also from Hawaii, were selected to represent the North (our side of the audience) and the South (the other guys) in a horseshoe contest in the show arena. No cameras were allowed inside, but we took photos of the horses prior to going in. Craig made friends with this horse. It was a fun evening of food, eaten totally without utensils, and entertainment.


A highlight of our visit was going kayaking on the Waccamaw River. There wasn’t anywhere to get out of the boats along the banks, so we gathered close together and ate our sandwiches in the shade of the oak trees.


This was our first time kayaking since Don’s accident. He managed pretty well with both his heel and wrist, although he got tired of paddling. Thanks to Craig and Liz for managing the loading/unloading of the boats and helping us into and out of them.

While Craig worked during the week, we took Liz on several outings, including a drive to Pawley’s Island. We drove around to see the remaining historic homes from the days when the wealthy vacationed here, and we took a short walk on the white sand beach.


On the way to Red Bay, AL, we drove on a portion of a new Interstate freeway, I-22, now US Hwy 78, northwest of Birmingham.


At the Tiffin Motorhome factory in Red Bay, we had several things fixed and/or upgraded, including replacing all our day/night shades with RollEase Shades. The valances were removed, modified to accommodate the brackets, and re-installed. After re-stringing all the day/night shades and still having them break repeatedly, we love the new shades! There’s a screen for minimal shading, and an opaque one for privacy. They are manually operated by a continuous bead chain hidden behind the side of the window trim.


Two cabinets were modified: The drawers in the pull-out galley island were very narrow.


The drawer fronts remain, but the pull-out now contains a more spacious pantry with adjustable shelves.


In the bedroom, a small chest of 4 drawers and tiny laundry hamper didn’t fill all of the space provided by the slide-out.


It was replaced by a new, deeper chest that includes 4 big drawers.


These modifications spurred us on to reorganize several other cabinets and discard lots of things we had forgotten we owned and never use any more.

Our final visit before reaching Livingston was with my cousin Jim Cline and his wife Sylvia at their beautiful historic home, the Warren-Futrell House in Gilmer, TX. Daisie Warren built this grand home in 1912, in an era when women couldn’t vote and rarely did anything independently. Jim and Sylvia retired early, after spending their careers with the U.S. Postal Service. They found this house and bought it, then researched and restored it after it had passed through several hands and associated modifications. Click here to learn more about the house, and its dedication as a Texas Historical Landmark. They could have opened it as a bed-and-breakfast, but instead undertook a successful second career in antique oak furniture restoration. Here are a few pics of them and the house. Click this link to the web album where there are lots more photos.






We’re now in Livingston, TX where we attended the annual Octoberfest at Escapees’ international headquarters at Rainbow’s End, as our first experience as VCRs (see previous post where we became VCRs).