Day 36 – Alaska by midnight

texasToday is the start of our vacation….we often get days away, in between events, but during the season…and it’s not the end of the season yet, getting a real vacation is hard to come by.  We planned this trip to Alaska to see our grandkids.  It’s been a year since we saw the little ones and we just couldn’t wait anymore.

We have the truck parked near Dallas so our friends could help us out with watching the cat.  So this morning we got up early and headed out to do some quick errands.  They say that everything is bigger in Texas, so I guess we shouldn’t have been surprised when everything was over the top…everywhere we went.

First stop was a boot repair shop just outside of Wylie, the place looked like it hasn’t seen paint in the last 15 years, probably longer.  I told Big, I had to go in with him.  The place was just as I expected, it was over the top.  I swear if anyone moved anything in the place, the roof was caving in.  Next stop, the WalMart, always a treat, if I could avoid that store, I would, but I needed to pick up some cat food to make sure Callie was handled ok.  Standing in line, I watched one clerk watch another one with the MOST disgusted look on her face before she took over the register, wow! was all I could think.

The next stop was the Starbucks, Big and I both have an affinity for vanilla lattes, but we don’t speak Starbuck.  I can never remember how to order a large –you know the biggest – that’s what large used to stand or, so we ended up with tiny little Frappacinos, because we didn’t know how to order blended lattes.  Someday I might learn how to order, but I have to learn the language first.

Up to this point, I was just kind of in awe at all that I was seeing, and then we hit the McDonald’s drive-thru, always a treat.  The girl who took our order was interesting, she noticed the mud on our Jeep and said “You went mudding with out me?”  We smiled, told her we got the mud in Georgia, she looked back at us and said, and I sh** you not…”that was just incredibly and horribly wong”  Yep, wong! “Next time, you have to take me!”  We smiled and moved to the next window.

I was so happy to get to the airport and get on the plane…let’s hope Alaska is a little less over the top.


Day 360 – I wasn’t Lost, I was just Misplaced

It’s no wonder I never get handed the car keys and sent out on my own anymore.  Yesterday, I headed to the grocery store, all by myself while the boys moved the semi and started to unload.  I knew exactly where I was going, a right turn on to the highway, a left at the light, it should be right there.  But I got distracted, checking out the local hotels, I looked to the right instead of the left as I passed the grocery store I wanted.  I was another three miles up the road before I realized it, so I thought, “hey, I’m halfway to Decatur already, I’ll just go to the Walmart, I know where that is.”  So I drove to Decatur, TX, as I got there, the Walmart was not where I expected it to be, so I kept going…when I saw the sign that said “Historic Downtown District” I knew I had gone too far, so I turned there.

Courthouse Square, Decatur, Texas

Now, if you have ever been to Texas, or most places in the south, you know that small towns are built around the square.  Almost every town has one, a central square that is surrounded by shops and cool buildings.  In Decatur and Jacksboro, there is a court house in the central square, in Chico – not much of anything anymore, but the concept is still there.  The square is the center of the city.  Decatur has a beautiful square, the courthouse for Wise County is there, and the buildings all around the square are historic with their histories shared for all to see.  Now that I was here, I wasn’t lost anymore, but I was definitely distracted.  I parked and started to walk, one of my favorite steakhouses is on the southeast corner, Sweetie Pie’s Ribeyes – fantastic chicken fried steak there.  Continuing on the Southeast side were three antique stores and a music store.  Another turn to the west and along the north side was a gift store and a thrift store; going south and then back east were dotted with clothing and furniture stores, but the main theme was food.  Half a dozen restaurants filled in the square.  The best part – no empty buildings.  I love shopping local, too bad I really don’t need stuff, there was plenty to be had.

I finally found the Walmart, it was exactly like yours, so homogenous, it makes me shudder, it matches all the chain stores and chain restaurants around it.  I know there is a place for these, but I sincerely try my best to avoid them.  I finally made it back onsite, almost three hours after I headed out – distracted and misplaced no more.