Thursday, July 23, 2009

San Antonio to El Paso and The Reunion – Page Ten

I made sure to remind the Howard Johnson’s clerk that “one of HIS guys” unplugged the smoke detector in our Texarkana room because there was no other way to silence the thing. Smoking popcorn makes a lot of smoke. I also noticed that the evening crew properly vented our room; they opened our door into the common building corridor. The entire building smelled of burnt popcorn. I think a few exhaust fans would have worked wonders.

We left Texarkana about 9:00 A.M. two days ago, July 21st and drove 502 miles to San Antonio, took a nap and headed downtown to see the Alamo and eat dinner on The Riverwalk. San Antonio is as good as New Orleans in my opinion. It was too hot to go before 7:00 P.M. so we missed the full Alamo tour, but seeing it from Santa Ana’s perspective, the outside, and reading the plaques was okay. We ate dinner at Landry’s Seafood Restaurant and walked the river until around 11:00 P.M. The Casa Rio has a good picture of its river front. Imagine a hundred restaurants and gotcha’ shops along a walkway at the river’s edge.

Unfortunately, Chris ate something that made her ill so San Antonio didn’t turn out so well for her. We started north for the Colorado Rockies this morning, but within 20 minutes Chris began to feel worse and we stopped at a Denny’s hoping she could eat something that would make her feel better. It didn’t. As we talked, however, we decided that maybe a direct route home would be better. When a person feels bad the longing for home begins to take a stronger hold. So, we are homeward bound and plans to go north through the Rockies has been shelved; we’re taking the direct route. We backtracked about 20 miles and headed for El Paso and we arrived 565 miles later at the Comfort Inn in East El Paso. Chris is finally able to relax.

Diane is getting high speed Internet. Wow! She asked how much RAM to buy. Buy as much as your computer will hold.

I also got an email from friend George saying he’d spent some time in and around Purdue (swim meet), Memphis (FedEx training) and San Antonio (Datapoint training). It sounds like he had a good time at all places.

It’s raining in El Paso; one of those strange west Texas rains. It’s not like Midwest downpours or California showers. It’s a mini-pour. A dark cloud in the middle of a sunny day simply releases all of its moisture – splash, and your soaked. Then the cloud moves on. Do you remember the funny paper character that walked around with a black cloud over his head? Was that in Li’l Abner? That’s what a Texas rain cloud looks like. We dodged at least a dozen driving to El Paso, but two drenched us enough to slow us to 60 mph. The speed limit on Interstate 10 is 80 mph, nearly Autobahn speed.

The main event on the last day of The Reunion was the fire on the Log Cabin deck. I know Dan didn’t intend to start it and he rightly blamed a very lame and decrepit barbeque, but it wasn’t the fire that really got my attention. The major, MAJOR event was Kim pouring his beer on the fire. THAT got my attention. From that point, the excitement went downhill to boring hamburgers, hotdogs and all the leftovers from the first two days and it was all good. Dan wrapped up the day with pictures set to music video fashion and everyone once again wiped their eyes in nostalgia. Those were the good ole days.

I was glad to see Sam. He and I talked about a few video games he’s interested in and I think I’ll look into the Roman War game, a game of strategy. That sounded fun. I’m not sure I have the fortitude to play others online, however. Hope Sam fares well in wrestling with his friends. I was also glad to see Georgia and wish she could have stayed, but she was off to another gathering.

The following day was checkout day and we all packed and headed for the Shade Tree Restaurant for breakfast. Kim and Carol managed that event and it was better than the Kentucky Lake Dam Restaurant, in my humble opinion. Cindy and Chris picked up the tab for our table – thanks to both! I’m not sure what advice I can give Jerry about the amount of “stuff” Diane packs. Nothing he says will change it, so maybe there’s nothing to say; just get over it is all I can think of.

Then, everyone left for home – except for Chris and I. We went on a tire hunting mission. Both front tires needed replacing, one for a knot on the sidewall and the other for broken belt threads along the edge of the tread; Iowa potholes did that, I’m positive (read a previous blog on Iowa roads). We got lost once, backtracked and found a local tire dealer in Benton, KY, and he sent us on to Plaza Tire on the other side of Benton. Plaza Tire actually had the right tires and we were on the road in less than 30 minutes. I wouldn’t have believed that if I hadn’t experienced it myself. I expected to be in Kentucky all day.

Anyway, we’re in El Paso, Texas and going home.

Total 2,712 miles driven since July 9th. Average 29.855 miles per gallon. That’s not too shabby. I also notice that my stocks are up nearly $10,000 since Jyly 9th. I’ll take that too.


No comments: