On Driving to Texas

It was the week between Christmas and New Years and I had the whole week off. What I didn’t have, however, was a plan of what to do with my time. It was for this reason that when a friend asked if my husband and I were interested in taking a road trip to San Antonio, Texas to catch the Alamo Bowl football game with him, I jumped at the chance.

Something most people don’t know about me is that I was actually born in Texas. I’ve never spent any real time there, however, as my parents moved back to California when I was just six weeks old. Since neither of them were originally from Texas either, there were never any visits there as I was growing up.

For all intents and purposes, this was to be my very first time visiting Texas, and I was excited. Since we were short on cash at the time, we decided to drive rather than fly, as plane tickets were pretty expensive at that time of year. I also arranged for us to spend the night with some of my relatives in Arizona on the way there and on the way back so we could not only save money that would otherwise be spent on a hotel room, but also so I could have a little visit with my family.

What they don’t tell you about driving from Southern California to central Texas is that the drive is BRUTAL, especially without ample electronic entertainment. Keep in mind that this was 2009, and the iPhone had just debuted recently. I didn’t have one.

The first day of our journey took us from our friend’s house in Los Angeles where we had left our car all the way to my aunt and uncle’s house in Tucson, Arizona. It was about a 10 hour drive, mostly through desert landscapes. This leg of the journey, mercifully, at least has interesting rock formations and desert to look at. When we arrived in Tucson we rested and visited with my family a little bit, and then they took us out to dinner at an awesome Mexican restaurant where we ate a quite satisfying and caloric meal.

The next morning after breakfast, we were off for the second leg of our journey, all the way to San Antonio, Texas. This was the considerably more brutal leg of the journey. The drive from Tucson to San Antonio is extremely long and takes you through Southern Arizona, Southern New Mexico, and West Texas. I was ok really until we got to the Texas border. We had been in the car for what seemed like ages and I was happy to finally have reached the Texas border as we pulled into El Paso, where we stopped for lunch. Little did I know, I still had a good 6 hours before I would reach San Antonio.

They say everything is bigger in Texas. They aren’t kidding. Texas is HUGE! West Texas, in particular, is not very fun to drive through. There isn’t a whole lot to look at along highway 10 and it is a very long way between towns to stop in. Remember that whole no iPhone thing I talked about earlier? Yeah, this is when something to do might have come in handy.

The one small mercy was that when night fell and we were in the middle of nowhere, we were able to pull off the road for a moment and see some of the most incredible stars I have ever seen. Living in a populated area with a lot of light pollution, it’s a rare treat to see such a thing.

After what seemed like an eternity, we finally arrived in San Antonio. We were there! It was time to get to our hotel and get a good night’s rest. We had some exploring to do in the morning.

Do yourself a favor: If you ever plan on driving from California to central or East Texas, don’t. Buy a plane ticket instead.


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