Breakfast at the Terrell Holiday Inn was rather nice. Cereal (I passed on the Fruit Loops), fruit and yoghurt and a cross between a muffin and a crumpet with some Smucker’s strawberry jam, along with a cup of tea. The girls were very excited about the pancake machine.
We started our first day proper by doing what the locals do – shopping – there was a Tanger shopping outlet literally next door to our hotel. Then a to-go visit to the nearest Starbucks before motoring south east along the I-20. Shreveport was a little over two hours away.
The road journey reminded me that, if you sit on the speed limit (here 75mph), everyone will overtake you unless they are driving a tractor or a cement mixer. Even a hearse with lights-a-flashing and its procession zoomed past!
After a while we decided I needed to buy a local phone to match the sim card I managed to purchase yesterday. Where better than a WallMart? The phone was acquired for $30 – now it’s not the smartest phone but is aint dumb either. Checked out some ultrabooks, CDs (I was tempted by the Elvis At Stax single disk for $9 but thought I should wait for the 3-CD deluxe version) and lunch offerings.
Then before you knew it we were over the border into Louisiana and enjoying the comforts of a road-house information centre where we could indulge in a free black coffee (better avoid the whitener powdered milk) and in fact met the father-in-law of the Mayor of Shreveport, the first African-American to hold that office.
Then into Shreveport, Louisiana’s third largest city of almost 200,000 and birthplace of music notables James Burton, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Hank Williams Jr, Faron Young and Leadbelly. The city is famous for being the site of the Louisiana Hayride. Known as “Cradle of the Stars”, the Hayride first hit the airwaves in 1948, broadcast from the Municipal Auditorium in downtown Shreveport and Inspired by the Grand Ole Opry from Nashville.
The Hayride featured performances by a string of legendary artists such as Hank Williams (who first appeared in 1948), Johnny Cash, The Willburn Brothers, Webb Pierce, Jim Reeves, Faron Young, Johnny Horton and even the King himself, Elvis Presley (first appearing in 1954). During its heyday the Hayride was broadcast nationwide and was even heard overseas on Armed Forces Radio.
Well finding a hotel proved to be a chore but we managed it and dined at a nice Italian restaurant close by. Richard and I then decided we would walk to the Red River Boardwalk to check out the scene. The walk was longer than expected and a potential short cut through the Horseshoe Casino proved to be a dead-end. Finally we found a place for a drink right on the river and under the City’s large iron bridge before retiring.
Tomorrow includes no plans. In the words of that famous philosopher Dr Doris Day “que sera sera”.