October 13, 2002
On the Road Again

We're in Wichita Falls, TX now, after another long day of driving. Somehow this leg didn't seem as long as the one from Carefree to Grants, but I think it was actually longer. We got up early this morning, went to the Albertson's near the hotel (which had a Starbucks in it), and got coffee, chocolate (our last bag was ruined when it made contact with the ice water in the cooler), Fiery Cheetos, and postcards for the scrapbook.

After Albertson's we stopped at Whole Foods to stock up on actual food for our journey (all evidence to the contrary—in my life, at least—one cannot survive on chocolate and Starbucks alone). I got a lemon-dill tuna sandwich, a double-decker brownie, and some Kettle Krisps (the low-fat version of Kettle Chips); and Al bought some Kettle Chips, some orange sodas, some orange rice, and a couple other goodies.

With our shopping done, we hit the road. The long trip down 285 to I-40 was pretty peaceful; it was a chilly 46° with mostly overcast skies, and it was kinda cozy to have the heat on in the car. We admired the flat plains, the windmills, and the occasional cow, and Al started writing down the different state license plates we were seeing. (We'd planned to buy a license plate sticker book like my niece M_'s, but we couldn't find one before our trip.)

I drove until I-40, and then Al drove the longest leg into Texas and past Amarillo. I alternately slept, ate Twizzlers, and took photos out the window. We switched again at a Fina station in a small town that I can't remember the name of on US287. I bought a Texas Lotto ticket (the drawing is Wednesday) and two scratchers for a total of $3. I won $4 on my scratcher, so I'm up $1. :)

I really loved the drive down 287; instead of having exits for towns, the highway passed right through the middle of them, with the speed limit dropping from 70 to 55 to 45 to 35 and then going back up again once you passed the Dairy Queen. We found a pumpkin patch in one town, and I did a quick turn into a DQ parking lot to go back and take a photo, completely oblivious of the oncoming traffic. (Was there a corner there that the two cars I turned in front of came around at the last minute, or was I so focused on the pumpkins that I just didn't look? Probably the latter, scarily enough.)

Anyhow, I got some photos, and we made it safely to the Fairfield Inn in Wichita Falls. Al's out trying to find a Texas BBQ place, and I'm in the room watching Criminal Intent and eating the rest of my tuna sandwich and an Amy's Brown Rice & Vegetable Bowl that I got at the Albertson's nearby. (It's really delicious—I'd buy one again in a heartbeat.) We did end up buying a microwave oven at the Best Buy in Santa Fe, but we haven't taken it out of the box yet. The room we're in now has one, so we used that. We figure if we don't end up using it, we'll return it at a Best Buy in Florida; if we do, we'll ship it home for use in our kitchen!

Photos from Day 6

Posted by Lori at 06:15 PM | Permalink
October 14, 2002
Hooray for Starbucks HotSpot

The modem in my laptop isn't working (something I knew before we left because I tested it on the day after the wedding), so we're dependent on high-speed access to read e-mail and upload blog entries and photos. The hotels in New Mexico and Wichita, TX didn't have high-speed access, and neither did the Starbucks in AZ or NM, so we had to wait until we arrived in Dallas to find a HotSpot. We're now two blocks away from our hotel (which, in turn, is a couple blocks from Dealy Plaza and a few more from the American Airlines Center, where the Stars play), in the basement of the Chamber of Commerce, blogging at a Starbucks. Hooray! There'll be a backlog of updates shortly...

Posted by Lori at 01:34 PM | Permalink
October 15, 2002
Of Candy Apples and Cattle

Al and I are now at the Starbucks in the Galleria (Dallas Pkwy & LBJ Fwy). We came to buy me a pair of jeans and check e-mail. Last night we went to the Texas State Fair here in Dallas. It was really fun seeing all the livestock, eating fried green tomatoes, petting the kangaroos in the children's barn, and playing the midway games (Al won me two Spongebobs, a small dracula one and a huge regular one; the huge one is belted into the back seat of the minivan like a kid). I didn't play the game I always seem to win (water pistols) because there were no prizes I cared about.

I'm bummed to say that I forgot my digital camera, so I have no Texas State Fair photos to share just yet. I did buy a disposable film camera, however, so I'll try to send that in to Ofoto so I'll get digital photos as well as prints. Camera or no, I'm so glad that we didn't wimp out and go to bed; it would have been a shame to leave Texas without seeing such a spectacle of neon and agriculture.

After the fair, we went back to the hotel with the idea of doing a couple loads of laundry; unfortunately, another guest beat us to one of the two washing machines, so we were up later waiting for clean clothes than we'd anticipated. We read our book and magazine, respectively, and when we got bored with those, we jumped around the laundry room singing and being silly to pass the time.

We ended up getting to bed after 1am, so we slept in this morning (as well as we could with a guy above us who seemed to be crushing one ice cube at a time with a hammer). When we got up we walked the three blocks or so to the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealy Plaza and took the audio tour of the exhibits chronicling JFK's presidency and assassination. For anyone else contemplating this adventure, don't bother with the audioï¿œunlike at Alcatraz, where the audio *makes* the tour, here the exhibits and videos are fascinating enough on their own, and the audio only distracts from them.

We spent about two hours inside the museum, and then we went out to the sidewalk on Elm. (We didn't realize when we booked our hotel at 1015 Elm Street that we were on *the* Elm Street where Kennedy was shot.) I took photos of Dealy Plaza while Al got a hot dog from a vendor and listened to the spiels of the conspiracy theorists that had set up displays on the grassy knoll. The weather is beautiful today, sunny and unusually cool for October in Texas, so it was nice to walk around and look at the scene from different vantage points.

We're about to leave the mall now to go back to the hotel and drop off our stuff before walking over to American Airlines Center to see the Dallas Stars play the Edmonton Oilers. We're looking forward to seeing another NHL rink; so far I think we've only seen San Jose, LA, and Minnesota.

Photos from Day 8

Posted by Lori at 03:30 PM | Permalink