Oddities and Noteworthy Sights Along the Way

Now that I’ve returned safely home to Doright Manor after my trip to San Marcos, Texas, I’ve had a bit of time to look back at some of the cool stuff I found along the way.

For instance this drive through daiquiri store in Louisiana, just across Texas border. Isn’t it illegal to drink and drive?

And how about the Wooly Mamoth (sic) head mounted on the wall of a barbecue place in Katy, Texas? I’m fairly sure the disclaimer “REPLICA” wasn’t necessary, but it made my daughter and me giggle. The misspelling of mammoth was a bonus.

Notice the sign on I-10 just west of Mobile, AL. I almost cried because I thought it read “ROAD WORK NEXT 568 MILES.” Thank goodness the decimal point between the 5 and the 6 was just difficult to see.

Technically, the Alamo isn’t an oddity, but it’s worth a mention.

On my way to San Antonio, I spent the night in a Holiday Inn in Gulfport, Mississippi. I’d stayed there before and had fond memories of the place. The staff is friendly and the rooms comfy. This time I snapped a photo of the nifty artwork in my room. I love retro pieces and thought this was a nice change from the artwork one usually finds in hotels.

A red door on a shop in Wimberley, Texas. I like red doors. Once I heard that if you want your house to sell quickly, paint your door red. Works for me.

San Antonio has some nifty stuff to see besides the Alamo.

I feel so fortunate to be able to travel and share my adventures with you all. Hopefully I still have a couple of decades ahead to enjoy adventures like this one. It’ll break my heart when I can no longer take my car on long trips.

Peace, people.

Tumbling Tumbleweed

I’d forgotten how huge tumbleweeds can be. The one pictured above tumbled into my mother-in-law’s front yard on Thursday morning much to the delight of my grandchildren.

Imagine hitting one of these beauties while navigating the lonely two lane roads in the Texas panhandle. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget.

The tumbleweed is the dried form of Russian thistle, a plant common to the plains states and immortalized in a song by the Sons of the Pioneers. I added a link to the song, below. Enjoy!

Tumbling Tumbleweeds

Sons of the Pioneers

LYRICS

See them tumbling down

Pledging their love to the ground!

Lonely, but free, I’ll be found

Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds

Cares of the past are behind

Nowhere to go, but I’ll find

Just where the trail will wind

Drifting along with the tumblin’ tumbleweeds

I know when night has gone

That a new world’s born at dawn!

I’ll keep rolling along

Deep in my heart is a song

Here on the range I belong

Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds

I know when night has gone

That a new world’s born at dawn!

I’ll keep rolling along

Deep in my heart is a song

Here on the range I belong

Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds

https://youtu.be/_UiSMyyj-Ac

In Today’s News…

I slept an (almost) uninterrupted twelve hours on Saturday night. Only my cats and my bladder kept me from reaching a state of perfection, but perfect people are so boring.

Studly Doright and I arrived home from our Thanksgiving/birthday celebration late yesterday evening. We’d flown from Amarillo to Orlando, and should have been safely back at Doright Manor around 5 p.m., but staggering holiday traffic and the resulting accidents on I-75 convinced us to travel backroads.

We stopped at a German bakery/delicatessen in Yalaha, Florida, for lunch and then meandered along two lane roads for much of the afternoon. After a couple of hours of aimless driving we declared ourselves lost, so we found a Walmart and purchased a gps.

The cats, Scout and Patches, welcomed us home around eight p.m. with meows and kisses. After quick showers we all snuggled into our bed and went immediately to sleep. There really is no place like home.

Driving Home

I successfully picked up Studly Doright’s new pickup truck in Houston on Friday night. My flight into Houston Intercontinental was delayed, but not late enough that I could escape evening rush hour traffic. Fortunately Studly had arranged for a gentleman from the dealership to meet me at the airport, so I didn’t have to rely on Lyft or Uber.

The salesman, Tim, was an interesting guy and the thirty minute drive to the dealership in Tomball went quickly. I was in the truck within another 30 minutes and headed home. So much for seeing the big city, but my plan was to get as far east on Interstate 10 as possible so I could make it home on Saturday evening. The best laid plans of mice and women—Bwahaha!

Gamely I shifted gears in stop and go traffic. To my credit, I only killed the engine once, but I over revved a bit and probably upshifted when I should’ve downshifted a couple of times, but before long I was back in the groove of driving a manual transmission vehicle.

By the time I reached the outskirts of Houston, though, I was worn out. I saw the sign for Buccees huge service station/store in Bay Town and pulled in for a rest. Normally I’d spend some time wandering around and ogling the place, but I made a beeline for the bathroom, then grabbed a water and a barbecue brisket sandwich.

Oddly enough, there’s no place to sit and enjoy a meal in Buccees, a store roughly the size of Rhode Island, so I ate standing up next to a couple who were heading back to Houston after a trip to New Orleans. We had a nice visit and we wished each other safe travels which prompted the husband to tell me that there’d been a bad accident on the eastbound side of I-10 and traffic was backed up for several miles.

That, combined with my tiredness prompted me to go back in the store to enquire about nearby hotels. A very few minutes later I was ensconced in a nice room with a glass of wine. I reasoned that I’d get up extra early on Saturday and make up for my relatively early end to the evening. Again, bwahaha!

According to my Fitbit app I slept a total of two hours and 44 minutes on Friday night. Around 5:30 a.m., I gave up on sleeping. I showered hoping to shock myself awake, and for awhile I felt okay. Sirius/XM radio helped and I sang along with the 60’s and 70’s channels or listened to NPR for many miles.

