Saturday, January 20, 2007

Houston-Chicago Trip - Day Two

The Courtyard at Gulf Shores provided a very comfortable night's stay, and getting out of bed early in the morning was not easy. After shower, shave, breakfast, etc. I finally got on the road again at 7:30. The trip back to I-10 took another half hour putting me an hour behind schedule, and I had to cover 534 miles today.

The weather was overcast with occasional drizzle. Traffic and roads were normal with the exception of one accident in Mobile, and at 11:38 I entered Mississippi. A portion of the morning was taken up by listening to the radio show The Gestalt Gardener on Mississippi Public Broadcasting. The two garden gurus that do the show, Felder Rushing and Dr. Dirt, are very witty and entertaining as well as informative, and I enjoyed my first encounter with the show. As I passed by the Mississippi Gulf Coast, I had to fight the temptation to drive along Hwy 90 to look a the destruction caused by Katrina, but I knew I didn't have the time to spare.

After the Gestalt Gardener show, I listened to a short tape by Charles Curalt, American Moments. While I always enjoyed Curalt when he was on radio and TV, the tapes produced since his death are not as rewarding. Once I got within range of New Orleans, I listened to Jazz on the local public radio station until it could no longer be received.

Since I had driven to New Orleans before, the highway was familiar to that point. However, once past New Orleans, I was covering new ground. The causeway, really a bridge, across the vast swamp west of New Orleans provided a very unique and scenic drive. Lots of birds were in evidence. I would definitely like to come back for a closer inspection.

Lunch at a Taco Bell in Lake Charles was a Fiesta Chicken Bowl, eaten while I continued to drive. Definitely not a choice made for any reason other than expediency. Each encounter with Taco Bell engenders a longer interval until the next.

By 2:30 I entered Texas with 113 miles to go. Traffic began to pick up until in downtown Houston it slowed to a crawl. It remained stop and go until I reached the western suburbs. At 4:45 I arrived at my destination on Portage Rock Lane in Katy.

It was exciting to see Kim, Todd, Makenna and Mason. They all look great. Makenna and Mason are much more mature than when I saw them last. They are both very sweet kids, but then I'm not an unbiased observer.

We ate a very nice dinner of roast pork, fingerling potatoes, broccoli and salad that Kim fixed. Mason and Todd left for basketball practice, Makenna went to a birthday party, and Kim and I discussed photography. After practice, Todd picked us up for ice cream at Baskin Robbins. There, four fathers ate ice cream and discussed players and standings in sports leagues from grade school to pro.

When we got back to the house, Todd put on the show The Dog Whisperer, one I had not seen. It was very interesting, and Cesar, the featured dog trainer certainly looks like he is very good at what he does. The show looked to me not a little like Dr. Phil for dogs.

Tomorrow Mason has a basketball game which should be interesting not only for the play, but there is an on going parent controversy regarding proper placing of players that may play out as well.

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