The Mundling Zone

Thoughts, rants, and raves from the desk of Michelle Mundling

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Roadtrippin': Day Two

So much for setting the alarm clock. I slept right through it. That was Godís way of telling me that I needed more sleep. I know Iím a heavy sleeper anyway, but this alarm was obnoxious-sounding.

This particular hotel offered a free ďcontinentalĒ breakfast. In other words, you have your choice of two cereals, bagels, and doughnuts with milk, orange juice, coffee, butter, cream cheese, and jelly. I took a cup of milk and two bagels with cream cheese to go. I could get addicted to bagels with cream cheese; it was tasty and filling.

From the time it took me to wake up to the time I walked into lobby to check-out, one hour had passed. At least carrying my stuff down the stairs was easier than carrying them up the stairs; Iím not complaining. I did do something stupid: I signed the credit card receipt without even looking to see how much it was. I finally checked when I made my first fuel stop of the day in Louisiana. Iíve got to be more careful.

I remember crossing the Mississippi river when I left Mississippi and crossed into Louisiana. Thatís a huge river! The only other river Iíve seen that could come a distant second is the St. Johns River in Florida. It got my attention.

Along Interstate 20 from Georgia to Louisiana, I did not notice much of a difference in the landscape. Honestly, I could have taken a picture of the interstate in Georgia, and it could have looked like the landscape in Alabama, Mississippi, or eastern Louisiana. Once I got halfway through Louisiana, I noticed that we were still surrounded by trees, but they werenít pine trees. I donít know what kind of trees they were.

When I arrived to Texas, their welcome station had free wireless Internet. Of course, you know I had to stop and check this out for myself. How do you think it felt when I was able to access the Internet from inside my truck? I had been marveling at how strong my cell-phone service connect had been throughout my trip. I have been able to make calls at will to friends and family and not have to worry about racking up long distance charges. Thinking back at how road trips used to be, I canít help but marvel at the technology readily available to us.

Texas seems to take their slogan, ďDonít Mess With Texas,Ē seriously. Shortly after getting on the road again from the Welcome Station, I passed a sign that displayed, ďDonít Mess with Texas, $50 - $1000 Fine for Littering.Ē

Passed a sign about 30 minutes east of Dallas, Texas: Prison Area, Do Not Pick Up Hitchhikers. Considering that I work in a prison, I thought the sign was hilarious. I called a friend of mine to tell him what I saw, but he didnít sound too impressed. Just me, huh?

The closer I got to Dallas, Texas, the more I noticed the landscape change around me. I saw more open fields of wildgrass with shrubs and scattered trees here and there. The change was more obvious after I crossed through the Dallas and Fort Worth area. For someone who has spent 31 years in an area in which all you see are pine trees, seeing a wide-open plain was absolutely breathtaking.

Oversleeping cost me two-and-a-half hours of driving time. I was supposed to be to a small town in Texas to meet a couple of friends and spend the night. We were going to go out to eat when I got there. I was on the road 11 hours before I finally arrived.

God bless them for being patient and understanding. They went ahead and picked up dinner and brought it back to their house so it would be ready when I got there. We had fried chicken, homemade mashed potatoes with cream gravy, green beans, carrots, and potato salad. I remember picking up a piece of chicken and originally thinking that it was two pieces stuck together. My friends chuckled when it dawned on me that it was one single piece of chicken breast. I guess what they say is true about things being bigger in Texas. Even the drumsticks were bigger than the ones we get at the local KFC in Georgia.

It was so good to see Claire again. I had not seen her since she moved from Waycross to be with TxLobo. As far away from home as I was, it was almost as if I never left. Her husband TxLobo has greatly impressed me. I mean, OMG!!! He took what was originally a small house and added to it. He did almost all of the work himself. I was in awe at the practicality and craftsmanship of all of his home-improvement projects. Claire told me he was the ďjack of all trades, but the master of none.Ē Well, he may not be the master, but heís pretty damn good at what he does! The house felt like a home Ö a real home. If he was my neighbor, and I wanted to have something done to my house, Iíd hire him. By the way, did I mention that he can cook and knows his way around computers like the back of his hand? I should have asked if he had a brother. :-P


  • At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey - hope you're having a great trip!
    We only lived in California for a year, but it was wonderful. I miss L.A. all the time.
    Anyway, I hope you find what you're looking for.

    There's not a lot of things we miss about Waycross, but you're one of them.

    amy roundtree

  • At 10:29 AM, Anonymous Claire said…

    The jack of all trades/master of none is what he tells me :-)

    Sorry, he has no brother.

    Hope you're having a great time in L.A.!


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