Monday, August 02, 2004

Across the Flatlands


This past weekend, Emily and I packed up our bags and drove 5 hours across the flatlands of west Texas to the distant city of Odessa. First off, just let me say that it is totally mind boggling that we can drive for 5 and a half hours, in a straight line practically, and still be in the same state.

We hit the road right after work on Friday evening. By 11pm, we were rolling up in the driveway of her parents house in Odessa. We were so exhausted! But, excited to be there. Emily was excited to be there because it's her home town and she gets to see her family and friends. I was excited (and quite nervous) because I was getting to meet her parents for the first time! After arriving, getting settled in and some drinks and snacks we all sat down at the kitchen table to talk and introduce. I quickly felt very comfortable at her house. Her parents turned out to be some of the nicest people I have met in a long time. It was a big relief. All the scary things she had told me, turned out to be false. Ha! About midnight everybody went to bed and I was out like a light.

Saturday was a busy day. First we all drove over to Emily's grandparents house so I could meet them. Her grandma and grandpa were also very friendly to me. He joked with me about not going too fast on my jetski with Emily riding on the back. I assured him I was very careful while riding on the lake with his grandaughter. ;) Hey... I am! We left their house and went to eat at a local restaraunt called "Taco Villa". It kind of reminded me of a Taco Bell but with better food. Emily had raved about this place the entire drive to Odessa. I ordered a couple soft chicken taco's and a challupa. I'll have to admit, it was pretty good fast food Tex-Mex. Id probably choose it over the local Taco Bell most any time. Although I wouldn't quite rave about it like Emily did. :) From there, the day got really interesting. We followed a poorly drawn map given to her by her friend, to a skydiving place out in the middle of nowhere. Two of her friends were going to be skydiving for the first time. Arriving, we expected to see a sharp, clean establishment with new planes and equipment. Buzzz.... wrong. Although they were professional about the subject, it looked like a crop-dusting business run out of a barn! Besides the owner, the rest of the employee's were barely 21. Even the pilot! I had brought my DRebel with me and I was snapping away the entire time. I probably took 80 pictures during the event. It was really cool to see the both of them jump out of the plane and float down to the ground. Ive gone blank at this moment and cant remember their names! Im sorry!! Wait... .I think it was Shannon and Alisha. haha Alisha went first. She landed picture perfect. Shanon was looking good, then... she just kind of crumpled to the ground. Not hard. Just tumbled forward. She wasnt hurt and it really was kinda funny. They helped her up and she dusted off and was just fine. From there we headed home to relax and have some pizza with her family.

Sunday, we were all up early and preparing to go somewhere I had not been in almost 18 years.... church. I was wrong... the building didn't burst into flames and satan himself didn't break thru the floor to tell me hello when I walked into the church. Ha! The service was longer than I remember. Back in the day when I was a child going to the catholic church, we were in and out of the place in 45 minutes, despite all the sitting, kneeling and standing. This church service lasted about an 1.5 hours. Didn't seem that long though. It was a fairly entertaining service. From there me and her family gathered at another restaraunt she had been really talking up, called "Roses Cafe", I think. This was a Tex-Mex restaraunt that was somewhere in between fast food and sit down food. I got a taco salad and I liked this food a bit better than the Taco Villa place. It was good stuff! Two thumbs up. :) Her family knows how to pick the tasty places to dine in town. After that we headed home to pack, get cleaned up and prepare for the long drive home. This was my first time to Odessa Texas. Although VERY different from anywhere Ive ever lived, it really was a nice town with a vibe of its own. The scenery around the city was pretty incredible. It was flat, as far as you could see... to the horizon. A few tree's speckled the scene, but overall it was flat and barren. Well, with the exception of the literally hundereds of "pump-jacks", pumping oil from the ground everywhere. Most people would say this is boring scenery. To me, it was kind of exciting. This was a landscape I had never seen before. Given more time, I would have gone out exploring across this vast expanse.

The drive back wasn't too bad. We were home by 8pm and tired. I got unpacked, cleaned up and crashed in bed to get ready for work the next day. Ugg
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