Story of Us Blog Post 5: Our Adventures Number 1 Part 1
Our Adventures Number 1
While visiting Les this past weekend, we were met with a series of 'adventures' as we call them, and Les mentioned that maybe we should start documenting our 'adventures'. So, here we are, or so, here I am documenting our eventful weekend together.
Anyone familiar with our story is aware of our living arrangements. Les is on the road around 330 days a year living his long-haul trucker dream. That leaves 35 days more or less that he's at home or off the road in an official capacity. We balance the 2 days a month with planned and impromptu visits throughout the state of Texas while he is technically still on the road. Les is working on a dedicated project, and he spends the unloaded hours away from home at our property in Hico.
Planning our weekend together started like it normally does. We frequently talk throughout our days apart and discuss what activities we each do or have in the works. We often talk finances, politics, or any myriad of topics. We mostly discuss missing one another and when we can steal a day or two for time together. Around Wednesday December 14, we started discussing the possibility of spending the weekend together. Such activities are delicately maneuvered as Les checks in with the project manager for the dedicated route he is working to find out when he will be needed again. When it looked like the weekend was free, he presented the idea to the project manager and stressed the importance of having a few days off to prevent "my wife from divorcing me!", as Les puts it. That is far from the truth, but in the big scope of our life together, we desperately needed time together without pets and without interruptions.
Les was 44 and I was 42 when we met in September 2006. We were not OLD by any means, but at that age, we were always on borrowed time. Pile on the life of an over-the-road truck driver with our current age and we never feel like we have enough time together. We do an excellent job at staying connected. Communication and discussion quality comes and goes, and we often find ourselves talking about our pets or the shows we watch on TV way too much. Our married life reaches points in time where we need to spend a couple of days together in the same room to see each other's face, in the same space to hold hands, and in the same bed to reconnect. We needed to reconnect in as literal of a way as you, the reader, wants to imagine.
By Thursday we had a plan going. Les is quite the romantic and will take over planning date nights. There are usually surprises awaiting my arrival. I stayed up late Thursday night packing and trying to get my invoicing completed so that I could have a paycheck for the week. Friday morning still found me working away to get the invoicing finished. I think I finally wrapped up my workday about 1pm Friday. I arrived at our farm at 5pm and after some Dodge Dakota pickup truck drama (to be detailed in another blog post), we were off to Hico to enjoy our weekend.
Hico has two hotels. One that the hunters use, which averages $50 per night, and another that is a fully restored historic building in downtown Hico that everyone else uses, which averages $169 per night. Les had already booked and paid for our stay at the Midland Hotel for Friday night (surprise one). I don't think we have ever paid that much for a night at a hotel before. The Midland Hotel is luxurious, quiet, and just what a mature married couple like the two of us needed. We had 7:30 dinner reservations in the hotel restaurant (The Chop House). We both got ready, and Les enjoyed the last of the Basil Hayden's that I had brought from home. There were probably two decent pours left in the bottle, so Les drank it all while relaxing and getting ready for dinner. Les tried to surprise me with flowers (surprise two), but found the local florist closed. I did say that Les is a true romantic!!
I was ready first, so I went down to the bar. Christie fixed me up with an excellent very dirty and very wet martini, just like I like it. I was about half-way through my drink when my husband collected me and led me to our table. We started with the liver pâté, we each had a salad (Les had the chop and I had the beet), and we shared the lamb shank. The lamb shank was prepared with green olives and eggplant that had the texture of well-cooked mushrooms. It was utterly excellent. We drank an inexpensive pinot noir with our dinner and slowly found our way back to our room. The bed was probably one of the most comfortable beds we've ever slept in. The sheets were so soft that one just melted into them. It was truly amazing.
Friday may have been dreary with intermittent rain, but Saturday was met with clear blue skies. After pastries and coffee from one of the many local restaurants with sweets (surprise three), we drove to Comanche to make a deposit and found ourselves finding a mechanic (Bill Ellis Tire Station) to figure out what the truck drama was about. We ate a late lunch at a local diner (Star Beau's) after walking through the square and a small antique shop. After a stop at the local hardware store, we limped our way back to Dublin where we stayed for the night at a local inn (Relax Inn). We made one quick detour before checking into the hotel. Our detour took us to Veldhuizen Cheese Shop. We've had their cheese before at French Connection Wines in Hye. We bought a wedge each of about 6-7 varieties and were given a complimentary wedge of unmarked cheese. This shop is a mandatory stop for cheese lovers when near Dublin.
We opened a bottle of rosé from Inwood Estates and devoured some of the cheese we purchased. After a nap, we ate a burger at a local bar (The Deer Lease Bar and Grill), which had live music. A male/female duo played on a 2nd floor balcony that overlooked the main floor. He (Brandon Scott, I think) played an acoustic guitar, while she played the fiddle. Their voices harmonized well while they sang to current and older country favorites. Her voice had that tortured tone that makes country music so great and his was clean and soothing. The burgers were decent tasting, though a little overdone for game meat. We mentioned a few of our favorite songs to the duo while they took a break, and they honored us by playing Faded Love and singing a hit from the Randy Rogers Band.
We got up Sunday and ate at a local spot known for its buffet. Granny's Clarks satisfied our carb need for working at the farm and off we went, bound for Hico. Sunday also served up clear blue skies, but it was colder with plenty of wind. After arriving at the farm and imagining our dream, we started working on Les’ shed project. It was roughly 3:30-4pm and the wind was picking up. We decided to call it a day and headed into town to get something to eat. We ate at the wonderful Eis Sandwich Shop in Hico, which also has an excellent selection of ice cream, but more importantly, it serves alcohol, beer, and wine.
We made it to Hico's alternate hotel, the Hico Hills Inn, where we usually stay when I come into town. We both took hot baths to warm up and enjoyed a bottle of pinot noir from Oregon's Ken Wright Winery (Bryce Vineyard) that we purchased on our 2021 birthday trip. More cheese was devoured, of course! I think we were settling in by 6pm and we were both in bed by 8pm.
Monday morning was met with bitter cold and more rain. We clearly were not going to get much done Monday. The Dodge drama dictated leaving our Dakota at the mechanic in Hico and we called my son Daniel to drive from Bryan to pick me up. We ran to the farm to secure all of the wood and supplies that Les uses while at the farm. We tried to use the Dodge to jumpstart our semi-truck which failed to work. All we ended up doing was draining all the oil she had. Les found one quart in his truck, so at least she wasn't fully void of oil. All that was left to do was wait for Daniel to arrive at the farm.
Les mentioned during our wait that we needed to start documenting what we refer to as our adventures. You know what we're talking about. You make plans for the day, or the weekend, and all sorts of things come up or go awry to deter you from those plans. That's what our adventures are about. Sometimes our adventures are truly that. They are an event or activity that involves something new or different from what we normally do. Most of the time it involves life in general. I decided to take Les up on his suggestion to document these moments in time that we spend together. One day we can literally look back, read, and remember the craziness of it all.
Daniel found his way to our property in Hico about 2:15. I took Daniel to the Koffee Kup, which is a moderately well-known diner in Hico, because they server 17 varieties of pie. Let's face it, the pie is amazing. Daniel ordered two meals, an appetizer and, of course, pie. I had a portion of one meal and a little bit of pie plus coffee! I needed warmth! With my leftovers in hand, we bought more oil and collected our little truck back at the farm. We drove back into Hico for gas and left the truck with a local mechanic (Full Throttle).
Life is short - eat, drink, and hold the one you love! There's nothing more important in life!!