Don't get me wrong, I'd much rather ride in an air-conditioned car than actually walk anywhere in three-digit weather. And cars these days are far more comfortable than, say, a covered wagon.
My aunt took me home today, along with her family of husband (1) and children (2). In one car. With everybodys luggage. And the box of cool stuff that she just 'forced' me to salvage from the get-rid-of pile. And I finished my one book within half an hour because I'm just not capable of planning that far ahead. And my cousins were watching cartoons in the back seat. (For the record, I could quite happily live without ever hearing the words 'Strong Bad' ever, ever again.) It was more than a little crowded.
And then there was the restaurant where we had lunch. I'll begin in the bathroom, since that's the first place I went. (I don't know what the men's room was like and I don't want to know.) The first thing was that the lighting was really bad. They had a heavy glass shade over the one light. Which meant that when you went in the stall and shut the door, it was dark. Very dark. I had to find the toilet paper by feel. I suspect that there was a secret conspiracy to keep the bathroom dark so it wouldn't have to be cleaned as often. The air freshener, wherever it was, was strong enough to make my head hurt in the five minutes I dared to stay in there. When I went to wash my hands, I turned on the supposedly hot tap (after I had already soaped my hands) nothing happened. Unless you think that an irritated grumbling from somewhere inside the plumbing is an acceptable something. I tried the other tap (my hands are already soapy at this point, remember). Fortunately, the cold water worked.
Sometimes I think the Greeks and the Romans were onto something when they believed in omens.
The wait was long. First we waited. Then my aunt got up and snitched the menus from another table. We deliberated on what to order for about twenty seconds before the waitress materialized and asked for our order. We ordered drinks and proceeded to memorize the menu while we waited for the waitress to come back. We ordered, and two of the orders were things (unmarked, by the way) that were not prepared until after five o'clock. I and whoever else it was who was unfortunate hastily (and somewhat randomly) chose something else. The waitress disappeared again. (In kindness to her, she was apologetic throughout all of this- whenever we saw her- and admitted to being new.) I began the next Great American Novel on some mostly intact straw wrappers. (Fun Fact: if you write small you can fit two lines of writing on each side of a flattened straw wrapper. Your punctuation is going to look weird, though.) I got maybe halfway through a small paragraph before I sloshed my drink on it. Still, that burned about forty minutes or so.
My cousins were bored to death. So was I, but I had a pen and am slightly more experienced in entertaining myself. My uncle finally fished out his palm pilot- or other electronic, nameless thing- and started a game of pictionary. (This is where the first person writes something, the next person draws a picture of that, the next describs the picture, until you've gone all the way around. This is somewhat like the telephone game, which I will not waste time explaining here. Then you repeat endlessly in the Resturant of Doom.)
On my turn- the next to last one to start a round- I wrote 'a very long wait'. I worried- after I had already passed it off to my seven-year-old cousin- that this might be a hard one to draw. Not so. It came out the other end as 'never get served food in this resturant'. (Mispellings withdrawn. You're welcome.)
Sometime during pictionary a plate of food- gasp- arrived at the table. But no silverware. Then two more plates. Then a third plate, which was the wrong order and disappeared again. Then my aunt went and snitched silverware from the same table she got the menus. I waited for my food. The palm pilot continued its rounds around the table. My food arrived. I had tacos.
We ate quickly. (At this point it was almost three. We walked in around one-thirty.) No one was either disgusted or impressed with the food, but everyone agreed that it was not worth the wait. I began to feel sick before I got up from the table. I felt sicker when I went to stand with my aunt at the cashier. (On a side note, she mentioned that she could have fed us all at On The Border for the same price. If you happen to not live in Texas, On The Border is one of the best chain Tex-Mex places available. And the service is better.) My aunt noticed and asked what was wrong. I admitted to certain up-and-down motions going on inside.
To cut the suspence off at the knees, I did not throw up. I almost wanted to, except that it would have prolonged the car trip. The Teacher met us at a turn off point so the others could go to Tourist Mecca and took me home. Having discussed (and cussed) the resturant at some length, it's been decided that the cheese was the processed plastic kind. I'm violently allergic to processed cheese; if it really was that, then I- and everyone else in the car- is lucky that I didn't throw up after all. I still don't feel to great, but I'm not about to die either, so I suppose that's an improvement.
In conclusion: if you are ever in Lampasas, do not eat at Medinas. Not worth it on any count.
I'm home and happy to be so. My kitties are still cute (I was really worried about that). I'll sleep in a bed instead of on a couch (although it was a very comfortable couch, it's not the same.) And I'm not carsick. I'm just sick of cars.