Friday, February 12, 2016

Destination Unknown

Most of the time when I travel, I have a set destination with set sights I want to see. But one (of many) trips I have wanted to take was just to take off driving. This weekend, Ashley and I are doing just that. We left Sheridan, Ark. at about 4 p.m., Thursday afternoon and headed south. Shortly thereafter we turned onto AR35. This began new territory for me.

We passed through several towns I had heard of but never been to. I was actually surprised at the size of a few of them. I have to say, I don't think I have seen as many cemeteries along a single road as Highway 35.

When we crossed into Mississippi, we decided to stop at the casino and stretch our legs and backs. I carried in $17 and quickly spent $1. The next dollar went a little slower, but still was gone before long. I was satisfied after a cup of Pepsi and a cup of Mountain Dew that were free -- I'd gotten my two dollars worth. I decided to sit down at one more penny slot machine and put a $5 bill in. Finally,  I won a little something. I played myself back down to almost $5 before spinning another win and cashing out with $5.25 -- a net loss of $1.75. It was my first time in a real casino and I have to say I felt out of place. And here I thought it would be as simple as pulling a lever, not all those buttons!

We continued on through Greenville to find a bite to eat and fill up with gas before heading down some Mississippi highways.

All in all we made a 300 mile drive without interstates and without using maps. (I'm pretty sure I saw close to 300 deer too!) Eight hours later we stopped for the night. Back at it tomorrow! Where will we end up, who knows.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Texas Road Trip / Red Wolf Reunion 2015

Yesterday and today wrapped up a week-long vacation and road trip with friends from college who are now spread out between Arkansas and Missouri, along with one friend who recently returned from teaching in South Korea. Initially, seven of us left for Galveston, Texas early Saturday morning. We visited four Texas cities before returning to Arkansas. There is a lot to write about and I am short on time right now. I hope to write some reviews and blogs about our hotels, food and destinations over the next couple of weeks. But in the meantime, I wanted to post some highs and lows for each city.

Galveston (Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday)

  • Nice view of Pleasure Pier and the beach; balcony 
  • Cool weather most of the time
  • Evening walk on the beach
  • Sunrise on the beach
  • There were warnings about bacteria in the water and the beaches seemed a little dirty
Houston (Monday, Tuesday)
  • Houston Space Center
  • Seeing the signs that said we were leaving Houston
  • MASSIVE TRAFFIC JAMS (Two hours to go 25-30 miles on the interstate)
Austin (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday)
  • Awesome hotel (essentially a two-floor apartment) and friendly staff
  • Act of random kindness at In-and-Out when a stranger recommended our meals (ordering things that weren't on the menu) and then paid for the five of us.
  • Less traffic; easy to navigate
  • Karaoke and hanging out afterwards at the "apartment"
  • Accidentally being at the state capitol during the time of a scheduled event that we didn't even know about until we saw a bunch of people walking around in costumes
  • No free access to Lake Travis
  • GPS telling me to turn RIGHT while the GPS Map showed us turning LEFT. (Left was the correct direction to turn...)
San Antonio
  • Watching the sunset and seeing the city from Tower of the Americas
  • Walking the River Walk, especially our last night when we did "light writing"
  • Easy to walk in the downtown area where we stayed
  • Some crazy person walked out in the middle of traffic; I slowed down as to not hit him and he got mad at me, waved me on and almost caused me to go the wrong way down a one-way street
  • Walking behind our hotel the first evening and thinking we were about to get mugged
  • Knowing vacation was almost over