Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Made a short trip to College Station yesterday.

Denise found out a while ago that she'd been invited by folks at Texas A&M to come down and join in a discussion about soldiers getting college credit evaluations. That's what she does here at Central Texas College, evaluating the college credit that soldiers need to apply to a CTC degree plan, translating the class credit that other schools have awarded them and their military training into college credit through CTC. Apparently A&M is trying to figure out how to do that sort of thing, so they decided to bring in the big gun.

So, A&M offered to pay for her hotel, meals, etc, if she'd come down and enlighten them. Then her boss at CTC got involved in it and CTC decided they'd foot the bill. From the start it was an exciting idea. Denise floated the idea of us having a little tryst down there in a swanky hotel on the colleges dime. That was almost too cool an Idea to pass up. We both tried to think of a way that I could take time off or work it into my schedule to go down there with her, but it didn't seem possible. With the semester in San Saba coming to an end soon and the fishing trip I took a week or so ago, there's no time left over to make any classes up. I've done that all I can this semester.

So, she got her car from the college... a brand new cool big ford highway cruiser, and a lap top from the library to use giving her power point presentation, she packed a bag and set off Tuesday afternoon. We said goodbye Tuesday morning and that was it. I was batchin' it for a day or so. Was gonna vegetate in front of the computer for hours and rent some scary movies, maybe eat Chinese food and go to a pool hall. I was gonna get wide. Gonna get in trouble, maybe.

Then i got to the prison and told the guys about it. Told them about the idea of goin' down there and gettin' laid on the college. the idea was still percolatin' there in the back of my mind. I asked them how long it would take to drive from Saba to College Station (the home of A&M). Ellis said maybe two and a half hours, but Hoenow said more like three or four. I thought about how long I'd have this morning to make the drive back in time to teach my class at noon.

I know, you're thinkin' "Jesus, he's nuts!"... and you're right. But I don't mind a long drive. I actually enjoy them. So, I talked myself into it yesterday while I was here in Saba. I told the guys that if I showed up this morning in the same shirt that I wore Tuesday it'd mean that I made the trip and got lucky. We all had a big laugh about it.

So, I got out of the prison at about 2:35 yesterday afternoon and drove down 183 to 29, then across to 79 and 36 to College Station, arriving there at about 6 PM. It took me three-and-a-half hours, as Hoenow predicted. Thing is, while I was on the way down, Denise called me. She told me she'd just left the campus in Killeen and was on her way. I told her I was on my way home and that I'd miss her. A few hours later she called to tell me she'd gotten there and asked me what I was doing. I told her I was on my way to temple to go to the dry cleaners and see Mom. She bought it completely. Damn, I'm good.

I got to College Station about thirty minutes behind her. I knew she was at the Hampton Inn, but I didn't know where it was, or how friggin' many there were. You know, it was all a spur of the moment thing. No preparation. And I couldn't ask her where she was or what room she was in without giving away the surprise.

Well, it all turned out perfect, as if I'd planned it that way. I drove in and ended up driving east along one of the main drags there into town. By the time I made it to the end of University Drive, where it crosses 6, there was her hotel, just down and off the highway. I drove up and parked, thinking to myself "How the hell am I gonna find out what room she's in without them calling her and warning here?"

But as I walked through the front doors I saw here standing there at the counter, concentrating on a map, trying to figure out where her conference would actually be. I walked up to her and smiled, and you should have seen how red her face got. She was in shock. Couldn't believe I'd made the drive. It took her a while to get over it. Hell, maybe she's still not over it.

Anyway, we piled into her big, cool rental car and drove around till we found the place where the conference would be. It took a while, but the college was paying for the gas, so what the hell! Having finally found the place, we eventually got around to thinking about having dinner. I'd seen some cool looking places there along the strip in front of the college as I drove in, so we headed back there.

We ended up stopping at a place called Fitzwilly's for dinner. It's a typical college bar and grill, with very loud classic rock playing on the speakers and a smattering of typical things on the menu. Both of us loved the music, but we both agreed that as far as the food was concerned, we probably wouldn't be back.

After walking out of there I asked Denise if she'd mind going into O'Bannon's Tap House. We'd seen it there across the street from Fitzwilly's, but decided to eat elsewhere. It's good we did, because O'Bannon's is a drinkin' place and doesn't serve food. Just have a glance at their selection. It's a nice place. I'd bet it does big business when school's in session.

