Saturday, October 10, 2009

Texas, Our Texas: 2009, part 1

Our trip to Texas this August started out well enough. We left in plenty of time, and we remembered which exit we needed to take for the long-term parking … where we found that the lot was closed. Apparently, it had been closed for a while, because grass was growing up through the asphalt. And there were no signs there telling us where it had moved to, or if holiday parking even still existed (which it does, I just checked, but in a very different place). So we parked at the airport in the garage, knowing it would probably double our parking costs. Unfortunately, neither the airport signs on the road nor the itinerary from the travel agent indicated which terminal we would be flying out of, so we ended up parking at the very far end of the parking garage and hiking the length of Concourse A before discovering that we had to fly out of Concourse C. At least we were in the right terminal, but we still had to get up to the top floor to take the skytrain with all our luggage—no trolleys allowed—to get from A to C.

Once we were at Concourse C, though, everything went smoothly. One thing I like about Frankfurt is that when they rennovated their international flight terminal, they added extra security lines. The first time we flew back home, about 5 years ago, there were 2 scanners for the whole area. 2. The lines were at least an hour long, I kid you not. Now, there is at least 1 scanner for every 3 or 4 gates. Easy peasy.

We flew through New Jersey, and as usual, our second leg to Dallas was delayed, but it wasn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things. I called my mom with a credit card from a pay phone—DO NOT DO THIS! 11 bucks for a 30-second message on my mom’s voice mail—and let her know we’d be coming in a little late. Got in late in the evening, went home with her, had a good night’s sleep, up at 6ish, and straggled out the door to drive to Wichita Falls later than originally planned, which is par for the course for us. We would have warned the sibs we were on our way, if they hadn’t changed their phone numbers recently and only notified us by email ONCE WE WERE ALREADY IN THE AIR. But no hard feelings, Mr. Jooge. *g*

Driving up I-35, we noticed a lot of faux-German buildings and signs for various German heritage events. Hannah was all, "Aaaugh! We can’t get away from German stuff!" To top it off, we drove through Muenster, Texas, which is nothing like Muenster, Germany. Sorry Muenster, Texas.

When we got to Wichita Falls, we were able to enjoy all the finer things, like taking everyone out for Mexican food lunch to celebrate the brothers' birthdays. Mr. Jooge totally confused the waitress by asking for the filet mignon tacos. (When John was a teenager, his mom was dating this guy who took the two of them out to dinner, so John ordered the filet mignon, on his mom’s date’s dime.)

Mexican food with the family

Notice how Hannah is bookended by her cousins. Now that she is older, she is a highly coveted playmate by the younger kids in the family. She has always been popular, but being a pre-teen now gives her a certain panache among the elementary-school set.

wild and crazy kids

She wasn’t the only popular one, though.


The wee one really enjoyed capturing the attention of the grown-ups; he’s a funny little monkey.

There were also kittens, which always adds to the attractiveness of visiting relatives.

Hannah and kitten

Unfortunately, this cute little kitten gave Hannah and at least one of her cousins ring worm. A little anti-fungal cream later and all is well, though.

Tomorrow, San Angelo.

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