And when we trot downstairs to see the "included breakfast buffet," we discover the glory that is motel food. Namely, stacks and stacks of white bread and shiny danishes and enormous self-serve jars of Fruit Loops and other cereals all in colors never before seen in nature and orange juice that may have started life as an orange but that had all its orangeness sucked out of it when it was turned into a powdery mess with lots of added chemicals before it was turned into juice by the addition of the odd-metallic tasting hard water in this part of town.
So we pass and turn to our trusty cooler. How much longer before that runs out?
My husband eats the other half of my soggy sandwich. I try to eat some yogurt, fail, and thank heavens for a husband that finishes it for me. I eat half a banana, then throw the rest away, cursing the heavens for wasting food and giving my husband the evil eye. He calmly continues to eat my yogurt, feeling no remorse for having turned down half a banana.
Cracks in the system
They say coffee helps headaches. It never does for me, but caffeine also never bothers either of us (we can each have a nice coffee, then pop right into bed and go to sleep, no problems), so we use my headache as an excuse to drive over to the Starbucks drive through (Starbucks drive through, what an odd world) and get some iced coffee.
I chased it with an aspirin.
So we got on the road and promptly saw a sign that read “All You Can Eat Meat $22!!!" Smug with our cooler stuffed full of healthy foods, we laughed and laughed.
You just know that will come back to haunt us.
“I took it home and cooked it and it tasted just like fish”
By lunchtime we were tired of cooler food and looking for some place to have a decent meal.
Battling incredible heat (people live here, on purpose, in this heat?), we turned down an Italian place (who can eat Italian in this heat?), a steak place (who can eat meat in this heat?), a family place (who can eat in all that noise in this heat?) for an upscale sushi place.
The Japanese make the worst salads. But the sushi is so good that it more than makes up for it. And good sushi washed down by an enormous glass of ice tea was perfect.
Then the phone rang
They were going to be late. Several hours late. Damn. It was too head-poundingly hot to wander, so we went to the library to kill a few hours in air conditioned quiet.
The library was closed for a month.
Back to a Starbucks, this time to sit on hard chairs sipping icy coffee and watching people wander by.
All was not as it should be. Suffice it to say, we left town several hours later empty-handed. My husband bought beef jerky to eat on the road. I bought a bag of ice to try and keep our cooler of food from melting in the heat.
The cheese was already starting to smell.
We left town late afternoon, about half a day later than we had planned, to start the 475 mile trip home. My husband was chewing jerky (he has odd notions of comfort food). We split a Pepsi and listened to an audio book as each occasionally comforted the other with a pat on the knee.
We had gone from elation to severe disappointment in a matter of minutes.
My husband is a good man. He comes for a meat-loving family but tries to eat healthy just to please me. He can go an entire weekend without any flesh at all. He reads ingredient labels. He is trying to wean himself off processed food and is having great success.
This trip had been grueling and horribly disappointing. The man deserved comfort food.
So we got hamburgers for dinner.
And after we checked into the motel, we went to the nearest gas station and got ice cream. We ate it laying on our tummies on the motel bed watching some cheesy science fiction show we had never heard of.
It was terrible ice cream. It hit the spot.
. . . And the food gets even worse tomorrow.