“Left Here” My Foot!

“Left Here” My Foot!

Well, guys.  If I didn’t know it before, I surely do now: Margot Polo I ain’t.

Catie & I went to Gonzalez to go spring shopping waste money for our growth spurt happy huge children.  Getting there was no(t much of an) issue.  Allow me to say, however, that Map Quest is shit.  We have to go through a billion towns to get anywhere, anyway.  So multiply that by 1.5 to get to Gonzalez.  We can get to Lafayette lickety split.  We know not to take an exit and all roads lead to Ambassador Caffery.  No Map Quest needed.  But Gonzalez is a different story, you see.  There are four ways to get there from Hineston, three of which are sketchy (ie: will take you through a million ghetto’s and by a shoddy looking Popeye’s) and only slightly out-of-the-way.  Instead of 1 hr 45 m, think 2 hrs 59.8 minutes.

So anyway.  We’re looking for exit 1A in Opelousas.  Lemme tell you, in case you ever get the urge to follow Map Quest to get anywhere down South, DON’T.  There is NO exit 1A in Opelousas.  Can you get to Baton Rouge-Gonzalez from there?  For serious.  Will Map Quest tell you that?  Nah, man.  They tell you that in 4.1 miles in OPELOUSAS you will find this exit.

You won’t.  It’s outside Carencro.  More accurately, it’s in LAFAY-FRIGGIN-ETTE.  Cate & I thought we had lost it & were gonna call it quits & grab a daiquiri until *hallelujah chorus* there it was!  Exit 1A!  And I only had to take out the Mystery Machine & some nuns to get over there.  But damnit, we got that shit.  So after that mini-adventure, we finally set on our way.  I completely forgot that we had to cross the Atchafalaya, and both of us really needed a bathroom (I’m no Map Quest, either); we wound up having to pee for eighteen-or-so miles.  Again, let me warn you:  pee before you get to this point.  Because A) there is no shoulder, and you’re on a bridge; B) public indecency is frowned upon even among coon-asses; & C) even if those statements weren’t true, it’s hard to run from a ‘gator with your pants around your ankles.

By the time we finally got to our exit in Gonzalez we were in agony.  Like the, “OMGwhydoesithurttowalkmybladderisn’tattachedtomylegs,” kind of misery.  But we were so glad to be there we didn’t mind.  That & they have nice restrooms.  We spent entirely too much money on clothes that we really did need and were out of there by 2:55.  It was really kind of a record for us being that we didn’t start shopping until 11ish.  We ran over shuffled over to Chili’s and then got the hell out of Dodge.  We had a blast (minus the run-in with the bitchy “customer service” lady at Old Navy) and was able to get in some adult time that we never get to have.  Don’t get me wrong, our kids are great.  But they’re loud.  And still in diapers.  And can I tell you how nice it was not to change a diaper or pull-up every hour?  It. was. UHMAYZING.

So you’re all, “That’s it?  The great adventure??  LAME!”  Negative, ghostrider.  Neguhtive.

We left Gonzalez in search of a Super Target Middle Sister wine.  Not only did we not find Super Target in Baton Rouge (my bad.. it’s in Lafayette), but we got turned around twice.  The first offense we came out unscathed & only slightly sticky due to Catie managing to squeeze a tube of lip balm all over her finger & my window.  The second one… eh.  We completely missed our exit into Lafayette (no worries, the sign’s big as Dallas if ever you venture down that way.. we’re just dumb) and wound up in RAYNE.  But “No, no Cate… our exit’s up here.”  Bologna.

Our exit most definitely wasn’t “up here.”  In CROWLEY.  Now I’m not sure if you’ve ever been to any of the back road towns in Louisiana.  Some of them are charming.  Crowley ain’t one of them.  Neither is Mamou.  Or Eunice.  And definitely not Oakdale.  We hit every. one. of. those. towns.  We stopped in Eunice for gas & beer (bad idea, by the way) and thought we were going to take home a souvenir in thug form.  Call him our token badass, I guess.  Wound up hitting Oakdale Hwy.. I’ve lived in Louisiana all my life, and in Oakdale for two years.  I had no idea Oakdale its own highway, and after driving that thing I know why now.

When we finally hit Hineston, after calling Cate’s dad twenty times, we were spent.  We finished up our day (and excellent [scenic] adventure) drinking with good friends and swearing never to go back to Gonzalez… or at least to invest in a GPS.  No lie, though, this was one of the better weekends I’ve had in a while.  We’re taking the kids’ Easter pictures Saturday and I’m totally excited for that.  I’m trying not to let it go to my head though..  Parents, you know what I’m talking about.  The more negative you go into taking pictures (sorry for the kind-of pun) the better off you’ll be.  It’s a kid’s way of saying, “You thought I was going to suck.. I’ll show you!”  Last time I was all positive & shit about Gabe’s pictures he about knocked out the photographer & we were blacklisted from JCP|Portraits.  Only kidding.  But he really did deliver a heckuva left hook.

Watch out for exit 1A… it’s a tricky little bastard.


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