Vacation tips

Well, we just got back from another grueling road trip, whereupon I have to get ready for an even more grueling trip abroad next week. (You will note that despite the grueling nature of said road trip, I managed to keep up my blogging pretty well, missing only one day, by my reckoning.) So, as the summer unfolds and many of us hit the road, let’s talk about vacation tips.

I like to patronize the independent businesses and roadside joints with a big EAT sign out in front, but those are sometimes hard to find in today’s interstate travel and sometimes one’s travel companions require certain standards of reliability. So let’s talk about chains and franchises.

BEST MOTEL CHAIN. Hampton Inn, for spacious rooms and really comfortable beds.

BEST CHAIN RESTAURANTS. Famous Dave’s, Longhorn, Chili’s

BEST CHAIN RESTAURANTS FOR BREAKFAST. IHOP, Bob Evan’s

BEST FAST FOOD. KFC, Long John Silver’s

BEST BATHROOMS. You tell me.

BEST TOURIST TRAPS. Missouri

These are not ex cathedra declarations, just my views so far. I am totally open to other suggestions. If you have other road trip tips (BEST GASOLINE STATIONS, BEST CONVENIENCE STORES, etc.), please let us all know.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Dan Kempin

    Best bathroom without a doubt: Shoji

  • Dan Kempin

    Best bathroom without a doubt: Shoji

  • http://www.masonsjournal.blogspot.com Mason

    KFC, Longjohn Silver’s? Not! I gotta go with Mickey D’s and Taco Bell. Everyone knows the rest of the list is beyond question.

  • http://www.masonsjournal.blogspot.com Mason

    KFC, Longjohn Silver’s? Not! I gotta go with Mickey D’s and Taco Bell. Everyone knows the rest of the list is beyond question.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    Best hotel – toss up Super 8 & Hampton
    Best Chain Restaurant – Texas Road House, Applebee’s, Uno’s, Waffle House
    Best breakfast – don’t stop for breakfast
    Best Fast Food – Chick-fil-a, White Castle, Burger King, Taco Bell
    Best Bathrooms – State Welcome Centers
    Best Convenience Store – AM/PM, Thornton’s

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    Best hotel – toss up Super 8 & Hampton
    Best Chain Restaurant – Texas Road House, Applebee’s, Uno’s, Waffle House
    Best breakfast – don’t stop for breakfast
    Best Fast Food – Chick-fil-a, White Castle, Burger King, Taco Bell
    Best Bathrooms – State Welcome Centers
    Best Convenience Store – AM/PM, Thornton’s

  • LAJ

    Best and cleanest bathrooms: McDonalds

  • LAJ

    Best and cleanest bathrooms: McDonalds

  • fma

    Best hotel – Drury. They provide breakfast and dinner, including 3 alcoholic beverages per adult per night.

  • fma

    Best hotel – Drury. They provide breakfast and dinner, including 3 alcoholic beverages per adult per night.

  • jrr

    What is a road trip without ice cream? The best ice cream in the country is Young’s Jersey Dairy off Route 68 near Yellow Springs, Ohio. My personal favorite is the strawberry bull shake. Second best ice cream stop is Ben and Jerry’s in Vermont for ice cream fresh from the vat. Third best stop is the Tillamook Cheese factory in Tillamook, Oregon.

  • jrr

    What is a road trip without ice cream? The best ice cream in the country is Young’s Jersey Dairy off Route 68 near Yellow Springs, Ohio. My personal favorite is the strawberry bull shake. Second best ice cream stop is Ben and Jerry’s in Vermont for ice cream fresh from the vat. Third best stop is the Tillamook Cheese factory in Tillamook, Oregon.

  • Norman Teigen

    I see that I inadvertently made a comment on another post, one about evil. Too deep for me.

    I did ask for feedback on which states had quality rest areas. I put a plug in for my home state, Minnesota, as having exceptionally good rest areas.

    We will be traveling to New York State in October. We will pass through Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey.

    Which states have rest areas to avoid? Which states have attractive rest areas?

    I solicit advice from the readers of this blog.

  • Norman Teigen

    I see that I inadvertently made a comment on another post, one about evil. Too deep for me.

    I did ask for feedback on which states had quality rest areas. I put a plug in for my home state, Minnesota, as having exceptionally good rest areas.

    We will be traveling to New York State in October. We will pass through Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey.

    Which states have rest areas to avoid? Which states have attractive rest areas?

    I solicit advice from the readers of this blog.

  • http://necessaryroughness.org Dan at Necessary Roughness

    Best Motel Chain is another Hilton property: the Hilton Garden Inns. Consistently high quality, great beds, large rooms, free internet, and yummy cookies when you check-in or come in from work.

    What does Best Tourist Trap mean? Best at getting your money or best at giving you value? :) The former would be any baseball park or football stadium. :)

  • http://necessaryroughness.org Dan at Necessary Roughness

    Best Motel Chain is another Hilton property: the Hilton Garden Inns. Consistently high quality, great beds, large rooms, free internet, and yummy cookies when you check-in or come in from work.

    What does Best Tourist Trap mean? Best at getting your money or best at giving you value? :) The former would be any baseball park or football stadium. :)

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    Well it’s not exactly ice cream but in the same vane
    Ted Drews Frozen Custard in St. Louis

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    Well it’s not exactly ice cream but in the same vane
    Ted Drews Frozen Custard in St. Louis

  • Tom Hering

    Best fast food in the Midwest is the Culver’s chain. Their sign promotes their “ButterBurgers” and “Frozen Custard.” Resistance is futile.

  • Tom Hering

    Best fast food in the Midwest is the Culver’s chain. Their sign promotes their “ButterBurgers” and “Frozen Custard.” Resistance is futile.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    Culver’s isn’t bad but I think they are a bit over priced.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    Culver’s isn’t bad but I think they are a bit over priced.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Culvers is awesome. Sometimes I dream of Butterburgers. I wish there was one close.

    The best fast food in the Southwest is Rubio’s
    http://www.rubios.com
    Their “Fish Tacos” are really very good.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Culvers is awesome. Sometimes I dream of Butterburgers. I wish there was one close.

    The best fast food in the Southwest is Rubio’s
    http://www.rubios.com
    Their “Fish Tacos” are really very good.

  • Rev. Alexander Ring

    Doing bus trips with the teens, they always want to stop at the Travel Centers of America; the big truck-stops with the blue and red TA signs. Like locusts they go in and clean them out of energy drinks, Pringles and pork rinds.

  • Rev. Alexander Ring

    Doing bus trips with the teens, they always want to stop at the Travel Centers of America; the big truck-stops with the blue and red TA signs. Like locusts they go in and clean them out of energy drinks, Pringles and pork rinds.

  • Louis

    There is no such thing as best fast food. Only least bad ;)

    Chili’s – not always consistent. The best one is the one at the domestic terminal in Calgary. Of course Chili’s serves Guiness, so they can’t be bad.

  • Louis

    There is no such thing as best fast food. Only least bad ;)

    Chili’s – not always consistent. The best one is the one at the domestic terminal in Calgary. Of course Chili’s serves Guiness, so they can’t be bad.

  • Joe

    Best chain for breakfast is Waffle House. And this is no parocial as there are none in Wisconsin.

    Best fast food = Arby’s. Love the roast beef sandwich.

    Best Chain reasturant. as a parent I think I have to go with Perkins. They added a fresh fruit option and offer consistently decent food.

    But lets also talk about state rest stops. Generally, I think they are a waste of taxpayer money. In Wisconsin we have many in rest stops where there are also restaruants, gas stations, etc. I see no need for the state to actively compete with private business. I like the model of other states where the travel centers are leased to private companies. My experience is that they are just as clean and well run (if not better). I think Indiana has a nice model.

  • Joe

    Best chain for breakfast is Waffle House. And this is no parocial as there are none in Wisconsin.

    Best fast food = Arby’s. Love the roast beef sandwich.

    Best Chain reasturant. as a parent I think I have to go with Perkins. They added a fresh fruit option and offer consistently decent food.

