Friday, November 06, 2009

Odessa and Abilene

Okay, so I mentioned going out of town for a few days. I almost didn't go. I kept getting the dates wrong and getting the places confused. I couldn't be out of town last weekend because of the party, and I can't be out of town this weekend because I'm supposed to go to a friend's birthday dinner on Sunday, I didn't think that I would be going out of town for a long time, even if he did get scheduled to go anyplace interesting.

Not that these places were particularly interesting. Just that I hadn't been out that way in a while.

I was thinking that a change of scenery would be nice. Literally. I wanted to look at the trees as we drove by them. I thought I might see some leaves that had turned color. I'm not sure why I thought that there would be more of that west of here than there is here, but I hoped for something interesting to look at.

We just don't have a lot of fall color like that. We have some trees that turn yellow, and we have some trees that turn orange, but not so much an attractive all over orange. Actual red trees are rare. Mostly, we seem to have trees that stay mostly green until frost, and then they just look dead overnight. And we have trees that stay green all year.

If you want the fall color thing, you have to plan for it and specially plant some maples or something. So we did see a patch or two here and there, but nothing really awesome.

What we do see out west, between about Abilene and Odessa, are giant wind turbines. Big white windmills, like they have in California, I think near Palm Springs. I think that there might be that many, though they aren't arranged so that you can see that many all at once. But there are a lot of them, and there are a lot more of them than whenever I was out that way last time.

So that was interesting.

My husband had to work in Westbrook on Tuesday. This is a place that I got the name mixed up with some other place that he had to work last week. Anyway, it is between Abilene and Odessa. It is a wide spot in the road. He wasn't sure that we could get a motel room there, so we stayed about ten miles away, at a slightly wider spot in the road. It took more than four hours to get there, so after getting the room and eating some pizza, he had to go to work. In fact, he had to leave before I finished eating.

I spent a couple of hours finishing up a green scarf, and then I worked on another scarf for a bit. And that was all. That was my day. I think I feel asleep soon after watching V.

The next morning we had to pack everything up and drive a couple more hours to Odessa. We passed more wind turbines.

Now, we got to Odessa with more time to spare and had time to think about where we wanted to go to lunch and if we wanted to look at anything else. We found a nice Mexican restaurant, where we probably spent too much money, since we had eaten pizza the day before. Then we went looking for giant rabbit statue. Well, it turns out that there is more than one giant rabbit in Odessa. Just as Kansas City had statues of steers and Fort Worth had statues of horses (and having no wildlife to speak of London invented the Superlambanana), Odessa has a lot of statues of rabbits. But there was once just the one rabbit before the others, and that was the one we went looking for, not knowing about the others. If we had known about the others, maybe we should have gotten a map to look for them all.

Or not. There are a lot of rabbits, and we wouldn't have had time to go looking for all of them. As it was we found the first one and drove by five or six of the others.

Anyway, on the way to getting a picture of the first giant rabbit, we stopped at a historical building and took pictures of that. What is funny to me is that while at the time this was a large spacious home, to me it isn't that big. In fact, it is so compact that there wasn't quite room for the staircase, so there's this little triangular thing in the ceiling under the stairs. Even with the odd steep stairs that the once used, the house needed to be a few feet longer for the stairs to fit without being seen in the ceiling of the room below. And while I think that the two of us might be happy with the space, or maybe a couple with a child or two, at some point the second owner of this house rented the upstairs as five apartments. The upstairs only has three rooms now, but at some point two of them were divided in half so that two more people would have a place to live, and six or more people lived in the house.

Anyway, we took some pictures of this and that and headed back to the motel. At some point a few years ago, my husband had stayed at a really nice motel with a hot tub and all of that. That motel now wants seventy dollars or more per night, so we couldn't stay there. Anyway, it was just for the one day. So no indoor pool or anything. Just the cable TV and the knitting.

As it turns out I felt too tired to even get much of that done.

The next morning we packed up everything again. The continental breakfast was this little pecan pie thing. I don't think that I have ever seen that before as a breakfast item, but I hadn't had one in a while so it was okay. After that we went to Target's and bought a lot of candy for 75% off. They had plenty of costumes left. Too bad I didn't know any kids who like Star Wars. I looked for a pirate costume but didn't find one, so I didn't buy anything else except for a wolf's head.

Then we went to take pictures of a Stonehenge replica. I wish we had thought to go and look at it the night before, maybe he could have gotten some better pictures of it dark and lit up, but we were very tired and didn't think of that. Maybe next time.

Then there was what seemed like a long drive to Abilene, though I don't suppose it was really that long. We stopped at Big Spring to find something for lunch, but there was a long stretch of road construction in front of everything that looked interesting. We got back on the freeway and stopped at a Diary Queen.

There was this whole list of stuff that I wanted to do in Abilene when I thought we were going to be there a couple of days a while back, but I'd forgotten about most of it. And really, we don't want to stay that long. I thought maybe the zoo and one historic building, but then since it was already after lunch, we decided just the zoo.

You might wonder why we thought taking the time to walk around a zoo was a good idea.

Well, for one thing I don't really like the long straight thru drives. I like to get out and walk around some. I like to have something to look forward to.

And, I look forward to zoos and animal parks in general. This one in particular lets you feed the giraffes (which is something I have rarely been allowed to do, even though I have visited zoos all over the country), and there is a bridge which allows you to be at eye level with the giraffes for a bit and then walk over their heads (which is something that I have seen nowhere else, even after visiting zoos all over the country). So, though small, the Abilene zoo is interesting just for that, and this is only the second time I have been in the area long enough to visit the zoo.

After that we drove towards home, stopped someplace for sodas, and then stopped at a Target in Fort Worth (which did not have anything on clearance that I wanted to buy, but I needed a place to stop and we needed to pick up a few things before we got home anyway). We got home around six, just in time to eat and unload the car before watching Flashfoward and Fringe and then going to bed.

I got a few things done yesterday, in between catching up on TV. I should be doing something now, but I've suddenly had a fit of coughing and sneezing after slicing and cooking some peppers. So I feel awful. Of course, I would feel awful today, the day before I'm supposed to go to a friend's house. I just always seem to not feel well any time the guy plans to have some of us over. Or, I feel fine and go, and then I feel bad when I am get there. They think that I am allergic to their cat, but I'm not allergic to anyone else's cat, so I don't see how that could be.

Anyway, I hope I stop coughing soon and tomorrow goes as planned.

1 comment:

dmarks said...

There's one windmill around here. Just one that I know of. When I think of windmills and Texas, I think of T. Boone Pickens, who has done those commercials on TV about windmills.

The problem with windmills is that the wind only blows sometimes, and sometimes the energy is not really needed at that time.

There are some schemes to store the energy. One involved a sort of battery that works much better than any we have now. This battery is actually filled with molten metal.