Traveling Hoarders

We have just returned from a trip to Texas where we have kids and friends who we are blessed to have. BUT….going to Texas means one thing: weight gain. In the 10 days we were there we ate Mexican food 8 times. Because it was cold and rainy every day we were there, everyone knows that our mouths begin to drool, thinking of all the Tex-Mex food we can’t get here, the minute we cross the Texas State line. The day we drive in, we make a mental list of every restaurant we just “have to” eat at. I begin to make list of every store that I miss here in Arizona, to buy things we don’t see here, Of course that means that besides all the clothes we take for 2 weeks, the presents that we take to leave to thank all the host for housing us, our snack bag (actually it is more like a snack suitcase) gifts for the grandkids, we pack so that we have room to bring back all the things we cannot buy here. So to say our car is loaded is truly an understatement. On our last day in Texas, before leaving early last Wednesday, we just “had” to go by Weirs Country Store to get boxes (yes boxes) of their popcorn and a small bottled real Dr Pepper. Randy says there is just something about those little bottled Dr Peppers. Probably because they are cheap, but don’t tell him I said that. We run by MiCocinas to buy chips and salsa for the road trip back. We have to have one last Whataburger (yes, I actually ate one for breakfast before leaving Dallas). They do have a couple of those here but they just aren’t the same. We have to always stop at Eatsi’s for their tiramisu and Italian Cream Cake. El Fenix for cheese enchiladas, Spring Creek and Rudy’s for barbecue. Nordstrom for white chocolate bread pudding with raspberry sauce. And we wonder why our car looks like a low rider!
This trip was a little more disorganized. We split our time between 3 different groups of family. If you are ever at someones house and you would like for them not to ever invite you back for a visit, there is a easy solution. We will probably never be invited to one of our kids homes anytime soon. All you have to do is start a fire in the kitchen. Yep, simple as that. Being the wonderful mother in law that I am, I told the kids that they could take the morning off and I would make breakfast. Cameron had told me they had never had homemade popovers and so I made them. As they were in the oven, I fried bacon. When I looked over at the package and decided that there wasn’t enough bacon to store, I decided to just fry up the entire package. The bacon that was already cooked was on a paper towel/plate of which I laid over on the gas stove to finish laying the rest of the bacon. Well, next thing I know fire is all over the paper towel and getting higher and higher. At first I try blowing out the fire. For petes sake, I am use to blowing out 60 some odd candles on my birthday cake; how hard can this be? Didn’t work! I scream. Cameron comes over and tries to throw the plate in the sink and the flames just kept getting higher and higher. Payton (the 3 yr old) starts to cry and finally Cam finally gets the plate in the sink and runs water over it. Charcoaled bacon isn’t all that bad. They loved the popovers and crispy bacon. The kids reminded us that they had invited us to come help them unpack boxes, not burn the new house down. I informed them that if they would have let the fire go a little longer, it would have taken care of some of the unpacked kitchen boxes. They didn’t appreciate my humor.
So back to the trip. Every time we had to pack up and leave one house to go to another, it was pouring rain and cold. We didn’t take the usual time to load the car. We began to open the back doors and just throw suitcases and clothes in. Each time, it just got junkier and unorganized, Randy looked at me and said, “I bet if people look in our windows they will think we live in our car and are hoarders.” By the 3rd house where we stayed for the last 3 nights, it was a lost cause. I couldn’t find anything. It was easier to go to Walmart to buy a pair of pants and shirt than try to find them. When we got home, we agreed that it was going to be scary to see what was under all the piles of clothes, suitcases and bags of things we had brought back. Randy brought in 2 pair of my shoes that I was never able to find the entire trip. He found them in our first snack bag that never got thrown away when the handle tore. Randy had said, we would use it for a trash bag, but I thought I remembered we had turned it into a bag for all the things that wouldn’t fit in our suitcases by day 5.

We left on the morning that there were ice warnings. What an adventure. Going home by a different route meant seeing signs we had not seen before. There was a beauty salon called, “Texas Big Hair” Salon. Randy looked at me and ask, “is that where you go”? I threw a 3 day old donut at him that I found under the seat. We passed a most impressive motel named, “It Will Do”. Not in this lifetime will it do. Randy said that if the ice got any worse that it might have to do. Fortunately, the ice road scraper was in front of us so we mossied along at 35 mph for 200 miles.

We have pinkie pinkied we won’t go back to Texas in winter ever again. As Randy gets older (I haven’t begun aging yet, but Im sure soon I might) his tummy might not let him eat mexican food 8 days in a row, and we don’t want to waste our visits in winter when all we want is Mexican food. So think we will go in summer when, oh wait guacamole always tastes so good in summer along with chile con queso. Ok, maybe the season doesn’t matter, but until our car gets rid of the smell of popcorn, chips, salsa and Whataburger, I think we might just stay home for a while. Besides, until the kids forget about the fire, we aren’t sure we are welcome.

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