    But lets also talk about state rest stops. Generally, I think they are a waste of taxpayer money. In Wisconsin we have many in rest stops where there are also restaruants, gas stations, etc. I see no need for the state to actively compete with private business. I like the model of other states where the travel centers are leased to private companies. My experience is that they are just as clean and well run (if not better). I think Indiana has a nice model.

  • http://www.watchfulone.blogspot.com Greg

    FAST FOOD–definitely NOT KFC or Long John Silver’s, especially on a road trip. I can always feel the greese clogging my arteries as I tool on down the road, thinking, “I should have had a salad.” Of course when given the opportunity later that day…the salad is no longer on my mind. I have to second the nominations of both Arby’s (which now has a value menu) and Culver’s (substitute the freid cheese curds for the fries in your basket–you’ll thank me later).

    CHAIN RESTAURANTS–I agree with Texas Roadhouse, if you don’t mind waiting a bit, although their business would indicate I’m not alone in my taste. Applebee’s and Chili’s are solid picks; you always know what you’re getting.

    And two thumbs up to Ted Drewe’s Frozen Custard (even better than Culver’s, I must say).

  • http://www.watchfulone.blogspot.com Greg

    FAST FOOD–definitely NOT KFC or Long John Silver’s, especially on a road trip. I can always feel the greese clogging my arteries as I tool on down the road, thinking, “I should have had a salad.” Of course when given the opportunity later that day…the salad is no longer on my mind. I have to second the nominations of both Arby’s (which now has a value menu) and Culver’s (substitute the freid cheese curds for the fries in your basket–you’ll thank me later).

    CHAIN RESTAURANTS–I agree with Texas Roadhouse, if you don’t mind waiting a bit, although their business would indicate I’m not alone in my taste. Applebee’s and Chili’s are solid picks; you always know what you’re getting.

    And two thumbs up to Ted Drewe’s Frozen Custard (even better than Culver’s, I must say).

  • DonS

    I agree with Hampton Inn. And Hilton Honors is one of the best frequent traveler programs that I’ve seen.

    Here in the west, Mimi’s is probably the best chain restaurant, for both breakfast and dinner. It’s now owned by Bob Evans, and I do enjoy Bob Evans when I am back east.

    Best fast food is, hands down, In ‘n Out. Of course, you can only get it in CA, NV, AZ, and UT, though I understand they are considering an expansion to TX. They don’t use freezers, so they are limited to a 500 mile radius from their processing facility in southern CA. However, the move to TX will entail a second processing facility there, so look for expansion also to neighboring states within 500 miles. Also, they print Bible verses on their cups and food wrappers, which is kind of cool.

  • DonS

    I agree with Hampton Inn. And Hilton Honors is one of the best frequent traveler programs that I’ve seen.

    Here in the west, Mimi’s is probably the best chain restaurant, for both breakfast and dinner. It’s now owned by Bob Evans, and I do enjoy Bob Evans when I am back east.

    Best fast food is, hands down, In ‘n Out. Of course, you can only get it in CA, NV, AZ, and UT, though I understand they are considering an expansion to TX. They don’t use freezers, so they are limited to a 500 mile radius from their processing facility in southern CA. However, the move to TX will entail a second processing facility there, so look for expansion also to neighboring states within 500 miles. Also, they print Bible verses on their cups and food wrappers, which is kind of cool.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Best Hotel: Whatever I can get on priceline.com for about $50-60.
    You’d be surprised.

    For fast food, I prefer H.Salt over Long John Silvers, but there aren’t as many of them around. Maybe only in California.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Best Hotel: Whatever I can get on priceline.com for about $50-60.
    You’d be surprised.

    For fast food, I prefer H.Salt over Long John Silvers, but there aren’t as many of them around. Maybe only in California.

  • Pete

    Ted Drew’s is a good pick. There’s excellent ice cream at the Strasburg Country Store, in the center of Strasburg, Pennsylvania (Lancaster County) where the cones (waffle or sugar) are made on site as well as (I’m pretty sure) the ice cream.

