Well, it’s been awhile since we’ve had the Suburban out on the open road. We loaded up last week and headed for Arkansas. I told Bill I would pick him up around noon at his office downtown. Bill works for a very large natural gas company. Ever since 9/11, oil and gas companies in Houston have changed the design of many of their offices and are very, very tight on security.
What I’m saying is that I haven’t been to Bill’s office since 9/11 that I can remember because it’s too hard to park, get into the building, etc. It makes those airport scanners look like a piece of cake. Pulling up to the curb, even for a second, will result in a security officer coming to the car and asking you to move. (Years ago you could pull into a driveway under the building and wait as long as necessary … gone are the days.)
Wednesday I called Bill and told him we were almost there and he headed down to the street. The outside of his building is undergoing MAJOR renovation and there is scaffolding everywhere. In addition, jackhammers were tearing away at the surrounding concrete. We saw Bill but he was walking to the opposite block so we quickly pulled into a partial drive at the front of his building and Savannah jumped out to yell “Daddy!!” so he would know where we were waiting. For reasons still unknown to me, I decided to grab something from the back of the Suburban. When I opened it all manner of suitcases came rolling out onto the street. I silently hoped no one would think I had a bomb in that luggage though I doubt the pink suitcases with green polka dots looked very suspicious. I quickly put them all back in and raced to the front of the car before the Department of Homeland Security was called out on us.
As I got back into the Suburban I could hear the jackhammers working and noticed that Jacob had rolled down a side window. As Bill rounded the corner suddenly Jacob began to scream… “DADDY, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE. THEY ARE SHOOTING AT US!!!! RUN!!!! RUN!!!!!! RUN!!!!!!!!! THEY ARE SHOOTING AT US!!!!!!”
Do you know HOW MANY people were standing on the street corners and in front of the building at that exact time?
A lot. That’s how many.
Needless to say, we got out of there as quickly as we could.
And the thought of ANYONE seeing corporate, calm Bill jumping into a Suburban full of screaming kids yelling “RUN FOR YOUR LIFE, THEY ARE SHOOTING AT US” which then screeches out of town on two wheels makes me double over in laughter.
Bill just says … “yeah, real funny” and I’m sure wonders if this little incident will come up at his next review.
About three hours down the road we decided the coast was clear and so we stopped and filled our tummy tank. Running like a bunch of terrorists had made us hungry.
We were also the loudest family in Whattaburger. Go figure.
We finally made it to Arkansas and had a WONDERFUL time.
I made my first ever pumpkin pie and Bill declared it “very, very good”. Yay me!
I also made a REALLY terrible broccoli rice casserole. I have thrown away the recipe forever.
My mom made a “Mississippi turkey” which is a turkey put in the oven with some veggies around it and cooked really high for an hour or so and then you turn the oven off and it continues to cook in the oven all night long. My mom made it PERFECTLY CLEAR that under NO UNCERTAIN TERMS were we to open the oven until morning.
Of course I told her that I did … just to see what she would do. :)
The turkey was delicious. Unfortunately Brittany never tasted it because she had seen it before it was carved. When she sees a bird that still has it’s legs on it she literally cannot eat it. I learned this the hard way when I bought a rotisserie chicken. She loves chicken but once she saw it whole, it was a no go for her. But … my mom also had ham so Brittany didn’t starve.
During the weekend, the cousins enjoyed hanging out ….
I got to hang out with some friends, shop a little and then we climbed a mountain.
It was quite exciting.
Not quite as exciting as the whole “RUN FOR YOUR LIFE” event but still a really good time!.