Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dallas Trippin'

So we and about a jillion other Okies hit the road this past Friday morning for Dallas but I'm willing to bet we were the only ones not in pursuit of the Holy Grail of the OU-Texas football game. As fine a Fall morning as you can imagine: crystal blue skies, brisk temperature, the grasses and trees still green though just a blush of color coming on. We picked up Rachel's buddy and then Emily's pal and after a quick stop at McDonald's, were south bound.

We anticipated trouble on the state line but found none; the rumored road repairs had been complete and our early departure had put us ahead of the crimson horde that surely was pressing behind us. We made our first stop - the Grapevine Mills mall in, well, Grapevine, and off everyone went to wherever it is they wanted to go to. Me, I parked myself in the bookstore and browsed and browsed. Clara finished first and we hit the Starbuck's. We ran into Doug, who works for my office partner, and his grandmother, who was visiting from a small town in Pennsylvania. Odd to come 200 miles to run into someone I see everyday and in a different context, but we had a nice visit; Doug's grandmother was on her second trip to Texas and was still awed by all the wide open spaces. Good for her.

The girls and the their buddies caught up to us and we moved on. Next stop, The Galleria. Oh, look, they were ready for us: Balloons!

(This was the only shot I got of the trip. You can click here for pictures from our last trip to Dallas back in the Spring.)

A little too pricey for our budget but still a lot of fun to check out. Though the mall lost its book store some time ago and still hasn't replaced it. What's up with that? Dinner at The Grand Luxe and, you know, call us spoiled but we kinda think the slightly lower-scaled Cheesecake Factory is better and has more selections. Ah, well, not a bad meal but still, we expected more. Finished up by doing some people-watching while the girls hit their final stores. I inadvertently - honest! - parked myself near the Victoria's Secret but the pouty-lipped models in their skivvies on the posters drove me to distraction. Why so serious, girls? You're in your underwear! Except for public speaking, and that's only in your dreams, nothing really bad happens when you're in your underwear.

The girls finished and off we went to the hotel in Frisco. The lobby was jammed with giddy Okies but we threaded our way through the crowd up to our room and got settled in. The girls headed out to explore and later hit the pool while Clara and I stayed in and channel-surfed. You know, there's no lacking of sports channels on hotel cable packages. That and kid's channels. Do hotels know their customers or what?

The girls got back at a decent hour and we settled in for the night. But at 1:00 a.m, I awoke we some deep central gut pain like I've never experienced before. Dang. Tried the usual remedies to rid myself of it - medication, self-gagging, other methods best left undescribed. No luck. About ever 30 seconds I found myself getting up from bed and hitting the bathroom but the pain just. Wouldn't. Budge. By around 7:00 it was clear that Clara's advice that I seek out some kind of medical help was pretty sound. I managed to dress, stumble out the door, find the elevator, buy a whoppingly priced tiny bottle of Pepto and did a shot of that, and todder over to the front desk to get directions to the nearest doc-in-the-box. Only four miles away. Oughtta be able to do that. Without barfing? That could be another story.

Got in the car, found my way through the early morning Frisco streets, found the doc-in-the-box had long ago moved but also found a sympathetic manager at the Kroger's next door who sent me back to another location not far away. Made it in time to find the bathroom and return the earlier shot of Pepto - My, such a bright pink for so early in the morning! They checked me in, got my vitals, took some blood, and with the high white cell count and symptoms determined I'd picked up a nice stomach infection. Some 'scrips to fill and I'd be fine. Which I'd managed to start doing just laying there waiting to be examined. Great!

Got the 'scrips filled, found my way back to the hotel - a whole lot easier when not fighting nausea - and managed to make it back by 10:00. Clara and the girls were dressed, fed, and ready for the next mall. Well, all righty then. Had a good laugh at my demise - Rachel had heard some of it and Emily wanted to know who Ralph was and why I kept shouting his name into the toilet. I felt good enough for a few pancakes and then we headed out, none the worse for the wear.

The girls did their shopping, I did my book browsing, and when we were through, we grabbed a snack for the road. Headed out on the Dallas Tollway and picked up a cross highway that would put us back on the Interstate outside of Denton and then we were home free. Crossed into Oklahoma but by then the morning and medications were catching up to me so time for Clara to take over. Another beautiful Fall day, perfect for driving.

Made it home just fine. Dropped off our guests, got the dogs from the in-laws, then headed home. Done. Another journey completed, safe and sound, with only a minor detour. I'd call that pretty good, wouldn't you?

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