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Around the World in 80 Beers

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Thursday, May 21, 2009
I AM Getting Old. . .
Back in my youth (which, for arguments sake, let's call 5 years ago) the open road beckoned.  There was nothing I liked better than getting in my car and driving.  Where?  It didn't matter.  I had my Dad's driving gene.  I LIKED to drive and the thought of taking off cross-country had a very large appeal.
Today?  Eh.  Not so much.
As I was taking that VERY stressful drive to Fort Worth yesterday - alone - trying to navigate, keep my eyes on the road and find my four different highways, my knuckles white and palms sweaty upon the steering wheel of our trusty Nissan Sentra, I realized that driving?  Wasn't that much fun.
Now, we don't drive much anymore (unless we're home, and then we typically don't really drive very far or in much traffic or in unfamiliar places).  And the less I drive, the more Nervous Nellie I become.  And the traffic here?  Is crazy.
So I wondered about that.  After being downtown twice and out in the 'burbs a bit, I asked Mike, "How big of a city is this comparatively?" because it just doesn't feel THAT big.  We both guessed somewhere in the top 50 biggest cities in the US.
WRONG.  See how bad our US Geography is?  What did you guess?
It's NINTH!  Dude.  That seems pretty big.
Grand Rapids is 113th.  Detroit is 11th.  Chicago is 3rd.  Want to see the list?  Click here.
Maybe I'll quit being so hard on myself about getting "lost" and missing my anticipated highways 3 times yesterday.  It's not like I'm a big city girl or anything!
Today?  I'm going to drive again, but not so far (I don't think) to the Grapevine Outlet Mall (that would be my Mom's shopping gene).
They have a Skechers outlet there and someone still doesn't have any tennis shoes for Peru. . .

Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Deep in the Heart of Texas!
Obviously, we made it to Texas and I've been lazy as heck updating this.  However, if you're mad and want more info (the three of you who still check here on a regular basis), I will tell you I've been investing (READ:  WASTING!) a lot of time on Facebook, and there's plenty of pics and drivel available there on a much more timelier basis.
Just so you know.  And, if you don't have a Facebook page, I can only say GET ONE!  :-)
Dallas is okay.  Not as big of a city as I had anticipated, has a very dependable and easy to use rail system which enables me to get downtown and snoop around without actually having to drive in a car in this crazy traffic, and enough to see and do to keep me busy for 5 days.
I've been downtown the last two days, today I think I'm going to attempt to drive to Fort Worth.  Once the traffic abates.
In other news, however, I just want to say how sad it is that Dan Limbaugh from our local News Channel 8 passed away.  Remember Dan?  He was in Beijing while we were there.  Remember Beijing?  Where we spent ALMOST ALL OF LAST YEAR???  Anyway, if you DON'T remember (and care), go here and look around August 6th. 
I'm not going to pretend we knew Dan well, because we didn't, but the short time we were able to spend with him in Beijing convinced us he was a neat guy, and we were glad to have met him (and Brian Sterling, too!).
I never did get the photo of us with them at dinner in Beijing (I didn't bring my camera! Can you believe that?), but in the montage News 8 has been playing to commerate him and his career, we show up in THAT photo about 3/4 of the way through the video.
So watch the following video and miss Dan with us, and you can also see the long overdue pic of Dan, Brian, Mike and I at dinner at Morel's in Beijing.

We had no idea he had been sick, but while we were in Beijing he was hospitalized for an unknown ailment for about four days, and then unexpectedly went home.
Unfortunately for us, we were never aware of his struggle, and lost contact with Dan late last summer.
So, when you meet cool people, whether next door or across the world, try and realize the importance of the short time we have on this planet and keep in touch.
Good-bye Dan.