Posts Tagged ‘Dublin’

“A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans are fruitless … we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.” John Steinbeck.

Icicles on Gypsy Lee as she sits outside my daughter's home on the outskirts of Dallas. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Travels With Maggie

I’m in Dallas. It’s currently 6:30 a.m. and 23 degrees outside, where my RV, Gypsy Lee, is parked on the street. My cocker spaniel and I, however, are warm and snug inside the home of my oldest daughter, Deborah.

 It’s a rare occasion when Maggie and I don’t sleep in our own above-the-cab bed. But since running the heater constantly all night would have drained the battery in my unplugged home, we had no choice.

It’s a day, I decided on waking, for a cozy chair, a blanket to snuggle beneath and a good book. I have all three, the book being Susan Albert’s “An Extraordinary Year of Ordinary Days,” a writer’s journal.

 It’s also a day that reminds me of the first time Deborah, who thinks spending a night at a Holiday Inn is camping, decided she wanted to experience my vagabond life for a few days. The plan was that I would pick her up in Odessa, Texas, where her contract job had ended, and the two of us would take a few days driving back to Dallas, which was almost 400 miles away.

 When we had made these plans the weather was sunny and warm. The day I picked her up in Odessa, it was cold and rainy. We made it to San Angelo, where we spent the night at Spring Creek Marina and RV Park on Lake Nasworthy. I had stayed here before and loved that I could walk Maggie beside the lake.

That's my daughter, Deborah, on the left during our stop at the Dr. Pepper plant in Dublin, Texas. -- Photo by Pat Bean

But the next morning was not a day for walking. Icicles hung from my RV and the windows inside had ice on them. We defrosted everything and got back on the road for a miserable day of driving in fog and sleet.

By afternoon, Deborah was ready for a long, hot shower and a warm soft bed. But hot water in my tiny shower is limited and my couch isn’t t exactly soft. We spent the night in a Holiday Inn in the small town of Brownwood – and hoped for a better tomorrow.

It wasn’t.

 We decided to forgo our lollygagging and drive as quickly back to Dallas as Gypsy Lee would take us. As far as giving my daughter a taste of what I consider a fantastic lifestyle, the trip had been a big bust. Then we came to Dublin, Texas, home of the oldest Dr. Pepper plant in the world. More importantly, it’s a rare facility that still uses the original recipe calling for pure cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup.

My daughter, who loves the original Dr. Pepper, hadn’t known the city was on our route. She was ecstatic and eager to stop. We spent a pleasant hour in the plant’s soda shoppe drinking Dr. Pepper and eating a hamburger lunch. My daughter then bought a couple of cases of the original Dr. Pepper to take home with her.

She was finally a happy camper, one who now knew one of my travel secrets: The unexpected is as important to a successful journey as the weather.

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