My first task was to put on a trouser. I like to sleep in minimal clothing. Then I took bunch of papers that were lying on the table and tried to clear the air around the smoke alarm. Then opened the main door. The alarm went silent. Phew! But the room was filled with burning smell, plastic burn smell and it was burning my head as well. I went out for a while, leaving the door wide open. I thought to put the dumbbells back in the car as I'm up anyways. I can't go back to sleep in that room. Few rooms further, a dude was loitering outside. He would go in and out of his room, sometimes smoking, sometimes on a phone call. I didn't want to bring out dumbbells from the room and load in the car while he is overlooking. He would think I'm crazy, some fitness freak that I carry my dumbbells around. I waited for him to go in his room when I'd quickly transfer the weights. By this time the stench had subsided a bit. So I took a dump, brushed my teeths, showered and packed my bags. I left the motel around 8am with a fear that I might be charged for the AC problem, I cursed myself to have used my credit card when I could've used cash to pay. Although they'd have asked for my credit card for security purpose as is common with other hotels.
Alright. First stop was Oklahoma City. The national cowboy and western heritage museum was the one on my list before I started for 66. Went in there after couple hours of driving. I had trouble finding parking spot which was strange to me, considering this was Friday morning and that too, its a museum! The museum was okay. There were some cowboys stories, models, paintings etc none of them interested me that much. It was a huge place. I don't know if we have too much of cowboy stuff to occupy this huge place. I didn't learn much from here. It was a decent stopover, for my restroom needs.
It was lunch time when I came out of the museum. I found out a decent mexican restaurant in the heart of Oklahoma city downtown and went there. After lunch I took a wee bit of stroll in the downtown area. One of the best things I liked in Chicago was taking a walk down Michigan Ave. The 2mi stretch from the loop to the Oak street beach is the pulse of Chicago. Such a vibrant street, full of life. Always bustling with people. After Times Sq in NY, this is definitely my favorite place when it comes to taking a stroll. The best thing of living in a city like Chicago is that you get to walk a stretch and feel the beauty of the place. There never goes a day when I've not regretted living in the heart of Chicago. It was only during the weekends that I'd visit the City, stay in Ritesh's place, and explore. Chicago can never get boring for me, even if I had to walk down that stretch of Michigan Ave everyday. Its a new feeling everytime. I can't really explain whats so amazing about that street. Is it the loads of stores lining up on both sides of it, is it the skyscrapers gracing over it or is it the thousands of people, young and old, beautiful and more beautiful, who walk on the sidewalks, tourists and citizens alike, all sorts of fashion, summer fall winter or spring or may be its everything together. Ah Chicago...you beauty.
I took a walk in the city downtown. Skyscrapers, parks, traffic, alleys, hotels, banks. Mom called me while I was enjoying the city. I got into a little bit of heated argument with her. She kept asking me about any marriage proposals and if the girl I'm currently talking to is a cheat and probably wants my money so I need to be careful. The argument didn't end well. Mom is very suspicious of everyone while I give people the benefit of doubt first until they do or say something that breaks trust. After the call, I thought to swing by a nearby Bank of America ATM to get some cash on my hand. Almost all of the places I use the card but just to be safe, I like to keep some cash around especially during travelling when there are chances of toll roads.
Next stop was The Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo, TX. It was another 3-4hrs of drive with nothing in between. I filled up the gas, stocked myself with some water bottles and gatorades, some nuts and snacks etc and started the drive. Again the weather was excellent. Cloudy. Just the way I want for a long drive.During driving, I'd manage to take some pictures. I had two cameras on me. A Samsung digicam which I bought when I worked in Samsung, back in 2007. Its 7.2MPixel which was enough for me for general purpose stuff. I'm not much of a photographer, I manage to take shots as and when I see a nice view without much care about the lighting, angle, zoom etc. The second camera was from my smartphone, again Samsung Galaxy, 13mpixel. Taking pictures from the phone while driving was not comfortable and not safe at all. I have to keep one hand on the steering wheel and take the picture with the other hand. The tap button in the phone camera is at the bottom and it was tricky to tap the screen while holding the phone. Only if I had few more fingers, additional thumbs, it would've helped. With that regard, the Samsung digicam was handy. I could take snaps with one hand as the way to hold the camera allowed me to press the click button which is at the top.
I reached Amarillo around 5pm. I could've driven few more miles but looking at my plans I decided to stay the night here. Many of my next attractions were nearby and it was getting dark. I don't think they would have looked pretty in dark so thought to stay the night and visit them the following day. For dinner, the Steak Ranch was obvious choice. Talk to two birds in one stone. I stayed in Super8 again after my first night experience. No more experiments staying new places. Took a shower, browsed the internet a bit and then headed to the Texan Steak Ranch.
It was a mixed crowd there. Young and old. I took a seat in the bar and the serving lady passed me the menu. She was very very pretty. Caucasian, clear skin, not a single mark. Blonde with blue eyes and blood red lips. She was a beauty and with that southern accent, she was killing me. This the thing about accents though. Florida has a bit of accent but I didn't like it much when I was there. But talk about the Southern accent, it gets me. My favorite accent is British by the way. I can't explain but I have an affinity for it. If there is a damsel who speaks British, I can just listen to her talk all day without getting bored for a moment. The British variant accent like Irish or Scottish accents are pleasing to my ears too. After these definitely comes the Southern accent. Of the accents I don't fancy would be Russian or Spanish people speaking English. The English is barely understandable and the words are heavy with accents. Indian or African accent is average category, at least they pronounce the English words stressing the 'R' and 'T' or 'D' etc so the words sound a bit clear hence its better understandable. The Australian/New Zealand/South African accent would come net after Southern, which gets me. Beautiful women, and with an accent, that's a perfect life, isn't it.
I just ogled at the serving lady while eating my dinner. I lend her all my ears whenever she talked with any customers. I appreciate beauty and women are the epitome of beauty. I finished my dinner and thought to strike a conversation with someone but all around me were old people. Also, no one took the Steak eating challenge while I was there. This was the specialty of this place. If you could eat the 72oz steak in an hour, you can have it for free. I didn't know how much it would cost otherwise. I should have checked the price in the menu but I guess I was just distracted by the beauty at the other side of the bar.
Came out of the Ranch and thought to visit a local bar. I don't remember the name. I went in there. The place was alright. Not much crowded but not barren as well. There were four ladies serving. Two were behind the bar while the other two were roaming around lounge and pool area taking orders. They'd come to the bar, ask for so and so drink, pay at the bar to the lady there, then take the drink to the person who ordered. That person would pay her then. I thought this was a nice system. The older lady in the bar did indeed looked like a Big Boss figure. She would hand out the drink and take the money from other ladies, and the other ladies, which looked much younger than her, indeed looked like serving the Big Boss. Paying her the money meekly.
I took a picture with the Big Boss, had a few small talk with other ladies, then left. Time to call it a day. So far the trip has been going good.