July 23, 2008 – Wednesday – Day 4
0615 Wake up. Check my email and chat with Ron. The kids woke up in time to see him and talk to him via webcam. I got an email that Darby seems to be feeling better this morning so that’s good.
0715 Breakfast at the hotel. Ryan had a Texas-shaped waffle. They even had peanut butter. Just last night I was thinking that next year we need to travel with a jar of peanut butter for those occasions that Bella won’t eat anything but bread.
0817 One load has already gone to the car. We gather up everything else and head for the front desk to check out.
0824 Leaving the parking lot after refilling water, changing batteries in the cd player, and emptying trash bags. Almost left my notebook in the back seat. That would’ve been awful. I can’t drive on a road trip without my notebook to catch my thoughts.
0834 – Miss our turn onto Hwy 31. Maybe if they would actually put a sign up it would be easier to find! We only saw it because Lana happened to turn and see the sign that was pointing the other direction.
0849 Cows!!! I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more cows and other interesting scenery today since we’re off the interstate.
0907 UFWB (Unidentified Flying White Birds)
0927 Lana says she saw a deer behind a fence.
0937 Pecans! I always regret not stopping for pecans on these trips so today was the day. We stopped at a pecan shop along the highway. We also saw a dog which is what Lana was searching for. (I’m still waiting for my armadillo!)
0952 Gas at the station next door to the pecan shop. $3.79/gallon
1004 Stop at the McD’s drive thru for an iced coffee to tide me over until we stop for lunch at Jack in the Box, probably when we get to Waco.
1018 Donkey and a cow in the field
1103 Waco, TX - Getting on I-35 South. Felisa is asleep so we decide to go a little farther and stop at the next Jack in the Box.
1120 Find out Lana has eaten turtle, frog, rabbit, and squirrel at some point in her life. This is an example of one of those interesting tidbits that you can find out about someone while driving endlessly together in a car!
12:10 p.m. See a blue exit sign with Jack in the Box. Lana says that it would probably be closed. I’m pretty sure she’s joking until… we pull up and the parking lot is blocked by cones because the JITB is closed for renovation. What?!?! But I’m hungry! And I have to pee!
12:12 p.m. A few raindrops. Are they from Hurricane Dolly?
12:23 p.m. See another blue exit sign with Jack in the Box. We park the car and get out. Everything is going fine until… the door is locked. Closed. Two JITB’s in a row are closed. A worker comes around the corner to tell us that it is closed for renovation. He assures us that the next JITB is only 2 miles and it is indeed open. Do we take his word for it? I’m hungry and about ready to give up. Lana is getting pretty hungry too.
12:29 p.m. As the man promised, there is another Jack in the Box a few miles down the road. And it is amazingly enough, actually open and serving food. Unfortunately the air conditioning in the dining room is not working so I get my JITB fix but sweat to death in the process.
1:12 p.m. Leave JITB
2:22 p.m. Stop at the LBJ Historical Park in Johnson City, TX. We always drive by but never stop. We had some extra time this afternoon so I decide to check it out. Turns out we are at the LBJ boyhood home. We miss the tour of the house so just peek through the windows. We skipped the hike through the settlement area because it was pretty hot. We walked through the museum display of his political career and presidential accomplishments. It was quite interesting. I had no idea that he had been a teacher. Then (the kids’ favorite part!) … the gift shop. Bella bought a jackrabbit stuffed animal and Felisa chose a bird that sings. Ryan ended up with a book about presidents. I really wanted to buy the armadillo stuffed animal – it was really cute! – but I resisted and bought an armadillo postcard instead. We opted to skip the tour of the Ranch because it would’ve taken way too long.
3:14 p.m. Leaving LBJ park. Favorite parts:
Bella – listening to excerpts of LBJ speeches in the museum
Ryan – seeing the boyhood home
Felisa – buying her bird
Lana – the museum
Sheila – the museum in general and the stepping stones that LBJ had all special visitors sign when coming to see him at the ranch.
3:58 p.m. More hay bales in the field… which brings up a question. How many horses/cows does each bale feed? How long does a big bale like that last?
4:14 p.m. After meandering through Fredericksburg, we made a wrong turn on the ranch roads. Called Betty Lou and got back on track.
4:18 p.m. Pass a construction crew taking their afternoon Coke break in the shade.
4:19 p.m. Get a strange look (and a wave!) from a rancher that we pass along the road. I guess my minivan with the luggage rack and Virginia plates looks out of place on the back roads of Texas Hill Country.
4:39 p.m. Arrive at the ranch.
We spend the evening playing with the dogs, feeding the deer and sheep, eating dinner, showing off my scrapbooks from last year’s trip, and unloading the car. The kids watch a DVD until 10:30 p.m. and I stay up much too late updating my blog through day 3.