Travel Day: Expect the Unexpected

Our motto for this trip is as follows: expect the unexpected.

After the seven of us gathered at the American Airlines counter at 4:30 AM (eastern), we ran into our first unexpected. As Dr. Latham was attempting to check us in, we were informed that our flight to Dallas would most likely be delayed, meaning we would miss our connection to San Antonio. From here, we had two options:

  1. Wait until tomorrow night to fly out since all later flights to San Antonio were full
  2.  Fly to Dallas and take our chances, even if it meant driving the seven hours from Dallas to Falfurrias.

We did not want to wait until tomorrow and miss a full day in Falfurrias, so we took our chance with our first flight to Dallas. Thankfully, our flight wasn’t delayed by much because they were able to swap planes instead of wait for maintenance, and we made it to Dallas with enough time for me to spill two coffees and still make our connection (which was delayed due to weather).

The five of us and Eleanor at the airport
The five of us and Eleanor at the airport

The flight went smoothly, and we landed in San Antonio only a little behind schedule. We picked up our slightly wet checked luggage and went to get our rental car. Here was unexpected number two: somehow we had seven reservations for minivans — I guess they thought we needed one per person! This was quickly resolved, we packed the van with room to spare, and headed to Torchy’s Tacos.

The Trailer Park and Tipsy Chick tacos from Torchy's.
The Trailer Park and Tipsy Chick tacos from Torchy’s.

I had heard Dr. Latham and others mention Torchy’s before, but was waiting to see the hype for myself. And let me tell you, the hype was well deserved! I had two of the best tacos of my life, and with full bellies we began the drive to Falfurrias.

With Dr. Latham at the wheel, the rest of us were free to nap as we pleased, and we definitely did. As we got closer to Falfurrias, we noticed the difference in the landscape from Indianapolis — mesquite trees, cacti, and dense brush replaced the greenery we see on a typical day. We reached town, checked into our motel, and rested for a few minutes before heading to our third unexpected: the madness that is H.E.B.

As a native midwesterner, I had never been to an H.E.B. before today, and I expected something akin to any local grocery store. I was sorely mistaken. It seemed that H.E.B. was the place to be on this dreary Wednesday night. We wove through the crowd to get snacks and food for lunches, and once again packed into the van to head to the motel.

Before heading to Whataburger for dinner — another first for me — we had our planning meeting, running into what I will call the True Unexpected: our plan for tomorrow when we reach Sacred Heart cemetery. Collaborating with Texas State University, there are a few areas of interest to which we may be assigned to explore. We were unable to extend our plans past breakfast at 7, to Sacred Heart by 8. Our team will take each day in stride and continue to expect the unexpected.