Growing up with a mom who loved car trips, I have logged quite a few miles on the old asphalt throughout my life. My mom had a "lead foot" and a bladder than size of Lake Erie, so we didn't stop as much as I would have like. She would get her mind set on the number of miles she wanted to conquer in the day and ignore the usual kids' distractions that we would try. But eventually, even she would give into the need to stop and we would keep our eager eyes peeled for the familiar signs of Stuckey's or Nickerson's Farms.
Mom loved the pecan rolls at Stuckey's and we loved the gift shop. Sometimes we were allowed a small purchase and we would choose the huge two-foot pencil, the plastic dinosaurs or a "cedar chest" to keep our tiny treasures safe. If we didn't stop at Stuckey's then we would stop at Nickerson's Farms, 'cause we all loved the hot little loafs of bread with the honey butter.
After we ate, we would watch the honey bees in the see-through bubble hive and check out the souvenir shop. Before we all piled back into the car, bathrooms were used ("I don't care if you have to go or not, go anyways.")
Fast forward many decades and I find the road trips being a frequent occurrence in my weekly life. Stuckey's and Nickerson's Farms have gone the way of leaded gas for twenty-five cents a gallon, but there is a roadside chain which has stepped up to the plate to fulfill the basic needs of travelers, both young and old.
Clean bathrooms, friendly staff, good food, souvenirs for any taste and best of all gas with competitive prices. Buc-ee's are popping up in this pocket of the world, much like Nickerson's Farms did in the good ole days. I know that families are experiencing the travel breaks at safe, clean places where one can stretch legs; empty body reservoirs; enjoy yummy handmade fudge; try Beaver Nuggets; fill up the car for another leg of the journey and then load back up with everyone ready to "hit the road."
When I travel to the doctors' or the Grandlove's I like the feeling that no matter the weather or the time of day I can stop at Buc-ee's and get what I need to finish my journey.
Thank you, Buc-ee, from your distant cousin, Ferret. See you, soon.