Get off the death trap interstate: Thanksgiving Roadtrip 2021

Roadtrip to New Orleans to see Kent is underway.

Since Llama and friends live on the other side of the great state of Texas from NOLA, this necessitated a two day trip. Shreveport is an easy breakpoint, with I20 being the quickest and most logical way to get there.

Well, Llama doesn’t know about y’all, but to Llama major interstates even on the best days, let alone one of the busiest travel days of the year, become like death trap.

Llama decided to take the northern route. This was going to add about 1 hour of driving time, but that is okay. We weren’t in hurry and preferred no traffic.

View out the window for about the first 4 hours.

Another great thing about getting off the interstate, is passing through small towns. Some folks hate the slow down, we don’t. We like quirky and quaint. Always some slice of life to see.

Passing through Clay County, Llama noticed this charming Christmas tree display at the Clay County Chamber of Commerce. And yes, the railcar is used as an office.

Meep Meep!

Passing through Nacona, Texas, Llama stopped and checked out Nokona Leather Works. There is a little museum that charts the company’s history as the manufacturer and development of some of the finest baseball gloves in the world. Fascinating.

Original factory entrance

There is also a brew pub and music hall. It wasn’t open yet (too early) but we peered in the windows. We need to go back there.

What history!

When routing the off-interstate trip, Llama noticed a quirky stop along the route. Well, stop we did. Welcome to the Effiel Tower in Paris! Paris, Texas that is.

What Llama didn’t know was that this stop was in the same park as the county’s Blue Star Family Veterans Memorial Park. This park is extremely well done. We spent time quietly walking around and reflecting and the lives of our service personnel and animals who have fought bravely throughout the years. Definitely worth the stop.

After leaving Paris, a couple more hours took us to Texarkana. Yes, a town named after the two states it straddles: Texas and Arkansas.

Llama and Michael wanted catfish. Speciality of the area.

When you websearch for good catfish in Texarkana and it takes you across the state line to Arkansas, you go.  Not only the restaurant’s name but reaction to the food, me-O my-O!

We split this: catfish, shrimp, hushpuppies, Cheesy Grits, and gumbo. Yum.

Definitely check out this legit Cajun place, run by women, and guaranteed to make you say “Ayiee!” MeOmyO Bayou Cafe.

Llama and friends ended Thanksgiving road trip day #1 at Best Western Shreveport. Just an overnight stop so wanted clean, comfy, convenient, affordable. 7800 Chase UR points ($80 cash). Basic breakfast options included. Nice little workout room after sitting in the car most of the day. We opt for cashless travel where possible, it’s why we are in the travel hacking game.

Got 30 minutes on the treadmill in.
Michael LOVED the hot tub.
Breakfast room

Time for bed and NOLA tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving all and safe travels.

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