Captain’s Log, Day 5
It’s another early morning drive, this time we’re heading to San Antonio and then on to Luling TX for more relatives. We’re still marching on through the great desert Southwest, but there are more signs of green now. Some trees mixed in with the sage, and less cactus.
The ride to Luling is long but uneventful. We give Luke another turn at the wheel. The road is calm enough that we let Luke chug on for miles, and then we’re heading into San Antonio. Suddenly the world is full of crazy drivers! People are cutting in front of us, or darting around, or force-merging (on short merges) and giving us no space. Luke brakes as he can, but we’re an 8 ton vehical! We take at least twice as far to stop as a car! We finally make it to a parking lot.
We have a great dinner in San Antonio with Grandpa & Grandma Weiner, and then we have to brave rush-hour traffic. Shelley takes the helm this time, and a good thing too. I’ve never seen such craziness. We watched a pickup 4-wheeling it over the burm to cut traffic (and yes he set the dry grass on fire, we watched the smoke rise for a long time), we had endless numbers of people fight tooth-and-nail to get in front of us, only to switch lanes back a second later when some other lane had a slight advantage. We have a little
sporty thing flash over from left to right, with us doing 60, with less than a foot spare across our bumper! It was all over in an instant, and he missed us, but another foot and we woulda crunched him big. It was a grueling two hours to get out of S.A. Luling, where we spent the night at Grandpa’s house, was great. We yakked all night while the kids worked out their cabin fever. All in all, another fabulous Grandparent visit.
Captain’s Log, Day 6
Next morning, crack-o-noon, we headed out for my sister’s place in Katy (really far west Houston). It’s another straight shot down I-10, and I-10 is in pretty good shape even out to Luling; as we approach Houston it widens to 6 lanes. We start watching real weather appear; there’s a line of heavy thunderclouds forming up to the left and right of us and we’re heading right for them. The wind starts to pick up and really buffet us; we slow down to 60 and then slower. People are starting to park on the side of the road, but we want out of the impending storm. Rain alternates between slashing and nothing. The clouds get dark, low and ominous. I start to see green clouds, and clouds moving the wrong direction. I pull out Shelley’s “smart phone” and look up the local weather. Sure enough, with vast modern technology, 4G wifi, low-power android-enabled cloud-backed internet weather smart-phone tech we discover what we already know: there’s two large thundercells on either side of I-10. They happen alot during south Texas summers as warm wet Gulf air meets cooler midwest air. And these storm cells often spawn tornadoes. But after 20 mins of staring at awe-inspiring clouds and getting slammed by 40mph cross-winds we manage to roll through the middle of them and out the other side. The rest of the trip in is entirelty uneventful, except for the trip down memory lane for me.
We get to my sister Ruth’s without incident and my kids rush in to play with her kids. Then we have a comedy of errors trying to get power run to the RV. First our old power cable gets hot and the RV power cuts off (which means the AC cuts off on a hot humid Houston summer day). Then we think the outlet is bad, then we try to test the outlet with an old drill (drill not working), my laptop power supply (cannot see the little blue light in the sun), and finally a real tester (outlet is dead). We switch outlets, then Aunt Ruth tells me the switch for that outlet is flakey, and it surely is; we quick-cycle the RV AC repeatedly without realizing it, and pop a 15amp house breaker. We change outlets again, we change power cords again, we run the new cord through the garage to an internal 20amp circult, and finally it holds. The RV stays well AC’d for the next 2 days.
Grandma’s over (*my* Mom this time) as she lives a few miles from my sister. And we hang out and visit all day. There’s wine & lasagna for dinner, and hot showers and full beds for all.
Captain’s Log Day 7
We all sleep in late. We have pancakes & bacon for breakfast. We run a few errands and then see the movie Brave (which is really good, BTW). I end up connecting with an old college buddy and her boyfriend (Facebook!) so we invite them over for dinner. Turns out the the boyfriend is also an old college friend, so suddenly it was Texas A&M U reunion night. They are both divorced with one teenaged daughter each (compared to my 4), and enjoying life again after divorce. We have a long evening of beer, hotdogs and college memories. The kids Xbox continuously, or get their internet “fix” or play on the trampoline, or have drawing contests or otherwise monkey around. It’s a really great “down time” lazy day.