Alpha Male encounters – Travel Memories

In DallasMy husband used to work in the moving industry.  I always wanted to travel with him especially when he went to Texas.  It was amazing how often there is an exchange of people between Calgary and Texas.  I could go at least once a month if not more if I could get away.  Besides loving the Texan cowboy attitude, I also enjoyed visiting cousins.  With their precocious little girl and a delightful new baby it was fun.

Of course, just like I knew I would in Texas, I often met the Alpha male.  One incident sticks in my mind.  My husband had two helpers for the unloading.  He was in the house and being as it was so hot and sticky in Houston that day, I decided to climb the ladder to get the stuff down from the top.  Every time I lifted something my alpha male (one of the helpers) would step forward – ‘oh no, ma’am – let me get that.’  It was nice and somewhat amusing.  The other guy was just a guy and I had fun joking and talking to him.  After hearing ‘oh no ma’am’ – and being as it was starting to get to much heavier stuff, I climbed down and sat at the end of the truck.  When my nice Alpha male went into the house, the other man came up to me and said “Would you mind getting back up on the ladder.”  I kinda looked at him in a puzzled manner.  Why would he ask me that?  He immediately responded “It’s the first time I’ve ever seen that guy work.”

A hilarious moment in time.  I couldn’t stop laughing.

But I didn’t climb back up.  Instead I wandered down the street to where two little girls were selling lemonade.  Paying for a few glasses in American funds, I also gave them a Canadian Loonie each ( $1.00 coin).  They were so fascinated they had to run in the house to show their mother.  (For those interested it’s called a Loonie because there is a Loon on one side of the coin).

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Is everything in Texas bigger? – Travel Memories

I often inserted remarks when talking with people in Texas that some people might not see the humor in.  But Texans did.  It was fun.

I would say something like ‘Alberta is bigger than Texas‘.  A remark that was met with ‘no it’s not‘.  Then I would say ‘Alberta beef is better than Texan beef‘.  After saying ‘No it’s not,’ I often got puzzled looks and a comment ‘You’re not anything like I imagined a Canadian would be like.’  It seemed to be a real ice-breaker.

Calgary

Welcome to Alberta – the New West.

Riding Shotgun – Texas

I love Texas.  My first trip into Texas was a real ‘homecoming’ experience. The weather was warm and sunny.  I love sunshine too.  We stopped at a small gas station and the first thing I noticed was the Texas Jellybeans on the counter.  I laughed as they were huge.

We had a trip to Dallas and stayed in my favorite Best Western hotel.  The boys enjoyed the pool.  We walked down to a mall with drivers looking at us like we were insane.  It was the middle of summer and very hot.  In the morning, while George was still in the room, I wandered down to the restaurant to have a coffee. I really can’t function without a coffee.  The first thing that happened – everyone was talking to everyone.  It was fun and after finding out I was from Canada we had a lively discussion on Health Care.  Fortunately for me, I am unable to defend our costly health care.  It is abused, misused and pulling us down.  I believe even I could figure out a better way.

In Dallas we met with our cousins and I held their tiny baby boy that I have since watched grow to a young adult.  It was wonderful to meet up with people we knew.  Although in Texas I never seemed to feel out of place.

We have visited Texas many times.  Once George loaded his truck in the middle of the night to meet a deadline.  It was dark and I was the only one to help him.  I was so exhausted after drinking gallons of water,  I could barely crawl into the bunk to sleep after we were done.  In Corpus Christie we sat in a park overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and watched the largest moon I’ve ever seen crawl up over the water and horizon.  I had a cook come out of the kitchen and sit with us – because I had a package of du Maurier cigarettes and he wanted to know where we were from.

My favorite place is San Antonio. We went to the Alamo, then for a carriage ride.  Everyone seemed to know exactly where Calgary, Alberta was.  Many cowboys from Texas participate in the Calgary Stampede Rodeo.  Many people move between the two places because of the oil industry.  Then riding in the carriage, seeing lights below the streets – we were amazed to discover San Antonio’s River Walk.  It was fantastic with curved paths following the river, small, unique shops and cafe’s and foliage, flowers and four hundred year old oak trees.   And San Antonio is where my favorite singer – George Strait – is from.  Although I rarely pass up a trip to Texas, recently George was down there without me.  When he talked to our grandson on the phone, Murphy asked if Poppa could possibly stop and tell George Strait that Grandma had all his songs.  It was so cute.

My son sings an excellent rendition of ‘God Bless Texas’. Even a guy from Texas once complimented him on it. We were in a tiny bar in the Okanagan Valley in BC.  It’s a small world.

Another – Riding Shotgun Trip

LOUISIANA

There is much traffic between Alberta and Texas or Louisiana.  Gas & Oil companies change their personnel about every two years between these places.  Calgary, Alberta has the largest percentage of Americans outside the USA in the world.  I found that a very interesting statistic.

As my husband was moving furniture at the time he often got moves to these states.  I decided to go with him to Louisiana one time as we could get down there on a Friday and he didn’t have to unload until the following Monday.

We spent a week-end in Lafayette, Louisiana. This trip was the most obvious ‘never seen before’ trip.  Wherever we drove – from eastern States, to the mid-west States and even the Pacific coast States there are similarities between Canada and the USA.  But there is no comparing in Canada when it comes to the bayous.

On Saturday we took a boat tour on the bayous.  From the eerie, hanging moss on the Cyprus trees, I had only read about in romance books  to the alligators we saw, I could only stare and try to drink in all the sights.  Deep pink flowers and waxy green foliage, floated on the water often looking like land.  Our guide told us the trunks of the Cyprus trees could be under water up to forty feet and still tower above us.  I could imagine voodoo rituals, ghosts and crawling monsters.  I saw alligators resting on rotting logs.  (My husband said they weren’t real . Mostly they didn’t move – he thought they might just be props for the tourists).  The water is murky, dark and mysterious.

Then I asked a few people where the best place to eat Cajun food was.  I was already hooked on the scrumptious tastes and since then I haven’t found a better cup of coffee – except maybe Quebec and of course Tim Horton‘s – my addiction of choice.  We went to a restaurant called PreJean’s and dined near a stuffed alligator.  The ambiance was perfect.  The food was out of this world. I can still imagine the taste of the chocolate dessert.  The people were so friendly.

On Monday we went to unload.  Our customer had a huge sprawling house beside the river.  The woman we moved was fun and entertaining. She actually gave me her full-length mink coat, saying she wouldn’t need it.  I could almost hear her ‘ha,ha’ in my mind.  But it was such a wonderful, thoughtful gift.

The air was hot and humid.  She explained that her skin just ‘slurped’ up the moisture when she got off her plane. (Calgary has extremely dry air). She had a long boardwalk along side the river and a boat dock.  Although she warned me to watch for poisonous snakes that crawled in the murky waters I couldn’t resist walking along side the river, drinking in the wondrous sights.

Then as the cardboard boxes were emptied and thrown out on the lawn to be flattened, I saw something else.  Little gecko’s – so irresistibly  cute and inquisitive crawled all over.  There were hundreds and hundreds.  I chased them – thinking this might be a wonderful gift to bring back for my two boys. They sure were quick.  They would stand on a box and wait for me – until I was close enough to reach out then they disappeared.  For anyone who thinks otherwise – I couldn’t have brought them across the border regardless, but the thought was fun.

Overall, my first trip to Louisiana is a warm memory of fun, beauty and a uniqueness I will never forget.  I have been to Louisiana a few times since, but my first trip was special.