We left Birmingham around lunch time and arrived in Bristol at 7:30 their time. We had a good trip up there and stopped on the way in some part of Tennesse at a Phillips 66 . The restrooms were outside and my kids were so fascinated by all the stray cats. I had forgotten what city kids they were. I grew up with my grandmother on my Dad’s side always having a herd of “stray cats” that she fed. Same way at this Phillips 66, a cat of every color and a huge box full of cat food.
We continued on to Bristol, TN (always reminds me of Sarah Palin’s daughter). We checked in to the Hampton Inn and the lady at the front desk recommended The Brooklyn Café. The outside looked kind of hookey but when we got in it seemed like a nice place. Very over decorated but nice. We realized pretty quickly that it was going to be a long night, there were several couples but only one server/hostess/bartender. We were glad to support a local restaurant though, the whole town seemed almost shut down. At one point I stepped outside to call my parents and found a Hampton Inn key on the ground, I picked it up thinking it was ours. Brian said no, and so I looked around with it and everyone in the place was staying at the Hampton Inn except for one table. The server/hostess/bartender’s mother must work the desk at night at the Hampton Inn.
They didn’t have a kids menu there, so Lewis ordered cheese sticks By the time she took our order they were out of them. She came out and said, “He says he has run out of cheese.” I felt like that episode of Sesame Street where Grover is the waiter and the little man keeps ordering things and Grover goes back to the chef, then comes out saying, “The chef says we are out of that.” The décor was very much like Grover’s restaurant too. We finished our meal up and one of our fellow Hampton Inn residents asked the server about her many hats and she told us that her husband was the chef. They had been pretty slow since the recession and she was it mostly. We were glad we had helped them out, even though the kids were a little tramautized by the duckling on the menu. Lewis thought it was special though, when we were leaving he asked, “Is this like somewhere you would sit ( referring to the outdoor concrete seating) if you were on your honeymoon?”
The whole time we were eating across the street (about an hour and half)there was a huge and contiuous line at the gas pumps. They were selling gas for 1.98 a gallon and everyone in town wanted in. They had someone directing traffic too. Then we went to find ice cream and in the same parking lot of the TCBY the same thing was going on at a gas station there. Different brands, we were in the middle of gas wars. We felt like we were in a time warp. I got so tickled because Rob saw a baseball card shop and said “Look at that Baseball Card shop.” Rob said, “But it is closed.” Clara said, “No it is not there are people in there jumping around in there, why are they doing that in a baseball card shop?” I looked and then told Clara, “That is a Karate studio.” I got so tickled I had tears streaming down my face. Clara said, “Mom you look so weird when you laugh that hard.”
We got a great night sleep and ate breakfast with one of our fellow Brooklynites and loaded up. Brian forgot to check out, never happens with Mr. Fuller, so it was funny. This part of the country is very pretty, I have never driven though this part of the country.
We should be in Washington, DC early afternoon. I just finished a historical fiction book about a woman who was a courier between the mob and JFK, so I am in a historical frame of mind. Loving life on the lam!!