You know, I left out the funniest part of being in Texas. Everything is decorated almost exactly as if it were in western South Dakota. Swap out the Native American influence for Hispanic, and there you have it.
Friday: Dallas Zoo, currently a tropical paradise.
We were walking along an outside corridor formed of netting and fence. Directly over us is some kind of hawk, who is eating a rat. By "eating a rat" I mean "noisily ripping it into rat sushi." Little pieces of things are lying on the ground underneath. Lee and I watch it for a while and move on.
But wait...There's a group of four little boys, about four years old or so, with a couple of adult women. We quickly double back.
"Oh, look! It's a bird!"
"What's it doing?"
The women give this little "eek" and hustle the boys off quickly. "Don't look--"
But they're little boys, and they see exactly what they're not supposed to see, and they crane their necks as they're being driven away.
Friday night we ditched the group and went to a restaurant at the hotel, Ama Lur. Very tasty "southwestern fusion" food. Dessert came in shot glasses. No, it was really dessert -- I had lemon panna cotta and Lee had chocolate something-whose-name-escapes-me-but-I-should-know. The creme thing with the sugar crust.*
By the end of Saturday night, we were done. I went to a meeting, took a nap, and went shopping; Lee worked on his story and stared out the window at the pool.
For everyone who's asked (my brother), yes, there was steak that night for supper. It wasn't all that and a bag of chips. I would much rather have had some from SD or Iowa. I remember that restaurant right next to our place in West Branch...throw a chunck of meat on the massive grill pit, wander around, just smelling it cook, pull it off and dump about a cup of sauteed mushrooms all over it...yeah, not that.
I had a wonderful time listinging to Lee's sarcastic comments. Man, he was ready to vamoose. Not that I wasn't, but he was done.
Sunday & Monday:
Got up, wrote story, packed, got on the plane. Lee doesn't like roller coasters, and even I was a little nauseous getting off in Denver. Back to Sioux Falls, give Ray a hug, get back in the car for Flandreau, spend the night, wake up, frantically search for toiletries, get in the car, go. We listened to an audiobook on the way back, and that helped. Snow through Denver. Scary roads. Colorado Springs dry, dry, dry.
Tired. Lots of loose ends at work to clear up before the end of the month. Other stuff going on...got groceries, came home, and collapsed.
*Food writing is hard.