Laura Erickson's For the Birds

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Iowa rest stops and other logistical matters

I'm at the first rest stop in Iowa. Iowa is one of the most civilized states--they provide free wireless Internet at their rest stops! Which reminds me that I should mention a few logistical matters I might forget about the trip. If you ever find yourself in Watonga, OK, the Watonga Motel was very nice--the people were warm and welcoming, they allowed Photon to not only stay, but to stay in my air-conditioned room all day when I was out in rattlesnake country, and it was a really nice room for $42.99 a night, with a refrigerator and everything. And if you are going through there, the Pizza Hut is the best one ever. The waitress was extremely friendly, calling me sweetie and sugar and making interesting conversation while I waited for my pizza to go. It was like being with Queen Latifah herself!

On the other hand, I didn't like the DQ in Chickashaw. I usually order a small "chocolate-dipped strawberry blizzard" for me and a tiny vanilla cup for Photon, but this was my breakfast so I broke policy and ordered a medium. Big mistake--at this DQ, they do the blizzard the stupid way, with the tiny thin chocolate pieces rather than the thick ones, which spoils the whole thing. I wish Dairy Queen would standardize their definition of "chocolate dipped strawberry blizzards"--they're splendid when made with the big chunks. Plus that store doesn't put tiny ice cream orders in a dish--they said Photon's had to go in a cone, and then they put the little ice cream cone in a dish. Not that Photon doesn't like cones, but it seemed silly to insist that the cone had to be there. So I won't be visiting that DQ again.

Overall, people at gas stations, restaurants, and food places I've stopped at along the trip have been friendly and warm. And with our long drive today, I'm sure at some point Photon and I will wend our way to a DQ and a good blizzard will wash away that one negative memory for good.

But back to the rest area--the whole time I've been typing this an oriole has been singing away! Hardly new for my I-35 list, but what a lovely sound.