Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Texas Again

Every time I travel to Texas, I am reminded of how fortunate I am to live in California. I think I could live in Texas, but the summer heat wouldn't be much fun....and I would miss the mountains of California.

This has been an interesting trip so far. I rode the BART train to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) on Sunday. There was a guy and his wife at the security check point who got their bag pulled aside by TSA. Apparently they were carrying two bottles of wine in their carry-on luggage. He thought it was okay to travel with wine, as long as the bottles were sealed. I quietly wondered to myself if this guy ever heard of Osama Bin Laden....and whether he and his wife had all of their liquids packed in a quart sized ziploc bag. Anyway, they didn't have time to run back to the check-in counter to check their luggage, so they donated the wine to the TSA garbage bin. Personally, I would have pulled the cork and started chugging it on the spot.

I arrived in Dallas without incident and headed to the Embassy Suites hotel in Frisco. The hotel parking lot and parking structure were packed....and with a fair number of pink Cadillacs. I entered the hotel to find out it was hosting a Mary Kay convention. Now I could make a few sexist comments about this situation, but I won't...well, except I'm not sure if Mary Kay cosmetics aren't very good or if these ladies just weren't applying it properly...oh, and how scary it was driving around the parking structure with all those women drivers. I'm just kidding....of course. Anyway, the elevators were packed to the gills with women but I eventually got to my room on the 11th floor.

I'm planning on climbing Mt. Shasta in May (and haven't exercised much this year), so some physical fitness was on the immediate agenda. I changed into my running gear, briskly walked around Dr. Pepper Park, home of the Frisco Roughriders, snapped a few pictures, ran up the stairs to return my camera to my room, and returned to the staircase to run the 14 floors of stairs five times. Did I mention there aren't many hills in Texas?

After a day of training yesterday, I headed over to Chipotle's for a burrito. I asked the lady for "their best burrito." After she returned a puzzled look, I asked her to make me a burrito the way she would want it. She asked what kind of meat I wanted and I told her to surprise me...so she piled on half chicken and half beef. She sent my order down the assembly line and the next gal asked what kind of beans I wanted. I told her to surprise me. The first girl said something to her in Spanish, and the gal piled on some black beans and veggies. She then passed my order down the assembly line and another girl asked what else I wanted. I told her to surprise me. The gal before her said something to her in Spanish and the girl started piling on pico de gallo, salsa, corn, sour cream, cheese, and lettuce. They were all smiling and laughing...probably at me because I don't understand Spanish and I'm sure they told each other to pile on the nastiest combination of stuff on my burrito. But, it was the best burrito I've ever had there.

Today was interesting, I got to experience my first tornado! Two tornadoes hit the Dallas area this afternoon. It wasn't nearly as exciting as the earthquakes in California, but it was different. The storm shelter is in the basement, so we walked from the training room to the alternate storm shelter...in the bathroom. It was "fun" spending an hour in a stinky bathroom with 20 other guys. A few guys used their time wisely and took a pee. Fortunately, nobody felt the urge to do a number two. I was thinking it would be more fun in the women's bathroom, but after further consideration, I was afraid I would bump into some Mary Kay reps.

After an otherwise boring day of training today, I headed back to Chipotle's....and the lady said, "I'm not surprising you today..." So, I ordered a chicken burrito...and it wasn't nearly as good as the one yesterday. Other than that, I did manage to bypass the complimentary booze the hotel offers its guests from 5:30 to 7:30 PM and ran the up and down 14 floors of stairs in Stairwell #2 a total of five times.

Just three more days in Texas and I'm heading home. I hope my flight isn't delayed on Friday because we're heading up to Lake Tahoe to hike up Mount Tallac in what I hope resembles snow.

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