Road trip taking I40 east and other places

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mar52
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Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/25 14:05:21 (permalink)
July 4th in New Orleans was started with my requisite order of beignets and chicory coffee.
 
If you want your coffee served in a ceramic mug, do not order the large.
 
This trip around I asked for light sugar.
 

 
We did our final shopping with a stop for me at The Central Grocery Company.
 

 

 
On all other trips to New Orleans I’ve eaten an entire Muffuletta by myself with a can of Barqs.   On this trip I had none.  We had been trying to limit our large meals to one a day to save money and calories so no lunch was had.  The others did not want a Muffuletta anyway.
 
I did pick up a jar of the olive salad for myself.
 
This was our last night in New Orleans which we spent on a River Boat in Kenner, Louisiana…  The Treasure Chest Casino which is on Lake Pontchartrain.
 
Fireworks were going to be shot off by the casino and we could also watch fireworks from the deck, shot off by the different cities on the entire horizon.
 
We had the dinner buffet which was okay but ended my quest to complete my simple list of “want to eats” in Louisiana.
 
Crawfish Bisque with stuffed crawfish or dumplings and a Ramos Gin Fizz remain to be had.
 

 
I forgot that we also had one meal at Burger King…
 

 
IN MY MIND
 
I need to complete my list of New Orleans must eats.  I will be returning to New Orleans.  I just don’t know when.  I do know that it will be in the winter or fall for sure.
 
#61
Foodbme
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Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/25 14:38:21 (permalink)
People in NOLA go to Hell in July and August. It's more comfortable there!!
#62
mar52
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Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/25 16:14:56 (permalink)
Back in Texas we finally coordinated with the entire family to meet in Tioga, Texas.  There were I think ten of us.
 

 
For years I have wanted to stop at Clark’s Outpost for barbecue but we were always on the way to the airport or from the airport when we passed it.  This time hopefully nothing would stop me.
 

 
Doesn’t it look even more inviting with bikes parked out front?
 
Once again the Texas flag makes an appearance.
 

 
Everyone ordered combination plates of the meats that were offered.
 

 
Always wanting to have great brisket and hearing that Texas is the best, I ordered that combination, which did not disappoint.  I am not sure that Texas brisket is the best, but Clark’s brisket can sure qualify.
 
Notice how moist the brisket is?  Although there wasn’t much of a smoke ring showing, the flavor of hickory smoke was well pronounced throughout.  The ribs were not as fall off the bone soft as I like, but the flavor was excellent.
 

 
My sides were delicious barbecued beans and fried corn.  The corn came with that slab of margarine on top.  The fact that it had not melted for this picture lets you know that it was not as hot as I would have liked.  I was able to remove it without any problem.  I really did not like the greasiness of the corn from the frying.  I do not recommend this method of cooking for corn on the cob.  I guess it's a quick and easy way for them to cook it.
 
I did love the horse shoe nails that were used for handles.  I’ve since tried to find them online but can’t find any as long as those that were used by Clark’s.  There aren’t many (or any) shoeing stores around Marina del Rey.  I think they were at least 3 or 4 inches long.  I want to purchase a box!
 

 
Other meats ordered were sausage and ham steaks.
 

 

 
All were delicious and all were served with a slice of toasted white bread and a canned peach half.  Personally, I do not get the white bread thing, but I see it occurring it a lot of barbecue restaurants all over the country.  Give me a roll!
 
Desserts were being ordered so I joined the ordering.
 
My choice was the bread pudding.
 
In no way, shape or form did it resemble any bread pudding that I’ve ever had or seen.  This was a dense brick of something.  You could not tell that bread was used to make it and maybe it wasn’t.  It was a solid mass throughout.  I left most of it.
 

 
The dessert I should have ordered was the pecan cobbler.  WOW!  I know the rumored calorie contest of pecan pie so I passed on it.  Maybe next time.
 

 
 Clark’s Outpost is Roadfood at its best.  Do not miss it if in Tioga, Texas.
 
#63
Nancypalooza
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Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/25 16:46:00 (permalink)
About NOLA: I have been in March and at the end of September, and both had overcast days and truly gorgeous days. http://www.flickr.com/photos/nancypalooza/5037475783/in/set-72157625063791710  Try try again sometime that's not nuts.  The touristy place we went for dinner while I was there last was Landry's, and it wasn't bad.  But Acme Oyster House, Deanie's, or Redfish Grill would have all been better than the place you're describing.  I'm really sorry your big dinner got spoiled.
#64
mar52
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Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/25 20:07:27 (permalink)
Nancy, any place would have been better than the one we chose...
 
While out and about we saw this interesting place in Allen, Texas.
 
Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q.
 
http://www.rudys.com/default.aspx


What was interesting about this place was it was also a gas station.
 
We had to look inside.
 

 
Walking in we were greeted by samples of the brisket and smoked turkey.  We had barbecue the day before so we walked around and checked out the menu.
 
There was a line with people ordering meat in sandwiches and by the pound.  There was a refrigerator with pints and quarts of side salads to go.
 

 
There was a large ice table with bottles of soda sticking out of the ice.
 

 
More importantly there was this menu over to the side.
 
Breakfast tacos?  I asked and they were served all day.
 

 
We ordered two tacos each and they were prepared by these shy guys.  They were the meat carvers.  See the meat holding tanks behind them?
 

 
 
Our meal was served to us in this plastic crate sort of thing.  The carrots and jalapenos were from the condiment bar.
 

 
These are my two tacos.  They are not what I ordered, but they were good.  What I received was an egg and brisket taco and ham and egg taco,
 
I had ordered a chopped egg and cheese and a chorizo and egg taco.
 
No problem as both of these were good.
 

 
I averted my own disaster by realizing that the pour spout on the bottle of barbecue sauce had been precariously placed back in to the bottle.  Actually it was just sitting on the top of the bottle.
 
I was going to pour a little just to taste it.  It did not go on my tacos.
 

 
We ate in the outdoor seating area.  It was separated from the inside by pull down glass windowed garage doors.  The outside windows were the same.  It had a nice feel to it like outdoor eating.
 

 
I just like the way this looked and thought it would make a good picture:
 

 
When leaving I peeked into the store part of Rudy’s.  I found it odd that they sold milk along with the other things. I was hoping for Road candy.
 

 
I found out when there that Rudy’s is a small chain, mostly in Texas.  I believe this franchise has growing possibilities.  Not necessarily Roadfood, but it was
good.  We did not fill up with gas.
 

 
 
 
#65
mar52
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Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/25 21:43:53 (permalink)
Our stay in McKinney ended and we drove up to Denison, Texas for another week’s stay.
 
 

 
Our first meal in Denison was home made pot roast which was fall apart good.
 
We were invited to a birthday dinner at Pop’s Place where we had eaten a couple of years ago.
 
Pop’s Place is right on Texoma Parkway in Denison just north of Sherman, Texas.
 
 

 
 

 
 
Pop’s is a small restaurant where the locals eat.  It’s successful partly (in my opinion) due to this waiter who for all I know may be Pop himself.  He was there the last time we visited.  He makes waiting for your meal enjoyable.
 

 
Attempt at humor on the wall:
 

 
It was catfish night at Pop’s but we were having catfish the next night.
 
So, I ordered the same thing I ordered the last time at Pop’s… the chicken fried steak.  It did not disappoint.
 
The “Loaded” mashed potatoes could have lost the bacon and I’d like the recipe for the honey carrots.
 
This is how meals were served in most of the restaurants we visited in Texas.
 

 
This is how I prefer to receive my meal.
 
What is with all the small bowls?  Portion control?  I don’t like little bowls on my plate.
 

 
Here’s a picture of the catfish dinner. A few at the table ordered the catfish and all were more than happy with it.
 

 
Pop’s Place is a no frills place serving simple food done perfectly.  Try it.
 
#66
mar52
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Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/25 22:11:43 (permalink)
 
Time to drive back to Allen, Texas to meet a cousin of Sharon’s.  They'd not seen each other in twenty-one years.
 
Plano, Texas was midway between us so I suggested Norma’s.
 
No deal.
 
Her cousin wanted to meet at Olive Garden right off I75.
 
I spoke up!
 
She suggested Chedder’s in Allen.  I’d never been there so that was fine with me.
 
I should have pressed for Norma’s.
 

 
Nothing on the menu looked good to me because after reading the menu I figured that Olive Garden may have been better.
 
Thought I’d go sort of healthy and ordered the vegetable plate.
 
