The Texas Trip – AKA ICE STORM 2007!

Well I am finally back from the big trip to celebrate Stacy’s *25th* (cough cough) birthday. I have plenty of stories and pictures so I hope you have some time and please feel free to leave some comments.

We were going to leave on Thursday at noon but things ran a little later than that and we took off at 12:30 pm instead. We had a great time just chatting and shooting the breeze during the drive and we didn’t even turn on the radio except for a 30 minute spell in Missiouri so I could sing some Sinatra while Stacy took a cat nap. We had to stop in St. Louis area for some gas and it was only $1.99 a gallon. I couldn’t believe that I was paying under $2 for gas so I had to take a picture.


We continued on with the trip to Sikeston, Missiouri so we could go to a restaurant called Lambert’s. You can visit their website at As you could guess from the website address, their claim to fame is that they throw the dinner rolls at you from across the restaurant. They don’t have a large selection on the menu so I had a hamburger for the first time in almost three weeks. Can you believe that I would go 3 weeks without a hamburger? Me neither but it’s true. I did not partake of the dinner rolls because I’m not a fan of people throwing things at me. I also don’t like the concept because you have to rely on other people that you don’t know to be able to catch the rolls so they don’t hit you. I almost got hit once when someone missed but it landed at my feet and bounced away. It had good decorations on the walls (old license plates from around the country) but it is definitely southern cooking. The hamburger had some kind of flavoring on it that wasn’t all that great and they passed around fried okra and I tried that. I won’t be trying it again however. Tasted like fried oatmeal and I don’t like oatmeal but I would recommend it as a see for yourself experience that would be worthwhile if you ever happened to be in Sikeston, Missiouri.

After leaving Missiouri, it was down into Arkansas. I have never been to Arkansas so I was glad that I was getting a new state to add to my list of places I’ve been. That is about all I can say good for Arkansas. We stopped at a rest area so we could use the restroom shortly after arriving into the state and Stacy said she’d never seen a more disgusting women’s room in her life. Hygiene products thrown all over the floor and the the men’s room wasn’t much better. Definitely not an experience worth reliving. Every exit in Arkansas had an RV Park and a Wal-Mart. I am not kidding. I have never seen so many Wal-Marts in my life and there was absolutely nothing for miles. No lights. No houses. No signs of life. We stopped in Little Rock at a gas station to look for souvenirs and fuel up. Stacy wanted some fresh fruit and they had some apples and bananas. One apple was covered in this white dried clumpy substance. It could have been glue. It could have been the white glaze that they put on Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. It could have been some other dried white clumpy substance from some redneck with a fruit fetish. Either way, Stacy showed it to the clerk and said they might want to remove it from the rest of the fruit. The clerk didn’t even flinch and said he saw nothing wrong with it. That made us believe that white clumpy stuff on the apples is common place in Arkansas and that scared us. Ian and Mickie were on their way to Texas as well for wrestling and Ian and I kept calling each other on our way through Arkansas and repeating lines from Smokey and the Bandit and singing the song from the movie. Then we passed through Arkadelphia, Arkansas. We never did find Arkburgh, Arkago, Ark York, Arkangeles but it wasn’t from a lack of laughing our asses off and looking for them. Stacy and I were very happy to finally cross into Texas and see that they have a night speed limit to go along with the regular speed limit. Here is a picture of the 65 MPH Night speed limit as we were about to go into Detroit, Texas on our way into Paris, TX.


That picture was taken the next morning after we had stayed at a cheap ass road side motel (the only thing for miles) after he had been driving for 14 hours. Our first stop for Friday morning was going to Paris, Texas to see the Eiffel Tower with a cowboy hat on top of it. We had to hunt all over town for it because it was way out there in the outskirts. Stacy has a picture of the two of us standing in front of the Tower but it took lots of rocks and books rigging the camera on top of my car and her running across the field to get to me before her timer went off on the camera. Here is just a regular picture that I took of the Eiffel Tower w/ Cowboy hat:


We found that in the Weird Texas book sold at Barnes & Noble. They had all kinds of cool things in the book that we planned on seeing during this trip. Paris, Texas had two of them. The next stop was a cemetary that had a monument that had Jesus wearing cowboy boots. We found the cemetary and eventually found the monument we were looking for:



We then left Paris, Texas to start heading towards South Fork Ranch made famous by the television show DALLAS as the home of JR Ewing and the rest of the Ewing clan. I was getting excited since this was something I’ve been wanting to do since I was 10 years old. On the way to Parker, Texas however, I got totally distracted and found something that might have been even better than South Fork.


We continued the drive to Parker, Texas and finally through the rain and bad directions, we made it. I was a little disappointed due to the high expectations but really the only disappointment came from the lackluster gift shop. I was hoping for a JR Ewing shirt or autographed picture and they didn’t have anything character based (probably for royalty reasons). Here is the plethora of pictures from South Fork ranch.


