When airline craters, depend on Mildred
However, that's what Murray and I did last week when, on our way to the airport in Corpus Christi, we got a call informing us that our flight to Dallas had been cancelled.
We were packed and our game plan was made to be out of the office through Saturday, so we made the decision on the fly, so to speak, to just keep driving. I would not make my 4 p.m. meeting, but that would be the only part of the Texas Press Association convention we'd miss by driving.
We sweetened the deal by having lunch with daughter Libby in San Antonio.
The drive between Corpus Christi and San Antonio, by freeway standards, is not bad.
The drive between San Antonio and Arlington (where the convention was held) is, by any standards, bad.
Picture yourself in a used car lot laced with 18-wheelers traveling at 80 mph. On either side of the freeway is an endless stream of big box and chain stores punctuated by billboards.
It's not a pretty picture.
I'm the driver in the family. Murray's photographic instincts override his driving instincts, which makes being a passenger
with him behind the wheel, shall we say, uncomfortable. I drive. He rides (and sleeps - which makes me wonder why the photojournalist in him takes a hike when I'm behind the wheel).
It was worth the pain of the drive for what we gained at the convention, so we were glad we kept driving.
Then it came time to head home. If we drove straight through, we figured we'd be home around 9 p.m. That wasn't appealing, so we decided to drive to San Antonio and stay with Libby. So we proceeded to retrace our steps.
About 20 minutes into the drive I decided I wasn't up for a repeat performance of the trip between San Antonio and Arlington. We'd already instructed Mildred (our navigation system) to get us to Libby's house and, of course, Mildred was going to send us down I-35. Murray got the map out and found a route to get us over to Hwy. 281, much to Mildred's chagrin. She kept urging us to make a legal U-turn.
The cut-across to Hwy. 281 took us through Glen Rose and Hico, where neither of us had ever been, so that was a treat. Mildred finally settled down and agreed to direct us to San Antonio via our route of choice.
The switch cost us a little time, but the scenery and lack of traffic were worth it.
Mark my words: I am never going to drive on I-35 between San Antonio and the Dallas- Fort Worth metroplex again. Crawling through grain fields would be easier, although I think a train might be more comfortable. You sure can't count on planes.