Whoa! Didja get the numbers off that truck?!?

October 26, 2003 - 11:39 p.m.

Dallas, open my eyes

That's right, Dallas. As in Texas.

The trip was the product of a 15 year old's long distance romance. Strange pretext to the un-initiated, but the result was more rewarding than words here can and should express. I am no stranger to long distance romance and I'm happy to report that is a part of my past. I can understand the hopeless feelings that can result from that situation. Emphasis on the hopeless part.

My Gardenangel is also hopeless: a hopeless romantic. She also has the ability to grant some amazing wishes, especially for her kids. She made her daughter's dream come true, knowing that the result could be pain more than her daughter could bear, or the key to unlock a future no one can yet imagine.

Since I deal in aliases here, the story will be told in that way. K1 (Gardenangel's eldest daughter) met 3 on a vacation last summer in Mexico, K1 being an adopted traveling companion for that vacation. Teenage sparks flew when she met 3, and the dialog between them began through the auspices of AOL Instant Messenger. They discovered a connection neither one had ever experienced before. Teenagers have so much world yet to experience. K1 and 3 spent almost every night in keyboard conversation since last summer and it showed no sign of letting up.

Gardenangel decided it was "put up or shut up" time and she offered a trip to Dallas to meet 3 and his parents for a visit.

We left for Dallas last Friday afternoon, arrived and secured a dreamy green Concorde and stayed in a fabulous Hampton Suite. My poor Gardenangel caught a crashing cold virus the day before the trip, but didn't let it stop her from enjoying the trip.

K1 was understandably nervous about meeting 3 that night, steeped in teenage awkwardness. We drove to his house directly from the airport and found it with little trouble. We met 3's father, who had an endless supply of things to talk about, in his living room that was dwarfed by a massive big screen TV. Beers were dispensed, K1 and 3 met, and 3 shook my hand and introduced himself to me. Good boy.

We then drove to a haunted house where 3's mom was volunteering. I was stunned. Lori, I met your double this weekend. Well, your double plus about fifty pounds, but she looks just like you. We went through this haunted house, my first visit to one. My Gardenangel went through it with trepidation, she has bad memories of having her five year old wits scared out of her long ago.

I did my level best to make my Gardenangel comfortable, she was suffering badly from this cold. I'm convinced that large doses of water can cure almost anything, until I tasted the quality of water that flows from the tap in that town. It's awful medicine, but she assured me it tasted better when it was ice cold. Strong medicine indeed.

Saturday dawned with 80 degree skies and a sun that felt like summer. Dallas doesn't have the vivid colors that northern fall produces, so it looked like summer too. K1 and 3 took in a movie and the Gardenangel and I experienced a great Italian restaurant. We retired to the hotel for some rest, she needed it to fight the cold.

Saturday night found us downtown in a place called the West End. We got overly elaborate directions from 2 (3's father) but found it nonetheless. They have a neat self-serve parking arrangement, you find a numbered spot and stuff your currency in a board with slots, each slot is assigned your numbered space. They warn about bums acting as "parking attendants" with a promise to take your money for you. We parked unmolested.

We wandered around for awhile, a cool front had blown in from the north, taking the summery weather with it. My Gardenangel bought me a nice hooded sweatshirt to take the chill away, I forgot a jacket. We had a hankerin' for Texas steak but the lovesick teenagers wouldn't have it. We ended up back in Mesquite with takeout Quiznos for the kids. She and I ended up here, we had a blast watching a 65 year old lady dance like a teenager. Many times she was out there by herself, workin' it.

The two lovebirds were two sad puppies when it came time to say farewell. They were trying to work an overnight stay out of it, but common sense by the adult members of the traveling party prevailed.

The trip back was entertaining, with the bells and whistles contained inside a Boeing 777.

I don't know what will become of the romance between K1 and 3. The romance on our part of the trip was just fine thankyouverymuch, and I am sure we would have had just as much fun without the kids! I think next time we'll just leave them at home.

the last one -*- the next one

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