Sharon’s cousin ordered the cheese burger.
 
I had been ribbed the entire trip about my taking pictures of my food but it didn’t stop me.
 
I was delighted when Sharon’s cousin got her cheese burger and before doing anything to it…. Took a picture of it!
 
Then I got my vegetable plate.
 
More little dishes!
 
These carrots tasted like carrots.  Ick.  Why did I think they’d taste like the honey carrots?
 
The broccoli and cheese casserole had white rice filler which was not mentioned on the menu.  It was mostly rice.
 
The corn was your ordinary canned corn variety and the red beans and rice were okay, but salty
 
Why was this place crowded?
 

 
 
I left a lot of my meal on the plate.
 
I was going to order dessert!
 
I ordered the Apple Pie A La Mode which was a large slice of apple pie topped with delicious vanilla ice cream and hot caramel sauce.
 
I was so excited when it was served that I forgot to take its picture!
 
It was huge and it was everything I wanted.
#67
Twinwillow
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Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/25 22:56:57 (permalink)
I've done this trip a number of times and essentially, stopped at most of the places you did, too. I love Clark's Outpost. Less than hour from my home in Dallas, I drive out to Tioga about 3 times a year. The founder, my late friend Warren Clark was alive when I first started going to Clark's in the middle seventies shortly after Warren left his executive position at American Airlines to live his dream and open Clark's Outpost. He'd be mighty proud to see how it's flourished after all these years.
                                      GOD BLESS OUR WONDERFUL AMERICA!
post edited by Twinwillow - 2011/07/25 22:59:18
#68
Twinwillow
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Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/25 23:01:47 (permalink)
mar52, you should have been more forceful and gone to Norma's!
 
http://www.normascafe.com/
post edited by Twinwillow - 2011/07/25 23:04:31
#69
mar52
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Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/26 12:46:59 (permalink)
I always have to have at least one meal of catfish when in Denison, Texas.
 
It was back to Huck’s on this trip.  You can’t lose with a winner.  I asked before choosing because in the past I also liked Windy’s Catfish in Bryan, Oklahoma, not far from Denison.  Seems that Windy’s changed ownership and has gone downhill ever since.  I wasn’t going to question that opinion.
 
Huck’s is right off I75 in Denison, Texas.
 
http://www.huckscatfish.com/
 

 
  Texas is displayed proudly at the register. 
 

 
It seems that Huck’s is so good that there is a wait to be seated.  There is a large dining area and it was full with happy diners.  I was told people even drive up from Fort Worth for Huck’s farm raised catfish.
 

 
Huck’s has things other than catfish, but that’s what it’s known for.
 

 
Our drinks were ordered (I had Big Red and left most of the overly sweet drink) and the tomato relish and raw onion accompaniments were brought to our table.  I was not impressed with the presentation.
 
Drinks had free refills, but who needed more when the glasses were so large?
 

 
I’m guessing again that these covered plastic containers were a size limiting, time saving device.  There were three of us there for dinner and there were three containers.  I don’t think they belong on a table in a sit down restaurant.  This is where I’d like a little bowl.  What was in those little containers was delicious.  Looked around the grocery stores and you can’t buy tomato relish.  Anyone want to start a new business?
 
The scattering of raw onion was also strange.  I’m used to neat, slices of onions being served on a plate.
 
 

 
Catfish isn’t the only thing that Huck’s offers.  They serve other seafood items and chicken fried steak.
 
This time I added one stuffed crab to my catfish order.
 
The dinners came with 2 sides and 2 hush puppies.  I had a dinner salad that I didn’t eat.  I like chopped salads, but theirs was shredded.  Shredded lettuce wilts immediately when dressing is applied.
 
The black-eyed peas were good but heavy on the bacon.
 
Again, tiny plastic containers of cocktail sauce and tarter sauce.
 
The catfish was lightly coated and mild tasting.  It was excellent.  I’ve had catfish in the past that had a dirty taste which I called muddy.  Not a hint of that here.
 
The stuffed crab was tasty, but a bit over cooked.  More filler than crab.
 

 
Huck’s was my last meal in Texas and a wonderful way to end our stay.
 
