If you look to the right side of this page, you’ll notice that I’ve updated my Flickr account with some new photos- the first new batch in over a year, I think.
This past weekend I took a quick trip to Dallas-Fort Worth for a wedding. It’s the quickest trip to the mainland I’ve ever taken, I think. I spent the first day in Fort Worth in an attempt to revisit my old stomping grounds. It’s amazing how much you can forget! The first thing I noticed (at the car rental station) was the existence of a number of toll roads that weren’t there the last time I drove the “mix master.” I got in my rental Kona, took a deep breath, and made a bee-line for south Fort Worth. I found Seminary Drive but actually had a difficult time finding the seminary. It didn’t help that the weather was gray and overcast. I eventually found the school and then James Street, where World Relief was before it relocated a few years ago. Then I wound my way over to Hulen Street via Trail Lake. So odd: so much had changed (at least two apartment complexes I had known were completely gone) while my old comic shop was still around. I landed at Barnes and Noble to look for a new Tolkien book (none in stock) and to get my bearing a little more. Went to Macy’s to get a couple of things for the wedding. The place was dead . . . the whole mall, it felt. Then I made my way to Half-Price Books (which had also moved). Then I made my way to my favorite Mexican restaurant in town: Fiesta (not to be confused with the grocery store). When I got there, it was almost empty. By the time I was done with the best lunch-time chimichanga in the world, the place was busy and more Fiesta-like. The waitress said “see you next time,” and I found myself hopeful that they would still be around whenever that “next time” happened.
Knowing that I would have a chunk of time before I could check into my hotel, I bought a ticket (?!) to the Botanical Gardens, which was a favorite place from years ago. That’s where the pictures to the right are from. The drizzle had abated by then. Sure, the sun wasn’t out, but that was okay. It was nice just to be in a beautiful and familiar place. I wove my way back to the Japanese garden. I found myself way too excited to see squirrels (something we don’t have in Hawaii). And when the time was right, I headed south and east to the hotel.
After unpacking and cleaning up, I made my way to Cousin’s for dinner with a friend, which was really good. It really made the whole day feel worth it. From there, I made a quick Kroger run and then hit the sack. Slept a full 10 hours. Ate breakfast at the hotel and checked out. Dropped off some gifts at a friend’s house. Grabbed a Route 44 cherry-vanilla Coke from Sonic and then made my way to Malakoff, TX.
I took the long way, or a way longer than I had intended. I ended up spending some quality time on some backroads- not because I was lost but because I wanted to see more of the scenery that the other route provided. And I also had to get to a Chicken Express, the hidden jewel of Texas that I had not enjoyed since driving through Kerrville a few years ago on the way to Laity Lodge. So I pulled into the Chicken Express in Gun Barrel City, TX (I kid you not) just as soon as a thunderstorm came through town. Lightning, thunder, flooded roadways. The workers had no clue where the storm came from. I sat and scarfed down some chicken tenders before braving the rain and hoping that the wedding venue had dodged the bullet, which it had.
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It was good to see the old places. It was interesting to see what I remembered (how easy it was to get to my friends’ house in Fort Worth) and what I had forgotten (McCart Avenue- how could I forget?!). And I was surprised at how my mood was affected by travel fatigue (one hour of sleep?) and the gloomy weather. But the dinner-time conversation and the time at the wedding made it all worth it.
All of this to point out that there are new pictures on the side of the page. Not sure when that will happen again. Hopefully sooner rather than later. We’ll see.