As soon as you walk into the gift shop which is the first thing you enter upon arrival, they have a picture of the Ewing men – Jock, JR, Bobby and half brother Ray Krebbs.

They then have a musuem to walk through that was really small but had lots of things to look at before leaving for the tour of the house and ranch. Here are my pictures from the musuem.


They had the chairs that the actors had for in between takes and here is Larry Hagman’s AKA JR Ewing.


They had a wall full of all the information on the different characters on the show and how they fit into the plot. I thought that was neat.


The TV Guide article covering the return of Bobby after dying and having it all be a dream. That was spoofed on Family Guy on their Y2K episode with Bobby being in the shower and Pam seeing him. The thing about that was that wasn’t how the scene was filmed. Patrick Duffy left the show after Bobby was killed and the ratings slumped. Larry Hagman knew that his JR character needed Bobby to counterbalance him so he begged Patrick to come back to the show. They didn’t want anybody to know, not even the cast, so they filmed a commercial with a different film crew and everything that had Patrick Duffy in the shower and he turned to the camera and said “Good Morning” and then paused before going into a speech about how every morning could be a good morning using this soap. They then re-edited the cliffhanger episode and put him in the shower saying “Good Morning” to Pam in place of her boyfriend that was originally in the scene. The cast knew nothing about it and freaked out when they were watching the season finale and saw Bobby in the shower. They decided to write the whole season off as a dream that Pam had to explain why Bobby had returned from the dead. I know that everybody just was dying to know that story but I find it interesting and this is my blog.


The most watched television show of all time up to that point was the Who Shot JR episode and here is the gun and then People Magazine article about it. It was the biggest thing going at that time and people were even betting on who the shooter would end up being…sister-in-law Kristin Sheppard. They filmed scenes with every main cast member being the shooter so no one would be able to ruin the surprise of who they would ultimately use. This was spoofed by The Simpsons and was one of their most watched episodes with Who Shot Mr. Burns.

We then went on the tour of the house and ranch. I was very excited when we got out of the van and I immediately ran to the pool and the balcony that overlooks the pool. The pool was famous for always being the home of a fight during the Ewing BBQ held every year on the show and of course for where Kristin’s dead body was found by Cliff Barnes after (perhaps) JR had thrown her from the balcony of his bedroom to the pool below in possible retaliation for shooting him. Here is the pool and the look from the balcony:



As you may be able to tell, the pool is a ways away from the balcony so it would have taken a Bull Pain tossing Jimmy Jacobs like a rag doll kind of throw to get Kristin into the pool but it could be done.

There was a very nice view of the ranch however from the balcony so here is a few shots:



JR Ewing was quite the ladies man and had a new mistress as often as he changed his suit and cowboy hat. Here is the infamous JR Ewing bed:


On the way out you can get your picture taken in the living room standing by the famous painting of the father of the Ewing clan…Jock Ewing. Jim Davis played Jock and passed away in 1982 so they had to kill off Jock Ewing by having him die in a helicopter crash in South America.


You then get to walk around the ranch before leaving and they had this sign up as you head towards the horse pen:


Here is what the back side of the house looks like as you are leaving:



You then walk to another gift shop that has the car that Jock Ewing drove until his death… a Lincoln Town Car with the infamous EWING 1 license plate.



We then left South Fork and it was pouring down rain. We were going to go to Waxahachie because there was a house that was redone to be an exact replica of the Munster Mansion. They didn’t do tours though and by the time we got there, it would have been dark so we wouldn’t have been able to get good pictures and such. The weather kept getting worse and the temperature dropped from 70 degrees to below 40 degrees. We then decided that we would start heading towards Amarillo because we wanted to see the Cadillac Ranch and some other things that were in the Weird Texas book. We stopped to eat at a place called El Chico’s in Plano, TX and it was awesome. The waitress was probably the best waitress I’ve ever had as she was right on top of the drink orders and answering all of our questions about the food. I had Tres Banditos burritos and the best damn cheesecake I’ve ever had for dessert. If you are ever in the Texas area, go to El Chico…we saw a few in the Texas area while we were driving. We then started towards Amarillo. We didn’t get far however because the temperature finished dropping 40 degrees and hit freezing and the roads started getting bad. We stayed at a Holiday Inn Express in Decatur, Texas and got a suite. Here is the bed that was 4 pillows wide and the heart shaped jacuzzi tub in the room:



We get up on Saturday morning and there is ice everywhere and it is cold as hell. We decide to skip Amarillo and Dodge City, Kansas and just start towards Oklahoma City and try to get to St. Louis or all the way home. I go out to the car to try to get the ice off the car and break my ice scraper in half because the ice is so thick. Here are pictures of the car:



