You know how, like, you have your first kid, and you take a lot of pictures, and you talk about him all the time, you wash the food before you let him put it in his mouth? And then you have your second kid, and you get a little less diligent about the documenting, a little less strict about the five-second rule? And then you have your third kid, and she gets to play with knives and has to survive off of whatever everybody else dropped on the floor?
That's what being on the road is like. The first day, you really care. You're all wide-eyed, full of everybody-ought-to-do-this awe and all you can talk about is poop and pee. You take a lot of pictures, think up all manner of pithy commentary.
By day six, you don't know what day it is, what time it is, and you don't really so much care. You look at the clock, realize it's 5:46 p.m., you haven't even thought yet about stopping for the night, and you better get on the horn with AAA and find yourself a room. They (and let's god bless them, by the way) help you to discover that there is not a single hotel for the next 120 miles that will open its doors to One Dog, so you resolve to drive on a little farther.
To Batavia, New York.
It smells like cow poo in Batavia. This is nothing new, it has pretty much smelled like cow poo for the last 1200 miles, but there doesn't appear to be a restaurant in town. Cows and poo -- and, for some reason, about eighty-nine hotels -- seem to pretty much be the local industry.
But then you inquire of the hotel receptionist, and she hands you a map. Turns out there is a restaurant or two, you just have to go a little further off the highway (forgive yourself: you're not used to going that far off the highway. Not anymore, at any rate.).
So you look through the list, and you think about a few things. You think about the fact that you're wearing your Patriots jersey still, and whether or not you want to walk into a sports bar in New York. You think about the notion that your husband is from Dublin, and whether or not you want to know what an Upstate Irish Pub might turn out to look like. You think about whether you ever, ever, ever again want to eat at Applebee's.
Then you take a deep breath, and you go to Margarita's.
And do you know where it turns out you can get the best Mexican food north of the Rio Grande?
Batavia, New York.
Who would'a thunk it?