Kansas City seems like a nice city. St. Louis seems like a nice city. So what happened in between? I’ve been none too impressed with what I’ve seen along I-70. Blue Springs seemed like a loud, rude town, and it seemed like this attitude continued eastward. We saw more billboards along this route, particularly for adult-oriented businesses. I guess Missouri is deep enough in the South to have rednecks, but not deep enough into the Bible Belt for any mitigating effect.
It seems strange. On the way out we noticed so many differences through Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, and Missouri. Driving back, the land doesn’t seem so different from where we live. I think the driving is starting to get to me, though. We pass several nice looking lakes, and all I wanted to do was stop and put a boat in.
We had to take a major detour around Nashville since part of I-40 was closed, but eventually wound up at the Comfort Inn at Lebanon, where I encountered the rudest hotel clerk I think I’ve ever seen. Not what I needed after 600 miles on the road. Laura picked up a local newspaper. There were two sections, the first of which was only four pages. The headline at the top of the second page was “Suggs Church Searches for New Song Leader.” (Not a choir director.) No US or world news at all. The second section was local sports.
We searched for dinner, and decided upon Cafe Mexico City. We should have known better. All the warning signs were there – beer bottles under a stationary van, not a single Hispanic in sight. But, there were lots of cars, and the place seemed OK from the outside. A woman with tattoos on her arms and a gold necklace with the word “Worm” in Gothic script took our order. There were few diners, most were at the bar. We also noticed a DJ booth and karaoke setup. The food was OK, but it was obvious that food was not the primary reason for coming. Little alcoves with pool tables and dart boards solidified that opinion.
We went searching for some yogurt in Lebanon. Instead of Mexican, we could have eaten at the Ideal Cafe, which advertised Grade “A” Food. No TCBY, but we did find a Confederate statue on the town square. We gave up and drove back to the motel.
This brings up another observation. Last night I watched David Letterman interview Bonnie Hunt. She had been filming in North Carolina, and I got really ticked off with her about comments she made about the South – some she met had only three teeth, and she couldn’t figure out what was being served for breakfast. I usually get riled when someone makes bigoted statements about the south. But then again, we live in Greenville, which is unusually cosmopolitan, despite the BJU influence. From what I’ve encountered this evening, from the hotel clerk to the waitress, I would almost be inclined to agree with Ms. Hunt.
I’m glad we will be home tomorrow.