  • Pete

    Ted Drew’s is a good pick. There’s excellent ice cream at the Strasburg Country Store, in the center of Strasburg, Pennsylvania (Lancaster County) where the cones (waffle or sugar) are made on site as well as (I’m pretty sure) the ice cream.

  • Darren

    BEST MOTEL CHAIN. We have had very good luck with Comfort Suites – for traveling with 4 kids, we need the room.

    BEST CHAIN RESTAURANTS. Our favorites are Ruby Tuesdays (good fresh salad bar, with good children’s menu) and Cracker Barrel (they bring out the biscuits right away, which is important to the little ones). We also love Olive Garden.

    BEST CHAIN RESTAURANTS FOR BREAKFAST. Shoneys, Bob Evans. I don’t care for IHOP’s food.

    BEST FAST FOOD. Chik-fil-A all the way!

  • Darren

    BEST MOTEL CHAIN. We have had very good luck with Comfort Suites – for traveling with 4 kids, we need the room.

    BEST CHAIN RESTAURANTS. Our favorites are Ruby Tuesdays (good fresh salad bar, with good children’s menu) and Cracker Barrel (they bring out the biscuits right away, which is important to the little ones). We also love Olive Garden.

    BEST CHAIN RESTAURANTS FOR BREAKFAST. Shoneys, Bob Evans. I don’t care for IHOP’s food.

    BEST FAST FOOD. Chik-fil-A all the way!

  • http://2010unemploymenttour.blogspot.com Paul

    Wrapping up a 13,000+ mile, four month trip on the road (waiting for my next Call) with my wife and three children under age 8. We’ve learned a few things along the way, so this post caught my eye.

    Best hotel – First, consider stopping to visit friends, colleagues, and family members. You may be more cramped, but you’ll usually enjoy better company and food! Alternately, Days Inn – inexpensive and usually includes free wi-fi and a continental breakfast good enough to satisfy younger kids.

    Best Chain Restaurant – Oxymoron. Go someplace predictable where you know you like the food and there are options. But I strongly recommend avoiding chain restaurants to add excitement (good and bad!) to your travels. You’ll long remember that interesting little place in the middle of nowhere – whether it’s laughably bad or amazingly good – but you’ll never have fond memories of eating at another Denny’s!

    Best Breakfast – I suggest always trying to get something for breakfast – it’s often a cheaper meal than lunch! Most hotels will offer at least a basic continental breakfast that you can glean toast or cold cereal or oatmeal from. If you’re lucky, maybe a banana or orange.

    Best Fast Food – Oxymoron, again. Subway is relatively healthy & ubiquitous these days.

    Best Bathrooms – Look for visitor’s centers in towns you’re passing through. Some larger rest areas can have very nice and clean bathrooms. McDonald’s is usually a safe bet, and try to avoid service stations for the most part.

    Best Convenience Store – Flying J and other truck stop type places usually have a better selection than your typical gas station mini-mart or even AM/PM (Arco), but their bathrooms are often less-than-appealing.

    Best Gas Prices – Avoid gas stations right off of freeway exits, their prices are often higher than if you drive another block or two down the street. Truck stops should also have cheaper gas and allow you to fuel up just before you hit town, making it faster and easier to get in and out. Keep your eye on posted gas prices on your trip so you always know what a good price is in the area you’re in.

  • http://2010unemploymenttour.blogspot.com Paul

    Wrapping up a 13,000+ mile, four month trip on the road (waiting for my next Call) with my wife and three children under age 8. We’ve learned a few things along the way, so this post caught my eye.

    Best hotel – First, consider stopping to visit friends, colleagues, and family members. You may be more cramped, but you’ll usually enjoy better company and food! Alternately, Days Inn – inexpensive and usually includes free wi-fi and a continental breakfast good enough to satisfy younger kids.

    Best Chain Restaurant – Oxymoron. Go someplace predictable where you know you like the food and there are options. But I strongly recommend avoiding chain restaurants to add excitement (good and bad!) to your travels. You’ll long remember that interesting little place in the middle of nowhere – whether it’s laughably bad or amazingly good – but you’ll never have fond memories of eating at another Denny’s!

