Well, that day has come. It’s time to head back on up north again. This means my vacation is almost over. How can that be? Didn’t I just leave?
As is my usual habit now, I got up early, grabbed my Nook, and headed down to the pool to read until others began to stir in the house. It was wonderful to sit out there and listen to the birds. The heat and humidity don’t bother me. I actually like them. It reminds me of being at home in the Louisville area. Rich popped his head out the door and informed me that people were up and moving. Rose was going to make breakfast.
Rose was the proper domestic goddess. She made eggs, sausage, and the trimmings for breakfast. Turned out to be quite a feast. Rose claims she’s never made sausage before. Hard to believe. It was all good.
Rich and I packed up our belongings and cleared out of the guest room in an orderly fashion. I would be happy to stay and sit by the pool. It always made for an enjoyable start to my day. We managed to find everything and pretty much left the room as we found it. Almost as we found it. I forgot to make the bed!
I remembered that it was Rick’s birthday today. That’s their father and not my son. There are a lot of Richards in this family still. Rose has a container of his ashes on the mantel. I made it a point to say Happy Birthday to him. This Rick would have been 72 years old today.
We couldn’t put it off any longer. We hugged Rose good bye and thanked her for the warm hospitality during our stay. We were kept very busy. So busy that Rich never got around to showing Rose how to trim the many, many rosebushes around the house. Guess we’ll have to come back again.
We headed back up the interstate in the direction of Dallas. We discovered that the back hatch was not shut and had to stop off to shut it. Rich decided he had to have more coffee to get his caffeine levels back up to travel mode.
In Austin, we rain in some pretty bad rain. The roads are built to drain the water away, so it was like playing mud puddles as a kid. Water was spraying everywhere when someone passed. At one point, the rain was coming down so hard, you could barely see up the road. Gradually, we drove out of the rain up the road and the sun came out. Good driving weather had found us.
Around Waco, Rich began looking for a Whataburger. He just had to have a taste of his childhood before he left the area. We had seen them on every street corner in San Antonio, their corporate headquarter town. Here on the road, we were having trouble finding one. Finally, one of the tall signs appeared on the horizon like a beacon to guide to their parking lot.
I ordered the #1 burger with onion rings. Rich had the #4 burger with apple slices. It wasn’t bad. I remembered too late that Rose had said their shakes were excellent. I’ll have to wait and try that on my return visit. Rich was happy to have a taste of what he remembered. I think he remembered it correctly.
Back on the road again. On the way down to Texas, Rich assured me that he would read his paper and his books and totally ignore me. He tried his very best, but I can be persistent. We had a lot of laughs and discussions. Now he was ready to return to his newspaper and try once again to ignore me. I can tell you with the utmost confidence that I did get my fair share of attention today.
When we were preparing for our trip, Rick was very concerned about the gas mileage that he had managed to eek out of the Honda while he was driving it to work. He had gotten the numbers up slowly to something like 24.7 MPG.
During the long distance drives, you can really get the mileage up to a pretty good number. I think I have up to 25.1 at the moment. It should a little better by the time we reach home. I have the satisfaction of seeing Rick’s face and concern as it slowly drops back down to a number that he will have to begin managing all over again.
There were no funny billboards to report. No one did anything outlandish or significant around us on the drive. We saw a couple of accidents. One in Austin on the southbound side with a truck that looks like it did somersaults down the highway and the lanes were closed so they could clear. That meant everyone on the northbound side was rubbernecking. There’s my favorite pastime again.
So we made it to north of Oklahoma City for the night. No, the wind doesn’t come whistling down the plain here. Heading into Des Moines for the night tomorrow. Yum, we are stopping for lunch at Stroud’s. I love that place!
Good night to you all. For you in Texas and other points in the south, Night, y’all.