Friday morning, we took our time waking up after Fajr, and had a nice breakfast in the hotel restaurant. We packed up the car and drove down to Beale Street to take a quick walk around before heading back home.

Beale would be a hoppin’ place come tonight, I expect, but at 9 in the morning, it was nice and quiet.

We walked down Beale Street and back, and I told a couple of anecdotes about blues and early rock musicians.

We drove around town a bit longer, looking for a park we clop-tropped through the night before. I didn’t look at a map or anything, and so we didn’t find it, and I got a bit stressed out driving in circles, as I’m wont to do when 1) I have a goal or an appointment or some other sort of time-based condition, and 2) I just keep circling without finding whatever it is I’m looking for.

May Allah azza wa jall grant me patience and forgiveness.

So we rolled out of Memphis, aiming to catch the Jummah prayer at the Islamic Center of Little Rock. We made it with enough time to pray a couple of nafl and speed read translation of Surah Kahf before the khutbah.

After Salat, we headed back toward Dallas, but as a joke decided to stop into Hope, Arkansas, to see if we could pick up a keychain or something for my father in law who was something of a Clinton fan.

Back in 1994 or so, I went to Little Rock for a youth event with the Unitarian Universalist church, and we stopped for gas in Hope on the way. I remembered all sorts of Clinton memorabilia in the gas station, and for whatever reason assumed I’d still find some in a Hope gas station, so imagine my chagrin when I asked the clerk of the Shell station where I might find a Hope keychain, and she suggested I go into town to the Hope Visitor Information Center, which was, interestingly enough, staffed by Ketty Lester, of all people.

The Clinton exhibit was mostly old pictures, scanned, commercially printed, and pasted on foam board with some explanatory text, and there was also some ephemera from Clinton, Mike Huckabee, and various railroad commissioners and workers. It’s probably an interesting collection, but I sorta wasn’t feeling it much, any of it. (The image above came from Hana’s phone, 2nd gen Moto G.)

Bill looked pretty relaxed in his retirement.

And Hillary was still just hanging around.

We took a slow drive past the Clinton birthplace or something and probably should’ve stopped, but I was starting to worry that we might not make it home before Maghrib, so we jumped back on the highway and took ourselves back to Dallas.

I shot some photos while I drove, but not many, and the ones I did shoot were all marred by the ever-increasing bug splats on the window.

The evening light behind Dallas gave some great, if strange color.

And then we were home.

So that was our biggest trip so far, and it was a great one, I think. Hana had some trepidation about a long road trip like that, but subdividing it into 6, 6, 3, 8, and 7 hour journeys, with a couple of days stop in the middle made it easy. 6 or 7 hours is the sweet spot for travel by car, really: you can wake up late, have a long breakfast and a walk around, make your drive, and get to your destination with plenty of daylight left to wander around a bit, rest, and have a nice dinner too.

God willing, we’ll have many more car trips, and some plane trips, a boat trip or two, and maybe even some train trips as we continue our lives together.

I love you Farhana Ali!


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