Time to hit the road home.
 
post edited by mar52 - 2011/07/26 12:48:14
#70
mar52
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Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/26 12:50:28 (permalink)
Twinwillow

I've done this trip a number of times and essentially, stopped at most of the places you did, too. I love Clark's Outpost. Less than hour from my home in Dallas, I drive out to Tioga about 3 times a year. The founder, my late friend Warren Clark was alive when I first started going to Clark's in the middle seventies shortly after Warren left his executive position at American Airlines to live his dream and open Clark's Outpost. He'd be mighty proud to see how it's flourished after all these years.
                                    GOD BLESS OUR WONDERFUL AMERICA!

 
Very cool that you knew Warren Clark.  The food there is a tribute to him as it's excellent.
#71
Rusty246
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Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/26 13:26:33 (permalink)
I love fried corn but I'd never fry fresh.  Frozen cobs, thawed out completely and dried off work best. I even use thawed frozen kernel corn, fry it around in a little bit of bacon grease...it gets like a chewy candy consistency to it.  You reports are fun, your humor really shows!
#72
mar52
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Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/26 13:37:08 (permalink)
Thanks, Rusty.  I guess I fry canned corn when I stir it around melted butter in a pan with sugar and cayenne. Good stuff!
 
Our overnight stop on the road home was Albuquerque, New Mexico.
 
I chose a restaurant that I had been to a couple of times in the past.
 
Little Anita’s on Rio Grande Boulevard.
 
http://www.littleanitas.com/Home_Page_Reviews.html
 
Little did I know before looking up it’s webpage that it has other locations in other states.
 
My last Roadfood stop was a CHAIN!
 

 
My friend, Jane Butel (A New Mexican Cookbook Author who runs a cooking school in Albuquerque) told me about Little Anita’s years ago when I first ate there.
 

 
When first looking at the combination plates served at Little Anita’s you think that this New Mexican food is the same as the combination plates at any Mexican restaurant.
 
Well yes until you get to the sauces.
 
Again you can order green sauce or red sauce or the secret, Christmas which is the combination of both.  I still can’t get myself to order it Christmas...  I still ask for half and half.
 
I usually get a cheese enchilada and a chile relleno.  This time I went for the more extensive #7 plate that also had a beef filled burrito and a tamale.
 
I should have stayed with my standard choice.
 
The sauces stand out on the enchiladas and rellenos and they’re lost on the other so-so items.  With this dinner it's all about the sauces for me.
 
The green sauce is exquisite as is the red.  One isn’t better than the other.
 
I know that there are Roadfood establishments listed in Albuquerque but Little Anita’s is my go to place.
 
The margarita on the rocks wasn’t bad, either.
 

 
A little over five weeks and 5480 miles of driving around the country.
 
I had a wonderful time and can not wait to do it again in cooler weather.
 
For all of you who have never done this, it’s a great way to save memories of your trips.  Try it!
 
My hat goes off to all the others here that chronicle and share their Roadfood eating experiences with us….  It is a major undertaking to write up, host pictures and post them here.
 
Thank you all for leading the way for me.
 
#73
mar52
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Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/26 13:41:37 (permalink)
Darn!  I forgot about the Sopapilla.
 
Here it is:
 

 
I ripped open a decent size hole into the top of its fried deliciousness and loaded it up with honey for my enjoyment.
 
I was able to eat it without getting my fingers sticky!
 
Now that's the way to end a perfect trip.
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Foodbme
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Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/26 13:52:55 (permalink)
You're a friend of Jane Butel's????!!!!! I met her at one of her book signings here in PHX a couple years ago. A charming Lady!
My bucket list contains attending her cooking school! Have you been to her school? Her "Bowl of Red" is my Chili Benchmark! If you "Chiliheads" don't have her book, "Chili Madness-2nd Edition", you need to order it! 
http://www.janebutelcooking.com/Public/CookingClasses/index.cfm
post edited by Foodbme - 2011/07/26 13:57:26
#75
mar52
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Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/26 14:02:06 (permalink)
I did indeed attend her cooking school.  
 
I first met her at a cook-off in Tempe, Arizona.  Jane, her husband Gordon and a few of us finalists spent the weekend imbibing together.
 
I won that cook-off with a grand prize of attending her cooking school.  What a blast!
 
Later in time she and Gordon stayed with me for a few days when she was doing a radio spot on a now defunct Los Angeles radio station.  More eating and drinking was involved.
 
