Monday, August 13, 2012

South Texas Tour: Corpus Christi

On the way to my customer's office in Victoria, I pass King David.  At least I pass his head.

Because I haven't eaten, I thought I was hallucinating when I went by so I turned around to go back.  I wouldn't have known who this was supposed to be if there wasn't that small red plaque that reads "King David".  This is in front of what I think is a charitable agency.

I spend the morning going over some things in the software and learn that only one of the three people attending live in Victoria.  The others live in Houston and came in just because I am here.  When talk of lunch arises, the one who lives here has a definite opinion.  One of the people from Houston balks.  Though she has never eaten there, she doesn't want to go because the other lady "always" wants to go there.  Because she doesn't have a different suggestion, I help tip the scale. 

We eat at The Pumphouse Riverside Restaurant and Bar.  It is very nice inside and offers an interesting if limited menu.  I have a Fried Green Tomato BLT that I enjoy quite a bit.  The lady that didn't want to come has a hard time choosing and when her meal is brought to the table (she got the pasta dish on special over a burger), it is clear she is unhappy.  I don't think they will go back to The Pumphouse without me anytime soon.

We finish our day around 4 so the Houstonians can get on the road.  I head out in a different direction for the last leg of this trip.

A final 96 miles to Corpus Christi.  I make no stops on the way.

A nicer room than Victoria.  Not that it was too difficult.

I don't go out when I get to Corpus.  I am tired.  I have clean white sheets. 

The next morning, I meet with my customer who has been sick the few days before.  She introduces me to two of her colleagues and we get busy on her list.  We are done with everything on it by 10:30 am.  I tell her I would really like to get on the road and she understands, plus she hasn't been well anyway. 
These last two customers are friends, I have met them in person on several occasions and I always enjoy their company.  But I want to Go Home.

The fat lady is singing!  No really, remember, I have satellite radio on this trip.  I tell my (unreliable) GPS to take me home.  I had planned to drive as far back as I could at the end of the work day so I never made a hotel reservation.  No need now because barring an unforeseen problem I am sleeping in my own bed tonight.

I don't have to take the little eastward jog towards Victoria so that cuts some time off.  The GPS says I will get home around 5 after about 425 miles.  I know this isn't true as I will have to stop at least twice on the way back.

Once to eat.  Technically, this is breakfast since I haven't eaten yet.  I had planned to go by the original Whataburger store in Corpus.  I decided the closest one would have to do.  I like the BBQ Chicken Sandwich but that is way too messy to eat in the car.

Delaying my arrival...traffic in Austin.  No big surprise.

Second stop for a snack in Seguin where I see the World's Largest Pecan.  For you non-Texan folks, you pronounce that city as Suh-geen.  After gas in Salado (suh-Lay-doh), I sprint for home.

On the bridge where I turn to go home, I see something no one wants to see this close to home.  Based on the location of the smoke, it is possible that could be my house.  While sitting at the red light (repeatedly), I try to call David. 
No answer.

The road I need to turn on ahead is closed and I can see now that the fire is in a field.  There are fire trucks from neighboring cities here so it must be pretty bad.  Because temps are over 100, there are several ambulances on the side of the road too, I assume to treat firefighters if needed.

It feels like the world is suddenly conspiring against me.  I am ready to be out of the car and I am ready to be home.  I left on Sunday morning, it is Thursday night.  The substantial construction in my area partnered with the closed road costs me at least 30 minutes as I have to drive several miles out of the way and sit through every light multiple times.

When I get there I know one thing.  I am taking a bath and going to bed.  I will get up Friday when I am good and ready.  Or when it is time to go to my home office to start the day...whichever comes first.  I mean really people, my boss might read this.

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