I'd had a huge Blue Moon with dinner while Denise trained yet another Bartender in the mystery and magic of the Lager Shandy. We both laughed at the looks on the faces of some of the patrons as he poured 7-UP into her Shiner Bock. Then, we'd both ordered another pint at O'Bannon's. Mine was a Killian's and she had another Shandy. We stayed there for a while, till we finished our drinks. By then I was beat and ready to hit the sack. Denise drove us back to the hotel, where I bought us both a Snickers Ice Cream bars for dessert, and then we headed up to the room.

We stayed up a while... Oh, get your mind out of the gutter! She showed me her presentation (never heard it called that before... nudge, nudge) on the cool lap top she'd gotten from the college, we watched some TV and then we hit the sack. How'd it go? Well, a gentleman doesn't talk about such things... until he gets back with the other gentlemen.

They all made note of the fact that I was wearing a different shirt this afternoon, thinking I must have decided not to go. But then I told them that I'd gotten home by 9AM, with plenty of time to clean up before I had to drive to Saba. I had time to check emails, water plants, feed cats, AND change out of those rushy undies. It all worked out beautifully.

Our alarm went off at 6:30. I dressed, loaded my shorts with baby powder, went down to enjoy the complementary breakfast and was off on the road by 7. I went back up once more to say goodbye. She was tearing up when I left. I think she liked the surprise. So, yea, it was worth it. And I'd do it again.

I stopped once to hit the can and buy a few cheap cigars on the way home. Somehow, I'd managed to leave the house Tuesday morning without any to smoke. I tell ya, I'm turnin' into a junky. I was actually thinkin' that maybe I'd let one roll under the seat or somethin', tryin' to reach down there and see while flyin' down 183 at friggin' 80MPH. Those cheap-assed little pre-poked Garcia & Vega English Coronas that I picked up at the stop-n-rob did the trick though, at least till I got home and grabbed a few Macanudos.

So, I'm here at the library in Saba, pooped but happy, knowin' that my baby will be there at home when I roll in tonight. I'll teach one more class and get home around 9PM, and then she'll tell me how she blew their minds at the presentation this mornin', and how I blew her mind by showin' up the way I did yesterday afternoon. It'll be fun.

Well, you guys try to have fun too and we'll talk about it all later. Cheers!


Grandpa-Old Soldier said...

You just an old romantic..Ah love is grand.

Anonymous said...

I'll vouch for what a tremendous asset Denise is to CTC and soldier (no all servicemembers) attending CTC. She can't do enjoy for them. Hear, hear for Denise. I'm sure she blew them away with her presenttion because she is THE BEST! Thanks for surprising her! Belle

Anonymous said...

P. S. Boy, I sure botched that!! I meant soldiers with an "s" and She can't do enough for them. I'd better Proof read next time. Gosh and I misspelled presentation in my haste. And, to think all I ever wanted to do was be an English teacher! Geez!!! Belle

kerrcarto said...

Long drives are my zen. Nothing like the windows down and some music blarin'

Y'all comin to blownstar? Last year will be nothing compared to this one..

PRH....... said...

Yep, you're nuts! But we all knew that.


Suldog said...

You, sir, are THE MAN!

Sarge Charlie said...

You grew up to be "the man" because my aunt was your 1st grade teacher in London, how small is this world.

Mushy said...

A super cool thing you did there!

FHB said...

Gramps - True, true.

Belle - Yea, it all went off well. She had a great time. Her boss it worried they might recruit her away from CTC. Get all that wisdom.

Kerrcarto - Yea, me too. Get the tunes blarin', a cigar burnin', and rip it up to over 100 now and then... just too fun.

and no, we probably won't. I think we're gonna be in Dallas that weekend. Have tickets to an Aerosmith and ZZ Top concert. Priorities dude.

Pat - Nuts. Totally.

Sully - The man.

Sarge - Yea, I can't believe that ether. She was my second first grade teacher, which is a long story. But how cool is that?

Mushy - Yea, thanks man.

Hammer said...

What a cool surprise.

I might have to borrow your idea next time I get a chance.

FHB said...

Hammer - It was fun, but I was POOPED by the end of the day. Almost too pooped to party.