I haven't spoken to her a several years.  Last I heard Gordon was sick and I fear that he is no longer with us.
 
Take that class if you can.  It's hands on and a lot of fun.
 
Beware...  you have to wash your own dishes.
 
 
#76
Foodbme
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Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/26 14:09:48 (permalink)
mar52
I did indeed attend her cooking school.  
I first met her at a cook-off in Tempe, Arizona.  Jane, her husband Gordon and a few of us finalists spent the weekend imbibing together.
I won that cook-off with a grand prize of attending her cooking school.  What a blast!
Later in time she and Gordon stayed with me for a few days when she was doing a radio spot on a now defunct Los Angeles radio station.  More eating and drinking was involved.
I haven't spoken to her a several years.  Last I heard Gordon was sick and I fear that he is no longer with us.
Take that class if you can.  It's hands on and a lot of fun.
Beware...  you have to wash your own dishes.

She too was kind of Frail when she was here, but full of spunk! As far as washing dishes---I've been married 52 years!  Please excuse me. I need to go wash the pots from last nite's dinner!
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mar52
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Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/26 14:12:49 (permalink)
Ha!
 
One thing about taking her very expensive class...  You're forever on her list as a prospect to spend more money with her.
 
Go wash those dishes!
#78
mar52
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Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/26 14:14:19 (permalink)
I just checked out all of the pictures on her site and I'm not in any of them!
 
However, I am mentioned in her Southwestern Grill book.
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kland01s
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Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/26 14:18:38 (permalink)
I spent 27 years traveling to New Mexico and eating at nice liitle mom & pops and local places but I have l always had a special liking for Little Anita's and tried to get to one every few trips. I would love to have a outpost of it right near me!!
#80
ces1948
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Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/26 18:12:44 (permalink)
I really appreciate your report and had fun following along with you, I did get the impression that you had several meals along the way that you weren't particularly enthused about. Believe me been there and done that. Thanks again.
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mar52
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Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/31 13:35:44 (permalink)
I forgot to post a picture of Cadillac Ranch.  I did catch it on the way home.  If you don't know it's there, you'll probably not even notice it.  It sits a few hundred feet off of the highway.
 
You exit I40 at exit number 60 or 62.  Then you have to drive back to it.  It's on the south side of I40.
 
According to the sign, it's state property, but the cars  are on privately owned property.  We didn't walk out because it was a dirt path, we were headed home and walking was involved.  People actually walk out to it and spray paint graffiti on them.  Not only that, the spray paint is supplied by the owner of those old cars.
 
Here is the picture in case you're interested.  I found it very strange.
 

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ScreamingChicken
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Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/08/01 09:04:52 (permalink)
Tremendous job, Mar!  Almost 5500 miles in 5 weeks is no small feat!
 
But how come there's not at least one photo of you enjoying some of that food?
 
Brad
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agnesrob
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Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/08/01 09:46:42 (permalink)
Wonderful report Mar! I really felt like you took us all along for the ride!
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Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/08/01 09:49:51 (permalink)
all the gravys where instant out of the pak just add water .look at the shine and black spots on every picture of the post.
nobody makes homade any more. its sad
#85
Nancypalooza
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Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/08/01 14:31:31 (permalink)
This is a really good trip report because it's the highs and the lows and she does a really good job of letting you into the where are we eating/what am I having decision making process.  Plus the pictures are awesome.  ;)
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mar52
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Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/08/01 14:56:54 (permalink)
Thank you, Ms. Palooza.
 
In rereading my report it sounds very negative which really wasn't the case at all.  I just wanted to tell it like it was.
 
The only real negative was that dinner in New Orleans. I was hoping for so much more.
 
That little pocket Canon S95 took the pictures.  I have Davydd to thank for the recommendation.  It's a great camera for low light situations.
 
I brought my full size Nikon Digital SLR with me but found it to be too heavy, cumbersome and in the way most of the time.  I highly recommend the S95.
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mar52
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Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/08/01 14:56:54 (permalink)
double post
 
post edited by mar52 - 2011/08/01 15:09:09
#88
mar52
Sirloin
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Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/08/01 15:08:08 (permalink)
You asked for it.  Don't get scared.....
 
 
 

#89
Nancypalooza
Filet Mignon
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Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/08/01 15:39:04 (permalink)
Attagirl!  ;)
#90
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