August 20, 2010

A day trip to South of the Border

                            Hello Pedro

We recently visited the South of the Border (SOTB). The much advertised tourist stop located in Dillon, SC along I-95 offers services, food and entertainment. It is known as America’s favorite highway oasis and is home to Pedro. What started as a simple roadside stand selling alcohol to dry counties across the border continues to thrive with shops, cafes and more on both sides of Highway 301 North. This year they are celebrating 60 years of soothing weary drivers, entertaining bored kids and providing a temporary home with a motel and Pedro Land for campers (RV and tents).  Happy Anniversary SOTB!

The SOTB trip is just one of the day trips we took this summer. Visits to places that require one tank of gas and a picnic are one of our favorite treats. Those hokey small town festivals, crafts fairs and bazaars are other day trips I like and take drag the family along on! It’s good to spend time together as a family. I know this sounds really simple, but check your schedules and see how often that happens. I don’t think it’s often enough.

While at SOTB we roamed through the many gift shops checking out all of the border items. If you’re in need of a snazzy looking sombrero then this is the place for you. There are even matching ones for your pet! After shopping, we enjoyed some time in the arcade. We all like to play air hockey and Skee-ball and the competition gets heated at times. We then had a lovely lunch at The Sombrero Restaurant. The food was delicious with large portions and the beverages were very cool and refreshing as the temperature was close to 100 degrees on the day of our trip.

My only disappointment that day was that we did not get to ride the Sombrero Tower! This is one of the things I really like to do when we visit. There’s nothing like seeing the sun set over Pedro’s place. However, when we were ready to go up it was closed for maintenance! We needed to get back home..... so maybe with the next visit we will make it up to the top of the big hat! Oh, the hat shop was a real hoot! We had a ball trying on a lot of crazy head covers!

Now, some people that read this post and have also been to SOTB might say,”What?? Are you talking about the same old, run down, hokey place I know?” Yes, that would be one in the same! :) Over the years it did become somewhat run down, but now they are making changes and adding new stuff. Hopefully SOTB will make it another 60 years!

I have been stopping at the border since I was a little girl. We would be off on a family vacation to some NC mountain destination and as soon as we began to see the famous roadside signs we would get excited. Got to love Pedro’s signs! Begging cries would begin and soon either Daddy was aggravated enough or most likely...... enough to stop. Of course, with a family of six jammed into a Volkswagen Bug it didn’t take much to get excited about being released from our tin can stretching our legs. So, the long and short of it is that I first saw the border as a little girl who was very bored, squished, hungry, rocking cause I had to pee and trapped somewhere near the floorboard. My heart was sold!

Next time we’ll check out the Reptile Lagoon and make it to the top of the big, red sombrero!

If you would like to visit South of the Border more information can be found here.

August 6, 2010

Ugly oil spill cake

                                                                   Let's eat cake!

I'm the luckiest, and at the same time the most cursed, girl for having married a man with a insatiable sweet tooth! My husband will say, "Did you know tomorrow is President's Day? Can we have cake?" or, "Did you know that five years ago we ate lunch for the first time at Fat Joe's. You were wearing your favorite color, green. Can we have cake?" So, you get the point any day is cake day in his world.

His latest request, and even this one threw me, was for an oil spill cake. A what? The husband says, "You know, a cake with oil spilling out and over the side." Sure, I reply.  I'm sure I've seen that one before! NOT! He has OD on news and information floating around on this greasy topic and that's reason enough to eat cake! Anyway, I attempted to please him, even if it was only with a box of cake mix and canned icing. He liked it. He (with the help of two greedy kids and yours truly) ate it. It's all gone.

                      Here is the photo documentation of the unfortunate but delectable OIL SPILL CAKE

I cut the center from the top layer, put the two layers together and iced the entire cake with canned chocolate icing.

Next, I used the center piece round taken from the top layer of the cake (cut into cubes) and a batch of homemade chocolate icing to fill in the hole and that helped to create a spill of gooey goodness.

The ugly oil spill cake.