Monday, December 05, 2005

Houston doesn't have a winter.

We're back from the Land of Puffy Coats. Poppawether keeps asking why we won't move back to Minnesota. Simple: One doesn't have to shovel sunshine!!!

While up in the Modest White North the temperature averaged in the low teens and it snowed just about every other day. Miniwether loved to play in the snow but it was a ten-minute ordeal getting her dressed everytime to go outside. She seemed to have a hard time grasping the concept of one hand-finger per glove-finger, the importance of boots, and how to steer a sled.

The drive up from Texas was pretty awesome, though Misseswether strongly disagrees with that statement. Granted, I was up front watching our beautiful country sail by while jamming to my favorite songs on a new iPod. meanwhile she was stuck in back trying to keep a two-year-old Cinderella junkie (portable dvd players are both a blessing and a curse!) happy and relatively clean. The joyous faire music of The Brobdingnagian Bards covered the sounds of the storm brewing in the back seat. The storm crashed down upon me with thunder, lightening, and screeching winds in Witchita, Kansas. Learn from this: base your travel on the capabilities of the worst traveller in your group, not the best. Apparently ten hours in the car is about three hours too many for Misseswether.

Live, bandage, learn.

Minnesota is very, very different from Texas. Not just the over-abundence of fluffy, white, hell-spawned snow, but also in architecture, attitudes, and food-preparation. Minnesota has the biggest modest houses I've ever seen. We drove by some four-story mansions that actually looked like they were embarassed and were trying to look smaller. Pretty neat trick for a house. I just felt like everything in Minnesota was designed to not draw attention to itself. One night my sister-in-law made some chili and it actually had flavor! Then I remembered she was from Milwaukee.

Texas? Well, Texans have, ah, well, let's just call it backbone. I'm not suprised that the real world's answer to Aragorn is from here! I love it. Sure, the summers are hot, but that just means the ladies wear less for longer. In Minnesota it's hard to tell if someone is a man or a woman four and a half months out of the year!

The drive back to Texas was pretty exciting. Wind-blown snow, road salt, faulty windshield wipers, and suicidal deer turned the first day back on the road into a 12-hour, white-knuckled, 30-mph crawl across Minnesota and Iowa. The ditches were filled with cars, SUV's, and trucks less able to handle the situation. Our Honda Pilot held the road like a champ, whether the manouver was avoiding donuting* fellow drivers, dancing around depressed deer, or creeping up next to an 18-wheeler to use his tire spray to clean the salt off my windows. Kudo's to Honda engineering. Jeers to Honda's chemistry. The dealer-filled windshield washer fluid froze up in Minnesota and didn't thaw out again until half-way through Oklahoma.

We had planned to spend three days driving back to Texas, especially after the slow going of the first day. Misseswether suggested that we stop for the night somewhere after Dallas then do the final four hours on the third day. This was a very smart suggestion backed with all sorts of logic and past experiences. Luckily, I was able to drown out her voice by sticking my fingers in my ears and going, "La la la!" really loudly. We made it 858.9 miles from from Bethany, Missuori to Houston, Texas in just over 14 hours. Being an adventurer means pushing beyond the limits of endurance, wisdom, or even sanity.

I have to admit, even with the assorted storms and near-crashes driving across America is AWESOME and I loved just about every second of it. The United States of America is unbelievablely beautiful. I had been warned that Kansas was dull dull dull, but it took my breathe away. We passed through Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota. Each was a feast for the eyes. I'll have pictures up soon. Until then you'll just have to take my word for it. Or better yet, hop into your car and drive...

Adventure! Excitement! 2480 miles!

*donuting: a car spinning around in circles on a slippery surface.

1 comment:

CrazyRideLady said...

* "Whippin' a shitty" - same thing as a donut, but on purpose!