Naptown Murphy

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Texas, Day Three — Today was another lovely day, though I’m starting to remember why I hate, hate, HATE summer heat. What’s worse is that I’m experiencing summertime heat, Texas-style, with all the benefits of spring allergies. Ick. But this morning was beautiful. Another early morning, with a peaceful walk from the hotel. The day went surprisingly quickly. Then again all the days here do.

Ryan, one of my buddies down here, and I went to Fish City Grill in Irving for lunch. As I looked at the menu, I remembered my new little pact with myself, in an effort to keep me from always doing the same things over and over again — when I pick something off of the menu initially, I ignore that instinct. Then I order something completely different. Because of that, I had their Honey Chipotle Shrimp Tacos with Virginia Apple Cider Cole Slaw, and it was just perfect. Honestly, it’s not what I expected from a restaurant in an office park, across from a McDonald’s and a Chik-fil-a. 

We ended our day with a couple of beers at the craziest place I have ever been to…

The Grand. 

Let me break the Grand down for you, as displayed in the last four photos: 

  • 1/2 quiet, Chinese buffet restaurant
  • 1/2 huge, dusty sports bar with karaoke
  • 100% classy

It was the weirdest thing I have ever seen. It’s one building, one business. We had a few beers — $2.50 happy hour specials are pretty slick. We talked about Lost Generation writers, and how I’m in the middle of reading The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway. And then we negated any intellectual discussion we were having by reading through articles and laughing like we were middle schoolers.

I also ate Texas Toast. In Texas. For some reason this felt like a huge accomplishment. So go me.

But then we realized we were old people once more, and headed back to the hotel at the late hour of 6pm. That’s right — I’m a rockstar, with crazy partying ways.

Now I’m cuddled up again in bed, and it’s awesome. Tomorrow is my last day here in Texas. I’ll be back at home with Patrick and the pooches tomorrow night. And though that means I have to leave almost all of the awesome people I’ve been hanging with over the past week, and having to give up my six pillows, it’ll be so nice to be home.

Also, let’s talk about how huge Texas is. Like, aggressively so. I knew that intellectually of course. I’m not a moron. But when I was looking out over the landscape from the 3rd floor today, and I could see for miles and miles in virtually every direction, it hit me.

Everywhere you look, it’s all flat Texas landscape that stretches for hours. And there are signs everywhere that proudly display “God bless, Texas.” Just in case, you know, you forgot where you were. It’s just so different than having Virginia, Maryland, DC, the ocean, the Bay and the Potomac so close and accessible.

Don’t misunderstand me, though. Texas is beautiful, the people I’ve met are stellar, and I’ve had so much fun. But there’s no place like home, etc. Near water. And other states.

Anyway, tomorrow afternoon I fly home. Fingers crossed that the storms they’re calling for don’t delay our flight.

Texas, Day Two — My morning in the Lone Star State started off with a nice, quiet little breakfast at 7am in the hotel. I had my odd (but satisfying) breakfast of iced tea, a hard-boiled egg, and some watermelon. The day itself was filled with learning, editing, and jokes about putting together a telethon for those who are unable to eat cheese. Because seriously, that’s awful.

My two buddies out here and I ended our day with a couple of beers (and Manhattans) out on the patio, followed by pizza and the Voice. Well, only an hour of the Voice, because we’re old people who love being in bed. 

Not the most thrilling of updates, but it was just a nice day. And sometimes it’s nice to take time to recognize the simple days that only stand out because of how much you smiled and laughed. Not every day needs to be some sort of epic testament to the extraordinary.

Anyway, tomorrow is my last full day here. Excited to get back home, but I am loving it out here.