Will "the Mighty" Strohl

Day One in Texas - The President, Firemen, and Meteors

The thing I want to know about a place when I visit is not where the closest Darden restaurant is, but where is the best mom-and-pop "dive" of a restaurant is.  Where is there something that the locals think is cool or don't even know about?  Where can I have fun and learn about the area at the same time.  It is nearly always as simple as just talking to the locals.

We woke up early to get some paperwork done.  That was the basic purpose of this trip.  However, the real purpose was just to see my daughter.  I hadn't seen her in a year!  I couldn't wait!

We got the paper work done and went to a place nearby.  It is the childhood home of the current President Bush.  (For those of you that don't know, you should now have deduced that we are in Midland, Texas.)  Regardless of what you think of the guy, he is the President, and it is always interesting to see where someone like that comes from.  We went straight there.  When we arrived though, we noticed that they opened later, so we had to come back.

So, we decided to have some doughnuts at a local doughnut shop.  There was one nearby called Sunshine Doughnuts.  They open at 4:30 AM and it was run by an older Asian couple. 

So far, they are the only Asians I have seen here.  They have lived here for 28 years.  With the exception of enough people to count on both of my hands, all I have seen is white people.  There is very little diversity here.  I am not surprised, and yet I am at the same time.

Anyhow...  We had some excellent doughnuts.  I had most of an Apple Fritter, and a blueberry doughnut.  We all agreed that these were quite good.  They were $4.99 for a dozen.  Not bad!  Time to go back to the Bush house.

We finally got the tour of the Childhood Bush Home.  This home was bought to be restored and used as a place to preserve the history of President George W. Bush.  It was really cool.  Even Paige said it was!  I was very surprised at that.  It has only been open a couple of months.  Apparently, the only Bush to visit it so far was Jenna, for a book signing.

George W. Bush Childhood Home (Sign)

George W. Bush Childhood Home (Front)

Nearly everything in there is a restored replica of the original home items.  Some of which was found on E-Bay of all places.  You can see things there like an original little league roster with George Bush's name on it, his room with some of the toys he used to play with, and the actual refrigerator that Laura Bush used in her childhood home.  Her mother donated it.  (Who still lives in Midland.)  Until recently, it was still in her garage, and still working! 

Following that, we noticed a Fire Museum just around the corner.  I must admit.  We had an alternative motive for going.  We certainly wanted the tour, but we also wanted to know where the best places in town were to eat.  One of the things I know about firemen is that they either know were to find great food, cook great food, or both. 

Midland Fire Station (Front)

Midland Fire Station (Tour)

We went in, and a Captain gave us a tour of the entire facility.  Most of it is just a huge fire station.  we met many firemen.  We also got all kinds of really cool information about the station, its history, and history about Midland in general.  The Captain was named Juan something.  I forget his last name.  But his son is likely going to be competing in the Olympic trials in track and field.  His tour was great, and he was incredibly kind.  We couldn't thank him enough for his time.

The last thing we saw today was the meteor crater in Odessa, Texas.  It was pretty cool.  The only craters I have seen were in text books and on TV.  There were actually two craters here.  The second one was small.

Well, after that, we decided to cool off by swimming.  This was going to help us build up an appetite for dinner.  We chose to go to a local steak house, named Sid and Sams Steakhouse.

The dinner was excellent.  We paid what you might expect to pay for any good steak house.  While I really wanted some seafood, I wanted even more to taste a texas-style steak.  I was a little disappointed.  In reading about the restaurant on the menu, I found out that their grilling style was adapted from California.  That aside, the steaks were top notch.  The meat was of great quality.  The seasoning they used was perfect.  Not too salty, and packed full of flavor.  They also had a grilled veggie side item that was delicious.  Their salad bar was full of fresh vegetables that were all well-picked.  There was no brown lettuce, soft tomatoes, or anything like that.

Well, we are getting ready for a long drive to San Antonio tomorrow.  So I need to get offline now.  I need some rest.  It is about a 5-hour drive.  However, I am told that there is plenty of GREAT Mexican food there.  I cannot wait!

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