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My November Vacation 2021 Road-Trip

#TravelThursday continues now with Part 3 of my 7-part blog series on my recent 18-day road-trip between South Florida and North Texas.

At the crack of dawn of Day 3 of my road-trip I was back on the road again – across the 4,205-foot-long Natchez-Vidalia Bridge high atop (125 feet above) the mighty Mississippi River below. When I crossed the bridge I was the only one, so there was not the usual stress involved in doing so like at the various other river crossings. (I’m scared of heights, so I get nervous driving on tall bridges. It’s exasperated by tailgaters.)

It was a clear, crisp, and cold Saturday morning in the upper-30s and lower-40s in the Louisiana “low country” near the river. It was my coldest morning in a long time. Luckily it was in the mid-to-upper-60s in my car with the heater on low.

I continued west-southwestward to Alexandria Louisiana where I left behind the old U.S. highway system and network of back roads, and I rejoined America’s Interstate highways via I-49. I took that northwestward up to Shreveport – Louisiana’s 3RD-largest city. About 400,000 residents live in its metro area. Louisiana State University (#LSU) has a large campus in Shreveport, and it’s also the home of the 22,000+ acre Barksdale Air Force Base.

I picked-up I-20 westward out of Shreveport, and I took that to Longview Texas – where I stopped for a Texas BBQ Lunch (which was not very good at all – think “gas station food”). I also left behind the Interstates, opting instead for U.S. 80, U.S. 69, and a series of state and local roads en route to my family’s house in the northeastern suburbs of Dallas.

I arrived at my brother’s and sister-in-law’s house right at 2 PM on Saturday November 13TH 2021. I drove 376 miles on this final leg, so that’s 1,357 miles in 3 days of driving to North Texas.

I had planned to visit a small church on the outskirts of my family’s neighborhood (less than a mile away from their house). I had previously (in the weeks prior) done a lot of research on churches (of all sizes) within the local area. I looked at about a dozen churches online. I eventually had it narrowed down to 3 churches, and then 2 churches, and then a single church. The church I finally selected (over the other 2) started its service at 10:45 AM on Sunday.

I ended-up not attending a church service. Family comes first, and immediate family comes before church family. My brother planned a family Lunch together to celebrate our Mom’s birthday, so we did that on my first Sunday there. We enjoyed a fun Lunch at a Japanese restaurant where you order off the menu, and then the cook arrives a few minutes later, gathers-up all of the ingredients, and then cooks your meal on the large hibachi grill right in front of you while putting on a show. It was a lot of fun, and the food was pretty good too.

2 days later (on Tuesday November 16TH 2021) on an unusually warm day in the 70s (approaching 80°F) I went on a short road-trip (within the road-trip) on my own. It was also planned well in advance. After a hot and delicious Breakfast at a historic downtown district diner I ventured about 20 miles southwestward into the city limits of Dallas.

I visited the 66-acre Dallas Arboretum And Botanical Garden. I’ve wanted to visit this place for a few years now, and now I’ve done so. I didn’t get to see all 66 acres of it, but I got to see a vast majority of it during my 3-hour visit. I know I say this often: I could’ve spent all day there. I actually bought my timed-admission and parking fee online the day before. (I think you have to do it that way. I’m not sure that you can just show-up whenever you feel like it and pay to get in during this post-COVID environment.) I took 40 photos of my trek through the arboretum. Most of them will make it onto my Flickr site, but here’s 4 of the best right here:

About 6 miles away was the George W. Bush Presidential Library And Museum at Southern Methodist University (#SMU), and that’s where I spent a couple of hours that afternoon. I had never been to a Presidential Library before. It was very educational, informative, and interesting. I’d like to visit other Presidential libraries around the country.

I drove an additional 47 miles on that Tuesday, so that’s 1,404 miles in 6 days of driving to North Texas and while there.

And that’s where I’ll end Part 3 of this 7-part blog series. I’ll continue with my road-trip adventures and experiences next #TravelThursday. I’ll tell you about a few places that I did not visit on that first Thursday in North Texas. (Again – family comes first.) And then I’ll tell you all about two places that I did visit the next day on that first Friday.

All rights reserved (c) 2021 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries