Highway Patrol, Fire Alarms, and a Couch

As I have been saying, we had a nice trip out to the prairie. When we arrived at DFW (and breathed the fresh non-airplane recycled air), we made our way toward Avis to pick up a rental car. We were given a 2010 Dodge Charger…not too bad, right?

Apparently the Texas Highway Patrol didn’t think so. We were driving along 287N, making our way toward Lawton, when we noticed a menacing Texas Highway Patrolman staring us down as he passed on the driver’s side of the Charger. He squinted and slowed his speed to match ours (~60mph) and just continued to alternate his gaze between us and the road. As you can imagine, our pulsed raced while trying to figure out when the hell we were doing wrong (nothing, seriously nothing!).


Mr. Dudley Do Right (yes, I know our patrolman is a Texan and not Canadian but work with me here) then slowed down and slid his vehicle behind ours. Sh*t. We continued along 287N this way for about five minutes before Dudley turned on his lights. Clay (the driver) officially began freaking out. I was rubbing my clamy palms back and forth across my jeans when Dudley  approached our car. Sh*t. However, much to our surprise (and delight!), he was a very nice man who quickly informed us that he pulled us over because our rental car had expired Texas inspection tags. Thanks Avis, thanks a lot. After discussing the situation with Mr. Do Right, we decided to continue on to Oklahoma and trade in the car once we get to Lawton. This proved more difficult than we originally thought, and my attempts to contact Avis at DFW and the Avis national customer service line proved fruitless, as it was News Years Day and all of the employees were too hungover to deal with their oversight that led to our run in with Texas Highway Patrol.

So we continued on and eventually arrived in Lawton. A mistake on our part, we chose to enter the area through the worst street in town (Lee Blvd.), which prompted my “Where the hell are you moving us?” attitude toward Clay.


But as you know from my previous posts, we quickly learned that we actually like the area and we felt excited about our upcoming relocation. I still can’t get over how nice and good natured everyone is out there.

And there are casinos! What isn’t to love about that? Clay and I are the dorks who enjoy playing penny slots. Move over Grandma with the scotch and fanny pack – we want to play. And you know, we haven’t lost yet. Seriously. We abide by a strict rule of stopping when we’re ahead and not spending more than our original agreed upon amount. We have won in the Bahamas, Montreal, and now Texas with this method. This time we only started with a $1 each. We left with $6 though. Just enough to pay for our coffees at Starbucks the next morning. Perfect!


We stayed at the La Quinta Inn and Suites where one morning at 6:30 we were awakened by the fire alarm. I proceeded to hop out of bed, put on pants, and make my way to the door, with the alarm stopping just as I put my eye up to the peephole. Clay stayed in bed and once the alarm stopped, he decided to roll over and pull the covers over his head, deeming the alarm not worthy enough of waking up. He blames his ability to sleep through fire alarms on his experience sleeping through rocket attacks. Needless to say, it was definitely a “you know you’re married to a soldier when…” moment for me.

We noticed this sign in front of the toaster every day at the hot breakfast bar. Methinks someone decided that the rules of toaster physics didn’t apply to them when toasting their bagel. People. Sigh.

So because Avis at DFW dropped the ball on providing us with a street legal car in Texas, we had to trade in the Dodge Charger before we crossed back into Texas in order to catch our flight home. Budget in Lawton worked with Avis (no Lawton location) to switch out our cars. Much to our amusement, we were given a Mercury Grand Marquis.

It was like riding a couch! And Clay reports that it purred like a kitten and practically drove itself. Every other Grand Marquis we passed hosted passengers that had at least 50 years on us. I kept giving our counterparts a courtesy wave but sadly, no one returned the sentiment. To be fair, I am not sure if they could see me through their wrap around sunglasses.

Once at DFW, we each ordered a tall Shiner Bock to alleviate the pain of forgetting to put gas in our rental car before turning in it. We seriously remembered just as we were driving over the spikes into the lot. Ouch. But the beers were crazy delicious!

We actually got to sit next to each other during the flight home. Imagine that! I snapped this about halfway through the flight, just as the sun was setting. And thus ended our inaugural trip out to the Lawton/Ft. Sill area.


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