Tuesday, July 28, 2015

May 2015 Louisiana Road Trip Part 1 OR I am Almost a Country Star

"I always seem to stumble onto some weird shit."--Sluggy

Mid May of this year and we were off on another road trip to see our daughter in Louisiana.

Up and on the road bright and early on Sunday May 17th it took just about 2.5 hours to get out of PA and cross over into the South..........


Last year's trip we took I-81 all the way down into Tennessee, then down into Alabama, across Mississippi and west through Louisiana.  This year we decided to take a bit of a different route to LA as we wanted to spend some time in Kentucky this trip.

We took I-81 into Maryland and then picked up I-68 West into West Virginia.

 
 
Maryland sign as we left.
Sorry we won't be back for a couple of weeks! ;-)

Another 1.5 hours and we were in West Virginia.....



While driving down I-81 we always see many large crosses along the highway, going across I-68 we see a fair share of gigantic American flags too......



We were getting mighty hungry by the time we hit Morgantown, WV so we got off the road to find something to eat for lunch.

We saw a sign for some chain restaurant that wasn't too nasty but we missed it once we got off the exit and ended up driving for miles.
Then we drove back toward the interstate and saw this place right across from a mall so we went with it......


Schmitt's Saloon and Davisson Brothers Music Hall.
I figured Hubs could get a nice brew and we could get something fried or "bad for us" to eat.

If I only knew......

As we approached the door to the place we say this big sign posted on the door........

Attention
This event is being filmed, videotaped and/or photographed.  By being present at this event each person in attendance irrevocably consents to being filmed, videotaped and/or photographed and releases all producers and users of such fill, videotape or photograph from any liability for loss or damages.....yadda  yadda yadda.

WTF?

So we go inside and hope for the best.

Seems we stumbled upon a real life saloon and music hall(with a stage and theater lighting)venue for live bands.  Supposedly the "premiere live band venue in West Virginia".

 

 
 

A wall of posters by the bathrooms from past local and national country acts that have played this hall.

So we go in anyway and get a table across from the bar and a waitress in a denim miniskirt comes over and slaps down a couple of menus that have the heading "Event Menu" on them.
Event Menu??
The plot thickens......

The menu has about 9 items on it so we choose a couple of burgers, Hubs gets a beer and I stick to iced tea.

It's a Sunday afternoon and we have great fun looking at the small crowd in this here bar.

Hubs loved the couple at the bar......a 40ish guy trying to look 20 years younger with his wrinkled up also trying to pass for 20 skinny gal friend dressed in white pants so tight seam failure was always seconds away.  I counted that this guy drank 6 beers in the almost an hour we were there.

At about beer round #5 said gal friend actually fell off her bar stool.  Nobody batted an eye.
Just a day in the life of a bar fly I suppose.

My favorite was the one I dubbed "Rastafarian WV Granny".  Now picture this--an old, almost toothless white woman wearing glasses, dressed in an almost see through granny nightgown and bedroom slippers with ta-tas that hadn't seen a bra in decades with Rastafarian dirty blonde dreadlocks.  I think she got lost and wandering out from a nearby trailer park and was looking for the way back home.

She must have shuffled back and forth by our table 20 times in the short while we were at Schmitt's.

I thought about getting a photo of her but the flash would have tipped her off and besides I just tried NOT to make eye contact every time she shuffled by. 
These are exactly the kind of people who take a "shine" to me and decide to just come over to me, a complete stranger, and strike up a conversation like we have been pals for years.  I just didn't want to take that chance today......

As we waited on our burgers, the emcee got up on stage at the mike and said their FunFest show for today was starting and they had 3 bands on today's program.   And then he added that after the show they were going to film a music video for county singer Scott Shelby and that is why that sign was on the front door.

The emcee continued that they needed more people in the saloon so asked everyone to call or text their friends to come on down around 4pm and they could all be in the official music video for the title track of Shelby's new album, "Still Got It".

I begged Hubs to let us stay and hang around for the filming of the video but he didn't want to be driving late into the night.  But wouldn't it be cool to be able to tell people that I was in a music video for some real life country singer?  8-)))

And with that, a band began playing music and the girl singer started wailing into the mike.
I decided to take a clandestine bit of video while the crowds milled around and Hubs played on his phone.  That video is HERE.

After nobody seemed to notice and shut me down I took another short bit of video.....



This band is called "Trial by Fire".  They have a Facebook page HERE.

The guy on the right with the orange guitar got my attention with the first tune they played.  He put his guitar backwards behind his head and shredded during their first number.
Now THAT takes talent.....

HERE is another proper video of another of the songs they do.

