Tag Archives: texas

u.s. road trip…day 31

leaving texas was a bit of a culture shock…for the first time in 6 weeks we’d been able to put our clothes in a closet, to wake up in the same bed and bathe in the same shower for several days on end…being on the road is one of the most incredible sensations i know, but after a while, a sense of the familiar is like a cup of hot chocolate on a rainy day…

but we pressed on, and a lovely drive it was.  the initial plan, as many of you will recall, was to go to roswell…in the end, it was not because it is a crappy town with nothing interesting except area 51, which is totally inaccessible anyway, but because it wasn’t logistically sound to do so.   instead we just kept on a-drivin’…about that drive…

it really was nice, but i’m telling you – texas just goes on forever!  along the way, on this really really long, straight, flat, wide highway, when chris was clearly not paying attention to my speed or our surroundings (seriously.), we happened to get…er…pulled over.  and i’m sure that my dearest would want me to inform you all that i got pulled over – not we.  but that’s what happened.  so.  here’s how it went:

me:  crap.  oh crap…we cannot afford to pay a ticket right now!!!

chris:  what?  what are you?  seriously?  are we getting pulled over?

me:  crap. crap crap crap (edited for my mother’s sake)!  he’ll never let us off!  this is texas!

(i pull over.  cop walks up.  and i cannot stress to you just HOW texan this cop was.  in fact, he was so quintessentially the quintessence of  texas cop, i was sure i would be able to get a picture off the interweb to show you just how serious i am.  alas, i have failed.  perhaps you’ll have more luck?  think:  slightly overweight – mostly in the belly; mustachioed; those glasses; that hat)

me:  crap.  crap crap crap.

cop:  afternoon.  can i see your license and registration?

me:  of course, officer.  (scrambling furiously to get it all out)

cop:  california, huh?  not a good idea to speed in texas if you’re from california.  i could putcha in front of a judge for that.  you know how fast you were going?

me:  no, officer.  but i’m so sorry i wasn’t paying better attention (i’m really good at this, actually, huh?).

cop:  well, you were going 78 miles an hour.  i can’t give you a ticket as there’s no agreement around traffic laws between california and texas.  so that means i’d have to putcha in front of a judge.

(yeah.  got that.  side note – the speed limit is 70.  i was going EIGHT miles over.  somebody likes his job]

[he goes to run my license and registration.  i’m saying ‘crap,’ or something along those lines, over and over again now.  i can’t rightly remember what chris was doing, but i’m sure it was something along the lines of trying to keep me from having a hernia.  after what felt like 20 years but was more like about 3.5 minutes, the cop comes back]

cop:  what are you folks doing in texas anyway?

me:  visiting my family before we move to the philippines.

cop:  i’ve been to the philippines.  it stinks.  why y’all goin’ there?

me:  to volunteer.  working with the poor (yes, i milked that.  just in case it could keep my ass outside of a texan courthouse.  i realize it is profoundly pathetic).

cop:  well, imona letcha off with a warning this time (YES YES YES YES!  i’m so doing the happy dance in my head right now!), but you drive safe now, hear?

me:  thank you so much officer.  i totally will.  i’m so sorry and thank you again.  you have a wonderful day.

whew!  that was close. but we were free!  and we were off!  driving out of texas as fast (but not that fast!) as we could, we continued making our way toward the canyon.  we got into new mexico and decided to just drive as long as we could.  we knew about a couple of campsites near the border…bud did NOT think it would take so long to get there…along the way we stopped only once, and you’ll agree it was 100% worth it…

while we did not go inside, we did go into the gift shop, and we did take pictures outside…of THE BILLY THE KID MUSEUM!!! the one in new mexico – not texas.  but then i think you might have gotten that bit.  i digress…

we finally decide enough’s enough and we can’t go any further in blue water lake state park…do NOT let those pictures deceive you!!! at night the place is PITCH BLACK!  and COLD! seriously – we arrived, started to unload, and within a total of about 3 minutes had decided that this was just foolish, ate cold veggie sausages in the car in our sleeping bags and went to sleep (ish).

but the truth is, next morning we saw that it really was a beautiful campsite.  no time to linger, though…we had driving to do!

