I got to Houston Friday well before my business began. I wandered among the skyscrapers in downtown, a place I always feel comfortable and at home. I pondered taking the train to see a cousin I have who professes food and drink hospitality at the University of Houston, but I did not have the time to metro my way there. My business concluded, but then I got caught up in some important cell phone calls as I stood in a parking lot in downtown. I learned later that while I was speaking, the sun overhead was in partial eclipse. Sometimes you've got to stop and smell the penumbra, but I kept on focusing on events at hand.
I went to a local hotel and asked the attendant folks to call me a cab, and stood, dollar in hand, to express thanks. But no cab could be quickly located for me. I looked at the street, and saw a city bus that said "Hobby Airport". I asked how much the city bus cost to the airport, and headed over to catch it. The parking staff seemed to regard the city bus as an alien invention. They said "I don't know if it goes to the airport", and I said "I think it does, because it says 'Hobby Aiport'". Perhaps they did not hear me, though, as the alien bus may have rendered me into a pod person. They were nice to pod people at that hotel, though. I paid the bus fare and got back on my cell phone for more business calls. Presently, I was at Hobby Airport. Unfortunately, my flight had left before I had even finished with my business. I had forgotten the rule of Southwest Airlines at Hobby. This rule is: reserve a late plane, because you can always stand by onto an earlier one, but if you miss an earlier plane, you could be number 121 on a Friday evening standby list. Although I was ready to fly at 6:30ish, they could not get me onto a plane until 9. I arrived home just before 11.
My wife's father and step-mother were in town last evening and today, on a quick stopover from a literal convention for gaskets in San Antonio. They have had a very hectic travel schedule, so I was so touched they'd float up on a quick evening-and-a-day trip to see us. I like my in-laws a great deal. I got up early for a long work-related conference call, and then I could spend time with family. We all had pancakes this morning and talked about this thing and that thing. Then it was time to take them to DFW Airport for their flight.
On the way back from the airport, my wife and I drove to my work across the city in Garland. We passed fields of bluebonnets, Indian blanket and Indian paintbrush flowers. I picked up my computer and a disk of things I need to work on tomorrow.
We stopped by Marshall's BBQ, Garland's amazing barbecue stand run by a Chinese-American immigrant whose sense of Texas BBQ is note-perfect. Then we drove the rural-ish "back way" home, avoiding the traffic that had beleagured us all day.
I took a two hour nap, and then we loaded up our dog Teddy for a walk at McKinney's Towne Lake Park.
Teddy loved the threatening hiss of the indignant gander. We had a good time, walking and talking and letting Teddy soak in the sights and smells. Teddy made a tentative friendship with a rambunctious rat terrier.
We went to Samui Thai restaurant, where we ate shrimp satays for an appetizer and I had a wonderful sauteed chicken while my wife had a Buddhist Delight type of vegetable plate. I printed out my boarding pass for tomorrow's early flight. Although I had had a notion of changing to a later flight, the weather says a hail storm is coming tomorrow. Hence, I fly to Raleigh at dawn. I will find a good place to hike.
This has been a good Saturday, despite that feeling of a hectic Friday and a rambling Saturday. I'm looking forward to a quiet walk on Sunday.