    Best Breakfast – I suggest always trying to get something for breakfast – it’s often a cheaper meal than lunch! Most hotels will offer at least a basic continental breakfast that you can glean toast or cold cereal or oatmeal from. If you’re lucky, maybe a banana or orange.

    Best Fast Food – Oxymoron, again. Subway is relatively healthy & ubiquitous these days.

    Best Bathrooms – Look for visitor’s centers in towns you’re passing through. Some larger rest areas can have very nice and clean bathrooms. McDonald’s is usually a safe bet, and try to avoid service stations for the most part.

    Best Convenience Store – Flying J and other truck stop type places usually have a better selection than your typical gas station mini-mart or even AM/PM (Arco), but their bathrooms are often less-than-appealing.

    Best Gas Prices – Avoid gas stations right off of freeway exits, their prices are often higher than if you drive another block or two down the street. Truck stops should also have cheaper gas and allow you to fuel up just before you hit town, making it faster and easier to get in and out. Keep your eye on posted gas prices on your trip so you always know what a good price is in the area you’re in.

  • http://castingoutnines.wordpress.com Robert Talbert

    I can kill two birds with one stone here and suggest Holiday Inn Express as both best hotel chain AND best breakfast. Have you had their cinnamon rolls? Simply incredible. The hotel rooms are (usually, not always) very good and comfortable, and in the morning you can gorge yourself on cinnamon rolls and not have to have lunch at all! Of course this isn’t recommended if you’re doing some sort of food-based vacation where lunch is important — which you’re not doing if, like me, you’re traveling with three kids under 7.

  • http://castingoutnines.wordpress.com Robert Talbert

    I can kill two birds with one stone here and suggest Holiday Inn Express as both best hotel chain AND best breakfast. Have you had their cinnamon rolls? Simply incredible. The hotel rooms are (usually, not always) very good and comfortable, and in the morning you can gorge yourself on cinnamon rolls and not have to have lunch at all! Of course this isn’t recommended if you’re doing some sort of food-based vacation where lunch is important — which you’re not doing if, like me, you’re traveling with three kids under 7.

  • trotk

    Best Rest Areas:

    Hands down, this award goes to New York and West Virginia. Quality coffee shops, a nice selection of restaurants, and clean restrooms.

  • trotk

    Best Rest Areas:

    Hands down, this award goes to New York and West Virginia. Quality coffee shops, a nice selection of restaurants, and clean restrooms.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Best travel agency for retired folk: Grand Circle

    Best European airline: Lufthansa

    Best way to travel: River boat

    Best River boat trip to Europe: Grand Circle, Rhine and Mosel or Great Rivers of Europe- Danube and Rhine

    Best trip to Norway: Cruise Norway 12 day, Bergen to Kirkines

    Best trip to Alaska; Norwegian Cruise Lines

    Best trip to Canada: Grand Circle Train trip from Victoria to Toronto

    Grand Circle BTW by far provides the best quality travel for a moderate price.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Best travel agency for retired folk: Grand Circle

    Best European airline: Lufthansa

    Best way to travel: River boat

    Best River boat trip to Europe: Grand Circle, Rhine and Mosel or Great Rivers of Europe- Danube and Rhine

    Best trip to Norway: Cruise Norway 12 day, Bergen to Kirkines

    Best trip to Alaska; Norwegian Cruise Lines

    Best trip to Canada: Grand Circle Train trip from Victoria to Toronto

    Grand Circle BTW by far provides the best quality travel for a moderate price.

  • Norman Teigen

    Good reading. I am now thinking of buying a Coleman SuperCooler. It plugs into the cigarette lighter so a person saves three bucks for each bag of ice not used.

    I think that if we stock up on healthy food on our way to New York we can drive pretty far without stopping at the many cholesterol factories along the way.

    The Coleman SuperCooler holds 48 cans, so if you consume a lot of liquid refreshment you might have to buy a second one for the wife and kids so that they can eat.

