Thursday, July 23, 2009

Weekend Update #25: 24 hours in a car...shoot me now!!!!!

My grandfather, Milo, is not doing well in the health department. It seems smoking for his whole life has finally caught up to him.

Lung cancer. :-(

It's an obviously unpleasant, and very dark topic of conversation. So....I'll do as I always try to do, and find the positive.

Granted, there isn't ANY in this case....but I'll do my best to give you the positives from this weekend.

Inny, mom, Mot and I drove to Amarillo, TX this weekend. We left Friday at 4:00, once everyone was off of work.

My sister's car is nicknamed Harry. Can you figure out why by looking at this picture?? :-)

We drove halfway (to Wichita, KS) the first night. The drive was actually quite nice. We listened to music and audio books. All in all, the first day of driving went pretty quick.

* Mental note: Must research Tuttle Creek wildlife area in Kansas. Beautiful to drive through. Want to go back and check it out for real.

* We drove past Salina, KS. Which brought about a small "discussion" of how to pronounce it.

saleena?? salina??

Tomayto, Tomahto. :-)

* We drove past the Fort Riley Gunnery.

Gunnery, I love saying that word!!

Gunnery, gunnery, gunnery. :-)

By the time we passed the gunnery (giggle) we were pretty slap happy.

Nej: Do they actually....ah...rehearse there?

Mot: They practice, they do drills, they don't rehearse.

Nej: Rehearse means the same thing.

Mot: (shaking his head)

Friday night, on the other hand....was horrible!! I don't know what it is about us....but we were unable to sleep the first night.


Drunk people in the room next to us. Yelling, screaming and carrying on. (sigh)

At 1:30, we called hotel security, and they came to break up the party.

So much for getting on the road by 6:00. We slept in, once we finally got to sleep. :-)

Saturday we drove from Wichita to Amarillo. Via a bunch of highways our GPS (Daniel) deemed the best and quickest route.

Through the Gloss Mountains.

We disagreed with the "mountains" label they'd been given....but do agree they were pretty. I mean, we have scenery taller than this by us....and they just call them hills. (Loess Hills) How do these "hills" rate the mountain label??? :-) :-)

Just as we were nearing the OK/TX state line...we were stopped in a small town. For many minutes. For a cattle drive to cross the road. Gotta love it!!!

Once we arrived in Amarillo, we spent the day hanging out in the hospital with grandpa. He was very happy that we came!!!!

Our original plan was to start back for home that night....but no one really felt like it. So, we got a hotel room.

* The elevator was behind a regular room a hallway of like doors.

* And the lighting in the room was driving my OCD crazy!!!!!

But we slept the best we had in a long time. The a/c was fully operational, and we slept in meat locker temperatures.....LOVE IT!!!! :-)

We left for home first thing Sunday am.

12 hours on the road ahead of us.

Inny tells me this is the largest cross in Texas...or something like that.

We stopped here (below) for fuel and beverages. I wanted out of that place as soon as I could. Something about it, and the attached spooky looking motel had my hair standing on end.

I read too much Stephen King. It's official. :-)

We stopped at the most curious little place for lunch. After finding the Quizno's we'd stopped at was closed, we went across the street to Braum's. Per the guy working inside, they don't exist much north of Wichita, KS.

When we walked inside, the smell of grease about knocked us all over. We had to swim through it to get to the counter to order. If it hadn't been for our hunger, and wanting to get home, we probably would have left to find something else.

At one end of the building, fast food and the other end, a small little grocery store. Dairy, produce and meat sections. Plus about every flavor of packaged ice cream available. They had little shopping carts and everything.

For some reason, it struck us all as very strange.

Heart attacks on one side, healthy living on the other.

The rest of the drive home was pretty anti-climactic. We listened to more audio books....and barely spoke. We were all ready to be home!!!!!!


the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Mountains are folds in the earth's crust.

Loess hills are glacial deposits. Or deposits of windblown soil (think dirt dunes).

I've been to a Braums in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It wasn't as greasy as your description. I think the Ice Cream was okay. My father-in-law went nuts buying coconut macaroons.

Nej said...

@ it's not a size's formation? OK, I can live with that. And I can proudly scream out my car window "our hills are bigger than your mountains!" next time we drive through. :-) :-) :-)

Yeah, this Braum's was horribly greasy. Our clothes smelled of it just by walking in the door (not an exaggeration). Mot and Inny got ice cream, and neither complained about it. And the food was OK.

Plus, they sold string cheese that I was craving, in their dairy section, so that was bonus points in their favor. :-)

Brook said...

Ah hah! I have seen the mongo cross, I have had delicious ice cream and corn dogs at Braums-when I lived in Oklahoma-and Texas is frickin' flat and weird. D's grandma who started smoking when she was 8 and is now completely out of her mind at the ripe age of 95 for some reason has escaped lung cancer. Weird. Though the reason for the visit is sad, I'm glad to hear that your grandfather was happy to see you and knew you.
How on earth did they get those lights so messed up? I would have been nuts.
There is nothing like a road trip to get you punch drunk and silly-must be the vibrations from the car or something.

Nej said...

@ Brook, Grandpa has made it to 82...and he still has his wits completely about him through all of this. When we first got there, he was downright depressed...but when we came back after supper, he was in much better spirits!!!

Oh man...if I'd known corn dogs were "the" thing to get there, I might have!!! :-)

The lights were driving my sister and I nuts. Completely nuts!!!!

Vic said...

I'm reading your post from a hotel room and identifying with your road stories! (So sorry about the reason for your trip, though..)

Nej said...

My sister corrects me....she said the sign says it's the largest cross in the world. Interesting. :-)

Vic - I wish you good travels, symmetrical lighting, and no drunks in the adjoining room!!! :-)