We left Florida (after spending another night at my cousin’s) with tears on our cheeks and fur in our hearts. Tiffany/Moe is one of the best/floofiest there is, so it was bittersweet leaving.
We decided the next big park we want to hit is Big Bend in southwest Texas. From there we’ll head up to Guadalupe and Carlsbad, and then we’ll have some choices to make.
As you can see from the map, there’s a lot of road between Florida and Big Bend. We knew we’d have to put in some miles to get to the action out west. As it turns out, we may be allergic to the south (who gets allergies in February?!), so it has been a very sniffly few hundred miles. We’re optimistic that the more cacti we see, the less tissues we will need.
We spent the first night in Biloxi and headed to New Orleans to spend the afternoon before putting in some more miles. Ryan had just been in October, so he was my own personal tour guide.
With Mardi Gras only two weeks away, the city was decked out in gold, purple, and green.
Ryan and I mostly just like walking around a city. We don’t need to do much or hit all of the “must see” locations. But sometimes, there’s no denying why a place is a “must.” Especially if that “must” is fried dough covered in powdered sugar.
Behold, the famed beignet, in all her confectioned glory.
They were fresh and warm and delightfully sweet. We left with smiles on our faces and white powder on our pants. Do not leave out Cafe du Monde if you’re ever in New Orleans; it’s worth the wait.
By this time (and no thanks to the gluten), our sinuses had turned against us. We decided to take in another local dish to help us heal.
And by local, I mean from Vietnam.
Spicy broth heals all wounds.
To the Walmart parking lot!
We spent the night on our platform and emerged eager to make it to Texas. Even though we’d still be a very far distance from Big Bend, we’d at least be in the same state. And that means something on the road. Driving with mini-destinations is really helpful, even if that destination is a sweet tea at a gas station in 50 minutes or a border sign in 70 miles.
After the highly anticipated “Welcome to Texas” sign, we decided to stop in Houston for a little fresh air.
We walked around Buffalo Bayou Park, and posted up on a bit of grass under a blue sky. We shared some tangerines, we shared some laughs, and then we created some quiet space to read.
It’s really easy to travel with Ryan. We can enjoy the silence together, and respect each other’s desire for solitude, even while being physically together. And when we have had our fill of quiet, one of us will move our chair back over the 10 foot divide and say, “I missed you.”