    What about those highway rest stops? Someone mentioned Indiana and New York State. What about Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey?

  • Norman Teigen

    Good reading. I am now thinking of buying a Coleman SuperCooler. It plugs into the cigarette lighter so a person saves three bucks for each bag of ice not used.

    I think that if we stock up on healthy food on our way to New York we can drive pretty far without stopping at the many cholesterol factories along the way.

    The Coleman SuperCooler holds 48 cans, so if you consume a lot of liquid refreshment you might have to buy a second one for the wife and kids so that they can eat.

    What about those highway rest stops? Someone mentioned Indiana and New York State. What about Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey?

  • Mary Jack

    I’d like to know BEST PIECE OF PIE…

    And I nominate Five Guys or mall foodcourts for fast food.

  • Mary Jack

    I’d like to know BEST PIECE OF PIE…

    And I nominate Five Guys or mall foodcourts for fast food.

  • http://RoseFremer@yahoo.com Rose

    Best fast food: Burger King junior whopper. Tell them to hold the mayo but give you ‘heavy’ tomato. Under 300 calories for $1.00. And most places will give you a free coffee or coke if you’re a senior.

  • http://RoseFremer@yahoo.com Rose

    Best fast food: Burger King junior whopper. Tell them to hold the mayo but give you ‘heavy’ tomato. Under 300 calories for $1.00. And most places will give you a free coffee or coke if you’re a senior.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    We were driving through West Virginia the day after Robert Byrd died. The high quality of the rest stops has to be part of his legacy, so much federal money did he bring to that state.

    Best piece of pie, as Mary Jack should know, is Norske Nook in Osseo, Wisconsin.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    We were driving through West Virginia the day after Robert Byrd died. The high quality of the rest stops has to be part of his legacy, so much federal money did he bring to that state.

    Best piece of pie, as Mary Jack should know, is Norske Nook in Osseo, Wisconsin.

  • Joanne

    When traveling, we like the harvest grain pancakes at the IHOP, though we most often eat breakfast at the hotel.
    We like Wendy’s fastfood best, but avoid fast food mostly.
    We’ll wait for a state Welcome Center for potty stops, but gas stations are the usual.
    We like Hampton Inn and it’s look alikes.
    We skimp on breakfast and lunch, so that dinner will be the main meal, if we don’t skimp on that too. In general we like Olive Garden, Cracker Barrel, Chilis, and seafood restaurants in watery areas.
    But on that rare occasion, when staying in a lovely downtown hotel in a big city, the hotel upscale restaurant, it just right. Oh, yes, you have to do that, but after the show.

  • Joanne

    When traveling, we like the harvest grain pancakes at the IHOP, though we most often eat breakfast at the hotel.
    We like Wendy’s fastfood best, but avoid fast food mostly.
    We’ll wait for a state Welcome Center for potty stops, but gas stations are the usual.
    We like Hampton Inn and it’s look alikes.
    We skimp on breakfast and lunch, so that dinner will be the main meal, if we don’t skimp on that too. In general we like Olive Garden, Cracker Barrel, Chilis, and seafood restaurants in watery areas.
    But on that rare occasion, when staying in a lovely downtown hotel in a big city, the hotel upscale restaurant, it just right. Oh, yes, you have to do that, but after the show.

  • Dan Kempin

    Veith, #28,

    Norske Nook! the only place I’ve ever had a piece of lingonberry pie.

    And seriously, has no one here been to the Shoji show at Branson?

  • Dan Kempin

    Veith, #28,

    Norske Nook! the only place I’ve ever had a piece of lingonberry pie.

    And seriously, has no one here been to the Shoji show at Branson?

  • Louis

    As Peter had widened the scope to things international – from my limited experience, I’d say the following about airport bathrooms:

    Cleanest: International Departures, Johannesburg.
    Filthiest: International Departures, Frankfurt, Germany (yes).

