Sunday, November 21, 2004

Shreveport, Louisiana—Dallas, Texas—Tucson, Arizona—Day 295

Ohhh bed bugs.

After sleeping with a little bit more company that I have had lately, I took a shower (which is difficult yet surprisingly manageable when you have no towels) and packed up my stuff into my car. I went to have breakfast which turned out to be this ridiculous mixture of food and people. Shreveport—for all of those who don’t know—appears to be this casino town. The hotel ran a 24 hour shuttle back and forth from all of the casinos in the area. The crowd at breakfast seemed like a mixture of those either going out to gamble for the day or coming in from gabling all night. Plus it was served in this “Chinese” restaurant attached to the hotel which was sketchy just in itself. Luckily the rain that had accompanied me into Shreveport late last night had stopped.

I had breakfast, checked out, and was on my way to the hotel where I passed several other really nice looking hotels. I returned my rental car to a girl who looked no older than 13 (although her heavy makeup was making her a passable 16) and found myself waiting for the earlier flight to Dallas on standby along with two other burly guys. Yay for being a gold member—priority standby! The people at the Shreveport security take themselves very seriously—no reasons why the shouldn’t—but I was really the only person in the security line and they made me take off everything (ok, you know not everything) even though I knew that nothing I had on would make the metal detector go off.

Anyways, I got on the standby flight which was nice. I arrived into Dallas two hours early, and then caught the next flight to Tucson which brought me home two hours early and had me seated next to this crazy dread-locked forest service guy who, like me, was learning Portuguese. We started talking (basically him telling me all about his ridiculous escapades in Brazil) and before I knew it (and after I knew waaaay too much about his personal life, ahem) we had arrived into Tucson. My grandparents (visiting from England) and my dad were there to meet me, although my luggage had another two hours to arrive.

I was home. I was happy. I was tired. No more hippos—at least not for a few days. Not that I can complain—surely I will feel lost with out my four legged companions tomorrow or the next.

Turkey and stuffing will just have to suffice.