Stacy and I decide that this is nothing for Illinois so we would be fine to drive. Unfortunately, Texas and Oklahoma is not Illinois. Texas was alright and we got into Oklahoma and then all hell started to break loose. They don’t know what a snow plow is in Oklahoma. We drove through icy slushy INTERSTATE for 72 miles in Oklahoma and did not see a single snow plow. They had 3 trucks out dropping SAND instead of SALT to fix the ice but none of those trucks had the fricking plow in front to clear the roads. Who the hell has ever heard of having winter weather trucks without having the fricking plow to clear the roads? The road just kept getting worse and worse as the semi trucks rolled past me in the unplowed slush and would cover my car in thrown slush with such impact that it would cause my car to swerve and even eventually caused me to spin out almost down into a ditch but I was able to save it. We decided to get a hotel before we died since Oklahoma is an ass backwards third world country state that should be given to Mexico because it is an embarrassment to the United States. We stay at the Comfort Inn and get a suite (no jacuzzi tub in this one) and try to find a place to eat. Most fast food places are closed. The pizza places won’t deliver in this weather. We go to this greasy spoon (or Choke and Puke as Ian and I kept Smokey & the Bandit referencing a few nights earlier) and it was just horrible. It killed the both of us and I didn’t even eat my stuff because it was covered in red sauce that wasn’t mentioned in the menu. They had a two sentence writeup listing the ingredients but failed to mention that one. We then see a sign in the gas station section of the restaurant that “The Oklahoma State Lottery has been closed due to inclement weather…we will not reopen until Tuesday since Monday in Martin Luther King’s Birthday.” So people in Oklahoma think that Martin Luther King had a dream about there being no lottery tickets sold on his birthday and that a little bit of ice is enough reason to cut off the lottery as well. We return to the hotel and I look for a vending machine that has a candy bar since I’m still hungry. No vending machines with snacks and the lady at the front desk asks me why I’m even still up at 11:30 pm let alone would think that they have a snack vending machine. DO THESE PEOPLE LIVE IN THE SAME F***ING WORLD THAT THE REST OF US LIVE IN??? This is the biggest waste of space state I’ve ever had the misfortune of seeing.

We wake up the next morning and it is nonstop news on television about ICE STORM 2007 that wouldn’t be shit if they f***ing knew what a GD snow plow was and would put ice, something that would actually melt the damn ice, instead of sand down onto it. No plows…interstate covered in ice…another damn day stuck in Oklahoma. This is what the parking lot at the hotel looked like and what the roads looked like because they are dumbasses in Oklahoma:


I watch the Bears game. The pizza places still wont deliver in this kind of weather so we go next door to this ice cream parlor restaurant called Braum’s. We go back to the hotel and watch the other football game and then we watch Grease reality show and Desperate Housewives. Each commercial break was the same: “Update on ICE STORM 2007 but you won’t miss a second of Desperate Housewives.” We then have Stacy’s birthday dinner at Denny’s later that night. Our waiter sucked ass. He didn’t bring refills. He saw Stacy looking at the dessert menu three times and just gave us our check without asking if we wanted anything else and then walked out of the restaurant and went to the motel next door where I guess he lives. I then decide that a pack of wild rattlesnakes couldn’t keep me in that hotel another day.

We leave on Monday morning and start driving through Oklahoma. They still don’t have most of the interstate plowed in Oklahoma City or Tulsa but we can’t wait to get out of Oklahoma so we keep on going. We stop at a Wal-Mart to change my windshield wiper and the only good thing about this state is discovered. Gas was $1.81 a gallon.


It cost $7 in tolls to get out of Oklahoma on I-44 and it was the best damn $7 I ever spent. F that pathetic ass excuse for a state. If I ever find myself in Oklahoma again, I’ll want to hang myself.

We get into Missouri and take a little jut 2 miles out of the way so we can be in Kansas as well. State number 3 added to the list on the trip. Here is the proof we got to Kansas for 10 seconds:


The first thing after that sign…a strip club…out in the middle of nowhere. It was by Baxter Springs and Galena, Kansas. We got back on the interstate and headed towards Springfield. We got into Springfield, Missouri and ate at Ruby Tuesdays. Lots of power outages in the area and all the gas stations were out of fuel because the tankers were stuck in Oklahoma. We were almost out of gas. Oklahoma was going to screw us again. I took a picture of a tree at the Ruby Tuesdays. The power lines all looked like this tree:


Missouri had much more ice than Oklahoma and yet the roads were perfectly fine to drive on and clear. What a difference an education and common sense makes in dealing with how to keep people safe. We have to hunt all over before finally finding a gas station with gas though and away we go.

We finally returned to Morris at about 4 am this morning and I have never been happier to be home. According to Mapquest, we went approximately 2000 miles and drove for over 32 hours. Here’s the map:


After the trip my new states visited map looks like this:


I enjoyed myself and had a lot of fun being with Stacy but I never want to be in Oklahoma ever again. I would like to see Texas again though with the opportunity to take in the sights the weather kept from us.

That about sums up everything.

Good Day.






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