And now back to the regularly scheduled weekend round-up.
I already posted about the Quilt Show that I went to on Thursday. Friday I headed off to play golf at River Pointe. It's a lovely course with lightning fast greens. We've got slower northern grass up here, different from what they've got down there. I had 24 putts on the front nine and got the hang of the greens so only had 16 on the back. My score: 60 + 52 = 112. I'm very pleased with my play on the back, I hit the ball pretty well.
Saturday I took a drive around the country south of town. Something I've never confessed here on my blog, I "collect" counties. There are 3200+ county-equivalents in the U.S. I'd been in 1145 before this trip, and added eight in Texas and one in Arkansas for a grand total of 1154 counties. I'd never been in Arkansas before so my state count is now 47.
Pictures from this drive (subtitled: Abandonment Issues)
The abandoned sugar plant in Sugar Land, TX
Abandoned rodeo arena near Kendleton, TX
Abandoned railroad bridge near Simonton, TX
The poisonous coral snake I saw while walking back up the path after taking pictures of the bridge (in flip-flops!) Sorry it's not a better picture, he and I were both in a hurry.
Saturday afternoon was my cousin Jen's wedding. It was small and nice. After the ceremony I hung out in the sanctuary while the bridal party had the pictures done. At one point I plopped down next John, Jen's brother. (Yes, that would make him my cousin, too.) I said to him, "Do you know who I am?"
After a long glance, No
"I'm your cousin."
That was fun, messing with his mind a bit.
My grandmother, my mom's mom, had five children but only two lived long enough to have children of their own. Two died in infancy, and Uncle Ray died when he was 36 from pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs). My aunt married her second husband and moved to Texas in the 70's so I have two cousins whom I don't see much at all. The last time my brothers and I were together with John and Jennifer was in 1986.
Anyway, I reconnected with John and met his wife and their two little boys, exchanged email addresses and web pages. They invited me over to their house after the reception, which turned out to be about a half-mile from my hotel. We swapped storied and tried to remember things from our childhoods. I got some scoop about their mom, my aunt, and her third husband and why they weren't at the wedding. I'm not sure whether to sad or glad I don't live closer to that part of the family. I want to know more but am glad I don't live close enough to worry.
Jennifer and Stephen
Jen's youngest tastes the (alcohol-free) champaign
My cousins once removed
My husband's friend has a trick for car rental return and checking golf clubs. You drive up to departures and do a curb-side check-in, then return the car. That way you don't have to lug your bags and clubs from your rental to the rental van, then to the ticket counter.
So I'm all set to try this out when I arrive at the airport to fly home. Except the line at curb-side was way long and security was tight so I couldn't leave a car at the curb long enough to get rid of the bags. So I took the car back to rental returns and asked where to wait for the shuttle. The nice guy directs me to the shelter but I see other folks walking in the other direction. I've got a $5 ready for a tip to the driver for help with the golf bag. The driver finally shows up stopping in the opposite direction of normal traffic so I have to walk around the van to get in. And she offers no help. And no apology for pulling up in the wrong direction.
When she gets us to the terminal she drops us off at arrivals, not at departures, again no help with my clubs or suitcase. Grrr. I've got to make my way past baggage claim and up to next level for check-in. Thank goodness the golf bag had wheels so it was bearable, just awkward.
On the flip side, the parking shuttle guy at home not only helps me with my bags, he puts them into my trunk when we get to my car. I'm not sure $5 was enough.
And finally, I opened my suitcase (on both ends of the trip!) to find a love letter from TSA. My suitcase has a cool laptop compartment. I didn't feel like carrying my laptop with me at the airport so I locked it in the special compartment in the suitcase and checked it through. The notice of inspection was in with the computer in the locked compartment. I wonder if the TSA guys had seen a compartment like that before? I'd guess most people carry on laptops and not check a bag like that. Just my guess.