Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Day 09

Today is not a day for very many words or at least I can't seem to find them. Mostly I just think, feel and miss my mom. This being my first holiday season without her. It's been a lot of years with her spoiling me and making sure that I feel and experience some sort of Christmas/holiday spirit. Thanksgiving was always very special too. I miss her dressing. I tried to make some for myself this time. Two attempts in the last couple days but the second attempt was a success. Not as great as my mom's but still good. I held the plate up to heaven so she could smell it. It was a good day but one day could never be enough to give thanks to all she's given me...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Another Grand Escape

Hours ago the whole return to reality took shape. That’s just a fancy way of saying I’m back in LA after enjoying another incredible escape/journey, etched in forever because once again it involved someone so very special enjoying the experience along with me. The best part about the trips each time is the unexpected eventhough at the moment they happen they sometimes seem a little ridiculous, unnecessary, interesting, strange, disappointing, etc etc. We ran through the gammot of experiences from prejudice moments, to the not so good food, to weird personalities stretched across some of the most beautiful country landscapes and city environments you can find. One of the coolest moments was seeing the Cadillac Ranch up close and personal. I’d read about this landmark for many years, seen pictures of it and wondered how it would look whenever I got a chance to capture the scenery with my own camera. With all the folks who spray paint the cars over the many years that it’s existed, it’s got to be truly interesting to see what the cars looked like when the idea first hit the man who created this unique display.

Anyway, the Cadillac Ranch was really our second stop. The first was the semi-well known establishment called the Big Texan where they make a 72 ounce steak and challenge you to eat it with all the sides included in one hour. Our waitress told us that two guys had tried to eat the steak earlier but failed and almost threw up everything they ate. The atmosphere is fun and pretty cool. The waitress was very VERY talkative though she overdid it at times with the “how else may I help y’all” that ended every visit to our table which was like every twenty seconds or less. The food? Well, we left thinking that maybe the cook was having an off night or perhaps he/she was tired since it was just about an hour and a half left to go before the place would close for the night. If neither of those hold truth then we could only say that the actual taste of the food doesn't come close to all the hype. Hers was over-cooked and charred. Mine was just charred though eatable. The best for me were the so-called “mountain oysters” and strawberry margarita. The mac and cheese they need to remove from the menu completely.. *smile* The adjoining hotel is cool from the outside and just okay from the inside but it’s pretty much about the old time Texas/cowboy experience so I appreciated it just for that and for it being a part of the journey.

The next day we headed to Mt. Pleasant, Texas. The drive was long; a little over six hours but still very interesting.. I love Texas, the smell in the air, the little towns along the way, the great scenery of mostly farms and especially the beautiful horses. I also love it when a ‘DQ’ sign pops up aka Dairy Queen up ahead. My love and I always smile because we do love to treat ourselves to a big juicy beltbuster hamburger. We stopped at one small town after leaving Amarillo and the Cadillac Ranch where we noticed some subtle prejudice in the way we were treated as oppose to the several others that were there but again, it just added to the experience. *smile* We stopped at a really nice rest stop, which there were a couple along that highway. The sign read “watchout for rattlesnakes.” Didn't see any...

Night fell fast after a few hours of driving and I found myself relying heavily on the GPS to guide me the correct way. We drove down long two lane highways and breathed a sign of relief when we found ourselves in Paris, Texas where they at least had a nice freeway. Paris looked like a nice size city, too. I wished we would’ve gotten there earlier in the day but this was after six. We kept going and soon I saw signs that we were getting close to Mt. Pleasant; my second home since so many of my family are buried there. Love made sure I paid my respects and placed flowers on the graves and I felt blessed to have someone who showed so much appreciation, respect and love for what she knew and felt was important to me… Incredible. We ended the night with dinner at the brand new local IHop. *smile* Just like most places in Texas, it was clean, comfortable and we always got a kick out of the accents coming from those that lived in the area.

Next day it was time to hit the road again. I wanted to share another interesting place with my love and also see it for myself again. I hadn’t been to this interesting/historic mansion in many many years so I was curious to see how it looked this time around. The mansion is located in Mississippi near the river and not too far from the border of Louisiana. And just like the first time I’d gone there, I found it interesting how rundown the surrounding neighborhood is compared to the actual grounds of the mansion. Only thing is, the mansion didn’t appear to be very well kept up over the years since I’d last seen it or maybe it’s the affects of hard times, lack of interest and the “economy” causing it not to be as great as it was. For the most part the people there were very nice, except for the bartender who seemed to have a complex about his own reflection demonstrated by his reaction to me as oppose to the other patrons. *wink* But nevertheless it was all good as they say, except for the food which looked better on paper than on the taste buds. And the atmosphere was more highbrow society than downhome delicious. Most impressive was our waiter who did his best and seemed very sincere in wanting us to enjoy our food.

Time seemed to fly by once this evening was over. Before we knew it, it was time to head back to Texas. The drive was great. Love fell asleep and left me to my thoughts while cruising down the highway. I saw plenty of DQ signs but I kept going since she was asleep. *smile* Gas prices were wonderful compared to what you find in Cali, which seems to always be the case. Not to mention the rental car I was driving was super cool and comfortble; a 2010 Chevy Malibu with a two tone interior. It was very nice! First stop on the way back was Jefferson, Texas. Still looking beautifully historic and filled with the best places to go for antique shopping. I bought some old fashion syrup and jelly. Back in Mt. Pleasant we made a return to the incredible Walmart, which looked bigger than I remember it being in past years. Bought a bunch of “Pittsburg Hotlinks” and “Summer Sausages.” The trip had come to an end but the experience is forever… That’s the best part of traveling and the gift of actually paying attention to the moment in time. This is just a small reflection of that experience… till next time.. *smile*

Monday, November 02, 2009

Forward thinking..

Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal..