Blogging Church Driving Food Military Nature Photography Politics Travel Weather

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

By Chris M. Day

I'm almost 56 years old. I've been online for 30 years - starting with my own dial-up bulletin board system in 1993 - and continuing with AOL, my own web site, Myspace, WordPress, Twitter, Flickr, and Facebook.