We got a late start, partially due to having to pick Nikki up at the airport at 11:30 a.m., partially because my family is chaotic and we can never leave anywhere on time. The first part of the trip was pretty uneventful. We have all been over this stretch of Florida hundreds of times. I started listening to Chuck Palanhiuk's "Choke" on audiobook. I still haven't finished it. It's an interesting story - but really, I prefer to read the book myself than listen to it.
I can't really say much about Alabama and Mississippi. It's not like you actually see a whole lot of it from the interstate. The only thing I can say is that Alabama had some of the grossest bathrooms on the whole trip. I seem to remember a lot of bridges as well. It was already dark, so I can't comment much on the scenery.
It was really late by the time we hit Louisiana. I would have loved to have seen New Orleans (I've always wanted to go. My brother's and I were supposed to take a trip that summer right before Katrina hit, but we didn't end up going). Baton Rouge would have been interesting to see as well. We didn't stop because we were pulling the trailer with my furniture and boxes. While pulling it, the van was a gas hog. Both cities were too far off the highway for us to go to. We really started exploring after we unloaded my stuff at my new apartment and ditched my trailer.
I do remember something cool about Louisiana. I think it was on one of the borders. It was pitch black and we came upon a refinery (at least I think that's what it was). It was huge, and all lit up with little lights everywhere. It looked like a landing station on Mars. I would have taken a picture if I could have gotten it to come out.
We drove straight through the night, as there wasn't really anything worth stopping for. Our first actual stop on the trip (other than for gas or bathrooms) was San Antonio, Texas. We did a very quick stroll through the Alamo. My parents had already been there, and Nikki really isn't into history. I was able to read some information about it from the signs and placards. War history isn't really my thing. The landscaping is lovely. We spent a lot more time in the gift shop than actually exploring the grounds. Nikki loves to shop.
Outside the Alamo there was a man preaching - with a microphone and sound system and everything. I found it amusing (no insult meant to anyone) so we took his picture.
After walking around the Alamo we checked out Riverwalk. It's mostly shops and restaurants and clubs but the actual river and waterfalls are pretty cool. We stopped at a Mexican restuarant and had nachoes and I had a margarita. Then it was on the road again.
We drove the rest of the day and into the night, and we were still in Texas. Texas never seemed to end. It goes on and on and on. Around midnight we came upon lights that seemed to og on forever. It was the biggest city I think I've ever seen. The city turned out to be El Paso. That's where we stopped for the night and got a hotel. In the morning when we left, we could see parts of Mexico too. I wish we had all had our passports. I would have loved to go into Mexico. I love the culture. The poverty makes me very sad... but as a people, many of their customs are beautiful to me.