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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

Everything is bigger….

In Texas! I’m sure you’ve heard that expression before! Well sometimes it really is true! This is our third night and tomorrow will be our fourth day and we’re still in Texas! Texas is the largest state in the contiguous United States at 268,596 square miles or 7.4% of the entire country!

Last night we had a restful sleep, despite hearing the nearby trains. The wifi was unfortunately non-existent, but I finished up my 50th book for the year. Luckily, I had already downloaded the book while I was on wifi, on my Kindle. Now my Kindle, strangely enough now seems to work. Isn’t that always the way?

We decided we wanted an earlier start this morning after the long driving day yesterday. I really don’t like sitting all day and yesterday was a bit of a killer drive. It was the right thing to do though to get to the far side (east) of San Antonio, but I don’t like long driving days. We left San Antonio just after 9am this morning.

As we started driving East outside of San Antonio, on I10 we started to see a more agricultural part of Texas. A lot of ranches and farms along the highway.

Richard said we needed to stop for gas and he knew there was a Love’s Truck stop coming up pretty soon after we left San Antonio in Seguin, Texas. My cousin in Aledo (near Fort Worth), had told me though that we needed to stop at another place if we saw this place along our route, so I said to Richard ”Keep driving please. In another 29 miles we will reach a place I think is worth stopping at.”

Buc ees! That’s where we were heading!

You would not believe the size of this place in Luling, Texas, just off Interstate 10 East!

These fuel pumps were just for trucks and RVs.

Smoker anyone? As I walked towards the entrance at Buc-ee’s this is all I could see!

Buc ees branded folding camp chairs?

Buc-ees famous beaver nuggets!

Buc-ee’s has the world record for the size of a convenience store. It was unbelievable inside!

A Buc-ee’s stocking or ornament for Christmas?

That’s how we felt yesterday in West Texas!

Making fresh beef brisket sandwiches to go. No need to order one, they are all wrapped in foil and ready for the taking!

A cowhide for your floor perhaps? At $299 doesn’t everyone come to their local gas/convenience store to pick up a floor covering?!!

Lots and lots of Texas merchandise at Buc-ee’s!

Or perhaps a wall plaque for your home?

There was a lot of beautiful stuff at Buc-ee’s too if you really had the time to look.

I thought that was a good one!

That is exactly what we are doing! It definitely has been a scenic drive from Fort Erie, to Fanny Bay, to Texas!

Beautiful cast iron cookware. This is what we have in Newman!

And this is all I ended up buying. It was so difficult to decide, but I’m glad we finally got some Texas pecans!

Richard could not resist a beef brisket sandwich despite it only being 10:45am! He said the brisket sandwich was so good - it tasted like ‘meat candy’, despite giving him bad indigestion afterwards! And the fuel was the cheapest we have seen it too at $2.98 a gallon for diesel. We filled up to the top with diesel!

So what is the deal with Buc-ee’s anyway? I had never heard of them until my cousin mentioned the other day that we should stop at a Buc-ee’s if we saw one. The rise of Buc-ee’s convenience stores is this: You can get a lot of people to pull off the highway and spend money if you guarantee them an immaculate place in which to heed the call of nature. As one Buc-ee’s billboard proclaims ”Your Throne Awaits Fabulous Restrooms - 32 miles”. The quiet success of Buc-ee’s is based on two owners who target an affluent market segment. They have fattened their margins with lots of private-label merchandise and they’ve taken years of low interest rates to finance an expansion that has made them a power house in the Southeast. Buc-ee’s travel centres are enormous, but the main attraction is the toilets! The toilets are patrolled 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by uniformed employees whose only job is to keep them pristine! Buc-ee’s, from the bathrooms to the branded caps and T-shirts to the brass beaver near the entrance, feels less like a convenience store and more like a Texas-themed amusement park. Buc-ee’s have become a destination! Bon Appetit magazine claims Buc-ee’s are the best rest stop in America! When a new Buc-ee’s opens, its like a new roller coaster ride. You just want to go and see it! The first Buc-ee’s opened in 1982 and now they have 43 locations across Texas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia,

Always bigger in Texas…Buc-ee’s!

