We got back to nature this weekend. Sitting outdoors near this waterfall, reflecting on our experience while listening to the rushing water was quite soothing to my soul. We celebrated life. We connected as a family. We forged new trails. We witnessed the survival of the fittest. We scrounged for food. We filled our bellies with leafy greens. We created warmth to guard off the cold. It was barbaric, yet fulfilling.
Some of you are probably thinking I'm really enjoying my camping trip. Truth is, we aren't leaving until Thursday morning, earlier than I'm used to facing a day, I might add. We moved our trip forward a few days since the turning of the foliage slowed down and peak week has been delayed.
Those of you who know me, know there's nothing pretty like the above picture near me. You know that, since I'm always complaining that there's nothing pretty near me. So, how'd I do all that stuff I yammered on about above.
I might've stretched the truth a tad....just a tad. In actuality, in honor of my son's birthday, he, Mr. Studley, and I drove to Dallas to celebrate said birthday with my mom and her husband. Traffic on I-35 was quite nasty in places, especially considering it was a Saturday. Since I've not lived in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex area in over twenty years, my memory of locations is a bit sketchy. My son, John, was not yet of driving age when we moved away, and Mr.Studley has never lived there. Not being high tech yet, in that we don't own a gps, we were forced to rely on the map John printed off for directions to the Old Spaghetti Warehouse in West End of Dallas. The map John left sitting at home on his desk. Oh, well. We may not have driven the straightest route to our destination, but we did get there, and without getting lost.
Living here in Hicksville, USA, where life moves at a snail's pace, it's always fascinating (and alarming!) to see the automobiles zip in and out of freeway traffic at 70+mph. Clearly, the bigger guys on the road have the advantage over the small compact cars. I find it amazing there aren't more wrecks than there are!
We had a wonderful meal at The Old Spaghetti Warehouse. I have fond memories of that place. It was one of the first restaurants I went to after moving from Small Town, Oklahoma to the Dallas area as a young teenager. I remember that night so clearly. I was with my folks and my sort-of-aunt, Aunt Jo (who has long since been dubbed as Saint Jo). Along with us was Aunt Jo's real niece (as in, her real blood kin, which I'm not), Teresa. It was Teresa's birthday or very near her birthday. I'm guessing her folks must surely have been with us, too. Okay, maybe I don't remember the night that clearly.
Being shy by nature, I was nervous of my first time meeting Teresa, who would later become my very best friend in the world, though of course I didn't know that then. Though much more outgoing than me, Teresa was also shy about our first meeting, since it was obvious our families were hoping we'd hit it off well. One of us knocked over and spilled our water glass. We were both terribly embarrassed by it. The funny thing is, I can no longer remember which one of us did it. I just remember it happened, and being embarrassed; whether for her or myself, I don't know, and it doesn't even matter, really. Sadly, Teresa and I drifted apart about seven or eight years ago, and I still don't know why.
Sorry, I really drifted away there for a moment. Give me a sec to come screeching back to the present. We all had delicious meals. Spaghetti Warehouse makes a wonderful lasagna. I generally don't tend to order lasagna when I eat out as I'm never pleased, but I took a chance and it paid off! My mom ordered spaghetti. I felt sorry for her as it looked a little plain compared to the lasagna on the rest of our plates. There wasn't a lot of meat sauce. When I saw her disappointed look, I assured her it looked great and asked if she'd be willing to trade me half her spaghetti for half my lasagna. I didn't have to twist her arm. ;-)
The meals came with refillable salads or soups, of which we all chose salad. The basil vinagrette dressing was out of this world! They also bring complimentary sour dough bread loaves to the table, along with a garlicy, cheesy tasting butter. I could have eaten only the bread and salad and been a very happy camper..so to speak. I was really pleased to see, that after all these years, The (original) Old Spaghetti Warehouse is still a great restaurant. It doesn't have quite the ambiance I recall it having so long ago, but they do still have the great interior-the old trolley car with dining seats, tables that look like beds, etc. The red velvet barber chairs were no longer in the bar area. I guess they wore out over time. Best of all, we all had coupons to buy a meal, and get a meal free. It was a wonderful dining experience!
gorging ourselves enjoying our meal, we waddled on out to the car, drove my mom and her hubby back to the parking lot in Irving where we'd met up with them, and said our goodbyes. We then headed to the establishment in the picture below where I had John pick out a coat for his birthday present. I might as well spill the beans and admit that is also where I took the picture of the waterfall.
If you've never been to a Bass Pro Shop, it's worth it, even if you're not at all interested in outdoorsy type gear. It's an awesome place. It starts with the gigantuan parking lot with it's natural looking landscaping of waterfalls, creeks, and fishponds. Then inside, where it's just as massive, are the huge wall size aquariums with fish swimming around that would make a fisherman drool. You can look from above, or go to a different level and watch them through the wall of glass. It's all very natural looking inside it, too. We then made our way back to the car, walking a little slower by this time, and headed back to home sweet home. All in all, it was a very good day.
Her children rise up and call her blessed..
~Proverbs 31:28a NKJV