We ate while the band played on and then we left before the other two bands took the stage and totally missed the opportunity to become famous via music video.
Oh well.....easy come easy go. lolz

Here's the website for singer Scott Shelby

And here is the music video that was filmed at Schmitt's that day after we left.  They hardly even show the audience/crowd so maybe it was a good thing we let this one go by.  I bet the next opportunity for fame and fortune are just around the corner......ya, that's it......



We got back onto the Interstate and made tracks ourselves.....tracks for Huntington, WV where we were to stop for the night.

Only problem was, the stretch of highway between Morgantown and Huntington WV wasn't conducive to me keeping food down.  Somebody should have warned me that this stretch of interstate was rather twisty and hilly.   And I'm not talking regular twisty and hilly.

I have since dubbed West Virginia, "The Land of Roller Coasters".  On that day it sure felt like I was on a gigantic roller coaster without end, holding onto a plastic bag in case my lunch wanted a repeat performance.
I did manage not to hurl but was I ever glad when we hit Morgantown and could get off the highway.

Here are a couple of photos I snapped with my free hand when the waves of nausea weren't rolling like the road.....

That's Roanoke WV, not Roanoke VA.

 Angry clouds matching my nauseous stomach rumblings......
 

And I SWEAR this is about the only FLAT stretch of road that day.......but it was twisty and curvy......sigh.....



We had a reservation for the Quality Inn on Route 6 leading into Huntington.
$89.60 for 1 night in a rundown "seen better days" Quality Inn with no amenities outside of a pretty bad free breakfast.

We stashed the luggage and went out in search of dinner as it was getting dark.  I wasn't too hungry still but Hubs was famished.



We opted for a Bob Evans tucked into the other edge of town past Marshall University rather than attempting some of the places blogger buddy Jay had recommended.   My stomach needed bland and boringly predictable food........


My grilled chicken came with a flag stuck into it so I had a little fun in the near deserted dining area......I embarrass Hubs everywhere we go.......


By the time we finished our meal and headed back to the motel it was pitch dark and our GPS "Vicki" was still having seizures--shutting down suddenly and then reviving long enough to bark out directions that made little sense before shutting down or recalculating yet again.
"Vicki" was not earning her keep on this trip.....

So we tried to find our way back up Route 6 despite a bunch of one way roads that confused Hubs even more in the dark.


A cool retro neon sign outside a bus station.



The Marshall U. sign I snapped right before Hubs took a wrong turn down a one way road....!!!

Yep, I noticed that there were headlights coming toward us from a distance and they were from ALL the driving lanes and that is how I figured out he was going the wrong way down a one way street.
Well, that and the headlights started flashing at us.

So we ducked into a driveway and waited for the traffic to pass and made a turn and went back down the road in the correct direction.

I guess we are just too old to drive in a town we aren't familiar with at night.......well, that plus I was still between cataract surgeries.....

We made it back to the room safe and sound after that and dare not go anywhere until daylight.
It sure wouldn't have been much fun to meet our end on a dark road in West Virginia.
Besides I can't squeal like a pig very well.....





Sluggy
 

5 comments:

  1. Fun story to read! I love the description of the 40 year old 20 wanna bes. That couple type must hang out at every interesting bar in America, because I am sure I have seen them in many states. Well in many geographical states, but their state is always the same. Can't wait for part 2 of the trip.

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    1. Yep these seem to be universal stereotypes and if they stayed out of bars they'd all go bankrupt in a week. lolz

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  2. Can you bring back some of that brain eating amoeba invested water from Louisiana? There are a few people here I would like to feed it to, but then the amoeba might starve to death. You are having too much fun except for the car sickness.

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    1. Would if I could Kim, but that was down near NOLA and we don't do anywhere near there in LA. ;-)

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  3. OK, lady. Next time, I will be your guide in WV!!! You had it ALL WRONG!!!! And Huntington is AWESOME!!!!

    I also hate I-79, and you got what you deserved, but hey, Huntington is GREAT!!!! There are awesome restaurants like the Marshall Grill. You went with chains. Ugh.

    Marshall is where I graduated from, so the pic of the sign is GREAT!!!! But the one way signs are obvious, so I feel for those who can't drive at night. So sorry.

    Oh, and it's Route 60 (SIXTY) not 6, no wonder you were CONFUSED!!!!! Route 60 (SIXTY) runs past my house, 3 miles to the north, and continues to St. Louis to the west and Virginia Beach to the east. So sorry you couldn't handle it.

    Sounds like you need a satnav set up. I recommend Garmin. BUY ONE! Put every destination in it! Follow it! HAHAHAHAHAHHHAAAA

    Sluggy, you know I love you. This post is just too funny!!!!

    Peace <3
    Jay

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