Two and a half weeks ago, Julie and I took off on our annual trek SW'ly. Other years, we've driven from Michigan, to and through: Louisiana, South Carolina, Texas, New Mexico (trashiest state in the CONUS), Arizona, Colorado, California, Nevada, Florida, Mississippi, Missouri, Georgia, North Carolina, Utah, Oregon, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. A good friend here, owns his Mom's condo in Sun City West, on the NW'ly corner of Phoenix. Even with the heat there this time of year, we decided to meander down there, spend some time, and meander homewards another route. On our jaunts, we've discovered a few things. 1. We don't enjoy being away from. Home more than two weeks. We love to travel - both tightly scheduled and loosely scheduled. But, as Will Rogers once observed, "I like travelin. But, the best part of every trip is gettin home again. Home to Betty's beans." Will was seldom wrong. 2. Though we both grew up as born and bred Midwesterners, where supper isn't supper unless you have roast beef, mashed potatoes, and string beans by god! We thoroughly enjoy Mexican food. Now here's the funny part. Here in central Michigan is a small chain (15-20 each) of Mexican restaurants: Los Tres Amigos. And, nowhere throughout Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, or Colorado have we ever found a Mexican restaurant that has better food than here in the corn belt. Usually, not as good! Now, I'm thankful for the wonderful, flavorful, and healthful food so nearby, but it just isn't normal for that to be so. But, I'm glad that it is. 3. In Rawlins Wyoming - a western cow town straight out of Wagon Train and Death Valley Days, the number one rated restaurant is a Thai restaurant! And, Thai restaurants are being highly rated by customers in many locations where we've wandered. Hmmm, "We aren't in Kansas anymore, Toto." 4. Drury Inns has won us over as loyal customers. Priced similarly to other chains, they offer more to travelers than do others. Free, hot meals and drinks in the evening, free hot breakfasts, and many other little things. Wow, much more bang for our buck. On our way down to Phoenix, we traveled along old Route 66. A lot of that was good, "Flagstaff Arizona, don't forget Winona, Barstow, Vegas, San Bernadino" etc. Part wasn't. Oklahoma has some toll roads. I don't have a problem with the idea of tolls. But Oklahoma needs to get their collective heads out of there collective as$$e$. The money collecting machines they used to replace people weren't working. Change collection baskets and bill changers were off on strike. With no way to correct the situation I'm now stuck with, I called the emergency telephone number stenciled on the coin box. "The number you have reached is out of order." Oklahoma failed to impress us positively. We stopped in Centennial CO to visit with friends. Every couple of years, we make it through here, and make it a point to see Scott & Andrea. Time with them flew by. Time flies when you're having fun. Another favorite stop on I-80 is Kearney Nebraska. If you're ever in that vicinity, do yourself a favor - have lunch or dinner at the Alley Rose Restaurant in the old part of town. You will be amazed, I gawwrunTEE. JARVIS good eatin.