Starting off, the Holiday Inn in Ft. Smith did absolutely nothing to win back our patronage Friday evening. We stayed there on our way to grandmother's funeral due to the fact we had the gift certificate for a free night's stay, and it cut our trip to Enid, OK. in half.
The first thing I wanted to do once in the room, of course, was call my mother and tell her we had arrived safely. We had a calling card, so I attempted to dial the TOLL FREE number to access the calling card. It wouldn't allow it. I finally talked to the front desk, and they said they required a $20 deposit on the phone, and that TOLL FREE calls cost... FIFTY CENTS. So, I attempted to find the pay phone, which was hidden back by the conference rooms, and had no luck there, eventually running the calling card to empty.
So, I went to the ATM, took out $20, and slapped it down on the counter. I wasn't about to put down my debit card again. This ran me $1.90 in fees though. So, the next day, we checked out, and got $14.05 back, meaning my few short phone calls cost us $5.95.
We ate in Ft. Smith at a place called Cucos, it was in a out of the way area in Ft. Smith in a practically empty former mall-looking place that contained only this eating establishment, and an indoor skate park. I started thinking of all the potential of that place for the right investor, but then again, it was probably empty for a reason. I didn't overeat, and we had plenty of leftovers.
Saturday morning, it was off to Enid, the last information we had was that the whole family was to meet at a church in Enid around noon. We arrived at said church at 12:20. There was NOBODY there. Not knowing what to do, we went to the funeral home, who let us know the family had gone to Golden Corral. So, we met the family there. I was very good there, eating peas, green beans, carrots, two hot wings, and a roll, that was IT.
Then, the funeral.
The service was officiated by a man I knew well, as he used to pastor the church I was baptized in, which I attended often with grandma. As he read off the "survivors" we discovered that grandma hadn't updated her address book in a while, as it had all of us in locations from about ten years ago. No biggie.
The biggest dissapointment of the whole service though was how they prepared the body. The woman in the casket looked NOTHING like my grandmother! Never in my life had I seen her without a smile on her face, and they had prepped the body to look as though she was practically scowling. But, we were comforted with the knowledge that grandmother wasn't in that casket, she was in heaven, and surely she was still smiling there. I was a pall-bearer, but we only moved her about ten feet, so it wasn't that big of a deal.
It was so wonderful to see the family again. The highlights for me were talking with two of my favorite cousins (I love them all, of course.) My oldest cousin, who is six months my elder, was an absolute pleasure to talk with. She is also now a reader of my blog. (Hi!) Her younger brother also connected with me there, as we agreed whole-heartedly about the way grandma looked in the casket, and had a good cry over it together.
That night, we drove back as far as Tulsa, where I was BAD. We at at a place called Fuddruckers, which is famous for there 1-ton hamburgers. (Okay, 2/3 lbs, but close enough.) I polished off one of those, and a regular order of onion rings.
We stayed Saturday night at a Tulsa area SUPER 8 (which was fabulous, and DIDN'T screw up our checking account.) We also rediscovered one of the greatest conveniece stores in America known as Quick Trip. These guys are FANTASTIC! Clean restrooms, amazing drink choices, great newspaper and magazine choices, interesting food. I wish we had one in Little Rock.
Speaking of things we wish were in Little Rock, we stopped off at the last Braum's in Alma, AR, and picked up a Bag O' Burgers. Braum's will only put stores as far out from their farm as a truck can travel in one day, to maintain freshness. So, no Little Rock Braum's. (Waah)
We arrived back, and I went to sleep, as I work overnight tonight.
It's good to be home!