Thursday, October 1, 2015

Buc-ee's: Terrell, TX

I lost my sister-in-law in a Buc-ee's once.  The one near Huntsville, Texas.  We were on I-45 between Houston and Dallas, coming or going, I don't remember which.  You can't miss any Buc-ee's as I was already well aware but at the time I thought this one near Huntsville was the only one.

It is easy to get lost in - or to lose someone in - one of these stores.  Cathy and I had wandered off from each other, as you have a tendency to do in Buc-ee's.  You can get separated pretty easily, even in the bathroom.  I went outside to wait and sent her a text telling her where I was.  She came outside later and was upset with me.  She looked all over for me (inside, obviously).  She never got my text.  Down the road about 30 minutes later, she gets a text.  My text.  As they say, technology is great...when it works.

In my defense, the day I lost Cathy, the Buc-ee's we stopped at was much busier than this one in Terrell is. I had no trouble finding a parking spot.  But even if they had been packed, I could have found parking, parking is one of the many things they are not lacking.  Parking, and gas pumps, and'll see.

As I said, I thought the one in Huntsville was it but either I didn't realize they had more stores or they have added stores since we left Texas.  Now they have several stores in and around Houston and San Antonio, two that are strategically placed on the main arteries up to Dallas from those cities.  I know the one in Terrell didn't exist until more recently.  I have driven this stretch of I-20 between Dallas and Louisiana a bunch of times.  Many, many, many Buc-ee's-less times.

Coming back from Florida, I pass through Shreveport and that is where the signs begin.  "You can hold it!" they claim.  It is approximately 156 miles from Shreveport to Terrell or about 2 1/2 hours.  This is one time where there is truth in advertising.  Buc-ee's claims to have the cleanest restrooms anywhere and they absolutely do.  You don't have to be afraid of what might be behind that partially open door as I have been at many an airport.  You could eat off the floor in a Buc-ee's bathroom.  I wouldn't, but you could.  Not only is the bathroom clean but there are a LOT of stalls.  I can't stress this enough.  A LOT.  You are not going to get here and see a bus load of kids in band uniforms and be stuck waiting in a line 40 kids deep.  At Buc-ee's, they have you covered.  Room for everyone.

No picture you ask?  Sorry, no.  I could not take a photo of the bathroom due to my personal issues with people and their cell phones in the bathroom.  Why do you need to have this conversation right now?  In the next stall?  I am trying to have what should be a private moment here people - HANG UP THE F$%^ING PHONE!

Moving on.  Bathrooms aren't the only thing that make Buc-ee's worth stopping for.  If you decide to test the eating off the bathroom floor theory, there is plenty to choose from.

Besides having anything you could possibly want to eat or drink (copious amounts of Bud anyone?), they are a merchandizing machine.  I am barely in the front door and I can buy Buc-ee's socks if my feet are cold, or wet, or perfectly fine but in need of a toothy beaver.  All of those rows over to the left are candy.  Rows and rows and rows.  If you have a car full of small children, consider yourself warned.

Even those of us who are non-meat eaters or who are trying to make choices that don't involve large quantities of sugar are covered.  Salads and fruit and veggies galore.  Huge cases of them.

At the Texas Round Up area in the middle of the store you can get fresh made Barbeque:  Brisket and ribs and sausage and chicken and other assorted flesh.  Get it on a bun, get it off, get it to go.  Hot and ready.  They also have another deli section to the left of this out of the picture, a homemade fudge counter and a drink area with every possible bottled and fountain drink (plus coffee and other hot beverages) known to man.

Not hungry?  Waiting on someone lost in the bathroom?  Planning ahead for Christmas or birthday or some other event traditionally requiring a gift?  In need of personal retail therapy? Again, they have you covered.

Candles and picture frames and rugs and clocks and cookbooks and other kitchen items and

Men's, Women's and children's clothing, handbags, jewelry, belts, hats, shoes, scarves and tons of those trendy signs and

Looking for Texas themed items? You've come to the right place.  More clothes, hats, bumper stickers, aprons, pot holders and

Need a birdhouse?

Something with a non-edible chicken on it?  
(The edible kind are also available, I covered that already.)

Metal yard ornaments?

Ideas for bacon?  I almost got this for David until I remembered I would be the one cooking and then not eating the 101 things.

Anything and everything Buc-ee's.  Clothes, bumper stickers, backpacks, koozies, magnets, the list goes on and on and on.  Somewhere here at my house, there is a Buc-ee's neck pillow, like the kind you use on an airplane, that my brother bought for me.  I haven't seen it since our move but I know it is lurking here somewhere, grinning with it's giant beaver teeth.

Even at the register you aren't safe from the Buc-ee's themed merchandise.  Wondering what I bought?  Would you believe me if I said nothing?  
Nah, me neither.

I was going to get this and take it to my dad, I have to go by his house on my way to the hotel.  Then I noticed the seal was broken.

And then I saw this.  No cooking involved.  Dad would have loved it if it had survived the journey.  It is about an hour from here to my dad's house and I haven't had dinner.  Sorry dad.

Buc-ee's is worth a stop if you are passing by.  Even if you are in the general vicinity - say within 100 miles it might be worth a trip.  I might be inclined to make the detour again if I were hungry, or thirsty, or in the mood to shop, or in need of a mecca of consumerism.  Or if I need a bathroom.  Trust can hold it.

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