Dec 14, 2016

The Heat. Texas.

It's day 2 of our first heat wave of the summer and I've got my routine down pat. There's trays of ice cubes in the freezer and I have a frozen juice box ready to for for Preschooler SSG after pick up this afternoon.

Frozen juice boxes take me back to my own days at school.  I remember mum using them as an ice block to keep our packed lunches cool.  If we were lucky, there'd still be slivers of ice in our drinks at lunchtime making them a kind of juice slushie.  On weekends, we'd cut the boxes open straight out of the freezer and scrape away at the ice with a teaspoon.  I remember being a particularly responsible oldest child and placing my juice box and teaspoon in a plastic bowl so that I wouldn't leave trails of juice and water in my wake as I roamed the house with my cooling treat.  But only after mum nagged me about a million times to do so.

There were some unique individuals who gave chocolate or strawberry milk cartons a similar freezer and teaspoon treatment but they were few and far between at our school.  Frozen milk...  I just couldn't and still can't.  

Liquid laundry detergent dispersible sachets or 'pacs' as the label of these Kirkland / Costco branded ones describe them have revolutionized my laundry routine. No more caked on powder residue in the detergent dispenser, no more build of liquid residue in their either, no more clothing that doesn't smell clean  on account of the powder not getting from A to B during the mixed wash cycle.  All you need to do when using these 'pacs' is to place one in the drum of the machine, load up your clothes and press start.  I have a front loader and these work fine in it.  Yet another item to add on my recurring list of things to buy at Costco.

I've been taking advantage of the brief lull in the busyness levels of my life at the moment and begun making concrete plans for next year's travel.  I love these initial stages of the planning process.  Working out days to fly and arrive, putting dates and activities into tables in Word, researching places to stay, making lists of places to see (and shop).  There's always something very exciting about that first look at the Google Map of the city you're planning to visit.  Criss crosses and networks of unfamiliar road names, patches of green that indicate parks and other natural attractions, places of note with their individual coded symbols. It's almost as if you're already there...
Provided all the planets in my life align, you'll find me blogging from San Antonio in May next year.  This will be the first time I'll be staying on in the state of Texas despite having flown the Sydney to Dallas - Fort Worth route a number of times over the years.  My patchy geography leads me to believe that it's an hour or so flying time from Dallas to San Antonio.  Interestingly, San Antonio is a more populous city than Dallas and is the biggest city in Texas after Houston.

via blogger

This also got me thinking about the relative locations of each of these cities to each other.  I wonder why it is that we fly in from Sydney to Dallas rather than Houston given that Houston is closer to the coast than Dallas?  Probably because of some high level air line industry logistics and territorial issues, I suspect.

Texas might be many months away but given the speed at which they seem to be flying past these days, it might not be that crazy to actually start gathering my travelling things from now.  

Going back to the beginning of this post, were you a fan of the frozen juice box at school?  Did you ever try frozen flavoured milk?  I'm told that the frozen strawberry milk tastes like ice cream cake but that wasn't enough to tempt me....

Have you ever been to Texas?  Is everything there really bigger and better than it is elsewhere in the US?  I've already located the shopping mall with the biggest cow boy boots on its front lawn....  Any tips for the San Antonio area?  

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