As we left Buc-ee’s we couldn’t believe what we had just seen! It was crazy, but we are really glad we made the time to stop and experience Buc-ee’s!

As we got closer to the outskirts of Houston, we ended up in a construction zone! The traffic was moving really well, but the trucks were racing by us in the fast lane, going more than the posted 55 mph and Richard was trying to keep Newman as far away from the cement barriers as possible. It was a bit of a ‘hair raising’ drive to say the least!

Coming into a construction zone where no one follows the speed limit!

There goes a truck and you can see how narrow these lanes are!

Our GPS wanted us to take the Katy Tollway on the west side of Houston. We never saw a tollbooth, and we aren’t sure how we will be billed for the toll, but it definitely was a lot faster taking the toll road through part of Houston, than being on the main I10 East.

As we were driving through Houston, it was quite sunny and warm inside Newman. Richard asked me to check the temperature outside and this is what I got:

Look at the low temperature too! We won’t need to run our furnace at night at this temperature!

By contrast in Fanny Bay, Vanvouver Island this morning when I check the forecast there:

Ok. The best thing we did on this trip was leave Fanny Bay! Imagine if we were still in Fanny Bay and the highs are below 0C!!!! We definitely would not have been happy at all. There has been a lot more snow in Fanny Bay this year, than when we were there last year. We also heard from our friend Owen at Lighthouse RV Park, that the Manager of the RV park has been fired and the park has really gone down hill since we left. We are so glad we ’escaped’ when we did!

We drove right through downtown Houston today on Interstate 10 East today. We are so glad that we got through Houston without hitting bad traffic. You can see that the ramp above us in the distance had a traffic jam, but we kept rolling through without any issues.

We needed to get some groceries for our Christmas meal. There is no way I want to be trying to figure this out tomorrow or the next day, when we are driving, and since we got through Houston quickly, we pulled over in Beaumont, Texas, which was close to our RV Park for the night, to get some food.

Pulling into Kroger.

We were not in the nicest part of Beaumont, Texas, but the Kroger was a good shopping experience none-the less. While I went in shopping, Richard put his seat back in Newman and had a quick 15 minute snooze.

Motorcyclists don’t have to wear helmets in Texas!

Well I don’t think we need to stop here today!

We arrived at Mont Belvieu RV Resort, just outside of Beaumont, Texas around 3:10pm today.

As we drove in the first trailer we saw had a ‘Trump 2024’ flag flying under the American flag.

A nice huge cement pad for Newman tonight and no neighbour on one side.

A huge pull through site for the night for Newman.

We decided once Newman was all set up to go for a walk around the RV park. The Lake in the middle of the RV park covers 7 acres, so we knew it would be a big walk, all the way around the park.

Check this out! Gas BBQ’s for guests to use. I had picked up some fresh meatballs for dinner, so I will get Richard to come and BBQ them so we don’t have to cook in Newman!

Ah, what a relaxing view this is!

It is nice to get out and stretch our legs after a long day of driving.

Drinks anyone?!

The pool is not heated, so there is no way we were going in. The hot tub would have been nice, but its a long walk back to Newman and no way we’re doing that after being in a hot tub!

You never realize how big a place really is until you have to drive through it. I’m sure you’ve looked at a map of Texas before and never really thought about how long it would take you to drive from one side to the other. Now we know how long it takes…forever…or so it seems. We’re really glad we decided to do this trip - especially given what’s going on back in Fanny Bay, and I’m really glad that we don’t have much further to go on our drive. Two more days of driving and then a nice break for Christmas on the beach! I can’t wait to have a different kind of Christmas this year on the white sands of Destin, Florida. Our Jenny O frozen turkey breast, will be a delightful feast for Christmas and hopefully we can even eat outside for a change of pace!

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