The Canada Trip: Friday/Saturday 6/20-6/21/14

We left from home Friday evening after Josh got off work.  He brought with him Cane’s meals that we ate before starting out (no dishes to clean).  We each got the box, and Muffin ate the kid’s meal.  Our route took us up Louisiana Highway 3 to the Arkansas line and up Arkansas Highway 29 to Hope, Arkansas.  At Hope, we got on Interstate 30 headed east.  At Little Rock, we connected first with I-440 and then I-40 to head to Memphis, Tennessee.

By the way, if you are attempting a similar experience, there is A LOT of construction eastbound on I-40 in eastern Arkansas and the Memphis area.  I would strongly not advise traveling there in the dark because you get down to about half a lane of driving traffic at one point (without warning) with concrete barriers closing you in (and making driving hazardous).

Muffin did a lot of iPODing for the first part of the trip.  If I could have avoided looking at the construction scenery, I would have.

This was a very anxious, excited Muffin who kept saying, “I want to go to Grandma’s!  When is Dad going to be home?”

And the iPOD shots:

And here’s one of him taking a picture with his iPOD of me taking a picture of him:

Friday night we stayed at a Comfort Suites in Cordova, Tennessee, on the east side of Memphis.  Basically, we drove until around 11 when we both realized we needed to stop for the night.  We knew we needed to make it to Seville, Ohio, for Saturday night, so we tried to shave off as much time as possible for Saturday’s drive (which was going to be the “long” day).  At six hours of travel time, we ended up here.  It was a nice place and offered a nice morning breakfast.  I cannot speak to the niceness of the pool or other amenities, as we arrived too late to try many of those.  We just needed sleep, thanks.

Saturday dawned bright and early as we tried to eat breakfast and get on the road.

Around about crossing into Kentucky, we decided we needed to have a longer rest break.  So, we stopped at the Kentucky welcome center in Franklin and let Muffin run around.  Here is my Picasa-artistically-enhanced photo of Muffin in front of the entry way to the map-tourist-magazine-pamphlet room.

The grounds were beautiful and a place for Muffin to run free!  Trust me, he needed it.  He wanted us to race on the path all over the grounds.

And here is Muffin and Mama, playing in the water fountain.

After a fairly confusing pass through Columbus best documented in the introduction, we settled into our hotel and restaurant, Pizzazio’s (There’s a printable menu at this link).  For this meal experience, Josh ordered mozzarella sticks to start with with meatball subs and fries for Muffin and him.  I ordered the lasagna dinner with a salad and garlic toast.  And realized that as absolutely wonderful as the lasagna was, um…these were awesome fries…for the Canadian-inclined, chip stand fries.  I may have…borrowed…a few of their fries.  Perhaps…possibly.

We were at the Seville one.

For the record, this is how fries are supposed to be.  The anemically white things that McDonald’s passes off as fries are not even the same species.  Proper fries must be the following:  brown.  Crispy with potato-chip-esque fry bubbles on the surface so that you have the delicate little crunchy places.  Mashed potato consistency in the middle.  The middle that is mashed potato (think creamed potatoes) consistency must taste like a perfectly (steakhouse) baked potato.  Not like I’m picky or anything.  They must be able to stand up on their own.  Sans ketchup.  Sans malt vinegar.  Sans mayo.  If the fries are prepared properly, one will feel that any additive that softens the surface to be borderline insanity.  And just.  Plain.  Wrong.

Not that I’m picky or anything.  Countdown to next chip stand experience:  2 years.

I should also add that if you cannot do that with a mozzarella cheese stick (see above), that those are not prepared properly, either.  By the way, they are best eaten if you have side ponytails a la Penny on Inspector Gadget (the 80s version).

And…the lasagna dinner:

(cough cough)  Someone (named Muffin) ate the innards of my garlic bread.  Since I stole several of the fries (only a few, really), I guess that was fair.

Afterwards, we chilled in the pool at the Comfort Inn right across the street.  Sometimes the restaurant and hotel can be the destination.  After the hydroplaning-near-Fort-Payne-Alabama nightmare of three years ago, this was our newly discovered jewel on the return trip home.  Seville, Ohio.

Here is the awesome (heated) indoor pool with the cool rock waterfall:

It also has jets.  And is rock-lined.  And on the return trip home we had…well…that surprise is just going to have to wait until next time.

We continue tomorrow’s installment of the Canada trip saga with our actual arrival in Canada and Train Museum #1 (of 2 on the trip).  Enjoy y’all.

What are your must-haves for hotel stays?