Sunday, November 2, 2008

Back to Nature?

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 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!
After 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


Nancy said...

What a great post. I savored every word.

I remember eating at the Spaghetti Warehouse a few times in Denver. It is a delightful place.

Enjoy your road trip and the "local" attractions.

Carol said...

Glad you had a good time. Your waterfall photo is beautiful. Don't you just love Bass Pro!?! So much to see.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking me on the virtual version of your trip. :-)

I love running water, like in your picture. It's probably part of the reason I enjoy living in Oregon.

Renna said...

Nancy, thank you! I wondered if Spaghetti Warehouses were national.

Carol, thank you. Yes, those places are awesome. I could spend hours walking around in there (have!), and I'm not really that much of an outdoor enthusiast, at least not to the point of needing 'gear'. ;-) I smelled some candles in there yesterday that were 'delicious'!

Greyhairgeek, I envy you, the area where you live. Someday I hope to visit that part of the country.

Joyfulsister said...

Hi Sis..
LOL sorry I'm just laughing at the post beneath this one,,"so good you'll slap your mama" I never heard that one before. I love the waterfall photo. and I'm just picturing my self sitting there on a rock and dipping my feet in the water. Glad you are having a great time.

Luv ya Lorie

Juri said...

Oh, I wish I were there....the waterfall is absolutely beautiful! What a wonderful place to just be still and know.....


Jennifer said...

Oh my - that's exactly the place my oldest son would like to go for his birthday. We have a new Cabela's not too far from us. Maybe I'll take him there for Christmas. Sounds like a wonderful celebration.

Renna said...

Joyfulsister, I was tempted to take off my shoes and dip in my toes! ;-)

Juri, I like what you said, "just be still and know". Whenever I see anything that takes my breath away, I am reminded of my Creator.

Jennifer, I've never been in a Cabela's, though we passed one on our trip up to Minneapolis last fall. I hear they're a very similar store. Neat idea for stores, huh?

Brenda Pruitt said...

I've never wanted to visit one of those pro shops. But I'd do it now for the waterfalls! Sounds like a great event you had. And a good dinner too.

magnoliasntea said...

You had us going for a minute about the

I love Bass Pro shops! Where else in the world can you find ladies flannel shirts in pink? The shop near us has a huge aquarium, too. The grandgirls love it.

Isle Dance said...

Oh me, oh my! What a day! :o)

Renna said...

Brenda, the waterfalls (inside the store and out) were worth the trip!

Tea, lol about the pink flannel shirts. how true! ;-)

Isle dance, yep, a good day was had by all. :-)

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Most poignant is your blurred memory of the spill. It's kind of a metaphor for friendship.

cinnamongirl93 said...

Sounds like a good time was had by all. BTW you totally had me fooled with the waterfall picture. I was thinking to myself....boy Texas even has waterfalls! You got me!!!!

Paula said...

I loved your story about the Spaghetti Warehouse... I too have fond memories of that place. Hubby and I ate at the one in Nashville while there on our honeymoon. I had eaten there once- Hubby had never heard of it. Let's just say, he was very impressed!!

We have a Bass Pro Shop within an hour's drive of us... it's redneck heaven. You can just see all the local good ol' boys wondering around with this glazed look in their eyes like... "what body part could I sell to be able to buy that shotgun?"

Tracy Batchelder said...

Can you believe I've been to BPS so many times, I knew right away where that waterfall picture was taken? Some of the stores even have a restaurant, which is very good by the way.

Happy Birthday to your son!

elizabeth said...

Oh we love BPS as well and my husband was elated to discover I enjoy going there. And we were at that exact Spaghetti Warehouse earlier this summer and you're right - lasagna is the way to go.

Which brings me time you're in Dallas stick my phone number in your wallet in case you get lost so I can be your very own personal gps - LOL!

MSM said...

This was one of my favorite Renna posts...maybe the fave.... I will have to read it again to know exactly why, but I loved it.

And I know what you mean about Bass Pro - I don't do ANYTHING outdoorsy, but I like shopping there for cookware (iron skillets and such), the clothing, the bird feeders and wind chimes, the toys, etc.

And I don't like to camp, but I love looking at camping equipment and tents.

Glad you had so much fun!

Girl Raised in the South said...

Bass Pro in Dallas is one of our family's favorite places, my son worked there for awhile, doing fishing demonstrations over the pond that held fish, and he goes there as often as he can to shop for one of the very few lures he doesnt already have. We actually signed the contract for our lakehouse at that Bass Pro, and it seemed pretty fitting to us. Anyone who hasnt been there just wouldnt believe all they have, actually a fun store to wander through while the men hunt for strange manly things. And you're right -the metroplex traffic is crazy!

ponyknit said...

I love Bass Pro too, discovered it in Florida, now we have one in MA too.