I also drank a lot of caffeinated drinks. And subsequently had to stop frequently to empty myself of caffeinated drinks. I wasn’t making much forward progress, and my need to sleep was gaining ground.

Studly called my cell phone around 2:30 and after listening to my sad tale, told me to stop fighting the need to sleep and get a room, so a mere five hours from Doright Manor I exited the interstate and checked into a Holiday Inn.

Now I’d only packed for one night’s stay so I had to go to a nearby mall to purchase a clean T-shirt and undies. My jeans and socks would have to suffice for one more day.

I would love to say I slept like a baby on Saturday night, and I did–a very colicky baby. Again I got up around 5 a.m. and this time emerged into a gray world and a steady rain. I did make better time and was home by two that afternoon. I kissed Studly and handed his new truck keys over. He tucked me into bed and then I didn’t hear another peep until he joined me around nine.

I know for sure I’m not cut out to be a long haul truck driver, so I’m crossing that career off my list. The pickup was fun to drive, though, and I’m glad I made the trip.

The World in Black and White

A childhood friend challenged me to post seven black and white photos, one each day for seven days on Facebook. The photos could contain no images of people, and I wasn’t allowed to comment on the subject matter. Do you know how difficult it was for me to forgo an explanation of the pictures? Excruciating, that’s what it was.

Fortunately I have this blog and no restrictions as far as I can tell. Of this one thing, I am the boss.

The one below was taken in Chicago from the backseat of a car during an Uber ride. I’m amazed that I didn’t have to crop any humans out of the picture.

The next photo is of a portion of the ceiling at the Cadillac Palace Theatre where my daughter and one of my granddaughters, and I saw Les Misérables.

The anchor below was found on Amelia Island in Florida. I paused to snap the photo as Studly Doright urged me to run for our car while a storm headed our way. With one step to go I got drenched! But the shot was worth it.

Next up is a moody picture of the Florida capitol building. If you’re ever in Tallahassee it’s well worth visiting.

The Atlantic Ocean near our Amelia Island Hotel posed for my next shot. Loved these clouds.

Another photo taken on Amelia Island showcases the swamp we kayaked through on a recent visit. That house in the background looks a bit haunted shown in black and white.

Finally, one last photo from Amelia Island. This one is self-explanatory. I love the sepia look of this one.

I feel much better now, having given these shots some context. Maybe I’ll sleep tonight.

Peace, people!

Panama City Beach

Before sending the Texas grandkids on a plane home we had one last hurrah at tourist-y Panama City Beach.

We strolled out on the pier and watched the ocean do its beautiful thing.

I asked a stranger to take a photo of the three of us:

We visited Ron Jon surf shop:


Then we had lunch at Dick's Last Resort where the wait staff is rude on purpose. These hats made great souvenirs and Jackson wore his until we got to the airport.

But they'll still take a photo of you if you ask politely:

After lunch we played a laser game that revealed my extreme lack of ninja skills. We shot zombies in a 3D shooting game that revealed my extreme lack of zombie hunting skills. Finally we ate ice cream at which I excelled. No photos, so you'll just have to take my word for all of the above.

All too soon it was time to send the kids home. Notice Jackson's travel pillow. It's all he really wanted as we shopped today.

Their dad texted to let me know they arrived safely in Dallas at almost the same time I arrived home to Doright Manor. I'll sleep well tonight–and late in the morning.

Peace, people!

Renaissance Kid

Our youngest grandson, Jackson, is something of an old soul. He's much more interested in shopping at vintage and antique stores than in shops selling toys. When he and his sister visited last summer Jackson found a knife for his collection at Planters Exchange in Havana, Florida. So yesterday morning he asked if we could check out their merchandise.



Dominique has almost no interest in shopping for vintage items, so she wandered and grumbled.

Although, at another shop she was tickled to find a wax apple with a bite mark on it.

And she wanted a picture of a funky door at Planters Exchange, but only if I'd pose with it.

Jackson came home with a new knife for his collection, so our trip was a success.

I'm exhausted, but at least everyone is happy.

Peace, people!

Almost Cher

On Tuesday evening my son took me to Lakewood Brewery in Dallas. I had already enjoyed their award winning Temptress imperial milk stout, and Jason wanted me to visit their tasting room.

Temptress is an outstanding ale, but it's not Lakewood's only brew. If you live in the Dallas area you should check them out. http://lakewoodbrewing.com.

My favorite part of the evening was a brush with greatness. Yes, that's almost Cher posing with me.

Here's a little taste of Cher-aoke.

We didn't get to stick around for karaoke, but I enjoyed myself. I even bought a tshirt.

Peace, people!

Toby or not Toby

I am visiting my son and his family in Dallas this week, so my posts are going to be brief glimpses into their lives. Jason and his lovely wife Liz adopted this amazing Golden Retriever/Great Pyrenees mix dog about a year ago.

His name is Toby and he's approximately the size of a coffee table. I fell in love with Toby at first sight.

In the picture below Toby is telling my son that it's well past time to go for a ride in the car.

Studly Doright won't let me have a dog, but if he did, I'd want one just like Toby.

Above, Toby is charming a fellow canine. The little boy in the photo was enamored of both dogs, while they were so into each other that they didn't even notice there was a human in their midst.

Peace, people!

Thief with a Conscience

I am on a road trip from our home in Florida to our son's home in Texas. Studly Doright called me yesterday to say someone using my American Express card has been buying stuff all over the world including plane tickets to exotic destinations and a pinball machine.

This morning he called to ask if I'd just made a sizable donation to Doctors Without Borders. While I hadn't, I applauded the thief's social conscience. I just wish he/she had waited for a more convenient time to steal my card. Like never.


Irrelevant picture of an alligator.