I'm Back, Baby!

After an enjoyable (AND eventful) trip to College Station,TX I have finally returned. For four straight days, I didn't give one darn care about life in (blech!) Iowa.

I'll be posting some pics - mostly of the beautiful A&M campus - that I took during the trip. Of course, a picture may say a thousand words (does that count when you're writing an article?) but regaling you with tales of woe & adventure through standard prose is more entertaining for me.

Day 1) Relatively uneventful. We started a touch later than planned but my brilliant planning in using a shorter route made up for that. Yes, it actually *was* a shortcut!

We stopped at Red Robin around Kansas City,MO & had a good, fast lunch. Discovered parking a full size Penske truck, with car trailer, is even more space-consuming than Rosie O'Donnell's posterior...but not by much.

After arriving in Durant,OK (stopped there for the night) we checked in to the hotel, cleaned up & went to dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Unfortunately, none of them really spoke English. Fortunately, little sis Liz speaks it very well! Ah, dinner was excellent - if incomprehensible.

Day 2) Woke up about 530am to get ready. Liz & Mickey wanted to sleep in. After politely telling them to get off their duffs, we got ready to go. Mickey & I were trying to get breakfast at the hotel (good stuff - omelet sandwich, cinnamon rolls, coffee) & Liz was doing her best to get us going immediately. A T-storm had knocked out power at the local diesel station, so we headed to the next exit for fuel.

Not only did we find the fuel we were looking for but also the very hard-to-find Onyx brand cigar. I picked up three & we headed out.

This is where the real fun begins.

As we crossed into Texas (yee haw!) there was a massive T-storm moving in. Now, I used to live in Kansas, so I've seen a few of these. What I haven't seen is the incredible torrent that caused flooding on US-69 (heh!). Cars on the frontage roads were under water, traffic was stopped & you could hardly see. I guess that's why we missed the obvious...

A wall of water went OVER the truck! We were going about 45mph & this huge flow of the wet stuff running across the highway just rolled over us as we plowed through it. Seriously, I was looking for the stuff & never saw it. We did make it through OK, counted our blessings & forged ahead.

I've always believed God has a sense of humor. Why else then would we have a blowout on the trailer tire after just getting away from the storm? We sat on the side of the road (no spare - I know how to change them) for about 1/2 hour & called road service. Triangles out, flashers on, etc. We noticed the storm was rolling around to us & decided to limp up to the next exit to wait for road service. As we got out to pick up the triangles, God decided our morning showers weren't enough to get the three of us clean & sent us enough water to make my red shirt see-through (ICK!).

After waiting two hours at the gas station, we were repaired & rolling out. We hit a minor traffic delay near Dallas but the rest of the trip was uneventful. We arrived in College Station,TX about 230pm or so.

We went through the process of checking Liz & Mickey in to the apartment (small, but a very nice place) & unloaded a few of the bigger things from the truck. Since we were tired, sweaty & such, showers were the order of the day. Lunch was at Dave's BBQ across the street. $18.00 for 1lb of Brisket, three drinks & two sides. The food was hot, juicy & melted right in your mouth! Great BBQ if you can get it. I lived in Memphis for awhile, so you can take my word on it.

Day 3) HOT! Yes, here's the day when we toured the A&M campus. Beautiful place. I'll be posting that soon enough. I actually might go there to finish college. Just fell in love with it. First stop was IHOP for breakfast. Yummy. Later, we stopped at the school store to pick up some baubles (A&M metal car tag, ball cap for me) & looked around the place for a bit. We did tons of stuff all day & were just dead tired at the end of it. Took Mickey & Liz to Outback (2 blocks from their apartment - how cool is that?) for dinner since I had to leave on Wednesday. Still didn't get to smoke the cigars...

Day 4) :-( Had to fly out of College Station, lay over in Dallas for five hours & fly into Iowa (blech!). Met some nice people on the plane - one guy who started a business in LA, but lived in TX. Other had family in the Navy - which I was in - so we had stuff to talk about.

Layover in Dallas wasn't five hours. It was 7 hours. The flight got pushed back an hour, the pilot didn't show up for a 1/2 hour after that & we had to wait (seventh in line) to take off. They made up time on the trip, but I didn't get into CR until about 1045pm.

So, there's the recap of my first excursion into Texas. I must say, I do see why everyone who lives there loves the state. It's big, beautiful & the people are friendly beyond belief. If you get the chance to visit the people of College Station, do so. I promise you won't be disappointed. ($7.50 for TWO double shots of Dewar's on the rocks doesn't hurt, either!)


Matt said...

Since when does living in Memphis when you were 4 years old make you an expert on barbeque?
Let me get this straight. You ate bbq and you went to Kansas City but you didn't eat bbq in Kansas City? That's some kind of sin right there!

HapKiDo said...

I never said I was an expert! I just used that to make me seem more credible. BTW, genius, you were born when I was 2 1/2. Since that was in KS, I'm sure I didn't live in Memphis,TN at age 4...

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