TOTAL MILES:  5316

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u.s. road trip…days 18-30

as i’ve mentioned, the day after we arrived in texas was mom’s birthday, and to celebrate, she’d made plans for all of us to go kayaking…one of her ‘bucket list’ items.  we made our way into the (full)  charter bus, and listened as these ‘grownups’ chatted amongst themselves like teenagers on their way to an amusement park.  the  day’s events were to take place at ladybird lake…we would get split into two groups – one to go for a walk along the perimeter of the lake (obviously not the whole thing), while the other one went kayaking, then we’d switch, and then lunch.  What a lovely day…so well-organized, so fun and goofy…chris and i opted for a canoe in the end, and following mom’s lead we did our best to pick up garbage along the way…admittedly there wasn’t much, but it’s a really beautiful place, and any rubbish in those little oases of nature stuck in the middle of a city is too much rubbish!

the next few days are such a blur!  mom had a ‘meet and greet’ for us (where do they come up with these quaint little expressions?), so we got to meet a bunch of the peeps from her hood.  we spent quite a bit of time going to the pool and to the gym…mom and keith took us to see georgetown, their local little town, for a really incredible art show, and then a rendition of cinderella at the palace.  they spoiled us, really, all-around!

one of the coolest parts of this leg of the trip was seeing my littlest big brother, mike, and getting to meet his family.  i’ve been told for eons how amazing his wife, ursula and her family are, and they did not disappoint.  the best bit, though, was meeting our two new nephews who my bro and his lady had fostered, with the longer term plan to adopt. we spent a day with kylel, the eldest at 12, and went to visit these really cool caves, and then to a movie (hereafter – i dug it, chris hated it, and i’m pretty sure kylel only wanted to see it cuz it’s rated pg-13), and then got him home…what a great day.

ursula took the time to cook for us while we were there…and…let…me…tell…you…whatanexperience!  listen, i’m a good cook – and that’s not an opinion.  in fact, i love food more than most things in this life.  but what that meat-and-dairy-eating woman did to a vegan meal was almost sinful…if i lived in her home i would be morbidly obese – i’m not kidding.

we spent one night out in austin – was really interesting to see the strip there.  one of my mom’s neighbor’s kids took us out with her hubby – also a frenchie (we know how to pick ’em) – and we ate at this incredible veggie/vegan place called mother’s – no, cali hippies, not the same, and this one was around first, apparently – which was so so so deliciosa!  then off to the strip, which was chock-full of barsbarsbars, most of which had live music coming from inside.  interesting scene – very reminiscent of bourbon street, if a little less intense.

texas was something – we ate big, we shopped big, we had big fun and big laughs…so good to know that there’s another neck in the world with a whole lotta love for us…i wish we could say we drove off into the sunset, but we left at sunrise…and headed west.

TOTAL MILES:  4530

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u.s. road trip…day 17

well, i expected this journey to be worse than the one before…i’ve not seen much of texas, but the teensy tiny fraction i have seen took 16 days of 103 degree weather to drive through, and the only variation in the landscape was the occasional tumbleweed crossing our path, sent by god in heaven to preserve our sanity.  ok, that’s a slight exaggeration, and anyway, the point is that it was a really lovely drive down, with loads of pretty things to look at.

[the best part of the whole trip…deserves a little explanation…you know how lots of american shows were big in other countries just a few years after in the states, cuz they didn’t get aired until then?  kinda like how we’ve got 5-year old episodes of eastenders on pbs?  well, this is the reason that chris, in spite of being only a month older than me, knows dallas, while i have no clue because i am simply way too young (it feels good to say that).  but i could never have been prepared for quite possibly the funniest thing that he has ever done…as soon as we drove into dallas, he burst into song at the TOP of his lungs – DALLAS!  ton univers impitoyable! oui, madame et messieurs, that is indeed the french version of the dallas theme song.]

but my main focus at this point was my MOM – it was the day before her birthday and i hadn’t seen her in a year and a half!  and the drive google had informed would take 9 hours turned out to be a measly 6!  so we got to mom and keith’s new digs (landlocked cruise ship, their neighbors’ kids called it) before sunset.  mom had made an incredible dinner and then we went golfcarting (!), a pastime the locals partake in quite regularly, i understand.  and, for the next two weeks, my mom made absolutely certain that we didn’t suffer a nanosecond of boredom.

TOTAL MILES:  4008

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