    But then, I’d also have to say that the best bacon I’ve ever had was at a Cafe in the International Departures area of Frankfurt as well. But really, the washrooms were icky – worse even than the Business Departure lounge at Conakry, Guinea. As bad as Kankan, Guinea – and their my fellow passengers included a live chicken in their carry-on luggage!

  • Louis

    As Peter had widened the scope to things international – from my limited experience, I’d say the following about airport bathrooms:

    Cleanest: International Departures, Johannesburg.
    Filthiest: International Departures, Frankfurt, Germany (yes).

    But then, I’d also have to say that the best bacon I’ve ever had was at a Cafe in the International Departures area of Frankfurt as well. But really, the washrooms were icky – worse even than the Business Departure lounge at Conakry, Guinea. As bad as Kankan, Guinea – and their my fellow passengers included a live chicken in their carry-on luggage!

  • http://planetaugsburg.wordpress.com Andy Adams

    Best Bathroom: You have to come to Texas, but Buc-ee’s gas and convenience stores must be seen to be believed. As their billboards suggest “You can hold it!” I “have held it” for 100 miles just to make it to a Buc-ee’s. The jerky and “Beaver Nuggets” are quite good as well. The crushed ice is a plus as well.

    Best Fast Food: Chickfila – it’s not even close. Whataburger comes in second, but it is a distant one.

  • http://planetaugsburg.wordpress.com Andy Adams

    Best Bathroom: You have to come to Texas, but Buc-ee’s gas and convenience stores must be seen to be believed. As their billboards suggest “You can hold it!” I “have held it” for 100 miles just to make it to a Buc-ee’s. The jerky and “Beaver Nuggets” are quite good as well. The crushed ice is a plus as well.

    Best Fast Food: Chickfila – it’s not even close. Whataburger comes in second, but it is a distant one.

  • James Hageman

    BEST MOTEL CHAIN. Comfort Suites.

    BEST CHAIN RESTAURANTS. Culvers

    BEST CHAIN RESTAURANTS FOR BREAKFAST: (You won’t believe this): McDonald’s.

    BEST FAST FOOD. Jimmy John’s. WORST. EVER. KFC

    BEST BATHROOMS. Madonna Inn, SLO, CA

  • James Hageman

    BEST MOTEL CHAIN. Comfort Suites.

    BEST CHAIN RESTAURANTS. Culvers

    BEST CHAIN RESTAURANTS FOR BREAKFAST: (You won’t believe this): McDonald’s.

    BEST FAST FOOD. Jimmy John’s. WORST. EVER. KFC

    BEST BATHROOMS. Madonna Inn, SLO, CA

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Yes, Dan. I have indeed been to Shoji Tabuchi’s in Branson. His bathrooms are, indeed, palacial.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Yes, Dan. I have indeed been to Shoji Tabuchi’s in Branson. His bathrooms are, indeed, palacial.

  • Teri

    *Waving from Missouri!* Thank you for spending your dollars here.
    Shoji’s bathrooms are more famous than his performances.
    Dolly Parton serves up ONE MEAN MEAL at her Stampede.
    ‘Course there is Lambert’s – Home of the Throwed Rolls in Ozark. You can’t beat someone throwing food at you.

    Best Rest Stops – Texas. Never met one I didn’t like. Especially the T&A stops and state stops.

    Best Hotel – Hotels don’t play well with families of 7. One too many people to make the fire codes.

    Best Chain Restaurants – Cracker Barrel. Food seems to be fairly consistent and it’s a great place to keep the kids busy.

  • Teri

    *Waving from Missouri!* Thank you for spending your dollars here.
    Shoji’s bathrooms are more famous than his performances.
    Dolly Parton serves up ONE MEAN MEAL at her Stampede.
    ‘Course there is Lambert’s – Home of the Throwed Rolls in Ozark. You can’t beat someone throwing food at you.

    Best Rest Stops – Texas. Never met one I didn’t like. Especially the T&A stops and state stops.

    Best Hotel – Hotels don’t play well with families of 7. One too many people to make the fire codes.

    Best Chain Restaurants – Cracker Barrel. Food seems to be fairly consistent and it’s a great place to keep the kids busy.


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